Seven years after his completion of the CEM program, Sean Thompson returned to CEM with his wife, Cherise, and son, Charlie, to receive the Alumni Award.
During our Spring Celebration and Graduation, Sean shared the following:
“Seven years. One engagement. One marriage. One apartment. One duplex. One home. Eleven jobs. Eighteen cars. Two cats. One dog. One baby. One family...I’ve had one God this whole time. The same God who found me contemplating suicide in my room in the dark is the same God who helped me through the Ranch, the same God who helped me through community college, the same God who helped me through my marriage. It’s just crazy to think that this same God is there for each moment. He is so much bigger and can do so much more than we give Him credit for.”
Celebrate with us all that God has done this past year!
Excerpts from 2017 Graduate speeches:
“It was very hard when I had to come here to CEM. I was still mourning the loss of my mom [the year before] to stage 3 ovarian cancer [after a ten year battle]...When I came to CEM, I was not ready to let anybody in. It was hard on me and on them, but now I’m way stronger than I have ever been in my 20 years of life. I have to thank everyone who pushed me beyond my limits and for always being there for me. Thank you for giving me the strength and the motivation to find my way and push through with my education...” - Brianna
“[At CEM] I’ve made new friends, new memories, and I look to the future with new eyes. I’ve realized that I came to a place where God lives, a place where you can truly encounter God...” - Zack
“When I came to the Ranch, I was depressed and suicidal. I could not see God in my life, and with all that I had done and gone through, I couldn’t see why He’d want to be a part of it. I was masking a lot of my pain and fear with just about anything that could make you feel like anything you’re not. Thanks to an old friend, I found the Ranch, where I stayed until this past February. This is where I met Christ. All of what I had tried to do on my own to get better, to move on, to find healing and peace was ultimately worthless in comparison to the all-powerful God who can redeem every chapter of our lives. Since knowing Christ, He’s given me the peace, healing, strength, and power to let go of what is behind me.”
Sam Walker is the 2017 recipient of CEM's Outstanding Service Award.
A retired rocket scientist at Lockheed Martin, Sam volunteered his time in the school this past year teaching math, science, and government.
Of his time spent with our students, Sam says, “The impact has been quite personal. To say I bonded with some of the students seems like an understatement as they’ve become part of not just my life, but [my wife’s] too. It’s said, ‘If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.’ I must be doing something right.”
Thank you Sam for your outstanding service to CEM and loving our students!
BY: Churck Boatman
CEM's Executive Director
“Seasons” is a term I hear in Christian conversation these days. As we read in Genesis 8:2, it’s a very biblical concept: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” This was God’s promise of faithfulness to Noah after the great flood. It should be no surprise, then, that our spirits should seek to order the elements of our lives according to the principle of seasons.
In the natural world, each season has its own kind of weather. In the Midwest and South, springtime often comes with powerful tornadoes that leave a trail of destruction behind them. The young people whom God sends to CEM come to us in the springtime of their lives, most of them having already experienced some devastating blows that threatened to destroy them.