Cookie dough, discount cards, and overpriced magazine subscriptions have been laced with every sales pitch in the book to raise money for little leagues, mission trips, and a host of other nonprofit organizations and events. These fundraisers have often served their purposes, earning their rightful places on the list of “Top 10 Most Common Fundraisers.” Quite frankly, however, discount cards can be boring to sell and overpriced magazines can be found anywhere. World Orphans established Rescue Teams as an alternative to typical fundraising.
Rescue Teams are like the relationships that spark over a love for the same blend of coffee, a good book, or a funny movie. Rescue Teams begin with at least two people who want to see the 153,000,000 orphans of the world find homes. They focus on funding projects that will benefit orphans through our Church-to-Church (C2C) Partnership program. Inspired by love and motivated by passion, they are limited only by the imaginations of their team members.
When Chris and Lauren Turpaud committed to raising money for World Orphans in May, they never imagined the generous and talented team that would surround and assist them in not only raising funds, but also in spreading the story of World Orphans. The Turpauds both work at their local recreational center, where they have been able to use their talents and gifts to serve their community. The center frequently rents its facilities to local individuals for pool parties, and for Lauren, a pool party fundraiser seemed like a natural fit.
As she began planning the event, co-workers offered donations of time to staff the event, and Lauren’s supervisor provided the facility rent-free, while other friends volunteered to provide games, food, and other help. The day of the pool party was gloomy, with storm clouds looming overhead, but 30 minutes before the event, the clouds seemed to melt away as the sun came out, bringing more than 70 people from throughout the community with it. The event raised over $1,100 and showed Lauren that she was surrounded by people who were able and willing to be generous in a variety of ways – some with money, some with time, and others with resources.
Like the Turpauds, World Orphans Communications Specialist Darci Irwin is also taking a unique approach to fundraising. After 13 years of marriage and 9 years of infertility, Darci and her husband are expecting their first child, a little girl who should make her grand entrance into the world in September. The Irwins’ long journey through infertility brought them into community with a group of people who selflessly prayed, grieved, and finally celebrated with them. This 100-women-strong community also takes celebrations quite seriously and will be throwing not one, but five showers for the expecting couple.
As Darci has progressed in her pregnancy, carefully planning for the needs and desires of a tiny bundle of joy, she has come to understand God’s boundless love for the orphan in a much deeper way than ever before. With that understanding, Darci has requested that each person planning to bring a gift for her baby choose to spend less and donate that extra amount to World Orphans. All donations will go directly to Ebenezer Bible Church, a World Orphans partner in Temba, South Africa, assisting in the care for and education of 22 orphaned children in its community. Darci hopes to raise $1,000 toward this project.
Rescue Teams are not limited to fundraiser baby showers and pool parties. Other people have established Rescue Teams to start 5K races, hold yard sales, or give up their birthday gifts. World Orphans hopes to see 250 US Rescue Teams established by 2015. Teams will have the opportunity to select the project they wish to fund, whether Ebenezer Bible Church in South Africa, Fountain of Hope in Kenya, orphan prevention programs in Cambodia, or another. World Orphans wants to see people fundraising for the places and causes that the Holy Spirit has given them a burden for, knowing that passion and love for orphan care go a long way. To learn more about starting a Rescue Team, please visit www.worldorphans.org/rescueteams.
With the wind in his face, strapped to another man in a harness, here is our Irish friend Aaron Boyd of Bluetree on the big screen at the Big Ticket Festival as he prepares to jump out of an airplane. Not every artist floats into concert that way. Awesome.
Aaron is a cool dude, a great songwriter, an orphan advocate, and over the last year, he has become a dear friend to World Orphans. (We’re a group of people who love orphans, so friendship is natural with other people who love orphans too!) After Aaron finished spiraling out of the sky, he got up on stage and led the crowd of thousands in worship through song. Then he did something else that you don’t see every day: He led the crowd into a special kind of worship … Justice.
Another guy who loves orphans is Drew Spanding, the guy behind the Big Ticket Festival. When God brings together so many people to worship, big things happen! Drew envisions this kind of worship Aaron talks about. He sees this crowd of 10,000 doing more than lifting their hands in songs of worship. He sees people doing justice, living out their worship.
Thanks to Drew, we were able to put together a huge “Experience Tent” where one by one, guests of the festival would enter this broken shamble of a place set to offer a view of life in a 3rd world country. They would touch the crooked bed frame, read the haunting statistics, and hear Aaron Boyd’s voice guide them through what it’s like to live in poverty. Slowly, their footsteps would follow the path leading to a room of hope. A room that paints a picture of what World Orphans is doing. A place to see the vision of caring for children physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The experience ended with an opportunity to pray. While they listened to Aaron’s song, “God of This City” (that he wrote after seeing the heartbreak of child slavery in Thailand), visitors wrote prayers for specific children in our projects. Prayers like these:
“I pray that Medina learns about Jesus and receives Christ’s salvation. I pray that she receives all that she needs to meet all her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.”
“Please watch over Johnny. Provide him with food, shelter, and education. Keep him safe from evil. Allow him to grow up to be a healthy, happy man. In Jesus name, Amen.”
After exiting the experience tent, many people took the next step and became Rescue Partners, committing to walk hand in hand with World Orphans as we care for children around the world. This is the dream. The dream for Drew for Big Ticket. The dream for Aaron when he takes the stage. The dream for all of us at World Orphans.
People worshipping Christ.
People doing justice.
To learn more about how you can join us in doing justice, click here.
By Darci Irwin
Over the years, blogging has become a sensation, changing the face of communication, business, and publishing. A report by Nielsen Social, a social analytics company, tracked the changes in the blogosphere and published that there are 181 million blogs around the world, with an increase of 36 million in only five years. My point? We all have an overabundance of blog options to read, so what is so special about the World Orphans blog?
Glad you asked! We have sought to bring great intentionality to our blog as we equip, inspire, and mobilize the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Our blog is an important part of our strategy; so let me give you a behind-the-scenes look at the purpose and people behind it.
A few of our objectives this year include: (1) developing our staff writing team who will write consistently and from an overarching category of their expertise, (2) encouraging reader engagement by asking more questions and inserting more photographs, (3) leading you to do something or think about something in a new way. Boiling these down, we are focused on inspiration, education, engagement, and consistency, and (4) posting weekly blogs to keep the conversation about orphan care continuously before us all.
The voices behind the blog include eight staff members with a potpourri of guest bloggers. These eight individuals represent a diverse yet unified mixture of perspectives, and they are each impassioned about different aspects of orphan care. So you may put faces with their names, let me introduce them, along with the focus are of their blogs.
Bailey, Director of Mobilization, shares World Orphans trip stories, bringing the beauty and brokenness of the field to you.
Jeremy, Senior Director of Projects, responds to world news, specifically as it relates to the countries in which we serve.
Kathy, Director of Wholistic Care, shares her heart and stories of wholistic care within our projects and how those we serve are being beautifully transformed.
Kevin, Senior Director of Church Partnerships, writes about church partnership stories, encouraging and motivating us all to action.
Matthew, Projects Manager - Africa, engages the hot topics in adoption, educating and inspiring us.
Nate, Rescue Team Leader, offers his experience and motivation toward advocacy so that churches are engaged, children are restored, and communities are transformed by the Gospel.
Scott, President, provides thoughtful perspective on the big picture of World Orphans and will occasionally spotlight other ministry partnerships.
Sheri, a Director of Advocacy, expands our view and knowledge of orphan and church history, highlighting how the church has engaged orphan care for centuries, which we hope only motivates us to endure.
So be on the lookout each Friday when these incredible staff educate and inspire us to continue the mission to which we’re all called – serving orphans and vulnerable children with skill, sacrifice, and hope.
It has been said that the best thing you can do for yourself is to do something for someone else.
I recently had the honor of speaking with Tim, one of our Rescue Partners from Indiana. He shared with me that about 17 years ago, he lost his fiance to cancer just two months before their wedding. Then he lost his brother and father within the next year and a half.
Can you imagine the pain and sadness?
I can’t say for sure how I would handle it, but I am very thankful for the way Tim handled it. Tim decided that life needed to be lived and realized the Bible provides great direction into what living really is. Instead of feeling down, Tim started helping those who were less fortunate. He went on a mission trip, he started giving to help those in need, and he started healing.
“I like to give financially to organizations like World Orphans, because I know God wants me to bless others that have not been blessed like we are here in the US.”
Since this story began, Tim has been on over 30 mission trips, led numerous outreach projects for churches here in the States, and is also married now with two beautiful daughters. He wants his children to know the blessing of giving and helping others. Tim and his wife share with their girls the importance of outreach and helping children who have had a tough start in life. They are excited to someday take them on a trip somewhere.
Tim says that he always encourages people to get involved in international ministry “to see other cultures and people firsthand” and “by going, to be reminded how blessed we really are.”
Jesus said that it is better to give than to receive.
Thank you, Tim, for the great example of God’s grace and truth.
Did you know that World Orphans has partnerships available that don’t require a travel commitment or the involvement of your entire church? We have projects in Cambodia, Kenya, and Iraq that are in need of partners, and we are hoping to connect them with small groups or rescue teams.
When I returned from my Journey trip to Ethiopia in December of 2011, I felt I had to do something. I eventually joined the staff here at World Orphans, and my home church partnered with World Orphans in Haiti. But before that, I formed the Sumter Rescue Team. We are a small group – never more than a dozen members – but over the past two years, our rescue team has hosted several events and raised nearly $20,000 for World Orphans projects in Kenya, South Africa, Cambodia, and Haiti.
Last Friday night, the Sumter Rescue Team hosted our 2nd Annual Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction at Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, South Carolina. Through this event, we had hoped to raise the $3,600 we needed to partner with Ratanikiri for the next year as well as to be able to contribute to World Orphans wholistic care initiatives in Haiti. On Friday night, God showed up in a big way, and we were able to raise over $8,000 (after expenses) – enough to fully fund Ratanikiri for the year and for several thousand dollars to be used in Haiti.
Our unique projects in Cambodia, Kenya, and Iraq need partners. Do you know a business or small group that might be a good fit? Do you want to do something? Recruit your friends and form your own rescue team, and watch what God can do with it!
God commands us to care for the orphans and widows, and I know it pleases God when we obey His commands and love others like He loves us. My wife and I have made choices and have worked hard to be able to give generously in these areas, but it occurred to us that without involving our children they may not realize this or understand how truly important it is to us. Teaching them helps to build a legacy of love and generosity. We now involve our kids in some of our giving decisions, and we talk about local, domestic, and international outreach and service with them. Our prayer has been that each of our children will know our hearts and develop a strong giver’s heart as well.
National Christian Foundation helps us to do this. Over the years of serving in ministry, I have had the honor of working with this great organization. The heart of their ministry is truly ‘kingdom building’ and helping families build a legacy for their children that is much more meaningful than money alone. I want to leave resources for my children, but I also want to do it in the best way for them and for the Kingdom.
The link below is to one of many videos and resources that the National Christian Foundation has available for you. Please watch the short video and look through the website. Leaving a legacy of giving isn’t going to happen automatically. It is important to be intentional. I love giving, and I want to learn every way possible to help my children know that same blessing. I hope this site encourages you as it does me every time I visit.
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” - Acts 20:35
What would you do if you had a young family and you felt God calling you to do something new? What if that call was to start a church in a place with no other Christian churches but multiple “churches” that worshipped evil spirits?
Pastor Daniel received and answered that call into a difficult, dark part of Port au Prince, Haiti. There were seven Voodoo “churches” and no hint of Christianity. It was hard. His “type” was hated. But God was doing a work in Pastor Daniel’s heart and teaching him that by serving and loving, He would shine through.
Pastor Daniel moved into the neighborhood. He made the area his hometown. He got out of the church building and served where the people were, where he was needed.
By visiting families in the neighborhood, Pastor Daniel’s desire to care for children grew. The people were starting to know and love him. Then … the earthquake happened.
Immediately, Pastor Daniel started caring for those he had grown to love. He took in children who had lost their parents. He opened his doors and his heart even more.
Shortly after the earthquake, World Orphans went to Haiti, met with several Christian churches and pastors, and started our Home Based Care Program. This program is based on a desire for children to be cared for in families, and for the local church to come alongside and help. Pastor Daniel was one of 14 pastors who joined in partnership with World Orphans. Then these churches were partnered with US churches, providing resources and support for ministry to children and families in great need.
One of those children was Wendez. Wendez lost his father before the earthquake, and then he lost his mother on that horrific day. Pastor Daniel cared for Wendez until someone in the neighborhood agreed to take him in. That family had very little income and other children they were struggling to care for. They were not Christians. After taking in Wendez, Pastor Daniel visited them often, helping with food and medical needs. He made sure the children could go to school, and he built a strong relationship with Wendez, helping him deal with his loss.
Wendez needed the hope only Jesus could provide, and he soon became a Christian. It didn’t stop there. Wendez wanted his new family to have that same hope, and he kept sharing the love he had found. God used Wendez to reach his whole family. They all came to know Christ!!
This restoration happened throughout the neighborhood, and eventually all the Voodoo “churches” closed. The people wanted to know the God who Pastor Daniel served, because they saw love. God has worked miracles in this community.
Recently, Pastor Daniel’s US church partner had to withdraw from their partnership. World Orphans is providing support through our Rescue Partner Program until a new partner can be found.
The Rescue Partner Program is designed to help reach more children by supplying resources to support new church partners until we connect them with US church. Or, in this case, to fund ministry through a change in partnership. Ongoing and interim funds are needed to enable pastors like Daniel to provide consistent care for the children in their programs.
Rescue Partners commit to helping monthly through our easy, automated giving. Rescue Partners help to see that children like Wendez will never be abandoned and alone again.
We are grateful for our Rescue Partners.
On behalf of Pastor Daniel, Wendez, and all of us at World Orphans, thank you.
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.” John Piper – Let The Nations Be Glad!
We are pleased to partner with Bluetree (wrote/recorded the song “God of this City”) for their Worship and Justice Tour.
Bluetree will be performing at twelve churches in Michigan from April 4–16, 2014, gathering concert-goers to worship with voices and actions exploring together what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ. Aaron Boyd (Bluetree’s lead singer) will be inviting people into a closer relationship with the Father as he leads in song and describes firsthand the work of local churches around the world that are sacrificially serving orphans in their communities.
Aaron is passionate about justice and the hurting in our world, especially vulnerable children. In this video, he explains the story behind the song God of this City:
Tucked away in the northeast corner of Cambodia near the border of Vietnam, the province of Ratanakiri has become a destination over the last decade for missionaries and Cambodian Christians. Widely considered among the least developed and most impoverished regions in Cambodia, Ratanakiri is home to a diverse group of hill tribes and ethnic groups. Still dealing with the lingering effects of the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge, where more than 2 million Cambodians lost their lives, the province has long been an unreached region for the spreading of the Gospel. It is in this setting that we met the twins of Ratanakiri.
Over the last couple of years, missionaries and local Christians began hearing stories about a number of babies in the region being abandoned, trafficked, or killed. One story that caught their attention centered around a local religious belief that involved murdering sets of newborn twins because of their connection to evil spirits. Supposedly a long-standing belief in Ratanakiri, this form of genocide revolved around their fear of curses that would allegedly harm families for years unless the babies were killed.
In response to these tragedies, missionaries and local churches in Cambodia began seeking ways to rescue these children. In the village of Tang Laum, the local church persuaded the parents of twin girls to ignore the religious ritual and to keep the babies. Today, the girls are 16 months old, healthy, and well cared for by their parents. Just as exciting, the parents both received Christ as their personal Savior in March 2013. Through partnership with World Orphans, our in-country partner – Children in Families (CIF), and the care of the local church, the girls will receive proper nutrition and spiritual guidance as they grow up.
Unfortunately, many other crises affect the orphans and vulnerable children of Ratanakiri. False religious beliefs and extreme poverty wreak havoc on the area. For example, it is a common practice within the region to kill newborns in situations where the mother died during the delivery because of the false belief that a curse will infiltrate the family. In other cases, extreme poverty continues to escalate the culture of trafficking, thereby increasing the rate of orphans.
Jesse Blaine, World Orphans Country Director in Cambodia, notes that in spite of the darkness, the local missionaries and small Cambodian church (only 1% of the population) are rising up to respond to the needs of local families. The church is working hard to connect orphans to extended family members, and in some cases reuniting children with their biological parents. The church is playing a key role in follow-up with ongoing visits of encouragement, gospel sharing, and the distribution of resources and supplies. In addition, church members serve families by helping them to develop long-term plans for savings, education, and development. Some church members also serve as emergency caregivers for children while others search for long-term solutions for each child.
Thankfully, as a result of the power of God and the work of His church, many children have been rescued and families have come to the Lord. Although the darkness is real, it continues to amaze us to hear about God’s work in the region of Ratanakiri. We are constantly left in awe at what God is doing there.
Please take time today to pray for our work in Cambodia and for the local missionaries and churches that are rescuing children, strengthening families, and spreading the hope of the Gospel. Pray for Jesse and Sarah Blaine and their two children as they continue to serve World Orphans in hopes of strengthening the local church to care for children in families. And pray that God’s mighty hand will continue to stir up the Gospel in the unreached areas of Ratanakiri and bring more and more families into His loving and caring arms.
World Orphans is excited to announce Rescue Teams!
What is a Rescue Team? It’s doing what you already do to make a difference!
First, pick a World Orphans project from somewhere around the world that you want to support. Next, sign up to compete in a race, host a sale or a party, give up your birthday, or create your own campaign. Then, invite your friends and family to join you in making a difference!
Check out a few recent testimonials!
“I read a book about raising unselfish children in a selfish world. I really liked the idea of a charity birthday party where people could give the amount they would spend on a gift to a worthy organization. Now that the girls are older, we allow them to help choose their charity. It has been a wonderful teaching tool and puts things in perspective for us as a family. We plan on continuing this every year, and we are excited to see how God uses it in our children’s lives and those they give away their birthdays to!” - Mother of Haley and Jenna (Scott Depot, WV)
“It sounded like a simple idea—get a bunch of folks to donate unwanted items to be sold in a garage sale and give the money raised to World Orphans. My wife and I and a few close friends already knew about the global issue of orphans and vulnerable children. Now, thanks to a simple garage sale event, a whole bunch of people know and care about this issue.” – Anonymous
It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in the lives of children around the world! Be an advocate for the orphan today, doing what you already do!