Caring for vulnerable children is both a noble calling and a complex endeavor that demands compassion, knowledge and dedication. With this in mind, we've assembled a collection of orphan care resources designed to empower organizations and individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of orphans.

Book Recommendations: Orphan Care


The Global Orphan Crisis by Diane Lynn Elliot

God's call to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world is not easy or comfortable.  And it will require willingness, commitment, and sacrifice. The more you know about the global orphan crisis the more your heart will break and it will cause you to want to do something... anything... to make the life of an orphaned child a little easier.

The need is overwhelming, but if you are willing, you can be part of the global orphan solution. It is a decision that will change your life forever. The journey will be worth the effort with countless blessings along the way. Together, with God’s strength, you can be the hands and feet of Christ and make a difference in the life of an orphaned child now and for all eternity.

Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care by Tony Merida and Rick Morton

Orphanology unveils the grassroots movement that’s engaged in a comprehensive response to serve hundreds of millions of orphans and “functionally parentless” children. You’ll see a breadth of ways to care with biblical perspectives and reasons why we must. Heartwarming, personal stories and vivid illustrations from a growing network of families, churches, and organizations that cross cultures show how to respond to God’s mandate. 

Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting by Johnny Carr

Christians are clearly called to care for orphans, a group so close to the heart of Jesus. In reality, most of the 153 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world do not need to be adopted, and not everyone needs to become an adoptive parent. However, there are other very important ways to help beyond adoption.

Indeed, caring for orphaned and vulnerable children requires us to care about related issues from child trafficking and HIV/AIDS to racism and poverty. Too often, we only discuss or theologize the issues, relegating the responsibility to governments.

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Based on his own personal journey toward pure religion, Johnny Carr moves readers from talking about global orphan care to actually doing something about it in Orphan Justice.

Why Not Today: Trafficking, Slavery, the Global Church . . . and You by Matthew Cork and Kenneth Kemp

When Matthew Cork, lead pastor of a church in a comfortable corner of Orange County, first encountered the Dalit (untouchable) people of India on a visit to Hyderabad, he was shaken to his core. Children begging at the airport. Elderly women sweeping gutters. Families living in discarded concrete pipes. He learned of the systemic bondage they had been in for thousands of years.

As Matthew came face-to-face with this suffering, he knew God was summoning him to help. He knew that the greatest hope for the Dalits lay in educating their children—something long closed to them. So God gave Matthew a vision that would transform him and his church, taking them on a journey from the suburban comfort of the US to the slums and villages of India.

Today a new movement is sweeping over the world, a movement to set oppressed people free—free from slavery, sex trafficking, poverty, and political and social injustice. Why Not Today is an invitation—and a challenge—to join in the efforts to bring freedom and hope to people suffering all over the world.

Perhaps God has stirred a passion in you to help the poor and overcome injustice. This story shows what God can do when we are willing to respond to that stirring. Why not start today?

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis

Katie Davis Majors left over Christmas break of her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people of Uganda and the needs she saw that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, adopted thirteen children in Uganda and has established a ministry, Amazima, that feeds and sends hundreds more to school while teaching them the Word of Jesus Christ.

Kisses from Katie invites readers on a journey of radical love down the red dirt roads of Uganda. You’ll laugh and cry with Katie as she follows Jesus into the impossible and finds joy and beauty beneath the dust. Katie and her children delight in saying yes to the people God places in front of them and challenge readers to do the same, changing the world one person at a time.

In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence: My Kids, Your Kids, Our Kids by Philip Darke and Keith McFarland

The sad reality is that not everyone involved in orphan care is doing it well. Some find a way to profit from the situation. And many mean well but lack the experience or training to do the job right.

An anthology on orphan care, In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence compiles articles from a number of authorities in different spheres of expertise. Once the book establishes that not all orphans will be cared for by extended or adoptive families, the rest of the book is devoted to the question, “How do we best care for children without parents?”

Darke and Farland challenge the common approach that appears to provide for orphans from our excess “scraps” rather than prioritizing their needs as we would our own children’s. They encourage readers to create environments where orphans can not only survive but chase their dreams and become all God ordained for them.

Framed as a conversation, this book looks at best practices on topics from spiritual formation to dental care. It intends to make readers think not only about the fact that they should be involved in orphan care but also about how to be as effective as possible when they are.

Each chapter concludes with questions for individual reflection and application or group discussion.


Book Recommendations: Orphans and Me


The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? By Richard Stearns

Is our faith only about going to church, studying the Bible, and avoiding the most serious sins—or does God expect more? Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?

More than twenty years ago Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’s journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations—to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.

The Hole in Our Gospel features new content along with full-color graphics on poverty statistics, a guide for churches on short-term missions and international engagement, and an index of Scripture on poverty, justice, faith in action, and more. 

The ONE Factor: How ONE Changes Everything by Doug Sauder

Can one person really make a difference in the world?

The answer is a resounding YES!

The ONE Factor traces the impact of a single person, moment, investment, and vision as it uncovers the Source of the one factor.

In The ONE Factor, you'll read stories of people who are changing their world. You're invited to join the conversation.


Book Recommendations: Orphans and the Bible


Adopted for Life by Russell Moore

Adopted for Life is a rare book that connects the Biblical foundation of adoption and one family’s experience of adoption.  Intertwined is the story of the author and his wife’s adoption of two young boys from Russia. The narrative is a Biblical explanation and reminder that all who believe in Christ Jesus were once spiritual orphans and have been adopted as God’s daughters and sons.

The author challenges individuals and the Church to consider how our own adoption into God’s family must make orphan care and adoption a priority.

This book does not stop with the challenge but gives practical advice. From wise counsel on how to know if one should consider adoption, how to ask the uncomfortable adoption questions, how to navigate the adoption process,  and an honest description of what it may mean to grow up adopted, the book is a transparent look from one who has experienced the realities of adopting.

For churches and the Christian community, this book is a call to make orphan ministry and adoption a priority as a reflection of love for God and care for His people.

Why Not Today: Trafficking, Slavery, the Global Church . . . and You by Matthew Cork and Kenneth Kemp

When Matthew Cork, lead pastor of a church in a comfortable corner of Orange County, first encountered the Dalit (untouchable) people of India on a visit to Hyderabad, he was shaken to his core. Children begging at the airport. Elderly women sweeping gutters. Families living in discarded concrete pipes. He learned of the systemic bondage they had been in for thousands of years.

As Matthew came face-to-face with this suffering, he knew God was summoning him to help. He knew that the greatest hope for the Dalits lay in educating their children—something long closed to them. So God gave Matthew a vision that would transform him and his church, taking them on a journey from the suburban comfort of the US to the slums and villages of India.

Today a new movement is sweeping over the world, a movement to set oppressed people free—free from slavery, sex trafficking, poverty, and political and social injustice. Why Not Today is an invitation—and a challenge—to join in the efforts to bring freedom and hope to people suffering all over the world.

Perhaps God has stirred a passion in you to help the poor and overcome injustice. This story shows what God can do when we are willing to respond to that stirring. Why not start today?

Castaway Kid: One Man's Search for Hope and Home by R. B. Mitchell

Abandoned by his parents when he was just three years old, Rob Mitchell began his journey as one of the last “lifers” in an American orphanage. He grew up with kids who were not friends but rather “co-survivors.” As Rob’s loneliness and rage grew, his hope shrank. Would he ever find a real family or a place to call home?

Find out how Rob was able to overcome his past, forgiving his relatives and forging healthy family relationships of his own. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant, this true story shows how, with faith, every person can leave the past behind and forge healthier, happier relationships.


Book and Film Recommendations: Understanding Orphans


Psychology of Orphans by Dr. Ludmila M. Shipitsyna

Dr. Ludmila Shipitsyna brings to her book Psychology of Orphans a wealth of clinical experience as well as psychological theory. While much of this resource is valuable for anyone working or living with orphans or former orphans, it is particularly insightful for those working with children who have been institutionalized.

A highly respected researcher, Dr. Shipitsyna explains the results of research done in Russia. She then interprets the data to explain the needs of children from institutionalization and how to help them. With a candor that is uncommon when addressing these issues, Shipitsyna addresses the pitfalls of the current Russian orphanage system and proposes foster care (or, patronate care, as she calls it) as a preferred method of caring for children.

More scientific text than a parenting manual, this book is heavier on data than anecdote and analysis than compassion. But for those who are seeking to understand a child from Russia’s orphanage system, sifting through this book for gems of insight could be well worth it.

Children From Hard Places and the Brain by Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development

This video explores the impact of trauma on a developing brain and explains how fear and chronic stress damage the structure, wiring, and chemistry of the brain. This puts children at risk for a lifetime of social, learning, and behavioral problems if there isn’t intervention. Children from Hard Places and the Brain features experts Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, Dr. Karyn Purvis, and Dr. David Cross, and offers practical advice and tips for leading children of all ages—even teens—to new levels of healing.

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz

Behaviors such as over-responsivity, cravings for sensation, and poor sensory discrimination are often the first clues to Sensory Processing Differences--a common but frequently misdiagnosed problem in which the central nervous system misinterprets messages from the senses. The Out-of-Sync Child offers comprehensive, clear information for parents, teachers, and professionals--and a drug-free treatment approach for children.



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.

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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.

Join the James 1:27 Circle Membership

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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.

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.

Corporate Sponsorship Levels

  Bronze
$500
Silver
$1,000
Gold
$5,000
Platinum
$10,000
Diamond
$25,000
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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