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  • Writer's pictureLisa McMahon

A Life Transformed at Our Children's Shelter

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

We read in Galatians 3:27 that “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” When Tanya* came into our care nearly a month ago, her history worried us a bit. What we read in her file brought many fears, but God kept reminding me what I looked like on paper, so I took a chance and walked by faith. When we were first met Tanya in person there were even more concerns. There were things that had not previously been shared with us about her that made me question if we would be able to maintain her placement in our Children’s Shelter. Her first few days were what we like to call the “honeymoon stage,” and I kept questioning whether or not I had read the wrong the file. I thought to myself, “This sheet can’t be Tanya’s,” but in fact it was. About a week after Tanya entered our care, things turned for the worse. Law enforcement had to be called many times, and she violated her probation on numerous occasions. The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) started to seek a new placement for her, including the possibility of her being admitted into one of their long-term programs. But, after about three chaotic days, Tanya started to abide by the rules. She accepted the discipline and we started to see changes in her behavior. At that point, I was undecided on what we should recommend to the judge about Tanya’s placement. Should she stay or was another placement in her best interest?

Soon after, Tanya was caught skipping class, and we had to also take her phone away for the weekend. I thought, here we go again. Tanya came to me upset, but she understood why her phone was being taken away. I thought maybe Tanya was going to start resorting back to her old patterns, but that weekend I received pictures from our staff of Tanya tubing and smiling!

Later that same day, I received a photo from our pastor’s wife of her and Tanya hitting it off at a school play. I was seeing a true transformation take place – the kind only God could orchestrate.

The next morning at church, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tanya walking toward the front of the sanctuary. I figured she was going to go to the restroom, but instead she walked all the way to the front and made a public statement that Jesus Christ was her Lord! Part of me questioned: Was this just for show? Was this to get her out of going to a program? She had mentioned to the pastor’s wife that she would like to get baptized, so maybe her motives had changed. God quickly reminded me I didn’t come to the Christian Care Center with the right motives, but that didn’t stop Him from moving in my life.

I made sure Tanya understood the significance of baptism and when I asked her why she wanted to baptized, she told me she was tired of running from God. I made plans for her to be baptized on May 26. But, on Mother’s Day, May 12, Tanya went to the church’s baptism room and shared that she was ready to be baptized that day!

You can see the transformation in Tanya’s face, in her body language and in her behaviors. There is truly nothing more beautiful than the redemption that only God can offer. And there is also nothing more beautiful than the church coming alongside a new believer – and that’s where you come in. Tanya needs someone to come alongside her, to disciple her into the woman He has called her to be. All of our children here need someone like you to help them on their journey. They come from painful pasts and have bumpy roads ahead of them, but you can help guide them!

Please contact me at to find out how your example and unconditional love for a child can be the tool that God uses to orchestrate a transformation that the world will be in awe of.

*Name changed for security reasons

-written by Jamie Scher, Director of our Children’s Shelter

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