By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
MONROE, La. (LBM) – The Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries has opened a new recreation center that not only will provide a place to swim, play basketball and enjoy birthday parties but will offer healing to the many children on campus.
“This place will be special because it will be filled with joy and laughter of our children,” LBCHFM President and CEO Perry Hancock said during his remarks at the dedication ceremony, Aug. 20. “For them, that is more than special. Most of them have experienced neglect. Many have faced abuse. But here, they will be able to relax and enjoy life. And while they are playing, God will be at work healing their minds and hearts.”
The 18,300 sq.-ft. Children’s Recreation and Activity Center includes an indoor pool, gymnasium, and gift room (Christmas and birthday surprises are processed and stored here), and replaces the former gymnasium and pool, which were more than 60 and 40 years old, respectively.
Though the project was announced in 2018 and set to open in 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes and unexpected rising construction costs delayed the dedication until this year.
The recreation and activity center was made possible through donations of more than 800 donors, including three who made significant donations.