Begin Anew held Winter Graduation in a new location this December with a record number of 39 graduates! Eastland Baptist opened their church to welcome Begin Anew staff, volunteers, graduates and their families to celebrate their educational successes on Saturday, December 8th, 2018. The church looked grand and beautiful with holiday lights draped throughout the impressive 98 year old sanctuary. It was a perfect setting for a celebration.
Graduates arrived excited about the day; as they dressed in the black graduation gowns with the caps and tassels, they saw themselves in a new and exciting ways. As they stepped forward to receive their diploma/certification, a sense of accomplishment and pride radiated on every face. Each student represented a journey, a story, and a life blessed by Begin Anew. They accomplished what they set out to do, a dream had been realized for them, new doors and opportunities were opening up for them. Family members, friends, tutors, teachers, encouragers, prayer partners, and Begin Anew staff all rejoiced with each student, recognizing the hard work and determination demonstrated to make this day a reality.
In many ways, the day represented a new beginning for Begin Anew as well; the new Executive Director, Heather Norvell, stood on the stage to welcome everyone, to share in the celebration of the day, and to remind us all of the value we have in Jesus Christ. Heather talked about a small round coin, a penny, and how that coin provided an opportunity for each of us to remember where we should place our trust, as the coin plainly states “In God we trust.” Several of the Program Directors, in their remarks, also mentioned the importance of trusting in God as we move forward with new goals and dreams, citing Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
In that trust, we all rejoice, knowing that Christ provides for each of us a life of celebration and having dreams come true. By placing our trust in Christ, we can all Begin Anew!