August 11, 2020
New Protocol for Family Visits
In March The Baptist Children’s Village implemented significant protocols to protect our children and staff during the initial coronavirus outbreak. We limited access to all seven of our campuses, delaying all visits, tours and events. We have missed our friends and family, but we appreciate your understanding. Our children and staff have all remained safe and healthy.
With both the physical and emotional needs of our children and families in mind, we have developed new protocols that allow BCV children and families to now enjoy modified visits with each other. While other visits continue to be restricted, families may have on-campus visits that include a number of safety guidelines. Consistent with professional recommendations, family who visit on campus do so in a designated area and must submit to a temperature check, complete a COVID-19 Visitation Screening questionnaire and sign a waiver. Masks are required by all adults and teens during the visit, and social distancing is encouraged to the greatest degree practicable. While certainly not ideal, the opportunity to visit with loved ones, albeit with restrictions, is a welcomed gift.
We continue to be mindful of recommendations and regulations of national, state and city authorities. We believe God has provided protections through state and national officials that we agree are in the best interest of our children and our staff (Romans 13). We are, therefore, following closely and keeping all such recommendations in mind as we make decisions moving forward.
We have sought to use wisdom in our response to this crisis. While we continue to be hyper-vigilant in our efforts to keep children and staff safe, we are conscious of, and grateful for, the protection and provision that our great God affords us even today— much like He has done every day since 1897, when we took our first child into care. As we have faced all the uncertainty associated with the coronavirus pandemic, we have seized the opportunity to model for our children our confidence in the strength and steadfast love of our Heavenly Father. We are resting in God’s peace and working hard to avoid the temptation to act in fear (2 Timothy 1:7). It is our desire that in us children will see that peace and experience it for themselves. Please pray that this will be true for each of our children.
See full newsletter here.
Through Every Crisis, God is Faithful
The Baptist Children’s Village was not an easy ministry to start or to continue, but God has been faithful.
Rev. L. S. Foster was the pastor of First Baptist Church Senatobia, Mississippi, when God called him to create a home for children in need. He didn’t have a computer, fax machine or any electronic device. He didn’t have social media or email. He didn’t even have a phone. But, Baptists demonstrated their faith in God by their obedient actions, and God was faithful. You received your first child at the Baptist Orphanage on May 12, 1897.Mr. Mize with child
The number of children in need of the Village grew beyond what the staff could handle, but God was faithful. It has taken hundreds and even thousands of workers to serve children and families for the past 123 years. And I know it must have been scary wondering where the workers would come from. Houseparents, case managers, campus directors, administration; where would they come from? God was faithful.
God has been faithful in uncertain and challenging times. In our 123-year history we have seen global unrest: two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the GulfArchive photo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the War with Isis. We have also seen unrest in our country. We have seen our presidents and civil rights leaders assassinated. We have seen periods of financial depression and economic ruin in the Great Depression, and stock market crashes. But, God has been faithful. In fact, none of the crises in our history has ceased or paused God’s service to children and families through the Baptist Children’s Village.
Once again, we face uncertain, challenging and even scary times. In this time let us praise God. Let us proclaim the name of His precious Son, our Lord and our savior Jesus Christ. God continues to prove His faithfulness to us. Let us also be faithful, no matter what.
Habakkuk 3:17–19 says:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength.”
Everyone who came before us faced scary and uncertain days and they held fast to God. Please pray that we will demonstrate our faith by our obedience to God. We are also praying this for you. Thank you for being a part of Mississippi’s largest family, The Baptist Children’s Village.
Children and Coping
Hello again from your BCV family. Well, we have been on this COVID-19 journey together for a while now. Maybe your children are showing some signs of stress. I thought it would be helpful to share some things we are watching for in our BCV children.
Changes in sleep or appetite: You may notice your child sleeping or eating less than usual or more than usual. They may have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.Their food choices may change like choosing comforting foods over nutritional items.
Physical complaints: Children may express physical complaints, such as headaches, tummy aches, and the all encompassing “I don’t feel good”.
Irritability, or emotional sensitivity or moodiness: This is more than just anger or frustration, it’s more of a heightened sensitivity. Your child may seem overly sensitive to the actions of others, or even news related to the COVID-19 threat.
Regressive behaviors or concentration problems: When faced with stressful situations, children may revert to behaviors that seem developmentally inappropriate. They may find it more difficult than usual to concentrate, especially in situations that demand attention and concentration.
A feeling of helplessness: Helplessness can look like poor motivation and even laziness.
We have some coping strategies you can download here. One strategy we’re using to help our children is activity - physical and mental activity can help us all cope.
Physical activity such as outdoor games and playtime during times of stress is particularly valuable. Our BCV children are spending a great deal of time riding bikes, shooting basketball and fishing. We have been grateful for the good weather that allows them to enjoy the great outdoors.
Mental activity that is fun and engaging also helps. Having school work in this unique time is healthy, although perhaps not always “fun”. Crafts and board games can provide relief from problems and stressors. Our children are definitely enjoying their fair share of crafts--even building birdhouses.
While our current circumstances may seem overwhelming to caregivers of stressed children, there is hope. If your child, or yourself for that matter, seems overwhelmed by the uncertainty of these times contact our Social Services staff. We would be honored to speak with you and make recommendations or referrals for you. You can find their contact information and these strategies on our website at baptistchildensvillage.com.
I trust you are finding comfort in our God who comforts us all in these challenging times.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
Again, thank you for being a part of Mississippi’s Largest Family, The Baptist Children’s Village
Endurance in Adversity
Today, I want to tell you about the extraordinary and sacrificial work of the direct care staff at The Baptist Children’s Village during COVID-19. You know that Hebrews 12 admonishes us to run the race set before us with endurance. Your case managers, houseparents and campus directors are running and running with endurance. Their work and sacrifice really is inspiring. Here are a few examples of how they are ensuring that the children feel loved and cared for.
Houseparents are delaying their leave time to offer extra assistance, and some are even sacrificing trips home to other states to make themselves more available and ensure they are keeping children safe.
One case manager has filled the additional role of campus director while that campus director fully recovered from an illness.
Campus directors are running errands and purchasing groceries and other supplies to help limit contact outside the campus
Case Managers working with our Dorcas non-residential clients are scheduling Facetime meetings with families, and making themselves available to families in a way that is comfortable for them and safe for everyone involved.
Our administrative staff at our headquarters is working a lot more digitally than before. We are exercising caution at the office. We want to ensure we are getting direct care staff and donors what they need, while being careful to protect staff, particularly those caring for elderly parents.
On one of our campuses a houseparent, who is a professional disc golf player, is teaching children a new sport. Robert and Amy, who both play, brought three portable baskets from their home to the campus. After introducing the children to the sport, they loved it so much the children insisted on using their own money to buy a fourth basket, so now they have a 12-hole course on the campus and everyone is joining in the fun.
We hope your family is taking advantage of this time together to learn a new sport or new activity. Take a picture and share it with us on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see what other families are doing.
We will be bringing you more updates soon so check back with us. Remember, you can find contact information to send encouraging notes to staff on our website at baptistchildrensvillage.com. Let us together run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking always to Jesus.
We are so glad that you are a part of Mississippi’s largest family. The Baptist Children's Village. We are comforted and encouraged that we are facing these challenging days with you.
Helping Children Cope During the COVID-19 Crisis
- .When talking to your children about COVID-19, maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor. Remember, your children are sensitive to your words and body language. If your words and body language are filled with fear, that's what you’ll communicate.
- Frequent and supportive conversations with our children can reduce stress and keep the lines of communication open. Try to listen to your children more than you speak to them. We have included some helpful links to the CDC website and an article published by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
- Be truthful, authentic and accurate - children know if you’re faking it. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” If you don’t know the answer, tell them and then get the answer.
- Frequent prayers with your children, marked by praise, gratitude and confidence, will demonstrate your faith and point them to the source of their help and strength, Jesus Christ. Be patient with your children during this time. They may surprise you with questions when you aren’t quite ready to answer, but always be available to talk. Validate their reactions - Don’t give false reassurances or minimize their concerns.
- Often, Children will not understand the language of the COVID-19 crisis. When talking with them, use age-appropriate language they will understand
- Monitor your child’s exposure to media coverage during this crisis - both formal and informal media like Facebook and Instagram. Filter their exposure to reduce their fears and misunderstandings.
- Finally, one very important thing you can do to help your children feel safe and secure during this crisis, is to teach them to practice the prevention strategies widely publicized online by the CDC.
“We give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16-34) I hope this is helpful to you and your own family as part of Mississippi’s largest family, The Baptist Children’s Village.
Download a copy of "Talking to Children about COVID-19"
Please be aware of this important issue.
In every crisis there are those perpetrators of fraud who raise their heads. It seems our COVID-19 crisis is no different. Some of you may have received an email asking you to purchase gift cards for BCV staff or children through Google. This is a SCAM. Please ignore this even if it comes from someone you know. Fraudsters access names from your contact list so it looks like the request came from your friend. Simply delete the email.
Your Baptist Children’s Village has all its needs and giving options accessible on our website at baptistchildrensvillage.com. If ever in doubt, please visit our website and see the giving options we have available there. We most often send email messages in a format in which you with the identifying logo and contact information. You are always welcome to message us through Facebook or give us a call at the office if you have questions.
We are saddened and frustrated that there are those who would prey upon the generosity of BCV faithful friends like yourself. Please be wise and share this warning with your friends and church family so they will also be protected.
What's Happening at The BCV and How You Can Engage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BAPTIST CHILDREN’S VILLAGE
Psalm 59:16 says, “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” The Baptist Children’s Village is taking this opportunity to model for our children our confidence in the strength and steadfast love of our Heavenly Father as we face this uncertain COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. We are committed to rest in God’s peace, and to avoid the temptation to act in fear (2 Timothy 1:7). It is our desire that in us children will see that peace and experience it for themselves.
Most certainly, we are using wisdom in our response. The Baptist Children’s Village holds as its highest priority the safety and well-being of our children. Staff are diligently working to ensure every child on every campus has a safe living environment. While we are being hyper-vigilant to keep children and staff safe, we are conscious of and grateful for the protection and provision that our great God affords us today, much like He has done every day since 1897, when we took our first child into care.
Mindful of recommendations and regulations of national, state and city authorities, we are canceling any large group gatherings in the immediate future, consistent with those recommendations. We believe God has provided protections through state and national officials that we agree are in the best interest of our children and our staff (Romans 13). We are, therefore, following closely and keeping all such recommendations in mind as we make decisions moving forward.
We encourage our BCV friends, clients and staff to be wise and join us in taking appropriate measures to keep yourself and your family safe but, most important, let us together, “Seek the Lord and His strength; and seek His presence continually,” as we are admonished to do in 1 Chronicles 16:11.