March 27, 2023

The Heart of a Mother

I sat down in the grass with Eddah, the house mother at El Shaddai Children’s Center in Kenya, and a full mug of sweet, warm chai, grateful simply to be in her presence.

Eddah is mostly a behind-the-scenes woman, preferring the quiet of a small kitchen and the repetitive ministry of scrubbing stains out of clothing to being in front of a crowd. She is one you have to lean in a little closer and intentionally block out the world around you to hear—and when you do, a true blessing is sure to follow.

Eddah is a woman of prayer, a beacon of faith. To her core, she is a mother. She embodies the strength, wisdom, patience, and grit of the best of them. It is clear to me that God has created her specifically and beautifully to be a mother to children who have lost or never known one.

As we sat in the shade, sipping our chai, I listened to her heart.

She prays fervently for more dedicated mothers for the boys in her care, that they would be humble, compassionate, and steadfast.

She praises God for the transformation she has seen in the boys and the ways He is currently healing them before her eyes.

She thanks God for leading her to this place, where she is able to live out His calling on her life.

We smiled and laughed as we recalled the previous evening, where we held our own “Oscar Awards” to screen some mini movies the boys had made a couple days before. (It was, in a nutshell, insanely precious.) She began to thank me for all that we do to bring joy to the boys, and, while it was a joy and an honor to share in that experience, an overwhelming thought brought tears to my eyes.

“Eddah,” I said, “the reason they were able to have so much joy is because of you.”

Through The Boaz Project, we have the blessed opportunity to visit our partners and get glimpses of the kind of care that is occurring on a daily basis. This enhances our trust in our partners’ ability to provide a safe, loving environment for children who have experienced trauma. I know and believe in our model, and it’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so passionate about what we do. But, in that moment, it all hit me in a very tangible way.

Pictures flooded my mind of Eddah comforting boys when they are sick, serving them hearty helpings at each meal, seeing them off to school in the morning, praying over them, teaching them the Word of God—each tiny action reinforcing their ability simply to be kids. Each day a new opportunity to communicate to a child that he is seen, loved, and can grow, despite what has happened in his past.

“Every day you obey God’s call on your life makes it more possible for your boys to find peace and joy in Him. I am just so grateful that we get to be a tiny part of that,” I expressed.

We hugged and finished our chai, chatting about the weather and how nice it is to feel the sun on our skin. We thanked God together for His goodness.

I’m still doing a lot of processing and reflecting on all that this trip meant for the ministry of The Boaz Project, as well as me, personally. But as I sit here today, there is really only one thing I want you to be sure of.

As part of The Boaz Project family, you are elevating committed caregivers like Eddah to a position where she can fully obey what God has called her to do, and, as a result, children who were once orphans, discarded and bruised, are coming to know a love that will never, ever fade.

Thank you for your continued prayers, generosity, and obedience. I pray that your heart is encouraged even now as you consider the real impact you are making in the lives of real people. As someone who knows and loves caregivers such as Eddah, I am so grateful for each of you.

Please join us in praying today for our caregivers, in the mundane and in the difficulties of day to day life with children from hard places, that they would turn to the God of Peace, who empowers them to show His unchanging love.


  1. Garden Gal says:

    Thank you for sharing some of your treasured time with Eddah with us. What an inspiring woman as she commits her life to Christ to serve him as a mother to these precious boys. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

  2. ChloeKraus says:

    It’s so inspiring how these women care for these children as their own.

  3. Ashley Jae says:

    To have an Eddah is a blessing and I have prayed for an overflow of Eddahs to care for these children.

  4. Sandy Elliott says:

    God bless Eddah! What a faithful example of how Jesus taught us to love. May I be more humble, compassionate, and steadfast in sharing my faith.

  5. Zandie Brailowsky says:

    Thank you Lord for Eddah’s heart and the love she pours out to the children. May You continue to fill her with Your love Lord!!

  6. Michelle K says:

    This right here is one of the many reasons I truly love and respect the Boaz Project so much. You VALUE the caretakers and their role so much. You know they are on the front lines and you seek and DO encourage, bless and honor them in that role. I cannot tell you how important that is, it makes a HUGE impact. Thank you!

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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.

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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
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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!

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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?

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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.

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