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 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 learns from someone else and then goes of and does their own thing. The anointing that is imparted in those cases is very important.