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Building connections between Boys Home and the Church
Vol. 5, Issue 6 — June 2019
 

 
A Note from Chaplain Anne Grizzle:
May Baptisms at the Creek
  
 Student Chris holds his hands high before his baptism
 
 
On May 12, after preparations, learning, and diligence in prayer, and despite a stormy weather forecast, seven young men from Boys Home followed through on their decision to follow Christ and were baptized at the creek.
 
Earlier that morning, the worship service at Emmanuel Episcopal in Covington featured a Boys Home choir for the first time. The homily referenced the ways that the baptismal candidates had indeed heard the Good Shepherd's voice through reading Scripture, learning from family, inner nudges, and spiritual practices. Many had already begun following Christ in specific ways such as Bible study, service, and even preaching. Leaving the church after the last song, "Shall We Gather at the River," everyone proceeded to the river at Boys Home. Amazingly, rather than thunderstorms, the Creator provided a beautiful day for the planned moment of baptism! 
 
Down by the creek, Chaplain Anne Grizzle asked for each of the students to be presented for baptism by a sponsor who had supported them in their faith journey and someone who will continue to support and pray for them as they walk with God. Then the baptismal candidates gave resounding reunciations of Satan, evil powers, and sinful desires, followed by equally resounding affirmations of Jesus Christ as Savior, whole trust in His grace and love, and a promise to follow and obey Him as Lord. Sponsors and staff members then helped the chaplain to immerse each of the students in the cold, flowing creek water, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards each student was anointed with oil "sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ's own forever."
 
Congratulations to Davin, Chris, Finn, Christian, James, Abenego, and Frank, our newly baptized students! Frank, Ben, and James had requested they be baptized as brothers which was a woundrous moment; as an added blessing just before their dunking, the sun shone out from the clouds, as if to remind them that their recently deceased grandmother was joining all in prayer. Once each student was baptized, they were wrapped in newly gifted towels with their names, and Dr. James Snyder presented them with baptismal candles from Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Covington, VA. Afterwards, parents, sponsors, staff, and students all gathered in the dining hall for a celebratory lunch.
 
Each of the baptized young men spoke in chapel the next day of their reasons for being baptized. Some of their reasons were honoring the faith of their families, responding to the Holy Spirit, obeying Jesus' call to be baptized in Scripture, or deciding it was time to publicly confess faith. The newly baptized described the experience as cold, refreshing, memorable, a step towrads living a life dedicated to Jesus. Frank described the miracle of his grandmother's prayers that brought his brother back from the brink of death as a young boy and the miracle now of their lives together, baptized as brothers in blood and Christ. What a truly memorable and joyous day in the life of Boys Home and the faith that grows here! 
 
 
 Three brothers Ben, James, and Frank being baptized together
 
 Group of students after their baptism pose with staff 
 
 

 
Mission Group from Portsmouth Gets Things Done! 
 
From Sunday, May 19, through Friday, May 24, Boys Home of Virginia hosted a fantastic group of volunteers on campus. The group consisted of six men from Trinity Episcopal Church, in Portsmouth, VA, led by Paul Radford. They arrived on Sunday in time for a picnic, had a short evening to relax, and then got right to work!
 
On Monday morning, the group began the restoration of an old fence around the cemetery in the lower field. With the help of Louis Sarratt, who is in charge of special projects at Boys Home, the group cleared the brush away from the site, disposed of the old chain-link fencing, righted the metal fence posts, capped them with wooden posts, and installed a gate and fence rails. Some volunteers even helped mill the fence rails! 
 
Trinity Portsmouth group standing with the newly constructed fence and gate
 
The connection with Trinity in Portsmouth began several years ago, when Boys Home executive director Donnie Wheatley visited the church to spread the word about Boys Home. His visit led to a mission group traveling to Covington to volunteer on campus. Paul Radford was one of the first to attend, and he hasn't missed a trip since. "I just fell in love with Boys Home," he says. In his five years of volunteering, he's helped with repairing buildings on the farm, fencing, painting, rebuilding bleachers, and various garden and farm projects. This year's group is primarily made up of retirees, four of whom have attended trips in previous years. Cameron Ballinger rounded out the group as the youngest participant, providing some new energy and earning volunteer hours toward his high school graduation next year. Boys Home is especially grateful for such dedicated help!
 
Pictured, left to right: Jim Seagraves, Brian Early, Kelly Comardelle,
Cameron Ballinger, and Paul Radford
 
 

 
 Boys Home of Virginia Wants to Visit Your Church!
 
Boys Home would love to visit your church to share the Boys Home story. Executive Director Mr. Donnie Wheatley and a few students enjoy traveling to different congregations each Sunday to share the mission of Boys Home with others. 
 
If your church is interested in a visit, please contact Lauren at (540) 965-7714 or email at LHanna@boyshomeofva.org
 
Students Tyler and Jordan on their way to the chapel service 
 

 
 How Can I Help?
 
If your congregation would like a visit from Boys Home, please contact Lauren at LHanna@boyshomeofva.org and we will work to set it up. We look forward to visiting as many parishes as possible to share the Boys Home story.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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Address postal inquiries to:
Boys Home Incorporated
414 Boys Home Road
Covington, VA 24426