BRIDGETON – Because of privacy concerns, stories about the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home’s impact on the Kingdom must be told with changed names and without photos. That, however, does not lessen the impact made on thousands of children and families through the last 130 years. Whether it’s through adoption, foster care, training, rescuing sex trafficking survivors or offer pregnancy resources, Missouri Baptist Children’s Home is committed to serving God by responding to the needs of children, youth and families to make a lasting difference in their lives.
“Mark” is a 15-year-old young man who (name changed to protect his privacy) came into placement at Missouri Baptist Children’s Home earlier this year. He had been so badly abused and neglected by his family that he had to spend the first week in the hospital. He was bruised, malnourished and extremely weak.
When he had recovered enough to leave the hospital, a Treatment Family Care (TFC) family took him into their home. They showed him love and cared for him in ways he had never experienced before. Because he came into care so horribly malnourished, he was able to gain 51 pounds in his first month with this family!
Since his previous guardians had not provided much food for “Mark,” they did not see any reason for him to brush his teeth, so he entered our care with severe dental problems. We have been able to get him the dental work he so badly needed.
“Mark’s” MBCH case manager says that he is now laughing during worker-child visits and is excited about school activities. He has joined the “Nerd” club at school and was talking at his last visit about playing the trumpet.
“Mark’s” goal is to be adopted. He wants to have a family. At this time, his TFC is not able to adopt him, so pray with us that the family God has in mind for “Mark” will respond to that calling and provide him with a forever home.
Changing Lives for Eternity
On January 25, 2018, two brothers, 14-year-old “Ben” and his 8-year-old brother “Pete” (names changed to protect their privacy) came to MBCH Children and Family Ministries for case management. These two brothers loved and cared for one another, but they could not have been more opposite.
Their parents lived in a home with the boys’ older brother and his pregnant girlfriend. The home did not meet minimum community standards. The parents had substance abuse issues and neither was employed. “Pete” used to walk the streets of their little neighborhood asking for food. He was always a very sweet and innocent boy and the school loved him and worried about him. The school would often send clothes and food home with “Pete to help the family.
On that day in January 2018, “Pete” finally had enough of his parents’ substance abuse and told officials at his school about his home situation. He also told them that his brother “Ben” smoked marijuana and drank with his parents. “Ben” was not a bad kid in school, but he didn’t do any homework and pretty much played by his own rules. His primary goal was just to get through each day so he could go back home and smoke with his parents.
“Ben” was angry with “Pete” for telling on their parents and on him. He was so angry, in fact, that we decided not to place the two boys together.
MBCH found one of “Pete’s” teachers who loved him and was willing to take him into her home, but at the time, her husband was out of the country on a mission trip and she wanted to pray about this and talk to her husband before they committed to the placement. When the husband got back home, it didn’t seem to take more than an hour to make the decision – they were in!
Over the next year, several issues made it impossible for MBCH to place the boys in the same home, but “Ben” would ride the bus from his school to “Pete’s” school every Wednesday so they could see each other and the family would take him to church with them. “Pete” was adopted by the foster family on March 18, 2019.
Over the next five months, the brothers continued their visits and “Ben” began to spend nearly every weekend with the family and started calling “Pete’s” adoptive parents “Mom and Dad” and decided he would like to be placed with them. The family was willing, and we were able to make the arrangements to have “Ben” join the family. He will soon be adopted into the family as well.
The MBCH case management specialist says that it has been amazing to see how God has orchestrated this entire story in His timing. We wanted to put “Ben” with this family back in 2018, but God knew that he wasn’t ready and neither was the family. Psalm 68:6 says that God sets the lonely in families, and as with everything else He does, it’s only in His timing – and His timing is never wrong.
The best part of this story, however, is that both of these boys have accepted Jesus as their Savior.