February 7, 2024

Orphan Advocate Success Stories

Jessi Morton

God placed the plight of the orphan on my heart in 2000 when I visited an orphanage in Mexico. He continued to open doors for me to minister to orphans in various ways through the work of The Boaz Project.

I was able to travel internationally multiple times, write Vacation Bible School curriculum, and help with events in Greenwood, IN. My direct involvement with The Boaz Project changed dramatically when my husband and I adopted our daughter in 2012 after meeting her on a trip with Boaz.

So many years ago, I thought I would just adopt a few times and my part of caring for orphans would be covered. I thought that was a great solution to at least make a dent in the orphan crisis. But I’ve learned over years of research and experience that I was extremely naive.

Over the years, my heart has continually broken for the losses known to both adoptees and their biological families. Now, I understand the importance of the work Boaz does to keep children in their home cultures because I see the difficulties of assimilating to a new culture firsthand. While adoption is a beautiful gift for some, it is not feasible for 99% of the world’s orphans. So, I needed to find a way to diligently ensure that as many children as possible are given an opportunity to know the love of Jesus and to break the cycle of poverty and prostitution.

During 2020, I attended an Encounter with Boaz session and soon found a way to be more engaged in caring for orphans. Soon after my first Encounter, I began sharing my testimony with others at Encounters via Zoom. I had finally found a way to serve and help from my corner of the world.

Around the same time, I started working on becoming an Orphan Advocate. I found that my passion for not only orphans was rekindled, but my love and support of The Boaz Project and its methodologies was also revived. Sharing the plight of orphans, God’s heart for the vulnerable, and the work of The Boaz Project became something that I regularly shared, and now people know I often speak about it.

During my time in OAT, my eyes were opened to difficulties, hope, and Jesus in ways I never expected. It was difficult at times to stay focused on my own learning and advocating because I am a busy mom of three who homeschools, but I made it a priority. Often, this looked like me taking an hour on Sunday evenings to work on things while my husband took care of dinner.

Because of my prior involvement with the ministry of Boaz, I was able to share information with others readily since I had witnessed the ministry in two of the regions where The Boaz Project works. I didn’t know any of the children or partners from one specific ministry location, and I felt compelled to change that. So, as an OAT, I packed my bags and left my family home to travel to East Africa in August of 2023.

Seeing a building come to fruition and being there to watch the partners and children rejoice at God’s provision through the generous donors of The Boaz Project was a sight to behold. I knew that God was stirring me to do more.

Now as an OAT Graduate, I have just joined The Boaz Project’s staff part-time as an OAT Coach and Developer. When I started this journey so many years ago, I hoped I’d be able to make an impact and share God’s heart for the orphan with others. Today, I’m doing just that.

I have over 20 families and individuals as supportive partners helping me accomplish my work and even more prayer partners. Most of those individuals heard about The Boaz Project because of my long history of volunteering with them. They are joining in God’s work because of an invitation. Their support allows me to coach OATs and develop a curriculum to inspire, equip, and educate.

Amanda Reed

I said “yes” to the Orphan Advocate Training because I had no reason not to do it. A staff member from The Boaz Project mentioned it to me in conversation. I already knew the work of The Boaz Project was covered in God’s favor. I knew their work was scriptural, and that God commands His church to care for orphans; I just didn’t know my exact role in that.

I remember the day I began working on level one. I remember where I was sitting in my home and what the day was like. I remember what I was drinking and the weather outside. I remember it so vividly because it was a moment marked by God.

I knew the moment I began reading the material and learning about the mission of The Boaz Project that God had a plan for me. The way I describe how I felt that day is pure joy. It was that deep, internal joy that nothing in this world can bring. Psalm 16:11 says “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy…” This is the joy I felt. The very presence of God leading me.

Over the following year, I continued to work through all the levels of the program. It is a self-guided curriculum, so I never felt pressure that I wasn’t performing as I needed to. In fact, It was quite the opposite of work. The material, including in-depth Bible studies and real orphan stories, led me closer to God than I was before starting it. Every time I opened the program, I was entering into His presence. I was being obedient in learning how to “defend the weak and the fatherless” as He commands in Psalm 82:3.

Completing the five levels is just the beginning of this journey for me. Orphan Advocate Training has opened doors in my life to serve God’s kingdom in ways that I would have never imagined! God is faithful! When we say “yes” and take a step toward Him, He will take ten steps toward us!

Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” God was absolutely directing my steps. I just couldn’t see it clearly at the time. Now, I am seeing it!

With over 25 years of experience and a network of like-minded people around the globe, The Boaz Project can help you show Christ’s love to scared and abandoned children.

To learn how you can help save orphaned children from life on the streets—connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit our website here.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing your stories, Jessi & Amanda! Amanda, I just started OAT training and I agree, every time I open the program I know God is with me and being glorified as we learn how to serve the vulnerable better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from our blog.

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.

Join the James 1:27 Circle Membership


Get Prayer Updates & News

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.

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  

Urgent Needs & Announcements

This is the heading.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This is the heading.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Join our Prayer Team