50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry

When CCHO was founded in 1969, one married couple in one farmhouse provided a safe place to stay for three to five kids at one time. Today, our family of ministries regularly serves more than 1,000 children and adults each month from nearly 20 different regional locations.

Through five decades of ministry, we have been privileged to watch broken people, broken families, and broken hearts be made new by a loving and redemptive God. To celebrate everything God has done in and through our agency, we shared 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry throughout 2019. These stories came from all corners of our ministry: former CCHO residents as well as past and present counseling clients and foster care families and children; current and former employees and board members; volunteers and long-time donors; and supporting churches.

Find all 50 stories below, plus a bonus post that wrapped up the series.

Saying thanks and praying for more

December 31, 2019

We ask, Lord, that Your presence always graces us, that our words and actions reflect Your heart for people.

Generations of life-changing ministry (Story 50 of 50)

December 27, 2019

Karon first stepped foot on CCHO’s Wooster campus in November of 1981 when her parents, Tim and Pat McKelley, were hired as house parents.

There from the start (Story 49 of 50)

December 23, 2019

CCHO will always have a special place in my heart. Not only did it bring me to Ohio, but I’ve witnessed many miracles and lives changed.

TBT: 50 photos from 50 years (Story 48 of 50)

December 19, 2019

As we prepared to celebrate our 50th anniversary we perused old photo albums. Enjoy 50 photos from our five decades of ministry.

The hope of Esperanza de Ana (Story 47 of 50)

December 13, 2019

Today, we invite you to learn more about Esperanza de Ana, an affiliated ministry based in western South America.

Christmas wishes come true (Story 46 of 50)

December 9, 2019

CCHO kids may not wake up in their own homes on Christmas, but because of kind supporters, they wake up to an astonishing example of love.

Loving in the in between (Story 45 of 50)

November 30, 2019

Amidst the heartache of loss in the foster care system, our staff has had the opportunity to witness the joy of adoption in the last year.

Thank you from Katie (Story 44 of 50)

November 27, 2019

Katie needed to feel safe and loved. Thanks to donors like you, Katie found the support, therapy and love she needed at CCHO.

Challenging and rewarding (Story 43 of 50)

November 20, 2019

It’s been quite some time since I first set foot on the CCHO campus. To say I had some anxiety when I arrived would be an understatement.

Tools for today, hope for tomorrow (Story 42 of 50)

November 11, 2019

Kristina Fryson, MSW, LSW, CTT shows the powerful difference that effective trauma treatment can make in someone’s life.

The unexpected story God writes (Story 41 of 50)

October 28, 2019

Not every season and every case are created equal, but if given the opportunity to build a bridge, I encourage you to take the first step.

He’d been there all along (Story 40 of 50)

October 17, 2019

I entered foster care at age four. By the time I was 15, I already had 13 homes including a failed adoption under my belt.

Planting, watering, growing and blooming (Story 39 of 50)

October 14, 2019

CCHO has been a part of my life for at least 20 years. God has filled this relationship with a combination of wonder, trial, and purpose.

The transformative path (Story 38 of 50)

October 9, 2019

Two former CCHO residents share their inspiring stories of transformation in story #38 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.

Compelled by extravagant love (Story 37 of 50)

October 4, 2019

We’re pleased to once again celebrate our staff with a closer look at the work they do each day to help people experience their worth.

The Ziegler Family (Story 36 of 50)

September 30, 2019

James 1:27 calls God’s people to meet the needs of orphans. The Zieglers answered that call by joining Encourage Foster Care.

Blessings from Meadow View (Story 35 of 50)

September 26, 2019

As a first-time VBS director this year for Meadow View Church of Christ, I was asked to choose a mission to support with our VBS donations.

Grateful for a great staff (Story 34 of 50)

September 21, 2019

How do you show appreciation to staff who consistently fight for the highest good of others?

There’s more to life than surviving (Story 33 of 50)

September 16, 2019

Although all clients have a special story, some clients’ stories stick with you long after their treatment in the program has ended.

VBS programs win MVP award (Story 32 of 50)

September 10, 2019

We are so grateful for the collection of caring churches that have supported CCHO and our family of ministries over the past five decades.

25 years of drives, chips and putts (Story 31 of 50)

August 28, 2019

What started in 1994 as a small fundraiser has become an annual event that allows us to continue helping kids and families.

Supportive golf swings (Story 30 of 50)

August 23, 2019

Don Boehm and his sons have been swinging their clubs for CCHO for years. Here’s why they come back every year for the golf outing.

Riding high with Sons of God (Story 29 of 50)

August 21, 2019

The Northern Ohio Chapter of the Sons of God Motorcycle Club has been blessing the kids at CCHO every summer since 1996.

Trust, treatment, transformation (Story 28 of 50)

August 16, 2019

I believe that God directed the county to choose CCHO because it was what my son needed to help him become the man God created him to be.

Cool cars and warm hearts (Story 27 of 50)

August 13, 2019

Jim Morrison and Regi Muich from MOCC share the history behind their annual Cruisin’ for the Kids event.

The ultimate storyteller (Story 26 of 50)

July 31, 2019

On July 11, 1997, a little girl was born to a single mom. That young mom was a former CCHO resident.

Baptism joy (Story 25 of 50)

July 24, 2019

That was the first time I saw Brent cry. He regretted that he would leave CCHO without being baptized.

Working all things for good (Story 24 of 50)

July 19, 2019

I’d like to take you on a trip back to 2008. I had just earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Malone College.

Answering a community calling (Story 23 of 50)

July 11, 2019

Our group from Fairlawn Mennonite Church in Apple Creek, Ohio has been regularly volunteering with CCHO since June 2018.

Getting close enough to listen (Story 22 of 50)

July 8, 2019

Once upon a time…. Probably the most famous opening line of a story.

CCHO: The Next 50 Years (Story 21 of 50)

July 1, 2019

Several employees share their vision for what’s ahead for our family of ministries and what “More” might look like over the next 50 years.

How Motley Lou became Pastor Louie (Story 20 of 50)

June 29, 2019

Louie Pantelis takes the storytelling reins today. Louie lived in fear and desperation as a teenager. But then he wound up on at CCHO.

The Kandel Family (Story 19 of 50)

June 26, 2019

When Julie and Ron began their foster and adoption journey, they couldn’t have imagined they would one day have 18 children.

A guided imagery narrative (Story 18 of 50)

June 24, 2019

When new residents arrive, our therapy team writes a narrative from the child’s perspective to help staff understand their trauma.

A new day for Ashley (Story 17 of 50)

June 22, 2019

It is an honor to walk alongside people like Ashley, who has found health and healing during her time as an Encompass client.

Fifty years in one big weekend (Story 16 of 50)

June 20, 2019

What a way to commemorate five decades of ministry! More than 1500 people attended our three-day celebration on June 7-9.

Partners in legacy (Story 15 of 50)

June 4, 2019

As we prepare to gather for our 50th celebration this weekend, we’re especially grateful for our community partners who support our mission.

Our logo, then and now (Story 14 of 50)

May 30, 2019

A lot changes in one decade, let alone five. The world is different today in many ways than it was when CCHO started in a farmhouse in 1969.

Leading with kindness (Story 13 of 50)

May 21, 2019

Helping meet residents’ needs takes a lot of hands and partners. We are grateful for the kindness of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Memories from our second resident (Story 12 of 50)

May 16, 2019

I came to CCHO in 1971 and lived there until I graduated in 1975. I was the second resident. My memories are numerous but here are a few.

See the possibility (Story 11 of 50)

May 7, 2019

When you hear people talk about foster care and adoption, you often hear about a broken system and all the reasons to stay away.

Trading worthlessness for faithfulness (Story 10 of 50)

May 3, 2019

I met Mia when she first became a resident in our Young Girls Cottage. I was immediately struck by her kindness and vibrant personality.

Life lessons learned (Story 9 of 50)

April 26, 2019

I was 16 when I came to CCHO. I was a lost, angry teenager, but the love and support of CCHO helped mold me into the woman I am today.

A faithful foundation (Story 8 of 50)

April 22, 2019

Fifty years ago today, on a Tuesday evening at Rittman First Church of Christ, 12 men were selected as interim board members of CCHO.

Josie’s triumph (Story 7 of 50)

April 17, 2019

When I first met Josie, I met a powerhouse of a young woman; she presented as a strong, independent teenager with something to prove.

Healing for a kindergartener’s heart (Story 6 of 50)

April 11, 2019

Joey was a kindergarten student when I met him. He had the typical chubby cheeks of a kindergartener and he was missing his two front teeth.

Decades with Discover (Story 5 of 50)

April 4, 2019

As the Discipleship Minister at Discover Christian Church in Dublin, I’ve led our annual CCHO men’s mission trip for the past 10 years.

One Heart, One Family of Ministries (Story 4 of 50)

March 27, 2019

From the first employee hired in 1969 to our most recent new hires, our staff have served by stepping into the pain and to offer hope.

Perfect love casts out fear (Story 3 of 50)

March 25, 2019

It’s not easy being a foster parent. Many would say opening their hearts and homes to kids in need is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.

“I don’t want you to love me” (Story 2 of 50)

March 20, 2019

Each day, employees of our family of ministries aim to uphold our three core values: relentless commitment, selflessness and kindness.

A place where kids and God can meet (Story 1 of 50)

March 15, 2019

For 50 years, Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO) has been “a place where kids and God can meet.”