April 15, 2019

Tradition of Orphan Care

Tradition of Orphan Care graphic

In Rome, prior to 374 A.D. there was a practice that existed of leaving children on the street if they were malformed, female, or an inconvenience. It was the early church who was known for taking these children off the street and bringing them into their own home

It was the Roman emperor Valentinian, who was a Christian, who banned this practice in 374 A.D. This is one of the first times we have a name of an individual who began to change the lives of orphans.

While it may seem as though the push to care for orphans has been a recent one, it is a tradition that predates modern Christianity.

The groundwork of orphan care is laid throughout the Bible. The first place we read of caring for an orphan is in the book of Exodus. Moses was an orphan, considering that his mother could not care for him, thus putting him in a basket and sending him down the river. As you know the story, Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses and takes him as her own.

But Moses isn’t the only orphan, nor would he be the last. A few books later we read the story of another orphan. Her name is Esther. Esther lost both parents and was raised by her cousin Mordecai. Yet God uses this orphan to do remarkable things. It is through Esther that the helps save the Jews.

Throughout the entire Bible, we read of God’s beautiful plan of adoption. God tells us that He “will not leave us as orphans.”.* Once we are in God’s family He tells us the “religion which is pure and faultless is one that looks after the orphan.”*

So, the Bible has set the tone for caring for orphans and adoption, how have we, the Church, responded to this call?

Throughout centuries, there were other great individuals who took the traditional teaching of the Church and did remarkable thing for the orphans, paving the way for what orphan care looked like. In brief, here are some of these incredible people who took the teachings of the Church and put them into action:

  • Saint Jerome Emiliani – a military commander who came to know Christ. After coming to know Christ he devoted his life to the orphan. He used his own resources to house, feed, and educate orphans.*
  • Charles Loring Brace – a minister and trailblazer for social work, Charles Loring Brace is the founder of New York’s Aids Society. He played a big part in developments of orphanages, and preferred nurture over nature.*
  • Carrie Steele Logan – a woman who worked at the railroad and began to notice that many people would abandon infants and young children at the station. She sold her house and built a more functional home for these children she took in.*
  • William Wilberforce – an English politician and theologian, his advocacy for orphans shed a huge light on the plight of the orphan.*
  • Mother Teresa – a nun who moved to India to serve the poor, caring for the orphan and the Missions of Charities organization.*

While these people have made a name for themselves in history, the Church has been serving alongside them all the while. The Church has been the one to shape the faith of these compassionate souls. The Church has been the one supporting and calling people to take action.

So, Church, let’s us move forward with this tradition. Let us recognize the importance and the call of the orphan and do something. Let us continue to produce people with bold faith who will make history for loving the least of these!

Works Cited:
“BibleGateway.” Acts 3:9-10 NIV – – Bible Gateway, Bible Gateway Blog,

“BibleGateway.” James 1:27 NIV – – Bible Gateway, Bible Gateway Blog,

“4 Historical Figures Who Cared for Orphans.” Show Hope, 7 Nov. 2016,

“Charles Loring Brace.” European Imperialism, 2012,

Saturday, May 4 
The Gathering Place, Greenwood, IN

This event includes:

  • Family Fun Zone
  • New Course
  • Professional chip timing for the 5K
  • A tech tee-shirt with pre-registration (cotton blend youth sizes)
  • Option to walk, run, or sleep in!
  • Finish line celebration with awards, live music, and snacks

We hope you will join us on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at The Gathering Place in Greenwood!

Register here: https://boazproject.org/5k


  1. Svetlana Morton says:

    As an adoptee, it is so cool to realize that Moses and Esther were both examples of how God uses orphans to help build His kingdom. I pray that God would fill the lives of orphans not only that the Boaz project works with but all around the world, and that they would know He has great plans for them.

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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.

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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

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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  
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Exclusive company mentions in promotional event emails  

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