What is an Orphan?

Armenian_orphans_in_Aleppo_collected_from_Arabs_by_Karen_JeppeWhat is the definition of an orphan? I know this sounds pretty straightforward but depending on who you talk to the definition of what an orphan is can vary widely. Most people assume that an orphan is a child that has no parents. But orphan can also define many other situations where the child might have a parent or two; they just aren’t around to care for the child. Both UNICEF and World Vision define an orphan as a child who has lost one or both parents. Continue reading

“I’d Rather Help Kids in America.”

colorchildIt doesn’t happen often, but now and then, people have an odd reaction when they hear that I work at an orphanage in Mexico. They say, “I’d rather help kids in America.” This statement brings up so many uncomfortable and unhealthy issues. The snarky side of me really wants to say, “Great, what are you doing for kids in America?” I can almost guarantee they aren’t doing anything for anybody. Continue reading

Your Missions Project Doesn’t Matter

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If you’re organizing or participating on a short-term mission trip, you probably spend a lot of time raising money or planning for your “project.” Your project might be building a house, roofing a dorm in an orphanage, or some other physical way to assist in a needy community. These projects are necessary and a huge blessing, but they are not what is most important. It’s good to recognize this, discuss this, and encourage your missions team to remember why they go. Ultimately, it’s all about representing Jesus well. Continue reading

Some People are More Equal Than Others

richObviously, the last few weeks have been new and scary for everyone. The lock-downs, the businesses closing, and the quarantining are where everyone is focused (from a safe distance). One of the countless reactions has been anger at all of the celebrities and professional athletes that could get tested for COVID-19 while so many others couldn’t. They’re connected and have the resources most of us can only look at from afar. We sit and imagine what it would be like to live like them. They are the powerful 1% everyone talks about. While you might not think about it, if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the 1%. Continue reading