Posted on : Friday March 29, 2019

By Sharon Mager

NEW FREEDOM, Pa. — Mason Dixon Baptist Church (MDBC), in New Freedom, Pa., will show the “Empowered to Connect” simulcast from 9 am to 5 pm on April 26-27. The simulcast is designed to equip families, churches, and professionals who deal with children experiencing trauma, especially as it relates to adoption and foster care.

Presented by “Show Hope,” a movement started by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, the simulcast features “trust-based relational intervention methods developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross from the Institute of Child Development.”

MDBC Pastor Terry Felton is excited about the event, sharing that the church has a heart for helping traumatized children. He and his wife, Amanda, adopted their now eleven-year-old son two years ago, and others in the church have also adopted children, or they provide foster or respite care. They know the struggles and support each other.

Most people know that many parents require help with getting their adopted children home, Fulton shares, but they don’t realize that once the children are home, the family still needs help.
Dr. Purvis, who passed away three years ago, was an educator who worked her entire life trying to understand the effects of trauma on children, both the short- and long-term impact. The Institute of Child Development carries on Dr. Purvis’ work.

The trauma kids experience affects ministry, Felton says. “We see it in our community. Often, older people say kids aren’t as respectful as they once were. That may be true, but we often have no idea of what their home life is like. Some children are dealing with heavy stuff. We want to reach out and serve them and be equipped to do what we can to help.“

Felton said studies show that adverse childhood experiences also affect a person’s health.

Though we generally separate “mental” from “physical” health, Felton explains, “It’s all knit together.” The simulcast will touch on this point.

Felton emphasizes that parents, educators, leaders, social workers, and those interested in adopting or doing foster care will benefit from the information in the simulcast.

“This is for everybody helping kids to understand what some of the children that we have the privilege of serving are dealing with today.”

Quoting a Harvard University Center on the Developing Child study, Felton says, “’The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or another adult.’”

Felton asks, “If we–the people of God–can’t be that, then who can?”

To register call 717-235-5690 or email

The original “Empowered to Connect” simulcast is on April 5-6. Mason Dixon Baptist Church is choosing to show a delayed presentation.

Photo by Kevin Gent on Unsplash