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Turning lemonade into love: OBHC honors giving 7-year-old

SULPHUR—A’Layah Robinson is no ordinary 7-year-old—she’s a giver. After growing up in foster care, she and her brothers personally know the struggles of going from one house to the next. One Saturday afternoon, A’Layah saw a group of teenagers at a lemonade stand, and something sparked in heart. She decided to start her own stand to help foster kids. What started out as a

A’Layah Robinson, a resident of Sulphur, started Lemonade for Love, a lemonade stand with all proceeds going towards giving foster children hope.

small idea turned into Lemonade for Love: an in-depth ministry giving hope to hundreds of children.

When asked why she started a lemonade stand, A’Layah simply stated, “I help foster kids, and I want to give them hope.” She said what really inspired her was seeing her brother have no possessions of his own. “When I came to my forever home, I had lots of boxes of things, but my brother had nothing. He only had one outfit.”

The proceeds of her lemonade stand go towards stuffing bright yellow bags for foster children. Each of the bags contains what she proclaims are “the essentials” for foster kids—a “blankie,” Bible, stuffed animal and a toothbrush. So far, Lemonade for Love has donated around 700 bags to DHS. Their goal is to donate 900 by the end of the summer.

It’s very important to A’Layah to include Bibles in the bags. “I didn’t have a Bible, and I had never heard the Word of God before. I want other foster kids to know Jesus,” she said. A’Layah made it very clear that Christ is the most important part of her ministry; she never wants that to be overshadowed or censored.

Such passion for others does not go unnoticed, as A’Layah was recently recognized by Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

(OBHC), as a recipient of their Loaves and Fishes Award. The award recognizes children and youth who have donated time, talent or treasure to help others through the ministries of OBHC. The name of this award refers to a passage of scripture, John 6:5-13, which demonstrates what God can do with even a small gift when it is placed in the Lord’s hands. A’Layah was presented with the award on May 7 during a special foster care awareness service at Sulphur, Calvary.

During Calvary’s morning service, OBHC Foster Care Coordinator Teri Blanton presented the Loaves and Fishes Award. She

Pastor Tom Hefley of Sulpher, Calvary reads the description for the Loaves and Fishes Award before the congregation

emphasized A’Layah’s desire to share Christ’s love with foster children.

“Someone in this sanctuary has been investing in the lives of others. She has been making sure that no child feels unloved. It’s

important to her that children who come into foster care know someone out there is praying for them,” Blanton said.

Behind A’Layah’s ministry is her biggest fan—her mom, Misty Robinson. Misty adopted A’Layah and her two brothers from foster care. As A’Layah was called up to the stage to receive her Loaves and Fishes award, Misty beamed proudly at her daughter. Right next to Misty was A’Layah’s grandparents, Jim and Dee Christie, smiling from ear to ear as their granddaughter was recognized in front of the congregation.

As Pastor Tom Hefley gave a sermon about the importance of loving one another, he highlighted Misty’s dedication to her daughter’s ministry.

“To see the doors that you’re opening and the walls you and your family are kicking down; I know A’Layah’s name is all over it,

A’Layah’s family; Teri Blanton, OBHC Foster Care coordinator, center back; and Hefley pose for a photo after A’Layah received her award

but I know mom is doing a lot of work,” Hefley said. “I know it came from seeing what A’Layah saw, and her sharing her testimony with you,”

The service concluded with the entire church body gathering on the stage to pray for A’Layah and her family. After the service, A’Layah and her family were treated to lunch at Potrillo’s Mexican Restaurant in Sulphur. The spirited 7-year-old gleamed with pride when her mom asked her to tell about her upcoming birthday plans.

“I don’t want any gifts for my birthday. All I want is donations for foster kids,” she said with a smile. A’Layah is having a “Birthday Bash” with all proceeds going towards her ministry. “We’re going to have cotton candy, hot dogs and even a bounce house!” The birthday celebration will be Sat., June 10 at the Murray County Expo Center in Sulphur. To learn more about A’Layah’s Lemonade for Love or her Birthday Bash, visit
www.facebook.com/alayahslemonadeforlove.

The mission of OBHC is to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ. To read more information OBHC’s ministry or their Loaves and Fishes Award, visit www.obhc.org. For foster care assistance or information, call Teri Blanton at 405/640-0622.

Author: Lauren Capraro

OBHC Communications Associate

View more articles by Lauren Capraro.

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