Kidknapped, stabbed, shot, and thrown into a hole: A victim of violence helps other victims along their way
When he was a sophomore in high school, Lew Burdette was kidnapped, stabbed, thrown down into a well, shot in the head and left for dead.
Burdette miraculously escaped and survived to tell the horrible tale as his testimony of faith and to use it as his grounds for empathizing with the abused children and mothers who become residents of King’s Home.
“I was the victim of a very violent act,” Burdette, the president of King’s Home, told Yellowhammer News. “It wasn’t abuse, but I can relate on some level to being subjected to a violent act, being the victim of a crime. Things like that that happen to you are no fault of your own, but don’t become a victim, you know, get over that victim mentality that you have your whole life in front of you and there is hope.”
King’s Home is a Chelsea-based ministry of 22 therapeutic group homes and independent-living facilities stretched out through Shelby, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Blount counties, all of which house residents who are fleeing domestic violence or other abusive situations.
“It’s a way to start over in life,” Burdette said.
Twelve of the homes are for teenagers, and those homes are headed by couples who have children of their own.
The homes offer the children stable home environments and opportunities to deal with their pasts and move on with their futures.
“The issues and coping issues that teenagers are having today are so much different than they were even fifteen years ago when I started with King’s Home,” Burdette said. “The horror that some of these kids go through is really devastating.”
The other ten homes are for adult mothers with children.
Burdette connected the dots between his own experience and the experience of King’s Home residents.
“We’ve all needed help somewhere along the way in life, and we’ve all had things that have happened to us along the way in life,” he said. “The life that you’ve experienced in the past doesn’t have to be that way.”
His own story is almost as extraordinary as the success of the ministry.
“One kid came into my office before Christmas, he said, ‘Hey Mr. Lew I just want you to know how much it means living here at King’s Home because I never dreamed I’d be able to play football and he’s the starting safety on his high school football team.”
Last May, King’s Home saw twelve kids graduate high school. Ten went to college, one joined the military, the other got his welder’s certification and is already making over $20 per hour.