Rick Wheat, President and CEO
Rick Wheat, President and CEO
A man standing beside a swiftly moving bayou saw a child being carried past in the rushing water. The child in the water was obviously drowning in the current. The man, a good swimmer, dove into the deep water and pulled the child to safety.

Just as he caught his own breath, he saw another child splashing and struggling. He dove back into the water and saved the second child.

Happy to have saved two children from drowning, he was shocked to hear splashing. A third child was carried in the current. This child, too, was struggling to keep her head above water. The man dove in again and saved the child from drowning.

For hours, the man saved child after child from drowning as the swift current carried them, one after another, down the bayou.

Finally, after bending over for a moment with his hands on his knees gasping for air, the man stood, staggered, turned and gazed up the bayou.

The man then surprised everyone who had gathered. He began running away along the bayou’s edge.

“Wait! Wait! Where are you going?” Someone yelled, “You have children to save!”

The man stopped and pointed up the bayou. He gasped for breath and shouted back, “I must go there to prevent children from falling in!”

This little parable convicts me.

We pull struggling children from the deep end. We do it every day. The intensive residential care provided by the three Louisiana Methodist Children’s Homes saves lives.

But we, with your help, must also look up the bayou … we, like the man in the story, must be there to prevent children from falling in. Prevention is always the wiser choice.

We are working to develop ways local congregations can partner with Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home to save children who live in communities across Louisiana. Join us in our work this year to prevent children from falling into the deep end. Help us minister to children and families in your community.

Rick Wheat
President and Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services

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