The connection to the western church occurs in one of two ways:
Western Churches Call Us.
Churches in the west call World Orphans (1-888-ORPHANS) asking how to get involved with orphans in the developing world. These churches are typically smaller in size and don’t have well-developed missions programs. Some large churches also fall into this category as they participate in distanced denominational programs and seek an alternative or complement – a more intimate, direct involvement in overseas cross-cultural ministry. Loving on orphans is an easy entry and mobilization point for these types of western churches.
World Orphans conducts an assessment of these churches to determine the best fit with existing or future indigenous churches and the orphan homes on their properties. These churches/homes are uncovered through our network of missions agency partners that have the feet on the ground to evaluate, present and monitor the projects. Where available, our in-country representatives assist these agencies in the identification and grant-writing process.
We Call Western Churches.
World Orphans also calls upon missions-savvy churches in the west. We ask these churches to look at their own cross-cultural relationships (missionaries, sister churches, etc.) to identify a potential project that is already connected to a missions agency relationship which can provide the ongoing monitoring. This project still goes through the World Orphans due diligence process, but is already being presented in the context of relationship and added accountability.
In this scenario, World Orphans will then fund a portion or all of the project’s construction and start-up costs (typically between $20,000 and $45,000, but up to $100,000.) The western church commits to the ongoing funding and the development of self-sustainability programs. The ongoing funding could either come out of the western church’s missions budget or through the pastor making a simple appeal to the congregation to sponsor the children individually. In either case, the congregation learns that an indigenous church, identified through their church’s own relationships, is now rescuing and caring for orphaned and abandoned children.
The beauty of the church-to-church model (besides being the most Biblical) is that it’s not just about a financial relationship. As the western church engages (or deepens its commitment to) the indigenous church, all kinds of other ministry avenues open up. Teams are sent. Leadership training commences. Communities are impacted.
Ministry starts out in the orphan context – sending teams to conduct a VBS, to provide counseling or skills training for the kids, or to simply hold traumatized children. But then medical teams go. Outreach teams go. All these serve to strengthen the indigenous church, but ultimately benefit the children as part of a wonderful synergy and expansion of ministry.
Obviously, this added church involvement strengthens the accountability and reporting pieces also as more and more feet go…as more and more eyes are on the project…as more and more hearts are connected to the pastors, live-in families, and children.
…Eventually the small cog can drop out of the mechanism as the large cogs come closer together, connect, and run smoothly in tandem for the synchronized rescue of children and transformation of communities.