Several months ago, I got to meet with the staff and house parents at Cookson Hills and hear about all that God has been up to. I also got to tour their beautiful property where kids come to heal and find hope. When you pull onto the property at Cookson you instantly feel peaceful. I spent the good part of a day there and had no desire to leave.
Cookson’s property is beautiful, but what’s even more beautiful is the people I met. House parents we are loving kids on a day in day out moment by moment basis. Teachers who are helping students get caught up and excel in their studies. Counselors who are walking besides kids and their parents as they learn how to have healthy relationships. And countless other staff members who manage the offices, the donation center, the equine program, and make sure a lot of kids get nutritious meals every day.
When I was at Cookson I kept thinking about Jesus saying "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Mat. 10:42) These people know how to love, in the tangible ways and the not so tangible ways of the heart.
For decades now the crew out at Cookson has provided a safe place for kids to come and find family. They provide a home, school, and therapy sessions for kids who are at-risk. For many Cookson Hills is their childhood home, for others it’s a temporary home for about two years. At Cookson kids live in a family unit, attend school on site, play sports, make friends, laugh, ride horse, and heal!
What we didn’t know when we decided to highlight Cookson Hills in May was how the floods would affect their beautiful property. On May 1st they posted the following update:
Yesterday was exhausting. Our list of immediate damage includes 3 staff homes flooded out, minor flooding to the main office, recreation center, donation center, shop area and 1st-floor apartments, destroyed roads, missing gates, downed power lines, debris and mud all over, and 2 empty propane tanks. Friends, we will come back fully from this, but we will need your help. We are planning a work day for May 20th. More details will follow soon, but start gathering your people and mark it on your calendar. Want to start helping now? Please visit cooksonhills.org/give to make a donation today.
On a daily basis there are a lot of ways the community could help with the ministry that takes place at Cookson, but this month their need is even greater than normal. We’d love to join together to love on Cookson Hills this month! If you would like to get involved please visit their website or Facebook page or give them a call at 918-597-2192 ext 327. And if you and your family or small group can sign up for the work day on May 20th I’m sure they would love to see you!