by Terrel J. DeVille, President and CEO

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, our teacher, whose birth we are still celebrating here at the Ruston and New Orleans Campuses. This has been a year filled with many Blessings. Among them has been the continuing increase in financial support and in the affirmation of and for the ministries we are about.

I wish you could have been here with me last night, Thursday, December 21st. It was my 38th year to be in the cottages with our children as they opened their Angel Tree Christmas presents. The evening started at 5PM sharp with a feast. All kinds of our children’s favorite dishes, such as chips and cheese dips, hot wings, barbeque, sausage, meat pies, wraps and on and on were served. Then the sweets, – pecan pies, cheese cake, chocolate cake, candy and on and on were also served.

As families do, each of our cottages has their own traditions which they follow. The one that really got my attention this year was in our younger boy’s home. Every boy and staff member in unison prayed a blessing, after which each shared a personal blessing that was on their mind at the moment. This was done before each boy received a pile of gifts, which they very quickly unwrapped and began playing with! A couple of the blessings shared are still on my mind as I attempt to share this experience with you. One of the boys very frankly stated, “I thank God for this food.” Another boldly stated, “I thank God for the people who love me here at the Methodist Children’s Home.”

As I recollect these two shared blessings I am emotionally stirred. Knowing what these two individuals had to go through before coming into our care, I can appreciate the sincerity of their statements. One literally scrounged in the trash cans for food, and the other was so neglected and abused that his growth has been stunted.

I could share 106 more stories with you as each of our children have had their own experiences, which I believe is why God led them to be delivered into our care.

I too would like to share with you what a blessing it is to me to be here leading your Ministry which is introducing Christ to children and their families not only at Christmas time but every day of our lives.

I also want to share with you the blessings our ministry has had this past year. We have been successful in expanding our services not only on the Ruston campus, but also at the OWL Center and in the community based Family Plus Programs.

The residential program at the Methodist Home for Children in New Orleans was able to return and to continue to successfully care for very special needs children. Its Therapeutic Foster Care Program is also continuing to offer tremendous opportunities for children to live in a family setting which not only blesses the children, but also the Foster Parents. Plans are in progress to absorb their ministries with our ministry, creating one Institution with greater ability to respond to all of Louisiana’s Children and family needs in a more efficient way.

I thank God for all of the dedicated and committed staff and donors we have. For the staff whose ministry is so difficult yet so critical in changing lives for good. For all our donors that partner with us to make this great work possible.

May God’s Peace be with you and your families this Christmas and New Year Season. May all we do by following the teachings of Christ bring all closer to God.

Yours In Christ,

Terrel DeVille

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