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The importance of teaching skills to orphans early.

Posted by on May 5, 2013 | 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 learns from someone else and then goes of and does their own thing. The anointing that is imparted in those cases is very important.

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  1. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks!

  2. This video was very helpful! I think developing good qualities within a child at a young age is so important for their future. Even in early teenage years, things like responsibility, respect, and obedience are necessary for children growing up into mature, conteibuting members of society.

  3. I like this site very much, I am truly convinced that in the days ahead I will have an orphanage, but where to start from?clueless. I am learning all that I can , as I read in here that passion without knowledge is not good. I also believe that as an orphanage you cannot always rely on the help from else where. every time I see orphanages on TV or the internet I makes me cry and this is the very thing that created a passion within me to do something different. I believe with the help of the almighty God to start an orphanage that will be able to provide for itself. It is possible, we just need to have a revelation. because some times those we count on they have nothing to give so what are we going to do? then, I have a lot to say but will stop here for the moment.

    Thank you again

    • Hello Cletous,
      Reading over all the information on this website is a terrific way to start. Another thing we always strongly advise is that you receive training of some kind before you begin an orphanage or providing care. You may receive training with us through Glory Bible College or another organization that may suit your needs as well.

  4. This post is helpful! My husband and I feel called to start an orphanage/school and serve the larger community where we are called. Thank you for allowing God to use you to provide wisdom to people like us. In the articles that I’ve read on your blog, you speak about the many mistakes that can be when people don’t get proper training. Could you provide some examples/specifics of these possible mistakes?

    • Hello Lisa,
      Thanks for your comment. I thank God for using me to bless you. Your question is a great question. I’m a medical doctor by training and so when I look at a question like that, there is a lot to say from physical health problems, to psychological health, spiritual health etc. I will do several posts to talk about them in the future as God gives me time. The video in this post talks about the fact that the future success of children is determined by proper training in skills early on. That alone is a HUGE reason to get training so that we can provide those skills to them. But also, MOST truly suffering children are malnourished. How do you feed a malnourished child? There are many children whose lives have been destroyed in an orphanage because they didn’t get the proper nutrition when they where malnourished. The solution to malnutrition isn’t just giving them food or a lot of food. You need to know what kinds of foods and how often. On the healthcare side of things. Most people who start orphanages don’t know when to take the child to the hospital. What do you do when a child starts having a seizure in front of you? What temperature should you worry about? What symptoms should you worry about? Access to medical care is low so people can’t just take the child to the hospital for everything. There is no money for that. But one needs to know when the child will die if they don’t. You don’t need to be a doctor or nurse to learn this. But you can’t simply know it without training either. There is a lot more problems…

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