February 3, 2020

I Have Hidden Your Word in My Heart

“I Have Hidden Your Word in my Heart…”

For me, short-term mission trips have always included being flooded with newness—new sights, new sounds, new tastes, new knowledge about God, others and myself. This newness can make it all so exciting—or devastating—that sometimes you miss the small, deeply encouraging realities along the way.

At El Shaddai Children’s Center in Limuru, Kenya, some of those realities may be that the boys receive three meals a day or that they are able to obtain an education. It may be that they are so quick to engage in any game, at any age, for the opportunity to laugh and connect. These are all realities I was struck by as I visited these beloved boys for the second time. However, the most encouraging aspect of the boys’ lives to me this time around was their knowledge of Scripture.

If you have had the joy of meeting the boys at El Shaddai, you know they can put anyone to shame with the amount of Scripture they have committed to memory. It is customary for them to introduce themselves first and foremost as born again believers and then to recite several Bible verses on the spot. As a team member, this can be very intimidating, but this time I found myself in awe and encouraged by their commitment to one of our greatest defenses in this life against all evil. 

These boys are more familiar with evil than most. They are all well-acquainted with the darkness this world imposes on the most vulnerable. In the midst of this, they have dedicated themselves to the words that bring life and tethered their hearts to the Source of all truth. What a joy it is to see young people seeking the Word and trusting in Jesus even when those closest to them have massively let them down.

One of my favorite memories from this trip was sitting down with three of the younger boys as they flipped through the beautifully illustrated pages of The Jesus Storybook Bible. For the most part, through limited English, they were telling me the stories. We reached a page that told the story of Jesus and the little children found in Luke 18. James proudly declared, “Jesus said, ‘Let all of the children come to me!’” 

Now, as I reflect on this moment and many others at El Shaddai, my prayer is that Jesus would continue to draw every child to Himself—through other people, prayer and His Word. I pray that they would remain firmly rooted, knowing that these words we have been given are more than just stories. They are our source of knowledge, wisdom, hope, joy, and a weapon against the evils of this world. Because these words are true, we can rise up every day in faith and follow Christ’s example. 

I pray that you are encouraged by the example of the boys at El Shaddai as I have been. I pray that you will see God’s Word in a new light or return to it with newfound trust. God is faithful and His Words are true.

Psalm 119:9-11

As you pray for The Boaz Project this month, please remember:

  • To thank God for the ready access and freedom we have to read His Word.
  • To provide the remaining resources we need for housing-related projects in Russia, India, and Kenya.
  • To ask God to send the right short-term team members to fill our 2020 teams visiting orphans.
  • To bless the generous members of the Boaz family who share their resources with orphans.

Thank you,
Courtney Kraus


  1. Dianne Worrell says:

    It is so encouraging to hear how the Lord used you and is using you to further His kingdom and also how you are being blessed and are growing spiritually.

  2. Janet Helland says:

    Thank you Courtney! I was blessed reading this.

  3. Janet Helland says:

    Thank you Courtney. I was blessed reading this!

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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
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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.


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.

Corporate Sponsorship Levels

Company logo in all event programs
Company thanked by name at start of each event
Shared table provided for your promotional items at events  
Company name and logo displayed on the office sponsorship wall  
Published interview article in The Boaz Project newsletter  
Social media (Instagram/Facebook) promotions during the year  
Event day materials read "The Boaz Project's (event name) sponsored by (your company name)" for one year  
Private table provided for your promotional items at events with table tents  
Exclusive company mentions in promotional event emails  

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