As we embark on a new year of service together, I would like to offer you some personal reasons why I feel particularly blessed to be a member of our PCHAS family.
My call to serve children and families came many years ago. As a young, court-appointed attorney for abused and neglected children, I often encountered significant suffering. One day in an echoing Austin courtroom, I found myself sitting between a mother and the 15-year-old daughter who she abused. The child I represented was herself a mother, struggling to break the cycle of abuse that was the only form of parenting she knew. I could only think of God’s love and how Jesus might have spoken to this young girl. Would he have chastised her? Would he have given up on her? I realized that, no, Jesus would most certainly take an approach different from our social norm. He would walk with her, love her.
Later, I witnessed people from this young woman’s life serving like Jesus, offering unconditional support. With their help, she broke that seemingly indestructible cycle of pain and gave herself and her baby a new life.
In 1999 I heeded that call and joined Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services. I left behind old plans constructed in law school and returned to the values of my small-town, East Texas roots. I knew that, with PCHAS, I could be part of a professional family dedicated to walking with children in their time of greatest need.
Our scope of impact quickly grew to include innovative programs in locations across Texas and Louisiana. In 2012 we were thrilled to partner with a sister organization in Missouri. It takes a strong and healthy agency to help families improve their self-sufficiency and success. That is why I am so pleased that our operations are merging. As one agency, PCHAS will ensure that family-centered, strength-focused, and goal-driven care is delivered to any child and family we serve, regardless of their challenges.
At PCHAS, we accept that we cannot change a child’s or family’s past. We respond to their distress by asking them to lead, to focus on their strengths and the possibilities of the future. In this way, we deliver Christ-centered care that goes beyond a typical social service agency.
I am honored to begin my new role as president of PCHAS. Through the merger of two historic child-care agencies, we look forward to expanding our operations and enhancing our ability to reach even more children and families in need. My most sincere thanks to each of you for joining me in this mission of service.
President and CEO