“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
I read the above proverb a few months ago and wrote it in my journal. Supposedly, this phrase came from somewhere in Africa. Regardless of its origin, it speaks to a powerful truth- to make it, we need help. Raising children is not about speed, but distance. We travel this distance in community, not in isolation. My wife and I had a lot of help raising our three daughters and son. I’ll bet you did too. There were friends, teachers, coaches, employers, physicians, dentists, youth ministers, mentors and more who all worked beside us to get our four children from birth to adulthood. As we finish out this year at Christ’s Haven we are looking for friends to help us go far. To go far, you have to have help.
Do you know the story of Christ’s Haven for Children’s beginning? Homer and Lillian Steadman started the home in 1954. They purchased a house on East Vickery Boulevard in Fort Worth and began taking in children. Eventually, they knew they needed to expand to meet the need and care for more children. In 1956, they found a 210-acre farm for sale in north Tarrant county. The farmer who owned the land wanted $500 earnest money, but the Steadmans had only $300. The farmer agreed to take the $300 if they would pay the additional $200 in ninety days which they did.
Paying off the property was the next challenge. The Steadmans paid $225 per acre for the land and soon after the purchase, Homer began to visit churches and asked members at each congregation to buy an acre. He said, “If you can’t afford an acre, then get a friend and each of you buy a half acre. If you can’t afford a half acre, then get three friends and buy a quarter acre each.” “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” From the beginning we have traveled together. It took a lot of generous individuals, churches and businesses to get Christ’s Haven off the ground. Sixty-four years later, many like you and me are still working together to raise the children entrusted to us at Christ’s Haven. You cannot raise children alone. To go far we have to have friends like you and we need your help.
We need to raise a little over $1.7 million this year. We aren’t there yet. Together we can make this goal. Sarah, Milka and Jennifer are in college. You know what that’s like. Cameron, Chloe, Christian, Blythe and Kathy all graduate from high school this coming spring. They need a way to get to work and school. They need application fees for college or trade school. Then there are all those senior year expenses. They will need health insurance once they are ineligible for Medicaid.
We are caring for about 40 children today. We are all in for the long haul. Some of these children have been with us for years. They need you to help us feed, shelter, clothe, educate them and provide them with experiences that will mold and shape their character for a life time. We can’t go fast: we must go far. To go far we need you. All of the children in our care have been abused and/or neglected. Seventy percent have been sexually molested. They need spiritual formation. They need therapy. They need social workers committed to seeing that they get what they need to heal. Your gift at the end of this year will help us provide the healing services these children.
I am asking you to help us go far. I am asking you to do like those people who helped the Steadmans pay off the land. Some bought more than one acre. Some bought one acre. Some bought a half acre. If everyone who reads this letter does what they can, we will be fine. We won’t go fast because you can’t go fast raising children. We will go far because we do it with you; we are traveling together.
Thank you for your gift of $10,000.00, $1,000.00, $350.00, $25.00 or whatever you are able to give just like those donors did nearly sixty-five years ago. Your gift will change lives of some awesome children. I promise that any gift you make will be treated with respect and gratitude. We will do our best to carefully manage all of the gifts we receive for the benefit of the children in our care.
Dwight Robarts – Executive Director