2020 in Review
Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a crazy year of evaluating, pivoting, and stretching for everyone, The Boaz Project included.
As we considered how best to inspire and equip leaders around the globe to care for orphans in their own communities during these unprecedented times, we had a myriad of implications to consider.
The global pandemic meant no short-term trips, fewer and smaller in-person fundraising events, increased financial needs from 13 of our 14 partner homes, and moving our caregiver training for our overseas partners online.
Going into 2020, we had an emergency fund, but had never imagined a world in which every one of our homes…in three different continents…would encounter an emergency simultaneously! And that many of our donors would, too.
As we scrambled to make the above changes, God poured out blessing upon blessing. Through His obedient children, we were able to answer every single Covid-related request we received from our homes.
All three of our areas of impact were affected:
Typically, we assist orphans by providing a specific amount for humanitarian aid monthly, offering job training and tutoring, nurturing babies, and holding Bible Discovery Classes. But last year, the needs coming in from our homes were daunting and numerous, from technology for distance learning and fees for the children to be hosted elsewhere (in order to allow for social distancing) to fumigators, Covid tests, sanitizer by the liters, etc. Yet God abundantly met each need!
The model God has given us–that of working through national leaders already called by God to serve orphans in their own communities–was proven effective when tested by the challenging circumstances presented by a global pandemic. Despite our inability to travel, our services were not interrupted. We stayed in constant communication with our partners, the caregivers, helping to troubleshoot their issues, supporting them financially, and praying with and for them.
The caregivers pivoted, too, creating new ways to minister to the children. For example, in Russia, most of the children we serve are in state-run institutions. Many of the children were sent to any living relatives that could be found. Sometimes, these abrupt placements are not into ideal situations.
Our teams used technology we provided in order to meet with children virtually. They became like case workers, trying to follow up on the dispersed children to ensure they were safe and their needs were being met. They also sent care packages and notes, just to let the children know they were remembered and valued.
Engaging people like you:
2020 presented more opportunities than ever for you, our Boaz family, to meet urgent needs for the children in our partner homes.
In addition to meeting the routine needs for our homes, like housing, food, and education, you took on the Covid-related necessities, too. But that wasn’t all!
We began a capital campaign in early 2019 to meet specific housing needs in Russia, India, and Kenya. The bulk of the nearly half million dollar campaign was for an apartment building in Kenya which would become home to 48 orphans and their caregivers in family-style units. This project would expand our care in Limuru, Kenya to girls would allow siblings to stay together.
We did not actively pursue this campaign much in 2020 due to the pressing needs the Coronavirus presented in our existing homes, but God continued to move in some generous folks’ hearts. With a burden to see these children in loving, Christ-centered homes, donors still gave sacrificially, bringing us to 78% funded!
How Covid-19 Affected Children from Each Nation We Serve
Nadia was sad when local volunteers had to suspend their weekly visits due to the pandemic. Before long, though, she received a care package from them, reminding her that she’s loved and remembered, even if they can’t visit her.
Like children everywhere, Nadia had to adjust to distance learning. At first, the whole orphanage had only had access to one computer, but with your help, we provided her group their own equipment for joining their class virtually. As a bonus, this enabled Nadia to video chat regularly with our volunteers, too.
She was disappointed that our short-term team was unable to visit at Christmas to deliver gifts, celebrate, and do crafts with her group, but the gifts you provided through our Russian team served as great consolation!
Akash and his brother, Ambrish, were afraid when they learned that the government believed that it was unsafe for all of the children at Comeback to live together during the pandemic. Their house parents had no choice but to send the boys to live in another home in a nearby village.
While in this temporary home situation, Pastor Christopher, the boys’ house father, visited to check on them and pray. They always hated to see him leave.
Akash was thrilled when he learned that he, Ambrish, and the other boys would be able to return home after many months. Their house parents celebrated their return and distance learning began almost immediately. Thanks to your generosity, the children had a computer, projector, and all the things they needed to continue to learn while staying safe at home.
Despite a canceled visit from the Boaz team and the other disappointments brought by 2020, Akash got to enjoy a field day and a wonderful Christmas thanks to your support.
When Kenya went into lockdown early last year, Newton, along with several of the older boys at our partner home, was sent to live with relatives temporarily. This made participating in school especially difficult as the proper technology for distance learning was not available.
Newton was grateful once he was able to return to El Shaddai Children’s Center, where he was reunited with his brothers. Upon returning, he found that, through The Boaz Project, God had provided laptops that made distance learning possible. Newton was able to continue his education because of God’s leading in the hearts of people like you!
Through a supporting church, The Boaz Project had also connected his home with a feeding program in Nairobi which produces packages of nutritious foods. Newton not only returned to new technology, but was also given nutrient-rich food, which is now delivered to the home once a month.
I do hope and pray that all my experiences and skills with God’s blessing will help us in the coming years.