Asking the right Questions

Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Training | 2 comments

When you care for orphans, asking the right questions is key. Read more>>...

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Make His Work and Our Work Your Own.

Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Orphan Care Models | 122 comments

While I’m very excited  to help anybody who wants to start  an orphanage or ministry, I realize that God doesn’t call everybody to go and start a new organization. In fact, God doesn’t call most people to start new organizations. If he did that we would each have our own organization with no team members. To God, the one who starts a new organization and the one who joins an existing one are the same.  All that matters is that each person obeys God and does what he has called that person to do.  There are many worthy organizations available that others could join as they listen to God. Most of these organizations are struggling and need help. As a loving brother, I advise you to pray and seek God about joining an existing organization. If a branch doesn’t exist where you wish to serve, consider serving with them and then later pioneering a branch after you’ve gained enough experience to do so. Again, if God calls you to start something brand new and you are certain that is God’s will and not your flesh, please do so. Because I have gotten requests from people through this website who have asked me if God’s amazing work that he is already doing through us in Africa and Austin could be their own, I wanted to write this article to answer that question. Yes, I’d love to have you come and visit and prayerfully consider making God’s work that he is already doing through us your own. When you visit or contact us, we will also get to know you to see if we are a good fit for each other. You don’t have to start from scratch but can stand on our shoulders and be able to do more. If he calls you to start something new, I will also be happy to help you do so. All I desire is that God be glorified. I’ve been serving orphans for about a decade and have done a lot of research in orphan care & management.  I also teach courses in leadership, orphan care & management, and missions at Austin Bible College. I’m committed to personally helping equip and empower others to serve orphans better and raise the standard of orphan care. If you’re considering making his work here your own, I’d love to know. Please email through this form or call 1-855-WIN-SOUL and ask to talk with me. Thank you. Sincerely, Kenneth Acha, MD Executive Director, Shaping Destiny Movement....

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A big mistake that people make when giving to the poor.

Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Orphan Selection | 6 comments

There are billions of people in this world that are kind and generous. We thank God for them. However, there are many people who also love to take advantage of them. Watch the following video from Fox News. Can this happen among orphans and poor communities? YES! I have been caring for orphans for many years now and I grew up as an underprivileged child myself. There are many poor people in need. But there are many also whose relatives could take care of them but they don’t because they want orphanages and poverty alleviation organizations to spend the money. They may do this in many ways. Here are just two of them: 1) They may deceive the organization that the child is an orphan when one or both parents are alive and living in another city, town or village. Some people do this because besides saving them money, their children may stand a better chance at succeeding in life if they are put in the right orphanage. Perhaps, a foreigner may befriend them and take them abroad or pay for them to go to the university or even marry them! 2) An orphan who has lost both parents is presented by relatives as poor even though the relatives themselves are capable of taking care of the child. The only reason they don’t do it is because they know that there are organizations that would spend the money so that they can save theirs. Sometimes, there may actually be family resources left behind by the deceased parents that could provide for the children’s needs. Note: Not all orphans need to be helped. There are some orphans who have enough resources left by their parents to take care of them. Those don’t need to be helped. A big mistake that people make when giving to the poor is to think that every poor person needs financial help! That’s usually because people haven’t learned how to diagnose the problem before solving it....

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Mission Trips or Volunteer Trips

Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Sliderimages | 7 comments

Mission Trips or Volunteer Trips

Are you or someone you know thinking of starting an orphanage or other Christian ministry that involves poverty alleviation or missions abroad? Have you been on a well planned mission trip that provided adequate training before you started serving? I believe one of the greatest mistakes that people make before going into ministry is failure to volunteer in a similar ministry to learn and serve there. It is very wise to spend at least several months doing so before deciding to launch one. I actually advise doing so for several years to gain experience and make connections. A mission trip or volunteer trip abroad is a great way to do that. I want you to leave a comment below if you have done a great and well planned mission trip in the area of your calling. If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t, what do you think are obstacles that may be preventing you from doing so? Would you like to do one? To help people like you who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, I have created an internship program through my orphan care organization that I started in 2005. We’ve learned a lot and served thousands of kids and consider it a joy to allow others to learn from us, stand on our shoulders and see further than we have done. I believe that brings great glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. If you are interested, visit Change Volunteers to Volunteer in Africa....

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Hiring the Right People

Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Training | 2 comments

If you are a leader in any industry, one of the most difficult tasks you will have is recruiting new people. This job is especially difficult for non-profits because they often don’t have the resources to thoroughly recruit, train, compensate and retain people. It becomes very imperative to properly select the right people. People who have the right heart, that will be committed to the cause. As a leader in poverty alleviation, this is crucial. Michael Hyatt, the chairman of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publisher in the world wrote a great article on this topic that I highly recommend. You can find the article here >>...

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First, Do no Harm

Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means “first, do no harm.”  This phrase is the basis of  the ethical principle of non-maleficence which medical students learn in medical school. In the care of their patients, they must first make sure they are not harming the patient. Then if they can do good, then they must.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote “The physician must … have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.” As volunteers, orphanage workers and poverty alleviation workers, we must first, do no harm – to ourselves or to the poor we are trying to serve. Second, we must do good to best of our ability. Get the best training possible so that we can give those we serve the best we can give. Don’t be deceived by what people often say. They say, anything is better than nothing. They say that people are suffering. Don’t just stand there, do something! We believe that volunteers can change the world. But this doesn’t happen at random. For a volunteer to be effective, he or she has to be the right person (well trained), working in the right place at the right time and doing things the right way. It doesn’t matter how well educated and skillful a volunteer is. If he is not trained, he will end up hurting and not helping the poor. The truth is, don’t just do something. Prepare yourself and do it well. A volunteer is a doctor to the souls and minds of poor people. This is a bigger task than simply caring for the body. All over the world, people are harming themselves and the poor in the name of helping them. Good intentions are not enough. A good heart is not enough. You must add the right interventions, at the right time, in the right way. We may say, but the poor don’t have anything better. Well, that may be true. But if you and I take advantage of that to go and give them substandard care, who do we expect to make the change to raise their standards of care to humane levels? Do we expect some angels to come from heaven and raise the standard of care of orphans so that we can simply follow that standard? They are our brothers and sisters. God has given the privilege to us to be the ones to love them as we love ourselves. We want the best for ourselves, don’t we? Then we should give them the best too. Let’s not make the switch to “anything can do” when it comes to them. You know what? Be the trail blazer, be the only volunteer who takes the time to spend months or years training and preparing yourself so that you can offer your best to the poor and reduce the chance of hurting them. Don’t let your good work stand as a testimony against you. Many people will be condemned by their mediocre standard that they show toward the poor....

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Meditating on God’s word. How to enjoy the presence of God

Posted by on June 1, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

For the past four years, I have been on a journey of meditating on God’s word. This has changed my life. I have recorded this Journey in my first book: Christian Meditation. If you ask me, I’d say that it will change the life of any Christian who reads it giving that we all need to grow in our fellowship with God. Consider this: Do you sometimes feel like there is more to the Christian life than what you are currently experiencing? Do you thirst and hunger for more encounter with God? Is everything that you are used to no longer convincing you of God’s love and power? Everything that you’ve learned seems like theory, sometimes maybe even like a fairy-tale? Christian Meditation is designed to transform your life! Do you struggle in your marriage or relationship with your spouse? This book will show you how you and your spouse can spend time meditating on God’s word. Your relationship will change as you bring God into the middle of of it by following the example in this book. God has prescribed biblical meditation as the key that will bring godly fruitfulness, success, and prosperity to the Christian life. However, we have abandoned Christian meditation to Eastern and New Age religions. This book exhorts and equips Christians to return to Christian meditation and grow in their fellowship with God. It will show you step-by-step how to enjoy fellowship with God through biblical meditation. The biblical principles that I have shared in this book have personally transformed my personal relationship with God. Yet, these principles are found right in the word of God. The bible is clear that meditation is how we have fellowship with God. It is the key to fruitfulness in the Christian life. I think many of us don’t meditate because we don’t know how to. No one has taught us. That was my case for many years. Some of us don’t meditate because we don’t know the importance of it. I think this book will help every Christian learn to have fellowship with God. Meditating hasn’t only strengthened my relationship with God, it has also transformed every part of my life. It has literally saved my marriage too. You can get a copy of the book on Amazon.  ...

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How not to be a fool

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Advice | 3 comments

For much of my adult life, I wish I heed to the following Bible verses. They may be a blessing to you. “Those who listen to instruction will prosper” Prov. 16:20 NLT “If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.” 1 Cor. 8:2 ESV. “There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.” Prov. 26:12 NLT “A wise person is hungry for knowledge” Prov. 15: 14a, NLT “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success” Prov. 15:22 “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Prov. 16:32 NLT “Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.” Prov. 16:16 NLT  ...

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Start Here

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Orphan Care | 29 comments

I have the privilege of helping answer questions from many people who want to serve orphans short-term, long-term, or even start their own orphanages or other Christian Ministry. Thousands of people come to my blogs each month, I believe sent by God, to find answers. I’ve seen some that have godly passion and others that have self-centered passion, what the Bible calls “selfish ambition or vain conceit” (Phil. 2:3 NIV). I am writing this post as a brother, out of my own past weaknesses and experience to help you the reader navigate through your journey of serving God. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide you. I’m no better than any of you. However, over the past 9 years of serving orphans fully, God has given me some experience that I need to share with you. A New Assignment After God led me to resign from my work as a medical doctor in the U.S.  in 2010, the focus that he has given me has been to use my years of experience caring for orphans to help others provide better care for orphans so that we can raise the standard of orphan care. The picture he has given me is to let others stand on my shoulders so that they can see further and do more that I have been able to do. That will glorify God. So I believe God has called me to select qualified people who are going into ministry and mentor and equip them so they can serve him better. Refining Diamonds God’s people are like diamonds in the rough that need someone to polish them so they can shine brighter and brighter. They are good seed that need good soil where they can take root, grow, bloom and bear fruit; where someone can water them and prune them so that they can bear more fruit. God uses other Christians to water and prune others. That is how he has always done it in the Bible and outside the Bible. And that’s how he does it today. Motive is crucial in serving God well In doing my job, I see that many times, truly ‘honest’ and passionate people want to serve orphans or start a ministry because of a self-centered motive. Many times, they don’t know it.  I believe the reason for this is that many of us are not broken and fully surrendered to God. When were are not broken and surrendered to God, we will be proud whether we want to or not. We who have a Christian background get really good at masking our pride. We know just the right things to say. We may even go into ministry thinking that we are motivated by God when we are not. The Bible says, knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. (1 Cor. 8:1). A person cannot know the love of God or fully love God unless they first thoroughly fear God, are broken, and have surrendered their wills completely to God. Many of us are not there yet, so our knowledge usually makes us puff up; it makes us proud. We just have good techniques of concealing it. Screening for good motive To ensure that a person’s motives are godly, I seek people who are NOT only passionate about starting their own...

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The importance of teaching skills to orphans early.

Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Advice | 6 comments

The following video by economics professor and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. James Heckman highlights the importance of teaching skills to children early in life. It determines future success. For us who are serving orphans, this becomes very crucial because these orphans depend on us for everything. We are usually all they have. The truth is that, to teach these kids these important skills that will determine their future success, we ourselves need to be trained. These skills don’t just come naturally to anyone with a good heart. A good heart is not enough. Education is important. It’s priceless. My encouragement is that we all raise the standard of orphan care and train ourselves before we start serving orphans. For a long time now, we have approached orphans with the mentality that “anything is better than nothing”. That’s not a godly mentality. God is the father of the fatherless. Orphans are God’s children too. We need to give them our best, not just anything. Let’s take the time to be trained so that we can perform our calling well. If we are not willing to spend at least two or three years training with another well established orphan organization before we can start serving orphans, we need to know that God will hold us accountable. Jesus had to train his own disciples for three years. Patience is an important virtue. When Jesus left to go to heaven, he told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come. After spending three years training with Jesus, they needed to wait for the Holy Spirit before starting their ministries. Many of us rush into orphan care without training because we say that orphans are dieing. That’s true. But when Jesus’ disciples where training for three years and also waiting for another 50 days for the day of Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit, people where dieing and going to hell. That’s a serious thing. But they had to wait. They also got to save many people working with Jesus, their mentor and teacher. Zeal without knowledge is not good, the Bible says. Instead of rushing to serve on your own, go do an internship with someone else who is running a reputable organization. Serve there and God will use you to save children with that ministry. Then when you have learned well, they will release you to go and start your own ministry. God honors that. That is wisdom! The time spent learning and serving under someone else is not time wasted at all. You will still be serving God. Yet, that time will prevent many mistakes and headaches in the future. We should note that if we are too hesitant to work under someone else for a time to learn, we may have deep issues with spiritual authority and humility. We may be very self-centered. Yes, it’s possible to serve orphans and be very self-centered. If the only orphanage one will labor at diligently is the one they have started,  there are certainly issues of self-centeredness. That kind of character makes it difficult for God to use us fully until we correct them. Passion has very self-centered tendencies. We need wisdom to tame it. The Biblical model is the model of discipleship where a person grows and...

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