August 6, 2018

Five Important Things The Boaz Project Taught Me

5 Things The Boaz Project Taught Me Graphic

In 2013, I embarked on my first mission trip with The Boaz Project to Bangalore, India. That trip was my very first overseas mission trip and third mission trip ever. Since then, I have gone on four other trips returning to Bangalore. My time working with Boaz has taught me much more than I could ever have imagined I would learn. Here are the top five most important things I have learned:

5) The Orphan Crisis is Widely Misunderstood

            When first starting with The Boaz Project, I had a small understanding of what it meant to be an orphan. I thought that an orphan was a child who had lost both parents. I believed that any orphan went to an institutionalized home and was cared for or adopted out. Boy, oh boy, did I have a mustard seed-sized understanding!

In reality, the term orphan can mean many different things. There are “single orphans,” meaning the children have lost one parent; “double orphans,” meaning the children have lost both parents. Some orphans have one or both parents still living, yet Mom and Dad are incapable of providing for their child. Those children are referred to as “social orphans.”

Since the definition of orphan is not so limited, this means that the orphan crisis is much bigger than what people may think, and the need to join in being part of the solution for the orphan crisis is huge.

4) The Solution to the Orphan Crisis is Not Always What it Seems

So what is the solution for the orphan crisis? Some may think that we can just get enough people to adopt and the problem will be solved. However, such is not the case. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the world’s 140 million orphans are adoptable.

How can we be part of the solution, then? For starters, become educated in all things orphan. Understand the needs, the trials, the names of the children. You can start by getting connected to a mission organization whose goal is the orphan. Take a trip. Go and see the orphan. See them and know them. Listen to them; hear their voice. Visit with their caregivers and learn the needs and concerns those who are with them day in and day out. Support missionaries who will return to these children and caregivers. Support caregivers who have dedicated their lives to the orphan.

Support an organization that has sustainable orphan care. Organizations that support nationals as caregivers are more sustainable than those who just send teams to villages. National caregivers know the language, know the culture, know how to communicate better than any foreigner ever could. This is why it’s important to research your mission organization before hand.

3) Missions Organizations Have A Lot of Work To Do

            There are many mission organizations with good intentions, but sometimes good intentions don’t help troublesome situations. Many organizations want to send team after team, but this can be extremely harmful, especially when traumatized children. It’s important to find a missions organization who understands all the dangers and concerns of working with children and people affected by trauma, different cultures, and teams of all different backgrounds. The Boaz Project makes a difference because they invest in health ways. They train leaders around the world to care for traumatized and neglected children. They enrich the lives of those in whom they invest.

2) The Boaz Project is a Community

One of the best things about The Boaz Project is that they learn from nationals in each country where they work. They first take a seat at the table and listen to the struggles and hardships and joys from people who experience them firsthand daily. The Boaz Project does not simply charge in and begin making changes. They meet with leaders and ask questions about the needs. Any need that is brought up is carefully examined to find the best solution. Then the need is brought before the supporters of Boaz to allow supporters to have the opportunity to become involved. Boaz does not survive on its own, rather it is a community of people coming together from all over the world to invest in the lives of orphans.

1) God Does Exceedingly, Abundantly More

            Finally, one of the most important lessons I have learned from working with The Boaz Project is that every time, God does exceedingly, abundantly more. Whether it’s gathering people for a trip, bringing in all funds necessary for a home, granting safe travels, or impacting lives, God goes above and beyond each time. It is not just the children’s lives who are changed, but it is our lives, the ones who go, who are sometimes impacted much more.

As you pray for The Boaz Project this month, please lift the following requests:

  • Ask God to protect our house parents and all Christians in India, as recent elections have resulted in increased persecution there.
  • Thank God for a wonderful time of ministry in Limuru, Kenya. Our most recent short-term team enjoyed getting to know and serve the boys of El Shaddai Children’s Center. The caregivers were grateful for the encouragement the team generously offered, as well.
  • Please pray for our staff as we continue to seek the funding needed to provide a portion of each salary.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the great information about orphans and their plight! I love how you shared about the Boaz Project being a community! Indeed it is! So wonderful to see God provide more abundantly than we could have expected! Amen! Thanks for your commitment to serve orphans and encourage us all in doing so too!

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Because God knew that abandoned children would need help to survive, He tells us to actively meet the needs of orphans in James 1:27.

If you also feel the weight of this responsibility and the desire to make a real difference, consider partnering with us. Through our innovative in-home care model, specialized caregiver training, and humanitarian aid, you’ll help children not just survive—but truly thrive.

When you choose to partner with The Boaz Project, you'll restore hope, ensure a brighter future through education, and share the love of Jesus with children who desperately need it.

Just imagine the impact you can have—from saving a child from the horrors of the streets to helping them become community leaders, educators, and nurturers of the next generation.

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What does an orphan mission trip include?

  • Hotel accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Application support and fees for your Visa
  • In-country language assistance
  • All meals in-country
  • Ministry curriculum and supplies
  • Cross-cultural training and preparation
  • Trip insurance
  • International medical insurance
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Orphan Advocate Training Certification Levels

Level 1

Learn about the mission and vision of The Boaz Project through activities such as watching an Encounter webinar, exploring our website, and following us on social media. You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with your Orphan Advocate Training Coach, who will help you as you go through the levels.


Level 2

Gain more insight into the realities of the orphan crisis through reading "The Orphan’s Abba" and visiting The Boaz Project YouTube page. You will also meet The Boaz Project staff.


Level 3

Grow in your understanding of the orphan crisis, meet some houseparents by reading their stories, and create your own "Pick 2" with options like watching a movie and completing a creative project utilizing your unique skill set.


Level 4

Enhance your knowledge of healthy attachments for orphans, watch a webinar about Eastern Europe’s institutional orphanage system, and visit the Boaz office virtually or in person.


Level 5

Utilize all of the knowledge you have gained throughout training to develop methods based on your personal experience to share the mission and vision of The Boaz Project with others. Read a portion of our first level Houseparent Trauma Training and use your unique skills to impact orphans with a special project. Completing Level 5 gives you the option to apply to become an OAT Coach and/or a Regional Coordinator for The Boaz Project.

FAQ

Do I have to live near Greenwood, Indiana to complete the training?

No! This certification is intentionally created to allow opportunities for anyone in any location to fully participate.




How much of a time commitment is it?

This is completely up to you. The entire process is self-directed. There are no deadlines, and you may take as much or as little time as you need to complete each course.




Can I do this training with my spouse? Or a friend?

Yes! Going through the training with a spouse or friend can provide accountability and motivation. As you progress, you may be able to accomplish more together!




How much will it cost?

All Orphan Advocate Training courses are free to join! While you may choose to spend money while completing some projects, there are only minimal costs involved (such as a book or a few supplies) depending on which course you choose to do.




Is there an age requirement to become a Certified Orphan Advocate Trainee?

This would be answered on a case-by-case basis. This would also be open to middle schoolers or high schoolers looking to complete volunteer hours (i.e. National Honor Society) or build college applications. We always encourage young people to be involved if they feel led by God to do so!




What if I don’t have any social media accounts?

We will adjust your requirements to accommodate you and provide different opportunities to engage.




If I complete the five-level Orphan Advocate Training Certification, can I put it on my resume or LinkedIn profile?

Yes! When you complete each level, you will receive a certification that you can use to enhance your professional profile and to show involvement in community service.




Will I be able to get a signed letter to verify my volunteer hours?

We are sorry that we cannot verify volunteer hours that are done outside of the office or an event due to the fact that these hours are not supervised. However, we can write about the quality of work that was done, your commitment level, and the training courses achieved. We can also say that your self-reported, unsupervised hours fit into the typical number of hours that are usual for that course.




How do I get started?

If you think you would like to begin Orphan Advocate Training, please complete the form below, and you’ll be assigned an OAT Coach. Once your coach reviews your information, he/she will send you an email with your next steps!




Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Please complete the form below or contact OAT@boazproject.org with any questions.

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