Devoted to God, determined, hardworking, beyond reproach, and positive are just a few of the words used to describe 16-year-old twins Joseph and Johnnie.
Before coming to Methodist Children’s Home in September 2018, the brothers did not have a consistent home. From a young age, Joseph and Johnnie moved from one family member’s care to the next. Eventually the two were placed under the care of Child Protective Services and continued to move from placement to placement.
“Our last placement was in an emergency shelter,” Johnnie said. “That is when we found out about MCH and realized it could be an option for us. We toured the campus and I wanted to come immediately. Without MCH, we’d still be moving around.”
Since the brothers made their transition, they have seen MCH as solid ground for rest and growth.
“From the start, I felt really welcomed and supported,” Joseph said. “God has been our driving force to get us through different things, and we are blessed He brought us to MCH. I believe we are here for a reason.”
Jeanna Odom, home life manager, has watched the two grow tremendously in their short time at MCH.
“These two have grown into responsible young men,” Odom said. “They are learning to communicate effectively, and they are learning valuable lessons such as being able to control their responses to situations even when they are unable to control certain circumstances.”
Johnnie recognizes the change in his life since being at MCH.
“I have become more open and trusting, especially with authority,” he said. “I never want to stop growing and transforming. I want to be the best I can be.”
Joseph said he and his brother are being more productive than ever before.
“I am now realizing more of my own potential,” Joseph said.
Joseph and Johnnie have found community through the various MCH programs. Joseph connected with the Spiritual Development department and participates in clubs and the worship arts program. He has also applied to be a student worker for the department.
Johnnie has engaged with athletic opportunities at MCH and last season played football, basketball and ran track. This summer he is “getting right” mentally and physically in the weight room, preparing his body and heart for his future.
“We want to make the most of our lives starting now,” Joseph said. “Each opportunity we have is a fresh new start and that has changed something in us. We are improving our character and that won’t stop. We hold ourselves to a high standard because Christ is in us.”
This fall Joseph and Johnnie will begin their senior year of high school. Johnnie anticipates playing basketball, football, and running track.
“It is my dream to play for the NBA,” Johnnie said. “The court has been like a home to me, and I want to influence others and glorify God there. MCH is helping me grow and pursue my dreams.”
Joseph will study welding through the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy (GWAMA), a dual credit program through Waco ISD. It is his hope to attend Texas State Technical College (TSTC) after graduating from high school, and he plans to “constantly seek God’s calling in every chapter.”
Odom believes the twins have made an impact on the MCH community and will continue impacting others throughout their lives.
“I know that wherever they go once they graduate, they will continue to be role models to those around them,” said Odom. “I am incredibly proud.”
Michael Lewis, school support specialist at MCH, believes the brothers will continue to make a difference with their lives and passion for God.
“These young men are incredibly special,” Lewis said. “They are top-of-the-line in their behavior, thoughts and willingness to work. I know they can change the world.”