>> by Taprina Milburn
BFO Marketing & Communications

As an 11-year-old, Amber was neglected by her parents and was raising her three-year-old brother. She lived in several shelters and in foster care before she came to Oklahoma Baptist Home for Girls, Madill, at age 16.

“Living here means that I now have a family and a safe place to live—something warm and comfortable to come home to every day. I have other girls I can talk to like sisters, and I have house parents who care for me,” the 18-year-old high school senior said.

Oklahoma Baptist Home for Girls is a ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), one of more than 300 charitable organizations that recently received a distribution from The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma (BFO).

The Foundation announced that $9.8 million was recently made available to ministries across the nation and worldwide, including more than $8.4 million to Baptist ministries in Oklahoma.

“We take seriously the spirit in which our donors give. They care deeply about supporting ministries with a biblical worldview that have long-reaching physical and spiritual impact on individuals and the culture we live in,” said Robert K. Kellogg, BFO president and CEO.

The Foundation was created in 1946 to acquire, manage, invest, and distribute donors’ gifts to Southern Baptist ministries. BFO donors support the care of children, provide rental assistance and living expenses for senior adults, send volunteers to help during local and national disasters, as well as provide scholarships that allow students to receive a Christian liberal arts education.

The 2012 annual distribution, made on Jan. 31, was given to the following Oklahoma Baptist ministries and institutions:

• $1.08 million to The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

• $258,927 to Baptist Village Communities.

• $3.03 million to OBHC.

• $3.45 million to Oklahoma Baptist University.

• $615,773 to Southern Baptist churches and associations in Oklahoma.

The remaining $1.4 million was distributed to hospitals, universities, colleges, and academic foundations as well as various ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, including the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board.

Amber says that the stability given to her by the ministry of Oklahoma Baptist Home for Girls has helped her grow personally. She has become more involved in church, school, and leadership opportunities.

“I have more trust in people and in myself, more self-confidence. Just more joy in my life,” she said.

To learn more about how to leave gifts to ministry through The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, visit www.bfok.org or call 800/949-9988.