December 2, 2019

Your Christmas Preparations

It was perhaps the craziest thing I’d encountered yet.

Our life in Russia just after the collapse of the Soviet Union was full of daily confusing experiences. We didn’t understand the fascination with having every document stamped by governing authorities, the system behind “placing a call” through an operator to phone home, or why babushkas (grandmas) felt the freedom and authority to yell at anyone they felt deserved it…even for falling on the ice.

The system for shopping was its own conundrum.

But one story from their recent Soviet days struck me as particularly odd.

I don’t remember how the factoid was brought up in conversation with my friend and interpreter, Svetlana, but she happened to mention that the city was much cleaner under the communist party. In fact, she explained, when a dignitary was coming to their city of Vladimir, workers would paint the grass and the leaves of the trees green so it would look especially beautiful.

Wait. What?

They painted the leaves of the trees?

The local government was so intent upon impressing the national officials that they went to great lengths to do so.

Couldn’t the dignitaries see through that? I mean, didn’t they realize the leaves were all one exact tone and shade? Did that somehow make them feel better about the country they were ruling?

I was stunned that Russians in that era had friends who disappeared, family members imprisoned, and freedoms squelched, but the big concern before a leader came to town was painting the foliage.

In recent days, I’ve been spiritually preparing for the Christmas season. I like to spend time checking my heart and determining priorities before the rush and hoopla of holiday festivities are full throttle upon us.

I was reflecting on the beautiful truth of the season, the miraculous, eternal-life-giving gift of the Babe in the manger. I thought about His humble beginnings and how different things would have been if the people of Bethlehem had known the baby born that night was the long-awaited Messiah. He wouldn’t have been placed in a manger, that’s for certain.

“How would He have been welcomed?,” I allowed my imagination to ponder.

And how should I be preparing to welcome Him now, in this season when we commemorate His humble arrival?

Suddenly, it struck me as quite ironic that when we prepare to celebrate the coming of the King of kings, we fuss over decorating a tree. We may not paint the leaves, but we go to some pretty extreme measures!

I mean, does that somehow make the God of the universe feel better about the Kingdom He is ruling?

Please believe me: I’m not a Scrooge or a Grinch. I savor holiday traditions, enjoy a pretty package, and can’t wait for family gatherings. I will decorate a tree, eat iced cookies, and hang stockings on the mantel.

But in a world where friends are eternally lost, members of the family of God are imprisoned, and the majority does not know spiritual freedom, isn’t it a little crazy that my Christmas preparations involve tinsel and ribbon?

This Christmas, let’s honor the King by living like citizens of His kingdom. Let’s welcome the rule and reign of Christ by carrying out an act of justice. Let’s prepare for the celebration not only by hanging Christmas lights and mastering the perfect ham, but also by serving the poor and oppressed.

Let’s offer our best gift to Christ alone.

Psalm 45:6
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

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

  • Pray that orphans around the globe would hear the Good News that—out of love—Christ came to earth to rescue them.
  • Lift up our short-term team travelling to Kenya December 26th-January 5th.
  • Ask God for the resources needed for our three-story apartment building project in Kenya which will provide secure homes and loving families for 48 orphans.
  • Thank God for a marvelous Breakfast with Boaz last month, where a large number of new donors were introduced to the work God’s doing through this ministry.

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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

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  

Urgent Needs & Announcements

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