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The Importance of Doing An Internship in orphan care.

Posted by on April 15, 2013 | 2 comments

If I was to turn back the hands of time and restart an orphanage again, what things will I do differently? In this post I will share one thing. In future posts, I will share more things.

Mentoring in Orphan CareI will do an internship of at least one year at another successful orphan care organization before launching mine. God doesn’t train capable leaders in a vacuum. He puts them under somebody he trusts to serve and be trained. Look at Moses training Joshua. Elijah training Elisha. King David working under King Saul even when Saul tried to kill him. Look at John the Baptists and his disciples, Jesus and his disciples, Paul the apostle and his disciples like Timothy and Titus. There is so much that we can learn by working as an assistant manager in another orphanage.

There was an intelligent student who wanted to become a medical doctor. He studied hard, took the required tests and passed and was admitted into a prestigious American medical school. In this medical school, the first two years are spent studying basic sciences. Students don’t go to the hospital. Hospital work starts in the third year. Medical school costs about 40,000 (forty thousand dollars) each year. Students have to borrow this money to do so. In the third year, this student started seeing patients. His first visits where in clinics that didn’t include him seeing or touching blood. At the end of the third year, he started his surgery rotation. On the first day, the student fainted when he saw blood during surgery a surgery he was assisting on and was rushed to the hospital.  After that, he tried again and fainted and soon realized that he couldn’t handle seeing blood or working with it. He had to quit medical school at the end of the third year. He was now in 120,000 dollars of debt that he had to still work and pay, yet he couldn’t be a doctor. He wished that he had done an internship with a doctor in a hospital before deciding to apply to medical school. That would have saved him three years of hard work and 120,000 dollars of loans.

Many of us who start orphanages are like this young medical student. We feel really strongly that we are called to care for orphans. But we lack the wisdom to go about it correctly. True wisdom would caution us to take some time and volunteer and serve orphans under someone else, learn from them so that we can serve orphans well on our own. Why would we want to rush into starting our own orphanage without learning under someone else? Which one is easier? Jumping into starting our own orphanage or applying the same effort to serving orphans with someone else for one year so that we can learn from them? If it’s really about serving orphans, it’s better to do an internship with someone else first and learn. If that person was serving 50 orphans, we can tell her to increase the number to 60,  75 or 100 so that we can join her and serve. Then whatever ways we were going to believe God and raise funds to do our own thing alone, do it with her.

To God, all that matters is that we use godly wisdom and serve orphans. Yes, our own orphanage is a good idea. But isn’t it good to be patient just for one year to learn? Besides, we will be serving orphans anyway. It sounds so right and simple, but why would anyone not want to do it? Honestly, many of us are very selfish. We are so selfish that we end up suffering because of our selfishness. If we went and sacrificed to serve orphans with someone else, told them we were going to serve for one year before going to start an orphanage, God will bless us and we will learn from them. Many people will share connections and wisdom with us. Besides, if we are so selfish that we don’t want to serve under someone else, do we expect God to send others to come and serve under us? What if every body started their own orphanage by themselves? God has a way of disciplining us when we have that mentality. And many of us don’t even know that we have that mentality–that is worse. We just know that we can’t volunteer to serve at another place before going on to start our own orphanage.

Another reason is impatience. We are too impatient to wait. We are like a student who wants to be a medical doctor so bad that he is willing to skip medical school (where he should be trained) and just get the job of a doctor in the hospital. He don’t care so much if patients die because he doesn’t do his job as a doctor well.  As long as he is a doctor and is getting the benefits of being a doctor, he is fine. He can hug patients, give them food, etc.

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  2. I agree with you, internship programs are so important when it comes to orphan care! I had gone on a few short term missions and thought that I was ready to go and live overseas for a long period of time to care for orphans. Boy was I wrong! I felt God move on my heart when I first volunteered abroad, but the trip was so short that only a seed was planted…but I had actually learned very little about effective orphan care. Taking the time to be trained and work under someone who is knowledgeable and experiences is one of the best ways to be prepared before jumping in to begin work of your own.

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