March 2, 2020

You Mean Jonah Ate the Fish!

Not long ago, Jenna, the daughter of some of our house parents in India, was in Sunday School. The teacher told the children that Jonah was eaten by a fish.

“No,” Jenna attempted to correct, “Jonah ate the fish!”

The teacher turned to Jenna and patiently explained. “No, it was a very BIG fish, and it ate Jonah!”

“No,” Jenna repeated, “Jonah ate the fish.”

No matter how hard the teacher tried, she could not convince Jenna that Jonah was swallowed by a very large fish.

It’s a cute story, and anyone who knows Jenna has to chuckle, imagining the scene. It’s funny that—while very young—Jenna is so programmed to the laws of the natural world and her own experiences that their reversal in the book of Jonah seems impossible to believe.

I’m not so sure my own disbelief is as endearing.

How often have I questioned God’s plan, His directions, His rules and laws because they didn’t match my own expectations or understanding?

Isn’t that what the story of Jonah is about in the first place? Jonah couldn’t accept that God wanted him to go to Nineveh to prophecy against it in hopes the people would repent and turn to God. Certainly God wouldn’t want the Ninevites to worship Him!

Jonah had a script in his head, one that told him God loved Israel. That true but limited script kept him from understanding that God loves the world.

Jonah eventually obeyed God and went to Nineveh. But it was via the belly of a fish!

Today, ask God to help you identify any limited scripts you may have which prevent you from carrying out your divine mission. Maybe you’re supposed to make sacrificial financial donations to allow someone to hear the gospel, but you’re hung up on the script of what comforts you think your own life should include.

Maybe you’re supposed to visit orphans, but you think long plane rides are inconvenient or fundraising is uncomfortable.

Maybe God’s been hinting that you should spend more time in prayer, but a quick look at your to-do list makes you write off the possibility.

When we consider the lengths Jesus went to in order to come to earth, our excuses quickly become insignificant. So pray that God enlarges your vision to see His script for your life. It may just save you from being swallowed by a fish!

This month as you pray for The Boaz Project, please:

Ask God to keep The Boaz Project’s board and staff sensitive to His leading and obedient to their divine mission of helping orphans however He directs.

Petition the Lord for relief caregivers for our Indian children’s homes so that the house parents can attend a three-day training, helping them better care for vulnerable children.

Lift up April Jurgensen, Michaela Shake, and all of our Indian house parents as they meet for the training sessions, that they would learn a lot together, encourage one another, and glorify God during that time.

Ask God for the remaining resources needed for the three-story apartment building we plan to build for orphans and their house parents in Limuru, Kenya.

Believing in miracles,
April Jurgensen

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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.

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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.


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 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  
Private table provided for your promotional items at events with table tents  
Exclusive company mentions in promotional event emails  

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