By Raymond R. Kenison, Missouri Baptist Children's Home President
"Serving God by helping children, youth and families."
The mission statement of Missouri Baptist Children's Home is the foundation on which we build our ministry and try to affect the lives of as many children and families as possible.
In 2004, MBCH Children and Family Ministries (CFM) handled 1,907 requests for services. Of this number, 233 were referrals from our Baptist churches. A total of 397 children were served on our campuses while 203 were served in off-campus programs.
Three hundred seventy-seven families were served through residential programs, and 2,657 were served through other programs.
The MBCH Professional Development Institute (PDI) and MBCH CFM together served a total of 6,228 consumers in 2004. PDI worked with 463 clients to help them better minister to children, youth and families. There were 215 children who went through our Achievia Tutoring(tm) program.
There is no question that the appearance of the Bridgeton campus has been improved.
When you enter the campus by way of the new entrance off St. Charles Rock Road, the first thing you see is our Spiritual Life Center with its steeple and cross proclaiming it to be a place for worship. It is a wonderful setting for chapel services for our residents.
It will also enable us to host family life conferences and provide better training for our staff and foster/adoptive parents. We hope to have the Plaza, fountain, fencing and lighting completed by early 2006.
One of the ways the ministry of MBCH is changing is the ever-increasing emphasis on foster care. The privatization of childcare at the state level is the driving force behind the recruitment and training of foster and adoptive parents.
Foster/adoptive parenting is the wave of the future as far as the state and federal government are concerned.
This probably is a reflection that people are again acknowledging God's design for children and families. Getting children ready to enter foster or adoptive homes and getting homes ready to receive troubled children will require that we work differently than we did even five years ago.
We continue to look cautiously at the work that God has called us to do.
Thank you once again for making the work of MBCH possible. Together we are making a difference … one child at a time. (10-19-05)