The Cumulative Lasting Impact One Year Made
91 children. On average, 91 children* find themselves at Homes for Children on STCH Ministries Boothe Campus each year. Many come for a variety of reasons – a parent or grandparent can no longer care for them due to personal issues, health problems, severe depression, substance abuse or experiencing a season of crisis. No matter the reason, every child is welcomed with open arms.
IN 1988, THREE SIBLINGS found themselves reunited at STCH Ministries Homes for Children after being previously separated in foster care. Shaunna, Crystal and Robert were in grade school when their parents, struggling with alcohol and drug addictions, separated and the state intervened taking the children away. Their mom desired nothing more than for her kids to stay together when she entered rehab and pleaded with the state to make that happen. Her requests were answered and once her three children were placed at Homes for Children they would remain together for the duration of their time there.
Mr. and Mrs. Minter became the family’s houseparents. While living in a cottage with The Minters, the siblings were able to experience a consistent, loving and strong family dynamic. Shaunna, Crystal and Robert were enrolled in the Pettus school system and attended a local church with The Minters. “Our time there was 100% happy memories. We loved the Minters and felt safe,” Crystal recalls. The siblings had previously experienced a negative placement situation. The oldest, Shaunna, who was 11 at the time shared, “The Minters made us feel comfortable and not like we weren’t their children. I felt comfortable and secure for the first time in my life.”
For the duration of their time at Homes for Children with The Minters, Shaunna, Crystal and Robert continued to feel loved, nurtured and invested in. Whether it was attending chapel together on campus each Wednesday night and feeling comfortable enough to go up on stage and sing with the other children or going into town with The Minters on a Walmart run. “We had chores and we had our own savings jar and we would put our money in there and Mrs. Minters would take us to Walmart and we would spend it,” Shaunna reminisced. The family had food in the pantry, clothes, a daily routine, church involvement and love from their houseparents. This consistency and normalcy were key for the siblings.
Even at the young ages of 11, 9 and 4, the siblings were strongly impacted by the true, genuine love of Christ shared by the daily actions of their houseparents and every other adult on campus. Shaunna, Crystal and Robert, like all the other children that journey through Homes for Children, were also given guidance by an onsite counselor and support from an onsite caseworker. The siblings experienced a well-rounded, Christ-centered support system while at Homes for Children, something they did not have before. “We had structure and church and it was wonderful… we did not want to leave,” Crystal shared as she reflected on her time at Homes for Children.
STCH Ministries Homes for Children ultimately seeks to restore relationships and return children to their families when possible. That was the case for the siblings. While sad to leave after only a year at Homes for Children, their mom was able to take them back. The siblings struggled with having to leave especially since they knew they were going different ways. Shaunna moved with their aunt, Crystal stayed with their mother and Robert moved in with their dad. Their year at Homes for Children helped prepare their hearts for the future. As years went on and the siblings continued to grow, they would see the fruit of the seeds sown into them during that very impactful year.
Shaunna, now 44, has been married for 21 years. They have three boys and they own their own electrical company. Shaunna also owns a med spa/salon in Rockport, TX. “Having that healthy, family dynamic allowed me to know that that was the kind of life I wanted to live,” Shaunna admits. She credits the life she is able to live now and the way she parents to what she witnessed and experienced at Homes for Children.
Crystal is now 42 and a family nurse practitioner at an OB/GYN clinic. Her daughter, who just turned 14, recently beat cancer. She was diagnosed in July 2021 with Osteosarcoma and went through chemo at MD Anderson from August 2021 – April 2022. Numerous doctor visits and treatments for her daughter reminded Crystal of what Homes for Children taught her upon leaving. “We were going to be present,” she shared. In the good and the bad, Crystal and her husband have been able to now be that healthy, structured family unit her daughter needs.
The youngest, Robert, is now 38 and has a daughter who is 7. He also owns an electrical company in Rockport. While recently thinking back on their times together at Homes for Children, Robert admitted he still remembers the chapel songs despite being so young during his time there.
The siblings hope to revisit the campus soon to show their children where they once lived and reminisce on all the impactful, life-changing memories made there. “We are hoping to meet up with Mrs. Minter soon,” Crystal shared, as they recently reconnected with her via Facebook, Mr. Minter passed away a few years back.
All of the positive experiences Shaunna, Crystal and Robert were able to have, over 30 years ago, while at Homes for Children left such a cumulative impact on this family unit. The siblings remain close to this day and have a fully restored relationship with their mother. “Our mom is doing amazing,” Crystal happily shared. This renewed relationship with their mom has also blessed their children who are able to enjoy times with their grandmother. It is evident how that year’s influence continues to spill over onto each sibling’s individual, growing family.
While it is often seen how Homes for Children changes children’s lives while they are on campus, it is beautiful to hear how the trajectory of these siblings’ lives were changed upon leaving Boothe Campus. The great harvest of individual growth, success in business and determination to break generational pain began with the seeds planted by their houseparents and everyone else they encountered at Homes for Children.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about STCH Ministries Home for Children or if you would like to give to help fund this wonderful ministry, please visit www.STCHM.org/care.