By Brian Koonce
BRIDGETON – Trustees for the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH) approved a $3,505,555 budget for 2010 during their Oct. 13 meeting at the Children’s Home’s main campus. The budget is 7 percent lower than the 2009 budget of $3,785,855.
MBCH Executive Vice President and Treasurer Russell Martin said current revenue and expenses are tracking very closely to this year’s budget.
“It’s been a good year for this corporation all in all,” he said.
The 2010 budget takes into account sizably lower gifts from individuals and businesses during the down economy, but also trims expenses some to arrive at the budget figure.
One large gift of an estate has helped push the MBCH’s income from individuals and businesses higher, but aside from that unusually large gift, charitable gifts are down around 25 percent. They have also changed the venues for their fundraising Strawberry, Apple and Ozark Festivals to churches, which saves thousands of dollars over previous years’ arrangements.
Bob Kenison, MBCH president, said although some revenue streams are not as robust as they have been in the past, he is still confident in the MBCH’s ability to do ministry.
“You and I have to be conscious that even though the state and federal government don’t have the money, God has the money,” he said. “We just have to be worthy of it.”
The MBCH’s Children’s and Family Ministry board passed a $10,590,580 budget, down 9 percent from last year. The meeting wasn’t all budget and balance sheets, however. Longtime Trustee Ron Robinson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Van Buren, highlighted the ministry opportunities the MBCH has had through the first three quarters of the year, most notably leading 24 children to Christ.
“As a pastor and as a Christian I just get excited about this,” Robinson said. “As a foster parent, I know that every time I take a child into my home, it’s an opportunity to share Jesus.”
Last year the MBCH saw 21 children accept Christ throughout the whole year.
“When we as a board look at the numbers and dollars and the cents, we need to remember that we are making an eternal difference in someone’s life,” Robinson said.
That agency also oversaw 621 requests for therapeutic group homes, crisis care or pregnancy counseling through September. So far in 2009 they have assisted in the adoption of 122 children and helped return 24 children to their families.