By Ken Burton,
TCM Vice President
God called my wife, Margo and I, to Tupelo Children’s Mansion over twenty years ago. During the past two decades, our lives have been greatly enriched as we have watched children grow up under our care. It has been my privilege to stay in touch with numerous former residents who have successfully overcome their pasts and are now living a life better than they could have once imagined. Having come to the Lord as a teenager myself, and moved into the home of Pastor Jerry Holland, I am very familiar with the feelings of finding success, despite your circumstances. It was under Bro. Holland’s care that I learned that I can be anything I set my mind to, as long as I put God first.
The opportunity afforded to me as a young man also contributes to the reason that I have given nearly half my life to this calling. We now have three grown children who once arrived at TCM frightened, insecure, and uncertain of what their futures would hold. As our paths were woven, we felt God’s calling to open our hearts and homes to these teenagers. All of our children are still thankful for the role that TCM played in their lives. My son, Eric, serves as our Alumni Vice-President, helping to keep hundreds of residents connected with “home.”
On some days, my job of balancing the budget and handling staffing issues seems overwhelming, but a walk across the campus to buy a diet coke quickly changes my perspective. It is then, that little Sabastian will run up to me and tell me that he loves me, or AJ will dash by and give me a high five. On other days, it’s Chris, needing some advice, or Nick showing me his latest skateboard stunt.
It is in those moments that I see more than hurting kids. I see potential. I see a bright future. In all reality, I see me.