My wife and I and at least ...

Crowder asked:

My wife and I and at least one other couple have been meeting regularly for months praying about engaging in some ministry together. God has burdened our hearts to go to Africa and start/care for an orphanage. We are passionate about this. How and where do we begin this process? Thanks.Crowder

Jack Answered:

I applaud you for your desire to follow the Lord and your sensitivity to the needs of children. Due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic complicated by the civil wars, the plight of orphan children in Africa is staggering.

My suggestions for procedure would be the following:

1. Learn all you can about Africa and the needs of children. You will soon discover that Africa is not a country; it is a continent! You may want to reduce your focus to one country and perhaps even to one region.

2. Investigate what ministries among orphans experienced agencies have already established. Here are three: " Childcare International (www.childcare-intl.org) " World Vision International (www.wvi.org) " Every Child Ministries (www.kidsyes.org) Compare their experience, goals, needs, and suggestions.

3. As you narrow down your focus, plan a trip to see things on the ground. It might even be good to volunteer for a month, to get a real feel of what the opportunities are, the blessings, and the problems. I’m pretty sure you will be overwhelmed with the heart wrenching needs.

4. While in this process, be much in prayer, asking the Lord to guide you.

5. I wouldn’t recommend that you think about initiating a ministry on your own for at least for 5 years. Learn from those who have invested years and literally millions of dollars in enterprises. Institutions are bottomless pits for resources. Many mistakes have been made. Learn from what others have done.

6. May the Lord make your research and experiences a blessing to you and to those whom you serve.

Jack

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