Category: Life at Westview

Blog posts that describe life at WBH

Friends at Encounter

Encounters of the Lubbock kind

On the campus of Lubbock Christian University, over a thousand teens from hundreds from West Texas Churches of Christ gathered for a youth experience.  Encounter LE is a three-day event in November filled with Christian entertainment, times of worship, in-depth Bible classes and Christian fellowship.  This year three of our young men—Zayne, Mark and Sam—were able to attend this awesome youth event.

Starting on Friday night, our young men got a taste of college life, interacted with some of the students of LCU, took a tour of campus, and ate at the cafeteria.  They were treated to a wonderful Illusionist and a great time of worship.  Saturday was a day filled with in depth classes that covered subjects ranging from dealing with emotions to the wonders of God’s creations through science.

Throughout the weekend some of the best experiences happened during our interactions with the other kids.  Hot chocolate and S’mores set the stage for some conversations about life, God, and sports.  Friendships were rekindled with those who our boys see at summer camps as well as new people, all gathered to praise God together.  The boys were worn out on the way home, which we understand to mean that they had a wonderful time.

Cotton crop at Saunders

Doing more with less . . .

Westview’s Molloy Farm has always produced good cotton crops, but a change to drip irrigation gives increasing yields with much less water. The benefits? Better profitability to care for our young men while they learn sustainable, ecologically sound practices.

Since drip irrigation applies the water at the root of the plant, there is much less waste and evaporation of water. Less watering reduces the strain on our aquifer and lowers the power cost of operating our pumps. Better watered plants produce more cotton.

This year’s crop is so promising because of the effectiveness of this system and the excellent cotton weather we have experienced this year. We may be able to pay off the irrigation system after just one year. This means that–in future years–there will be more revenues to help care for young men. Although the farm will never produce enough revenue to fund the operations of the Home, every nickle counts. We plan to wisely use that nickle and keep this land sustainably productive.

For more information about installing this system, see: Modeling & Teaching Stewardship.

Westside youth group

Sweet sixteen for Westside at WBH

For sixteen years, Brett McKnight and the youth group from the Westside Church of Christ in Norman have been coming to Westview to get to know our young men and to make our campus a better place. Their visits are always one of the sweet spots of our summer.

Perhaps that’s why it’s appropriate that their work on our campus this summer was on our north campus at Sweetwater House. Sweetwater is a great old house, but it was in serious need of a new coat of paint on its exterior. Our campus manager, Terry Owens, had set aside this job for the Westside group because they’ve earned our confidence in them over the years. We know that they can handle tough jobs and do them well.

Brett and Jennifer McKnight brought nine hard-working young people with them this year. They worked hard in the morning (before the heat became its most brutal), had lunch, rested a bit, and then enjoyed time with our young men on campus and at the Wellington Activity Center.

In the end of it all, they enjoyed the sweetness of a job well-done and those of us at Westview appreciated the sacrifice and hard work given by each of our friends from Norman. We are grateful.

Westside painting Sweetwater

Cleaning up with the tractor

Time for the annual cleanup

There is life and growth at Westview: crops sprout, cattle fatten, and boys become young men. This is the season, though, when we have to clear out the wild and weedy. The North Garland Church of Christ from Enid, Oklahoma, recently came to help with that annual cleanup.

The church at North Garland has been friends with the young men at Westview for a long time. They’ve provided things that our guys needed, participated in our grocery drives, and given financial resources as well.

This year they wanted to come and see in person the ministry that their compassion and generosity makes possible. We encourage those visits because nothing is more persuasive than seeing the good things that are happening here on our campus. There is also something extraordinary about hospitality at Westview Boys’ Home.

For several days our friends worked hard to clean up our campus. They also had time to share meals, games, and conversations with our young men. They were a blessing to our young men, and we believe that our young men were a blessing to them as well.

We thank our friends from North Garland and appreciate the memories that we now share.

The crew from the North Garland Church of Christ
The crew from the North Garland Church of Christ
Flagpole at camp

Blazing new trails

Habits and rhythms are positive and powerful things but there is also fun and excitement in getting away from them. Every summer our young men get away to church camp. For some it is their first experience of summer camp: life outdoors, new friends, and new songs. For teens, blazing these new trails is fiercely important because these adventures so often lead them to new possibilities and the discovery of better ways to see themselves.

Church camp gives our young men the opportunity to get away from the “busyness” of the world and to take time to think about their lives–past, present, and future–and their relationships. There is time to rethink and appreciate connections with family, friends, and most importantly–God. The change of pace and temporary change of habits (what some people call dehabituation) open up new possibilities for youths to see themselves and their relationships in positive ways.

Once again, our young men are going to Camp Lu-Jo KISMIF this summer. KISMIF stands for Keep It Spiritual, Make It Fun. At Camp Lu-Jo, the hours spent in worship, in Bible study, and in singing often help teens more clearly understand that they have been shaped in the image of God for the glory of God. Many also come to see their identity as a child of God. For these youth, this is a powerfully healing realization.

Westview is grateful for those who empower our young men to be present at camp this summer. Thank you for the ways that you seek to help their healthy spiritual formation.

Blazing new trails


Some of our boys with the crew from Oakdale

When we start working together

For years, the Church of Christ at Oakdale has been a vital part of the work at Westview Boys’ Home. Recently a team of members and leaders came to work side by side with our young men and staff on our farm. We were glad to show them the hospitality for which Westview has become known.

It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place . . . it’s when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.

– David Hume

garden toolsLed by a friend of Westview, Richard Yahola; the pulpit minister, Darrel Sears; the youth minister, John T. Langley; and one of the church’s shepherds, Larry Zeller, our friends from Oakdale worked hard in our vegetable garden. With about two acres in our garden, clearing out weeds and the remnants of the previous crop proved to be a hefty job. The crew from Oakdale got our young men off to a good start.

As this garden matures, it will provide fresh vegetables–squash, cucumbers, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, and okra–to the young men that live at Westview. We hope to have some extra produce for the market as well.

Besides sharing time in the field, our friends shared time at the table and in worship. We had some good meals together; we shared wonderful devotional time together as well. We have much to be thankful for.

We’ve found that working together builds relationships that are stronger and more enduring. Our hope is that our friends at Oakdale will continue to see themselves as important partners in our vital work with at-risk youth.