July 27, 2020

Nastya, Your Partner in Orphan Ministry

As you know, we believe that the best way to care for orphans is to support those who care for them daily: those saints who welcome abandoned children into their homes or tirelessly go to state-run facilities to be the hands and feet of Christ to them.

Your support of The Boaz Project undergirds these heroes’ ministries and makes them as effective as possible in the roles God has called them to fill.

With that in mind, it’s my pleasure to introduce Nastya to you.

Nastya is our coordinator for Vladimir, Russia. There, she organizes our work in three state-run orphanages as well as our Russian Christian Foster Home. She is also instrumental in coordinating a foster parent support network.

To carry out these goals, Nastya communicates frequently with all of the orphanage directors frequently, to determine their needs and how we can be most effective in helping them. She also coordinates our volunteers who work in the orphanages, giving them the resources and encouragement they need to carry out their ministry to orphans.

In addition, she leads prayer times for those volunteers to pray over their work in the orphanages and any specific requests they receive from the children they serve.

Nastya began working with orphans with another organization while she was still in university. This work was so important to her that she wrote her thesis on orphans and the volunteers who visit them.

After graduation, she worked as a psychologist in an orphanage for a time.

Eventually, she became disillusioned with the type of work she’d done with orphans because it didn’t create prominent or lasting relationships.

She told us, “I decided that if I would be involved with the children from orphanages, it would have to be something bigger than what I was doing before…something that would endure. I wanted to build strong relationships with the children that would last, not something where you just come and go, but don’t really know what’s going on with the children.”

After moving to Vladimir in 2014 just five months after getting married, Nasty was working in a kindergarten.  She worked there until this year. “But I still felt I was meant to work with orphans,” she said. “So I started praying about that, that I would be at a job that would let me be involved with them.”

It was shortly after Nastya began praying about this that David and Bethany approached her about the opportunity to lead The Boaz Project’s ministry in Vladimir.

Now she says, “I’m happy to continue the work of The Boaz Project in Vladimir.” She enjoys sharing Bible lessons with the younger children and building relationships with the teens that offer a platform for her to share her faith with them.

Tensions between the U.S. and Russian governments has presented a challenge to Nastya’s work, as some orphanage directors are hesitant to bring in any programs from the United States for political reasons. But that obstacle doesn’t seem daunting to Nastya.

“For me, the greatest blessing of this work is that I feel needed. I’m working with children who need my help, my support, and I can offer that to them,” she said.

She added, “I always feel that God really wants to take care of those children, and there’s no one who loves them and takes care of them more than He does. I feel like I am God’s hands that take care of them. That, for me, is the biggest blessing.”

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has added some road blocks to her work recently. While the homes remain under quarantine, none of the volunteers are permitted to enter them. Nastya remains in contact with the directors, receiving updates via phone and pictures. One orphanage even allows the children to Zoom with the volunteers because they recognize the value these relationships have to the children.

Nastya also continues to strategize with the volunteers how they can minister even more effectively when the quarantine is over. “I can’t wait for the pandemic to be over so I can visit the children again!” she exclaimed.

All told, Nastya is excited about The Boaz Project’s model for ministry to orphans, believing that the ongoing relationships built between volunteers and orphans are mutually beneficial. She said, “I want to be a friend to the children in the orphanages. These friendships are a great gift!”

Believing in Miracles,
April

2 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    It was so great to meet Nastya via Zoom. Her heart for orphans is obvious. She inspires me to be more intentional about building relationships with people in my sphere of influence.

  2. Michelle K says:

    What a strong, amazing woman! Vladimir was where God first broke my heart and it is salve to my soul to hear of such an amazing woman serving so fiercely in love.

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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?

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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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