How not to be a fool

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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The importance of teaching skills to orphans early.

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...

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The Right People are Key, Not Money

I get many questions on this website from loving people who want to start an orphanage. By far, their greatest want is money to start an orphanage. In another post, I advised that it’s better to start an orphan ministry with other people that have the same passion than to do it alone.You may say, “But I don’t have anyone to join me.” That’s a good response. But realize that in many cases, the success of the organization you start depends on having the right people early. It may take time, but pray and work hard to find them. This website gets over one thousand two hundred people visiting each month who want to start and orphanage and serve God. This is a good place for these people to connect. Instead of staring an orphanage alone, you can connect with the right people that have the same passion and are compatible with you. People who are willing to fight and die with you and also share the control and power with you. Look at it this way. In a military, what is more important? Having money or having high technology or having the right people? It’s having the right people. You must first have the right people before money or technology can matter. Many people don’t want to start an organization with others who are co-founders because they are afraid and want to maintain control. That’s a bad, selfish and often ungodly decision. I advise seeking God’s face and asking him to give you people. Watch this video by leadership expert Jim Collins and see how he articulates the same point....

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Why You Should Take A Course on Effective Teaching

If you plan to work in an orphanage, I recommend that as part of your training you take a class on how to effectively teach children. You may not be the full-time teacher of the children. However, if you are in charge of the future of 20, 30 or more children, it is crucial to make every interaction count to enhance their future success. Watch this short video....

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How to Choose an Orphanage Internship Program

One of the things I advice people to do when trying to start an orphanage or get into another area of orphan care is to do an internship in an orphanage. But BE CAREFUL with your choice of an orphanage. To get the maximum benefit, it has to be an orphanage run very very well. Why? Imagine that you are interested in being a medical doctor. You randomly choose a hospital to do an internship. You go to a hospital that is horrible; everything is a mess, the doctors are not well trained, there are no competency standards and nurses and doctors don’t care at all. What kind of experience will you get? You will get a different experience from someone who went to a well-run hospital with very loving and knowledgeable physicians. You want to learn in the process from people who do it WELL, not merely be in an orphanage. Where you go is more important than going at all....

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Co-founders better than one founder

Google Facebook Microsoft Yahoo What do they have in common? They have co-founders. There are numerous other businesses that start with multiple co-founders. YES, there are businesses that fail with co-founders and others that succeed with single founders. However, even when there is a single founder, the founder must quickly bring other people on board to share responsibility and power. ¬†Without that, the company would have a hard time succeeding. Believe this and it will save you a lot of trouble: People are motivated to sacrifice their all by either large sums of money or great passion and ownership of a project. For a company to succeed, we need at least three passionate people. A product creator A marketing person A financial manager Research has shown over and over again that one person cannot do all of these things. A single individual can’t even adequately do two of them no matter how gifted he or she is. He can only do one well. I believe that God has made us like that so that we can use our gifts to serve each other, to build each other up for his glory. This is true for for-profit and nonprofit businesses alike. The problem of finding the right people to join the team is relatively easy for-profit businesses because they have the financial resources to bring on competent executives. They are able to give them large salaries and company shares. These executives are motivated by both money and the purpose of the business corporation. Large non-profit organizations (including Christian ministries), are also often able to pay their executives well. Some of them pay their senior executives to the tune of millions. What do you do as a small non-profit start up that doesn’t have the money? Offer people the opportunity be a part of founding the organization so that they have the sense of ownership that will motivate and encourage them. If the organization is already founded, then create an environment where everyone working genuinely feels like they own a part of the work, it is their work as well. ¬†This may mean that you have to be patient, pray, research and CAREFULLY find other people with the same passion. Invite them to join you in the creation of the organization. Don’t create it and then invite them. Invite them to be co-founders. Give them the sense that it’s their baby as well as yours. That could quickly bring some core group of passionate people that will handle different responsibilities of the nonprofit as it grows. If you are a single founder, don’t despair. All hope is not lost. I am a single founder too. But I have set things up...

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