August 19, 2014

New Ways to Make a Difference

by Scott Vair

haitifaves_106-X3As we continue to live out our mission to equip, inspire, and mobilize the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children, we know that sometimes the very basic things like a toothbrush, soap, and Band-Aids are often a luxury to the children and families we seek to love. We also understand that it can be overwhelming to even know how to respond.

Here are two simple ideas. Easy, tangible ways to get involved and make a difference:

Assemble a Family Care Kit

Family-Care-Kit-Front“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

Putting together a Family Care Kit is a fun way to get involved. You fill the kits with hygiene items and we give them to local, international churches as an outreach tool to share the love of Jesus and meet basic needs of families in their communities.

Get more information or order your Family Care Kit(s) and assembly instructions today!

Collect Change in a Hope Bank
Give Hope! Change Lives!

Hope-Bank-LabelBy collecting and giving your change, you can help provide food, medical care, education, love, and most importantly, the Hope of the Gospel to vulnerable children around the world.

Here’s how it works:

Place our World Orphans Hope Bank label and lid (link to store) on any soup can to create your Hope Bank. When it’s full, turn your change into a check or money order and send it to World Orphans. We’ll use it to help empower the church to care for orphans – until they all have homes!

This is a great opportunity for families, children, maybe even a Sunday school class. Every little bit helps. Together we can do so much more than we could ever do individually.

August 19, 2014

United in the Gospel

by Bailey Kalvelage
Director of Mobilization

Why does World Orphans exist?

We exist because we believe what Scripture says about the church, the orphan, and the expansion of the Gospel.

But what does this really mean?

On my recent trip to Haiti, I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand my first C2C partnership meeting. I sat with Pastor Thony of Eglise de Dieu de la Bible of Haiti and Pastor Phillip, George and Scott, leaders of Temple Baptist Church, Mississippi. What I saw was amazing! Pastor Thony shared with his US partners about the past year: he told of a revival in his city with 2,000 people, of home visits to the sick and needy, and of their need for a larger church building because of the growing number of people being discipled. I thought, “Wow!”

As the meeting unfolded, the deep bond of partnership was palpable. Tears filled the eyes of Pastor Thony’s Mississippi partners as they expressed how honored they were to join Pastor Thony in God’s work through him in Haiti. Though countries and languages apart, they were connected to Thony’s joys and struggles, challenged by the dedication of their brother, and encouraged personally and in the work that they, as individuals and a church, have committed to in Haiti.

Jesus said, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me… so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20,21,23)

The hearts of two churches united as one in the Gospel. What started as a partnership with the goal of caring for 20 kids has grown into a partnership purposed in reaching children, families, communities, and the country of Haiti with the healing power of the Gospel.

August 19, 2014

Empowering Moms

by John Rakis
Sr. Director of Donor Ministry

11Ethiopia193I have heard of a lot of great stories of how God is helping orphaned children through World Orphans, thanks to the generous support of people like you, BUT this one is so very exciting:

In Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, one of our church partners has started reaching out to mothers who are in critical danger of losing their children due to poverty and disease. These moms are still with their children, but living in desperate situations. The church has gathered this group of mothers who now meet monthly over coffee and bread. They encourage each other through time together and also spend time with the church pastor and elders. There is growing trust among the moms, and THEY have started a fund and are contributing monthly, sharing resources so that any of them can start a business!

11Ethiopia429Did you get that?  The moms are funding an account to help each other start businesses!

Three have done so already — one, a roadside coffee and tea stand; another selling charcoal; and a third selling packaged food and spices! It has been more than six months now, and all are making payments back to the startup fund so that others can do the same.

Mothers being empowered to take care of their children. Church Led Orphan Prevention!

On behalf of these fragile families – Thank you!

Please pray for these moms, their children, and this church in Ethiopia.

If you would like more information about specific projects or giving opportunities, please contact me at or 989-390-1449

July 09, 2014

Following Your Passion

by Tacy Layne
Rescue Team Member

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

July 09, 2014

Worship Is Justice

by Nicole Leeper
Sr. Director of Communications

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.

Aaron Boyd Goes to Haiti with World Orphans from World Orphans on Vimeo.

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:

IMG_7264“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.

June 11, 2014

Blogging with a Purpose

By Darci Irwin
Communications Specialist

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.

BaileyBailey, 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.

Subscribe by e-mail to World Orphans Blog

June 11, 2014

Giving & Healing

By John Rakis
Sr. Director of Donor Ministry

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.

May 03, 2014

Small Group, Big Impact

By Nate Livesay
Church Partnership Director


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!

Start A Rescue Team

May 03, 2014

A Lasting Legacy

By John Rakis
Sr. Director of Donor Ministry
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  - Proverbs 22:6

John and FamilyGod 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.

PrintNational 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

National Christian Foundation

March 29, 2014

God’s Call Answered

By John Rakis - Sr. Director of Donor Ministry

20140309_175633546_iOS2What 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.


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