EDITOR’S NOTE: Shane Sellers, a resident of Boys Ranch Town, one of the ministries of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), gave his testimony as part of the OBHC report to messengers attending the 108th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Nov. 10-11 at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. Shane attends Quail Springs, will graduate from Edmond Memorial High School in May and will attend Oklahoma State University next Fall. The theme of the Annual Meeting was “Together,” which is reflected in Shane’s testimony, the transcript of which follows below.
“Welcome to Chick-fil-A. My name is Shane. How may I serve you?
OK, well maybe this isn’t Chick-fil-A. But, my name IS Shane, and I would like to welcome you to MY church. As you can see, at Boys Ranch Town, we are encouraged to be involved in all kinds of activities, whether it’s the football team or the 4-H chapter.
Before I came to live at BRT, I was having a hard time at home and at school. I used to live in a bad part of Tulsa. It was normal to hear gunshots and police sirens on a regular basis. I didn’t feel safe living there, and I began hanging out with the wrong crowd. I didn’t care about my grades, so I would skip school. I started making bad choices with drugs and alcohol because I felt like nothing mattered. I didn’t think about my future very much because I didn’t have goals for my life.
A few years ago, things became desperate at home, and my family started searching for a place where I could have a better chance for hope. That’s when I moved to Boys Ranch Town and began attending church here at Quail Springs Baptist Church.
A lot of things in my life changed with that move. At first, I had to get used to the new rules—like homework time after school and an earlier curfew and bedtime than I was used to. But, the biggest and most important transformation happened when I accepted Jesus as my Savior and became a Christian.
That changed everything. The more I learned at church and from my houseparents, the more I realized that I wanted to live my life for God. That included doing my best at school, and treating myself and others with respect. This last summer, I even got to go on a mission trip to Spain! We spent 10 days putting on a Christian sports camp for little kids. We got to teach English and Christian lessons. We even taught the kids a few Christian songs.
I have formed close friendships with the other boys at BRT. It’s cool because we have all been through a lot, but we all want to be better and make something of our lives. So in a way, we are growing TOGETHER into the men God wants us to be.
One of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do since living at BRT is my job at Chick-fil-A. I started working there about two years ago because I really wanted to buy a car. Since then, I have learned a lot about being on time, working hard, being friendly and earning trust. There are a lot of cool people who work there, and it feels good to work for a company that stands for something. It’s funny because I always say ‘my pleasure’ on accident when I’m not at work instead of ‘thank you.’ I usually just try to play it off. Probably my favorite thing about working at Chick-fil-A is the free meal I get each shift. I recommend the grilled sandwich if you’ve never tried it!
It’s easy for me to look back at the things I’ve accomplished over the last couple of years and see that I didn’t achieve them alone. In fact, when I started working at Chick-fil-A about two years ago, I didn’t have my license yet. So, my housedad, Mr. Raffety, would drive me to every shift. TOGETHER with God and the staff at Boys Ranch Town, I am now a confident, hard working, honor roll student with college plans and big goals.
When I graduate, I want to go to Oklahoma State University and be a veterinarian. When I’m older, I want to own my own practice, travel to different places and drive a Porsche. Eventually, I want to get married and have kids. When I’m a dad, I want my kids to have a safe place to live with a solid foundation. They will have rules and consequences, but I will also give them a chance—just like the one I got at Boys Ranch Town.
If I hadn’t come to live at BRT, there’s no telling where I would be right now—maybe a drop-out or maybe in jail. But I’m not. I’m here with you. I’ve learned from my job at Chick-fil-A and from living at BRT that TOGETHER with God and the support of people who care, I can have hope for a future. Thank you, for all you and your churches do for kids like us at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
Getting to be here and share my story with you today has truly been . . . ‘My Pleasure.’”