to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27 NIV).
Half of the financial support of Faith Haven comes from Title XX funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and dispensed through the state Department of Human Services. The rest of the needed money is provided by United Way and local contributions.
But money is always in short-supply. “We could not survive without United Way,” said Wesson. Financial help also comes from a few local churches, several Sunday School classes and women’s missionary organizations. These groups gave a total of $3,200 last year.
“We also need volunteers all the time,” Wesson said. “And we need relief workers and can always use clothing.”
One pastor who has heard a clear call to serve the children of Faith Haven is the Rev. Sammy Coker, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Baldwyn. Trinity is a relatively new church and the congregation still small. The church conducts its Wednesday night prayer meeting at the home.
“Our church doesn’t pay any attention to whether they’re black or white or mixed,” Coker said. “They’re just kids. They didn’t choose their lifestyle.”
Coker acknowledges the difficulty of ministering to such children. “You have to spend more time with them,” he said. “They always know if they ever need us they can call us.”
Wesson dreams that Faith Haven will someday have its own property and facility, possible in a wooded area out from town. “That’s what I would like to see,” she said, “a place where the children would not be just closed in.”
Annie Mae dreams that she will be able to finish high school and go to college. “I want to major in social work,” she said. “I want to help kids. I want to help them to have a future I didn’t have.”
Annie Mae also knows that, if she succeeds, it will be in some measure because of what happened during her 45-day emergency stay at Faith Haven.
“I finally went somewhere where I didn’t get kicked out,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve made it through. They didn’t give up on me. This was something – having someone believe in me, having somebody actually care about me.”