“When I was a single mother with two young kids, I was afraid. I didn’t know what to do, but I had to have HOPE.” —Wanda Pratt
She is lovingly known nationwide as “Mama Durant,” the supportive mother of 2014 MVP of the National Basketball Association, Kevin Durant. She travels the country inspiring audiences to believe and achieve. But around Baptist Children’s Home, OKC, she is better known as “Ms. Wanda.”
Wanda Pratt has become more than a celebrity visitor to the mothers and children who live in the Children’s Hope program. She is a mentor and a friend. During her last two visits, she learned the ins and outs of our ministry, and said “I just can’t believe all that you’re doing here for moms and their kids. They are very blessed to have a place like this.”
In November, Wanda brought a powerful (and colorful) painting presentation to the residents and staff. She challenged participants to examine the concept of self-perception.
“Ask yourself the hard question,” Pratt said. “What perception do you have of yourself? How you see yourself determines what you let the world to see.” She went on to emphasize the importance of aligning your self-perception with the world’s perception.
“If you’re not living out what you want the world to see, then we have to make changes. God gives us a responsibility to walk righteously. We have to take steps to do the right thing,” Pratt explained.
Once everyone had the chance to reflect on this idea of self-perception, participants were asked to paint a canvas using words and colors that would remind them of their self-perception goals. Wanda encouraged choosing colors and words that had profound meaning to participants. Some mothers wrote words like strength, dignity and kindness. Children also participated and wrote words like respectful, smart and happy. Even the staff joined in on the activity, writing words like grace, purpose and patience.
Wanda’s presentation was inspiring to the residents and staff alike.
“I believe that God will continue to anoint our program as long as we are honoring Him in all we do. When Wanda came here and told us that she believes in what we are doing, I came away feeling so confirmed about our ministry,” said Cathy Rangel, Children’s Hope Coordinator. “We needed to hear that from someone who has been through the same struggle. Wanda being a part of our ministry gives us confidence that we are doing something right and making the most difference for these mothers and their children.”
While visiting Baptist Children’s Home, Wanda joined us for a family-style dinner and even helped twin residents, Kameron and Kamari, blow out their candles as they celebrated their 10th birthday. After cake was served, Wanda listened earnestly to testimonies of single mothers who are excelling in the Children’s Hope program, Heather and Mariah, and offered hugs and encouragement.
Before we said goodnight, the children made a special presentation to thank Ms. Wanda for her kindness. They each told Ms. Wanda about their favorite color and what it meant to them. Then, they took turns pouring their favorite color of sand into a frame with a photo of Wanda and two of the mothers in the program. They presented the frame to Wanda with smiles, hugs and a few happy tears.
When it comes to the perception of a single mother, Ms. Wanda is the picture of strength in Jesus. Her faith and perseverance through the difficult times in her life has been rewarded with a platform to impact others in a beautiful way. Now, by Wanda’s testimony, the world can see that being a single mother is not a hopeless situation. They can see that Jesus is the hope of the world, for all people, experiencing all kinds of crises. The world can see it… and now, thanks to Wanda, so can the mothers living in the Children’s Hope program at Baptist Children’s Home.
For more information on Children’s Hope, call 405/691-7781 or visit www.obhc.org.