Legacy and Credit

Bob Lepine (Vice President/Chief Content Officer, FamilyLife): When was the first time you went down and saw what your money had built?

Troy Wiseman (Co-Founder/Chairman, World Orphans): Within a year. I took my son when he was pretty small. He was eight years old when we went down there. Remember, Nicaragua went through the whole Iran-Contra situation. The country was very much in shambles. People were scared to go down there.

Dennis Rainey (CEO/President, FamilyLife): Was it dangerous for you to go?

Troy: It was dangerous. I don’t see danger, for whatever reason. I probably should see more danger than I do, but…

Dennis: But you took your eight-year-old son into that deal?

Troy: Yeah, I didn’t ask my wife. No, I did, I did.


I had faith that it was a calling from God and we were going to be protected. We were supposed to be there. Parents are always (thinking), "How do I get my kids to have their own faith? How can they do something that’s just not (because) we’re dragging them to do it?"

You take them to an orphanage. You take them on a trip, a short-term trip, and let them see these other kids. You don’t have to ask them anymore. They are changed forever. He came back and started giving (away) his toys. And he wanted to give his clothes, saying, "Send it to the kids, Dad!"

It’s not about what you say. It’s about what you do. It was a great benefit to our family that I never expected.

Bob: Describe for me what it was like driving up and walking into, for the first time, this children’s home that you had helped to build.

Troy: It was great to see the kids’ faces. We don’t believe in putting your name on stuff. We don’t believe that if you donate, you get a plaque on the wall. We want to be anonymous, right? It’s the church. It’s about Jesus. It’s about what God’s doing in that home. So it was just good to see the kids smiling.


(Image: One of the children rescued from the garbage dump at our first church-based home in Nicaragua)

From: FamilyLifeToday with Dennis Rainey
Broadcast date: 08/07/07
(Edited and Abridged)

To be continued…


Concerning legacy…

There is something extremely powerful about exposing your kids to the needs of the world. My eldest child is just six years old, followed by my four and two year-old children. Despite their young ages, they have all been to Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Laos and Mexico (two trips), not to mention a couple of lengthy layovers in Japan. They may or may not specifically remember all these trips when they are older, but our hope is that there will be a cumulative effect of understanding through frequent, repeated exposure.


(Image: My children, Faith (with hand on forehead) and Caleb (R), chatting with rescued orphans at a home we helped to fund in Thailand)

My children also follow along on all my trips here on this blog. They look at my pictures, hear the stories read by mommy, and pray for the orphaned children, me, and the ministry of World Orphans. This is all part of the legacy that is being developed and distributed to them as they engage the global task in many ways.


(Image. Caleb with some new friends in Peru. They had never seen a camera before)

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to cart your children off to exotic, depressed countries multiple times a year. Just simply get involved with helping children and immerse your children in the work through whatever means possible – praying, sharing stories, sending letters and artwork to orphans, etc. When you bring a child into your world, into your world outreach, you are creating a legacy that will long outlive you.

If you’re interested, you can read more about this in legacy (part one) and legacy (part two).


(Image: Paul and the kiddos with rescued children at a home in Thailand. Can you spot Faith, Caleb and Hannah?)

Concerning credit…

In the many cases where institutions orphanages are funded and run by western organizations, the surrounding communities typically look upon them as the "American sugar daddies" taking care of their children. Large, brightly-painted organizational names and polished plaques are prominently displayed on these buildings, further removing the local populace from a sense of ownership and community integration.

Our intent at World Orphans is to have a local indigenous church’s neighbors see the orphan care as an extension of that church’s ministry. This enables that church to have a greater attractiveness to its community. That, of course, translates into increased opportunities for outreach and ministry to those who live around the church. As such, we don’t put any World Orphans signs or donor plaques on these buildings.

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