What degree, or training should I go into for long-term oversees orphan missions?
Thank you, Amber both for your question and for your desire to serve needy orphans.
Three things come to mind:
- I would imagine that you would go overseas with an agency. I would certainly recommend this. If so, I’m sure they would have their own requirements and suggestions for both academic and practical training.
- In terms of academic preparation, I think that something in the field of educational psychology would be of help. You will be working with children who undoubtedly have experienced a lot of both physical and psychological trauma. The more you know about these issues, the greater will be your sensitivity to them, understand their reactions, and how to approach, teach, and love them effectively.
- Since you will be going to a different culture, it would be helpful to take at least one course on cultural anthropology.
- Since you will want to talk to them about Jesus, I think some biblical and theological training would be helpful.
- If you haven’t had practical experience in an orphanage here in the U.S., I would encourage you to either work or volunteer in one. Learn the good, bad, and the ugly of institutional life. It will also be an affirmation of your call, or show you that you really you are not cut out for this kind of work.
- If you know of an effective Sunday School teacher, learn what you can from him or her. Pray that the Lord will guide you step by step. He loves orphans, and says so a number of times in the Old Testament. He gives special grace to those who serve them.