By Scott Vair | President
Our Vision: To empower the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children – until they all have homes!
Our Mission: We equip, inspire, and mobilize the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Churches engaged. Children restored. Communities transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
These statements matter. They’re our North Star; our guide that helps to keep us on track. They articulate our vision for the future and how we are ministering to get there.
They articulate where we believe the Lord is leading us as a twenty-plus-year-old ministry. Our belief in what Scripture tells us about the church and the orphan lead us to our vision, and that plays out in our mission.
Pretty straightforward – intentionally. But the last part may require a little unpacking, so here goes.
What do we mean when we say, “churches engaged?”
Too often international relief, development, and even orphan care organizations go into a country, set up shop, hire staff, and go about doing their ministry. We believe this model misses a huge opportunity to empower the existing resource of the local church.
At World Orphans projects, our primary caregivers are locals. Through our international church partners, Home Based Care teams go and meet with families regularly to mentor, disciple, love, and care for families that have taken in orphans and vulnerable children. These teams are from the local church (groups of believers meeting regularly to worship, fellowship, pray, teach/preach, and break bread). These groups are mobilized as agents of God’s grace to proclaim the hope of the Gospel and to wholistically care for orphans and vulnerable children in their communities. They are uniquely positioned and know their culture and families best. They do the teaching. They do the feeding. They mentor, disciple, and love.
World Orphans equips and enables this ministry. We believe in doing so, we’ve not only effectively used available resources, but also empowered the local church into broader ministry, even to the individual team member who now finds a place to express their own faith in service and care for others.
Through our Church Partnership model, US and international churches share relational, cross-cultural partnerships. The churches are inspired to do life together by getting immersed into something greater than themselves - embracing true religion as described in the book of James:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).
Through partnership, these churches display love and compassion for each other as they engage in prayer, support, and care for orphans. As a result, they are stronger together than they ever could be apart.
And, finally, in US churches here at home, World Orphans works to open doors of understanding, knowledge, and response to the needs of the world. Many believers today are still unaware of the number of orphans and vulnerable children in the world and of the issues surrounding orphaning and abandonment. We believe education and knowledge are powerful, and that the reality is quite compelling. So we tell the story of the orphan over and over again, providing opportunities for believers to reach out in love … until they all have homes.
What do we mean when we say “children restored?”
We believe that lasting restoration can only be accomplished through the limitless power of the Gospel. At World Orphans, we are unashamedly Gospel focused. All we do is rooted in the fact that we are loved by a holy God who cares about us perfectly, who cares about us wholly. Our approach to orphan care seeks to reflect that.
We strive to see the church and caregivers equipped and mobilized to provide each child in our program with food, education, medical care, and counseling - ensuring each child is on a path of lifelong development. But, as important as those things are, we want to see children restored to innocence, joy, and delight. As Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” We want to help them recognize their value and true identity in Christ. We want them to understand that their past does not determine their future.
We want to see children cared for the way God intended - in families.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families...” (Psalm 68:5-6a).
We want to see children cared for in families in a way that points them to the hope of the Gospel so they can be restored eternally. They can tangibly experience the hope of God’s kingdom by receiving the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual help they need through the care of a family.
What do we mean when we say, “communities transformed by the Gospel of Christ?”
We equip and train the church to transform and revitalize their communities through God’s calling to care for orphans and vulnerable children. We inspire and encourage the church to see orphan care as the means of providing overall community transformation through Christ.
When churches are engaged and children are restored, Jesus is exalted and people are drawn to Him. People are moved from darkness into light, from eternal death to life, from deception to truth, all through the saving work of Christ.
As churches are actively involved in their communities, establishing genuine relationships, they have opportunity to share the message of the Gospel, which leads to transformation of the heart. As the community sees people in the church serving as the hands and feet of Christ, it gives a platform for the church to share why they do what they do, because of what Christ has already done.
When churches respond to God’s call to care for the orphan, children are helped, children find hope, and children meet Jesus. When the people of the church step out and serve, communities witness the love of Christ in action, reaching out among them, and they are changed. Christ, through His people, brings restoration and transformation.
Churches engaged. Children restored. Communities transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
This is the ministry of World Orphans. Will you join us?
After having better understood our mission and vision, what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you.