SPRINGFIELD – Trustees for Missouri Baptist Children’s Home toured MBCH campuses in the Springfield area as they met here for their July 23 board meeting.
“There’s some good things happening,” MBCH President Russell Martin said. “Not every case is a success, but we can plant some seeds and know they’re exposed to Gospel. We do our part, and God does His part.”
Ministry to Families
Trustees heard from MBCH Children and Family Ministries (CFM) of residential services provided thus far in 2019: 39 clients served in therapeutic group homes, 18 served through pregnancy services, 43 youth and families served through MBCH transitional living programs, 28 client families served through adult development disability services, and 17 served through human trafficking rescue, including six minors.
In community-based services, MBCH CFM this year has served 142 in therapeutic foster care, 234 with pregnancy services, and developed or serviced 1,132 foster families. CFM currently maintains 295 foster/adoptive or relative homes. All told, MBCH CFM has ministered to 3,500 individuals so far in 2019, representing 868 families. Four children have made professions of faith, and two have been baptized.
The LIGHT House, a maternity home in Kansas City under the MBCH umbrella, served 47 mothers-to-be, infants and toddlers, along with 35 participants in its outreach program this year.
David Burch, MBCH Church Engagement Strategist reported 28 Stewards of Children training sessions with 840 participants across Missouri, including Missouri Baptist Convention summer missionaries and Super Summer leaders. Stewards of Children is an abuse-prevention training offered by MBCH. It’s a comprehensive awareness training that not only teaches churches and schools what signs and symptoms they need to be looking for, but it also helps them see where the threats really are coming from. It gives them five steps to make a personal prevention plan and also to know how to respond if abuse is discovered, disclosed or suspected.
“Although some of the information is shocking,” Burch said, “it’s very compelling training. You leave with some good, practical awareness and action steps.”
More than 30 upcoming trainings are on the calendar, and churches interested in the Stewards of Children training can contact Burch at 417-380-1082 or email@example.com.
Martin praised several pieces of legislation passed this Spring, including, HB 739 – a bill designed to keep children safe from sexual abuse; and HB 126 – the “Heartbeat” bill, which bans abortion at 8 weeks in Missouri and bans abortion completely should the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade.
While Martin said there was much to be thankful for, he voiced concern at potential threats looming on the state and national legislative horizon. These include: potential addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in the Civil Rights Act of 1964; potential prohibition of discrimination in employment for religious purposes in order to sign state contracts; potential prohibition of MBCH requiring church attendance, and force the ministry to place children with homosexual couples; and a proposed Department of Labor overtime rule that would force MBCH to raise salary or cut hours of staffers making less than $35,308.