President's Report to the MBC Annual Meeting

By: Russell Martin, President

Missouri Baptist Children's Home
Posted: Nov 08, 2019

The Psalmist wrote “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” 

Children are a precious gift from our God; second only to His gift of His Son, Jesus.  We are to cherish and nurture them.  Not only those who are born, but those who are in the womb as well. 

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4 that fathers are to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 

Unfortunately, for too many children, this is not the case.  Incidences of abuse and neglect are far too common.  

James boldly states that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”  

God’s Word mandates that we are to minister to them; not to do so is not an option. 

MBCH is your partner in serving God by responding to the needs of children, youth, and families to make a lasting (eternal) difference in their lives.  We do this in various ways:  group homes on campuses, treatment family homes, and traditional foster homes, just to name a few.  

Many people think of MBCH only in terms of our residential programs on campuses.  In actuality, we serve far more children in foster homes than we do on our campuses.  90% of our ministries are provided through community-based programs. 

God created the family to nurture and care for children.  And we believe children prosper better in families, so our goal is to help them move into families as quickly as possible. 

Ideally, this is the biological family, but oftentimes it means finding an alternate family, such as other relatives or someone with whom the child has a close relationship, such as a teacher, coach, church worker, etc.  We also recruit, train, and support Christian foster parents who will sacrificially take children and teens into their homes.  As a result, a large part of our ministries takes place in homes just like yours. 

Over the past five years alone, MBCH has help facilitate more than 1,500 children find “forever homes.”  Approximately half of these returned home with their families or were placed with relatives and about half were adopted. 

Another newer program is training in how to recognize and prevent abuse and neglect in children and what to do if you suspect it.  It is not acceptable to ignore signs that indicate a child is being abused and/or neglected.  Too many children come into state custody when it might have been prevented if someone would have said something and taken appropriate action. 

One of our sister agencies is serving a young teen who was kept chained under the porch with the dog.  Another case is a three year old girl who was “sold” so her mother could obtain drugs.  We have a client who came into care badly abused and neglected and suffering from malnutrition.  In fact, doctors told us he would not have lived another week if he would have remained where he was. 

These things just should not be.  We must be proactive in protecting children.    

If you have not yet gone through this training (over 1,500 have already done so this year), please contact us so we can get it scheduled in your church.  The costs are minimal, but the outcomes can be tremendous. 

Proverbs 22:6 tells us that we are to “train up a child in the way he should go.”  We are in need of couples and individuals who will respond to God’s call to be missionaries right here in our state and help provide that training to children who need to be placed in a group home.  You would work one week and be off one week, which means you do not have to move and can keep your home to return to every other week.  More information is available in our booth or on our website.  

I ask you to pray about this need, share it with your friends and neighbors, and connect those who feel God’s call to this work. 

I am pleased to announce that in partnership with the Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association, we are opening our third home for victims of trafficking.  This is a terrible and horrific stain on us and we must do all we can to prevent it and to minister to those who have been victimized. 

Recently one of our residents wrote a poem of her experience of being trafficked and I want to close by reading it.  It is entitled “Freedom.”

 

Freedom

 At one point in life

We were living a life of strife.

Strife so deep

All we wanted to do was weep.

We were used.

We were abused.

Our bodies were sold.

Afraid of death if we told.

“I’m going to escape”

We swore.

But fear set in.

“Maybe next time”

We’d say within.

As time goes by

We began to make up lies.

“It’s not that bad”.

“This pocketbook is rad”.

When it was only an escape,

Escape for the life.

This is o’ so trif.

We began to plan.

Plan our escape.

Knowing daddy will not be a fan.

We run.

Feeling like our feet weigh a ton.

As we run, we begin to worry.

I need to leave in a hurry.

Afraid to be caught.

I refuse again to be bought.

That vow

Has given us our how.

“How will I survive?”

“How will myself ever revive?”

Look at us now!

We are free.

Free to be me.

No longer slaves to fear.

Our lives we are able to steer.

We are able to flourish.

Because God allowed us to nourish.

Because of Him

Free I will remain.

Freedom will continue to reign.

 

This is a life that has been changed because of your prayers and investment in MBCH.  There is so much more to be done.  Thank you for partnering with us in serving God by responding to the needs of children, youth, and families to make a lasting difference in their lives.

 

 

[See More News]