February 6, 2023

From Pain to Passion

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Genesis 50:20

Jim and I were in Poland for less than 24 hours when we learned something that came as a big surprise.

We were there to meet our new partners from Ukraine, to give them a respite from the war and buy some supplies they desperately needed for the orphanages they serve. Though I had been messaging back and forth with Alla (the woman who heads up the group we’re partnering with) frequently for nearly a year, this was our first opportunity to meet.

I had been very impressed with everything I saw from Alla before we met. When we sent money for various things the children needed, she replied promptly with receipts, offered photos of the purchases being delivered, and communicated frequently–all while her country was being bombed.

On top of all of that, her faith was evident. She often applied Scripture to her situations and clearly trusted God in the midst of every hardship she was facing. Even when the local school was leveled by a Russian missile, Alla found reasons to praise God.

I was eager to meet this new friend and partner.

Well, we arrived in Warsaw on Sunday night only to discover that shops in Poland aren’t open on Mondays! Unable to begin shopping for the supplies they needed, we had a day to rest and get to know each other.

As part of our conversation, Jim asked Alla how she came to work with orphans. Imagine our shock when Alla told us that she lived in an orphanage from the age of nine!

Suddenly, this sweet woman’s passion for the orphaned and abandoned made a lot of sense. She has lived in their experiences, felt their emotions, and shared their doubts that anyone could love them. 

As time went on, we learned that Alla went to Bible college after leaving the orphanage and found a group that was serving in orphanages. She decided to join them and quickly understood that her own experiences gave her a voice that orphans trusted. She knew she had discovered her calling, and she never looked back.

Before our trip to Poland, I was impressed by Alla. Once I learned this, I was inspired by her.

You see, Alla could have understandably become embittered toward God because of her circumstances. She could have rebelled or rolled herself in a tight, safe cocoon. But instead, she chose to allow God to heal and even use her wounds to reach others.

May we do the same!

This month, as you pray for The Boaz Project, please lift up the following requests:

1. Please pray for health, safety, and wisdom for our new partners in Ukraine as Russia’s war on their country continues. While most of the children we serve cannot be evacuated, they are praying about evacuating the orphanage graduates who live in Joy Transition Home and need the mind of God.

2. Join us as we continue to pray for our ongoing construction projects in Kenya (El Shaddai Children’s Center) and India (House of Joy), that they would go smoothly and that the remaining funds needed would be provided.

3. Pray for Epsibah (Comeback Ministry Home, India) and some other children in our Indian partner homes who are taking their 10th standard exams to get into “college,” 11th and 12th grade, this spring.

4. Lift up Olya and the women who are helping her with the at-risk families program in Russia, that they would be equipped with the right words to say and an abundance of Christ’s love for the parents and children in attendance.

5. Remember Nastya and her team of volunteers as they work on new ideas to continue to engage kids in the orphanages better and that the children’s hearts would be open to the Gospel.


  1. Great story, indeed. Honestly, I have a friend struggling psychologically because of abandonment, and I know how hard it is to overcome, so I always give a talk to all my friends when they are emotional. A simple word and showing them that you care for them are simple, yet essential to them. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Great post!

  2. Karyl says:

    This is so helpful in giving us specific ways to pray for this new partnership!
    It is a powerful story of God at work in the midst of tragedy.

  3. Garden Gal says:

    The picture of Alla’s embrace with April is precious and emotional. Only God can truly make beauty from ashes and what a beautiful person God created with Alla.

  4. Svetlana Morton says:

    How beautiful it is when we come together despite our pasts, wounds, and fears and work to glorify God and protect His children. Praying for Alla and everything that is happening in Ukraine, God bless her and her very large family :).

  5. Sandy Elliott says:

    Alla’s story touched our hearts. Thank you for sharing. What courage in the face of truly daunting circumstances! We are delighted to be able to support her mission on a monthly basis. Our prayers continue for her and the work she does.

  6. She is blessed and a blessing to others because she knows God and lives according to him.

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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
  • Fundraising assistance

Apply for a mission trip.

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.


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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Company logo in all event programs
Company thanked by name at start of each event
Shared table provided for your promotional items at events  
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Published interview article in The Boaz Project newsletter  
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