Transformation. It looks different for everyone. It takes time. It involves small but important decisions. Often baby steps. But those baby steps along a new path can lead to somewhere special, a destination that once seemed impossible to reach. A season of health, renewal, growth. Transformation.
We’ve been privileged to watch God bring transformation to so many children in our residential center here at CCHO. Even after 50 years, we love watching these God stories unfold. It’s why we do what we do, and it’s why our incredible donors, partner churches and other supporters continue to give of themselves and their resources so generously.
Stories like these below – the first from a former resident from many years ago, and the second from a more recent former resident – illustrate just how deeply God loves us, and how strong his desire is to transform our hearts and our lives into something far better than what we could ever hope or imagine.
I was a child who went through…well, I forget how many foster homes when I was small until I was adopted at age 12. Due to many traumas I experienced as a child, I had a lot of issues I didn’t know how to deal with. My adoptive parent tried counseling, medication, etc., and none of it worked.
My parents somehow heard of CCHO and decided to give that a try.
I remember the ride to Wooster. It was a long drive from Columbus. I remember passing miles of cornfields and farmland. We pulled up, I was dropped off and they got started. The staff were so friendly getting me settled in, but I didn’t care. In my head I was thinking this place is a joke and I can’t wait until I leave.
I walked miles around circle track on campus when I got there. Not because I was in trouble, but because I didn’t want to talk to anyone, get close to anyone or listen to anyone.
Over time I figured out the staff and counselors were quite fine to let me figure stuff out and not be so direct. I started to loosen up, but very slowly. They didn’t pressure me, didn’t rush, and let me take my time. It took so long, in fact, that I lived there for almost four years, if memory serves me correctly.
I figured out they wouldn’t accept lying, cheating, violence, manipulation, or any other types of behavior I had been guilty of doing. They taught me honesty, forgiveness, self-respect, humility, self-worth and so much more.
The most important things they taught me were that it was okay to let people into my life, that people really cared for me, that not everyone was going to hurt me, and they did it well.
Since leaving CCHO, I graduated high school and then served four years in the Marines. I started a family and transitioned into a new career. I became an electrician, but I didn’t stop there. After four years of apprenticeship school, I became a journeyman electrician. Then a few years later I became a state licensed master electrician, wiring jobs in excess of a million dollars. I kept learning and passed my national exams to become a licensed electrical inspector. I now work for the city of Columbus as an electrical inspector.
I firmly believe that none of that would have been possible without the God-loving and caring staff of CCHO.
To the staff at CCHO: You are helping save children’s lives. It is challenging at times, I know, but never give up. The staff who touched my life didn’t. I am now a successful member of society, and I use the lessons I learned there to be a better father and husband.
God bless all of you.
I spent a year and three months at CCHO. While I was there, the staff were really kind and sweet to me and the other girls at the cottage. Those of us who had been making safe and healthy choices for ourselves and other residents would go on weekly outings like shopping or local activities.
Because of CCHO, I’m now doing really well coping with a lot of stress. They also baptized me but before that, they introduced me to God Almighty, and I’m so thankful for that. I want to thank all of the staff members for all the help they gave me. They never gave up on us kids even when we were being rude and not listening. They kept calm and tried to redirect us. If I had the chance to change my life before going to CCHO, I wouldn’t have, but they saved my life from self-destruction. They are my family and I will never forget them. Love you all and I miss y’all so much. Also, I miss the horses.