Safe. Peaceful. Hopeful. These are words often used to describe Boothe Campus, where our Homes for Children ministry is located.
It is not just the child residents who recognize the exceptional atmosphere. The feeling is evident as you drive through the gates up to the main buildings. Jeff Brewer, Director of Development, believes there is a holy anointing on the property as a result of the sixty-six years of faithful obedience to God from the first day of the ministry’s existence.
Obedience to God has been the number one priority from the very beginning when Jess Lunsford founded the South Texas Children’s Home. He was determined to operate a program that was fully funded by private donations, taking no government funding. That policy is still in force today.
The beautiful Lundsford Chapel is, perhaps, the most striking building on campus. The soaring steeple and tall A-frame construction leads eyes upward, reminding each of us from where our hope comes. The sanctuary is central to many activities throughout the school year and in the summertime when church volunteer teams are on campus.
Leaving the chapel and crossing the street, the bricks in the sidewalks draw your attention. Not only does the color of the red clay stand out, but engraved on many of them are the first name of every child who has lived on campus and the year they moved to Boothe Campus. Seeing the names reminds you of the scope of this ministry; so many bricks representing the thousands of children who have found shelter and safety here. And there is still plenty of room for more bricks, representing the children who have yet to come home to Boothe Campus.
The Piper Children’s Center is next on the tour. This is the office building for the administrators, case workers, counselors, and other staff who keep the children’s home humming. Here we see another combination of past and present. Large painted portraits of our founders, Laura Boothe and Jess Lunsford, hang in the receiving area, reminding us that we are accountable to both those who came before us and those who follow behind to continue in unwavering obedience to God’s good plan for each of us. Moving past the long line of hand drawn Christmas cards, each framed with a picture of their child creator and the year they were chosen to represent STCH Ministries, will bring a smile to your face as you approach the commissary.
If the office spaces are the wheels that keep the program moving, the commissary is the motor that keeps it running. A large room with both a walk-in refrigerator and a giant freezer opens up to a storeroom lined with towering wooden shelves filled with canned goods, cleaning supplies, paper products, and children’s clothing. The commissary delivers the bulk of the weekly needs for each cottage family. The overarching goal of life on Boothe Campus is normalcy. We want our kids to experience the closest thing to a healthy family life as possible.
The cottages are the most inviting places on campus. Each home is spacious with room for up to eight kids. The living room along with a generous kitchen and dining area are comfortably designed for family gatherings. Most of the cottages open up to a front porch looking over open areas for bike riding, swinging, and roller blading. Houseparents care for each cottage, carrying out the most critical aspect of the endeavor: creating a loving, family atmosphere for the children of Boothe Campus. Most of the youngsters residing here have come from extremely difficult situations. They arrive with a deep need for a healthy, new normal. They find adults ready to provide safety, model peace, and teach them there is hope for a bright future.
If you would like a personal tour of Boothe Campus, please contact our office at 361.375.2417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements can be made for individuals or groups.