May 13, 2019

Why Help Kids in Other Countries?

Boaz Core Values

What about the Orphans in My Own Home Town?

Having worked with orphans internationally for nearly 20 years now, I’m often asked, “But what about the kids right here in the U.S? There are some kids in terrible situations here, too.” And I figure for every person who asks, there’s likely another three who wonder, but don’t give their question voice because they don’t want to appear confrontational.

So let me begin by saying that I believe that every child conceived bears the image of God. He is worthy of love and opportunity, of protection and nurture. Every human is worthy of dignity and should be given voice.

For us at The Boaz Project, our ministry is not about trying to value any one people group over another. But there are several reasons we have focused on children outside the United States. Below, I discuss four of them.

  • The need…according to percentage.

I want to be careful here. Please understand that I am not ranking the extremity of need. I do recognize that children exist in dire, horrific situations here in America. And it grieves my heart.

But what I am saying is that the numbers of children affected in the U.S. are fewer in comparison. Here’s what I mean: according to UNICEF, there are 140 million orphans in our world today.[i] And we have 427,910 children in our foster care system.[ii]

Know what that means? The U.S. is home to just 0.3% of the world’s orphans.

More than 99% of the world’s orphans live outside of the U.S!

While some children suffer unthinkable horrors in our own states (and if you decide to help one, I will cheer you on!), most of us cannot fathom what it is like in a nation like India, where 9% of all children are orphans [iii] or Kenya, where 13% of all children are orphans[iv].

  • The unlikelihood of adoption.

Though 111,820 children await adoption in the U.S. foster care system[v], they have a greater hope of a forever family than the majority of orphans in the world. Why? Because Americans account for nearly half of the adoptions in the entire world[vi], and 78% of those are domestic[vii].

With a lower orphan population and a higher number of adoptions, adoptable children in the U.S. have a greater prospect of finding a family to call their own than most around the globe.

  • The enormity of the task.

The orphan crisis is overwhelming. No matter where we begin our efforts, someone will be left out.

But if you were to find out that friends were adopting, would you ask them “Why adopt that kid and not this one?” I hope not. I hope you’d celebrate the expanding family and do all you can to support and encourage it.

In the same way, we need to applaud every effort to help children who haven’t yet been—or will never be—adopted, regardless of their location.

The task is great, and it will only be accomplished one child at a time. So instead of bickering about which child, let’s get busy helping one.

  • The doors God has opened to us.

From its inception, The Boaz Project has been a movement of God, not the creation of man. It began as God orchestrated bizarre circumstances to bring help specifically to orphans in Russia. And over the years, He has expanded that vision and led us to other places where the need is significant.

At every juncture, we have sought to be an organization of prayer, believing that God will reveal to us who He wants us to serve. So far, those locations have been outside the U.S. But we remain at the ready, committed to obey wherever He leads.

These are the main reasons that The Boaz Project has focused on international orphans’ needs thus far. But please know that we love children here at home, as well, and admire those who care for them.

No one person, organization or denomination is equipped to adequately care for 140,000,000 orphans. But if each of us does what we’re called to, those precious children will know they have a heavenly Father who loves them!

In the end, the important thing is for each Christ follower to be faithful to do something to care for the orphans He loves so dearly.

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

Ask God specifically for the salvation of the orphans to whom we minister. We have partners around the globe who faithfully plant seeds and water them, but only God can cause the growth!

Lift students in central Indiana Bible Clubs as they will be filling Orphan Gift Banks to provide birthday and Christmas gifts for orphans. Pray that they are not only generous, but also touched by the needs of orphans in a way that sticks with them for life.

Thank God for using amazing, generous folks like you to raise the funds we needed for orphans’ educational fees. Those funds provide tremendous relief to our homes.

Request wisdom from God as we seek a new partner home in India. A new donor has committed to support the home, but we need divine discernment in selecting the right partners.

Believing in miracles,


[i] Orphans. (2017, June 16). Retrieved January 16, 2018, from Unicef:

[ii]Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2018, from Christian Alliance for Orphans:

[iii] India. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2018, from Orphan Outreach:

[iv] UNICEF. The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World New York, NY: UNICEF 2012

[v] Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2018, from Christian Alliance for Orphans:

[vi] (United Nations, “Child Adoption: Trends and Policies” 9New York, United Nations, 2009), 17,

[vii] Medefind, J. (2013). Becoming Home:Adoption, Foster Care and Mentoring-Living Out God’s Heart for Orphans. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 21

This article was originally posted Feb. 2018, but is considered by The Boaz Project to be “classic content” that bears repeating.


  1. Great article! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lynelle says:

    Expressed so well. Appreciate all you, Jim and the teams do and so thankful that Brooke, Chris, and Rachel were privileged to be a part of the Boaz Project. It truly impacted all of their lives.

  3. Mitul Patel says:

    0.3% are in just the US! While its crazy it does make sense. This is just one place. And if we are able to help, why don’t we reach out. It just makes sense.

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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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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!

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