July 31, 2017

What on earth?

For me, there’s no more difficult concept to discuss with an orphan than that of God’s will.

Imagine sitting with Nikita. He remembers vividly the night his family’s apartment caught fire. The smell of smoke was already thick when his father scooped him up into his arms and carried him to the window with a fire escape.

“Go down the stairs,” he instructed his son. “I’m going in for Mama and then I’ll meet you down there. Go quickly.”

They were the last words Nikita ever heard from either of his parents.

It’s not easy to look into Nikita’s timid eyes and tell him, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

Or tiny Svetta. When she was three, she was sick with fever. She got up in the middle of the night and, seeking comfort, crawled into her mother’s bed.

But her mother’s client of the evening didn’t appreciate a toddler in bed with them, so he threw her from a third story window. The garbage bin below spared her life.

Her mother doesn’t come to visit her at the orphanage.

How can I explain to Svetta that God has a will and that it is good?

I typically fumble through these conversations, explaining that sin has ruined everything. I assure these precious children that—although their lives have been full of tragedy—God loves them more than they can imagine. I encourage them to trust that God will right every wrong and wipe every tear. One day. One glorious day.

But the Lord taught us to pray, saying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

On earth? We’re to believe His will can be done here on earth? Can I just be frank and say that we aren’t there yet?

According to UNICEF, there are more than 153million orphans in our world today. What on earth?

Every 18 seconds, another child becomes an orphan. I refuse to believe that’s God’s will being fleshed out around our globe.

Children are being sold into slavery at alarming rates. Is that God’s will being done on earth?

No. It can’t be.

Yet we are to ask, believing, for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And perhaps we are to do more than ask. Could it be that we are to not only ask that God’s will be done on earth, but to start doing it? Could we be God’s instruments to bring about His will on earth?

I admit it sounds kind of lofty. When I consider it my duty to bring God’s will on earth, I’m overwhelmed to say the least.

But catch this. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus is recorded saying that, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)

So it is possible for us to do God’s will. Right here. Right now.

And those of us who do are God’s immediate family.

So I must believe that I can help to bring God’s will to one child. I could be used to express Christ’s lovingkindness to Nikita, just by hugging him and assuring him he’s not forgotten.

I could stop evil from prevailing in Svetta’s life by ensuring she is in a safe place with loving adults.

I can’t fix the world. But I can show my neighbors that God’s kingdom looks very different from the one we live in. And—with God’s help—bring a little bit of God’s will to earth.

And if we all, those of us who are God’s children, bring a tiny piece of heaven to earth, it might just look a lot different than it does today.

Lord, help us to do your will on earth, just as it is carried out in heaven.

In the comments below, please encourage others by sharing one way you have seen God work in you to have His will done on earth.

As you pray for The Boaz Project this month, please remember the following:

  • Thank God for enabling the school graduates at Agape Fellowship Home in India to score well on their exams and be granted entrance to college!
  • Please pray that as construction is nearing completion on the Russian Christian Foster Home’s rentable apartment. Ask God for the right renters to be lead to the home.
  • Join our partners in Kenya in prayer for the political tensions arising with their elections. It is traditionally a time of upheaval for their nation, and the unrest is currently palpable.
  • Lift House of Joy, in India, in prayer as they face difficulties with retaining guardianship of some of the girls in their care.
  • Ask our Heavenly Father to keep things moving administratively in Kenya, allowing construction of a girls’ home to begin soon!

Believing in miracles,


*This article is the third in a series walking through The Lord’s Prayer from an orphan’s perspective.


  1. Pamela Koehlinger says:

    Another reality that makes it difficult to understand and accept God’s will is the fact that sometimes when we act to stop evil from prevailing – when Christian parents bring up their children to know and love the Lord or adopt a child out of difficult circumstances to share God’s love with him or her – the results are not always what we expect or desire. Sometimes our children walk away from the Lord. Sometimes the adopted child wreaks havoc in the family. Sometimes we see no fruit from our prayers and sacrifices. But God is still good. He is still pleased with our efforts. He is still building His Kingdom. And our faith either fails or grows.

    • So true, Pamela. As I read in Job this morning, I was reminded that there is a spiritual battle going on that we are typically not privy to. We don’t always know the “why” behind the circumstances we face. But we do know that God is honored when we continue to place our faith in Him despite those challenges. Thanks for modeling that to the rest of us!

  2. Kelly says:

    I pray every day for God to lead me and guide me and use me for His purposes. He led me to a job in caregiving for the elderly and my husband and I to become respite foster parents on weekends, although we have not yet had a placement. We seek to show the love of Christ with family, neighbors and friends who don’t know Him. Did that answer your question?

  3. It certainly does! Prayer is always the best place to start. Then God takes it from there to direct His children. We’ll be praying for your foster parenting journey. There’s such a need.

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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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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.

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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.

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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?

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Can I do this training with my spouse? Or a friend?

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How much will it cost?

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Is there an age requirement to become a Certified Orphan Advocate Trainee?

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If I complete the five-level Orphan Advocate Training Certification, can I put it on my resume or LinkedIn profile?

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