Hank and Leslie Wells in kitchen

Surrendering to God’s Plan

Miracle Moments


Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham, www.mollymaid.com/birmingham

“In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

I grew up in a rural part of Etowah County. My family was extremely poor, often going for extended amounts of time without running water or electricity. I lived with my mother, stepfather and several siblings, and emotional and physical abuse were always present in the home. My biological father, who was rarely present, altogether stopped visiting me when I was in the third grade. 

Hank Wells School Picture
Seen here is Hank’s school photo.

In March of 1993, I was thrown out of my house. I walked to a friend’s home where I was welcomed to stay during the snowstorm and then for the next several weeks. I attended church with them one Sunday which happened to be the same church where Joe and Sherry Fain attended, a couple preparing to be houseparents at Big Oak Ranch. The Fains saw the need I had for a home. They spoke with John Croyle and Big Oak Ranch social workers, and it wasn’t long before I was on the winding country road that led me to the entrance of the Boys’ Ranch. I was met by people who listened to me with genuine concern. Their actions, character and words told me that I mattered. At 17 years old, I entered the Perkins Home and was the Fains’ first child at Big Oak. The Ranch helped me get my first job at Jester Door and Trim. My boss, Wes Ingram, and his wife, Virginia, ended up becoming my Resource Family for the Ranch. Pop Fain and Wes prayed with and for me- they were the first men to ever show me what a relationship with Christ is supposed to look like. The first time I had ever felt the love of Christ in my life came from my houseparents and resource parents. They faithfully invested in my daily life, expecting nothing in return from me, yet waiting in full expectation for the Lord to work in my life in His timing. 

Hank and Leslie Wells in kitchen
Hank and Leslie Wells are passionate about sharing the Gospel and serving others. He credits his time at Big Oak for teaching him the importance of being a servant.

In high school, I met a girl named Leslie who worked at a local grocery store and soon started dating. After going our separate ways in early adulthood, the Lord brought us back together. The Lord has been sovereign over my every step. The Ranch gave me a foundation, while my houseparents and resource family invested in me daily. When I reconnected with Leslie, it all came full circle as I finally realized my desperate need for a personal relationship with Christ and received Him as Savior. We get to share the Gospel all across the world – from Uganda to Peru to local missions. My prayer is that God would use me- my story- to help others who have faced the same hardships. 

-Hank Wells


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