Missouri Baptists urged to support the MBCH’s Christmas promotion
By Allen Palmeri
November 4, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Director David Clippard is urging Missouri Baptists to support the “Give a Child a Home for Christmas" promotion for the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH).
Pray for children at the Children’s Home who need a home and also prayerfully consider a gift that can help make getting that home a reality, Clippard said.
“Christmas time is when Southern Baptists place a special prayer and giving emphasis on our Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions," Clippard said. “In recent years I see many of our churches also promoting Christmas offerings for Samaritan’s Purse, Angel Tree and others. If you want to be a blessing to children at Christmas, then please consider the needs of our Missouri Baptist Children’s Home as they work diligently to place desperately needy children in Christian foster homes right here in Missouri."
Bob Kenison, president of the Children’s Home, identified several levels of giving, ranging from a $15 devotion guide to a $4,500 gift of traditional foster care that includes comprehensive training and case study services. Case management for a year would be a $12,000 gift, he said.
“We don’t just say pray for us out of a sense of trying to seem spiritual," Kenison said. “We really believe that children who meet Christ as personal savior show the greatest progress in our system. People can give us money. That’s the easiest thing to do. But the reality of it is, you give me $10,000 one day, I spend it and tomorrow I need another $10,000 because there’s another kid. When somebody becomes involved, and takes a child into their home, they’re going to be involved with that child for life."
Through the “Give a Child a Home for Christmas" promotion, Clippard and Kenison want to encourage recruitment, training and retention of quality Christian homes as foster homes. This involves a couple attending an information meeting, an initial assessment, a 10-week training curriculum and a match with a child.
A family could give their own home to a child: as a foster/adoptive home for a child; as a home for temporary placement of a child; as a home for respite care for a child; as a mutual assistance home for a girl in the crisis pregnancy program.
Missouri Baptist families who make their homes available by means of this Christmas promotion are vital to the overall strategy of the MBCH, said Russell Martin, president of the MBCH’s children and family Ministries. Older youth sometimes get out on their own and long to return to the MBCH for the holidays, only to be told there is no program available.
“How tragic it is that we have young men and women with no place to call home," Martin said. “Missouri Baptists ought to step up to the plate and be a mentor for those people."
The MBCH booth at the MBC’s annual meeting in St. Louis will be open to those who wish to inquire about the Christmas promotion. After the annual meeting, call Cindy Roberts at 1-800-264-6224 for more information.