In a field where the tour of duty for a House Parent couple is on average only a year and half, you have to take notice when you run across an old timer or two that have been ministering to children in need for longer than some of us have been legally able to vote.You may have that couple at your facility, here they go by Jim and Becky Brown. From what I know about them they have been at our facility for ten years, or forever, I forget which. Needless to say they have seen and experienced a lot of change in those years. They held on through changes in staff, programs and kids. By example they prove that a facility is what you make it.
Jim and Becky are Family Teachers in the toddler cottage on campus. Countless kids have gone through there in the years they have been doing their ministry. Fortunately some of the earliest memories these kids have are of “Daddy and Mommy Brown”.
I had the honor of filling in last summer for a week in their cottage. We were assured that it would be a cake walk. A bunch of toddlers, a playground, early bed- no problem. After all, I am an old grizzled Army Sargent and used to going toe to toe with disrespectful teenagers. I walked in the cottage with the expectation that having to listen to the Tele-Tubbies on the TV would be as hard core as it would get that week.
Upon entering the cottage all the kids verbally assured me I wasn’t Daddy Brown. I reassured them I had the power of making snack time vegetables or pudding pops, it was their choice. They did not seem the least bit intimidated or concerned. I needed to rethink my strategy.
The rest of the day went great, the kids were very well mannered and polite. I had a blast on the playground with them and thought we were bonding well. Then it was bath time.
If your not familiar with young kids, they either hate bath time or can’t get enough of it. My wife went to take care of the girls, I was going to take care of the boys. I told the boys to get ready for a bath and they were all naked in about 5 seconds and fighting over who was getting in the tub. This was a new one for me. I guess I had to be more specific with the instruction.
So one boy got in the tub. I was helping him to get situated and noticed that all of his buddies were still hanging out in the bathroom. One was brushing his teeth the other was taking a dump. No shame at all, they were just taking care of business. The whole situation was system overload for me. I’m the guy that locks the bathroom door just to brush my teeth.
At bed time I had to run laps around the house trying to catch a kid that refused to go to bed. The more I tried to grab him the harder he laughed at my fat butt trying to catch him as I tripped over furniture and toys. I finally got him when I tripped and fell and he collapsed from hysterical laughter.
After that week I had a new found respect for Daddy and Mommy Brown. They are definitely the hardest working couple on campus and have an energy level that most younger staff here would have a hard time keeping up with. This video is just a small representation of the fruits of their ministry and a life well spent.
The Brown’s are a great example of what we are called to do, serve kids.-Launch