8 Filters for Making Wise Decisions

Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Leadership | 0 comments

Everything you do in life, whether personal decisions, ministry decisions, or interpersonal decisions, can direct — or misdirect — you. This is extremely important when leading a ministry or guiding children in orphan care. Everything we do is based on decisions and the livelihood of many other people can depend on you and the decisions you make. In this post, Dr. Kenneth Acha teaches 8 key filters for making wise decisions. Use these and hopefully they will guide you, and the children you serve, well. “Decisions determine destiny. You are where you are today because of the decisions you’ve made in the past. The decisions you are making today will determine where you will be tomorrow. The world you see around you was created through decisions. To say that learning to make wise decisions is very important is very important would be an understatement. It’s priceless. Your very life, calling, leadership, success, and fulfillment in life all depend on the decisions you make.” Read...

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You Don’t Love Someone Until…

Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Orphan Care | 3 comments

You don’t love someone until you know their weaknesses and still love them the same. We can all love a person when he or she does the kinds of things we love and agree with. But what happens when they don’t do what we want? When working with the poor or orphaned and vulnerable children, odds are they will do things that you don’t like. So, how do we react?  Our reaction to people when they do the things we don’t like tells how much we love them. If we quit or stay away from the friendship because we’ve discovered a wrong belief, habit, or position that the other person holds, it tells us that we really loved what they did but didn’t love the people themselves. Of course, I do not mean that if we are in abusive relationships, we should not leave. I’m not talking about abuse here. As a leader, you will experience what I’m talking about frequently. You influence other people. Sometimes, your weaknesses may impact them in a way that they perceive as negative without you even knowing it. Sometimes, a weakness that isn’t real but only perceived  as a weakness by a subordinate will impact them negatively. Perception is reality to them. Because you are a leader, those under you read into everything you do. They may feel threatened by your weakness and interpret that as an intentional attempt to harm them when it’s simply a weakness that you may not even be aware of. The devil is a master at magnifying these illusions in people’s heads. Sometimes, people will quit on you because of those perceived weaknesses. We must learn to acknowledge that, pray for growth when necessary and  know that we are human and there is nothing we can do to make ourselves perfect and likable by everyone. There is something that we can do that can help the situation. Be open to those around us about your weaknesses. Tell them the bad things others have brought up in us and genuinely show them where we are struggling and ask them to pray for us. We should never fake this. We must be honest and sincere and be serious about growing and improving. We can’t simply acknowledge our weaknesses that annoy, irritate or hurt others without making an effort to grow in those areas. If we don’t grow, the people we are working with will lose hope and feel that they are condemned and consigned to forever suffer the effects of that weakness. The people we work with have weaknesses. We truly love them when we know the worst about them and still love them. Yet, there are weaknesses that a person may have that the rightful and loving response would be to dismiss them lovingly and part ways with them because their weakness is hurting others in very significant ways. Even when we must part ways, we must do that in a true spirit of love. We must remember, no harm can befall us if God doesn’t permit it to. “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1...

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How to Live a Long, Healthy, and Happy Life; And Avoid Dimentia in Your Old Age

Posted by on September 4, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

You’d be surprised what the secret is to living a long, healthy, and happy life! It’s something that is available to us all…and if you can implement this into your orphan care strategy, it will change the lives of the children you serve. In this post, Dr. Kenneth Acha shares a scientifically proven key to living long and avoiding dementia in your old age. I recently listened to Robert Waldinger, the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development present this study. The study, which has been ongoing for more than 75 years is the longest such study ever done. It started with 724 from different backgrounds and tracks them yearly with questionnaires, lab tests, etc. It asks them about their work, their home lives, their health. A goal of this study was to answer the question, “What keeps us healthy and happy as we go through life?” Read...

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Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development

Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

Relief, Rehabilitation, and Development

Although I was young and inexperienced when I went on my first short-term mission trips, I was full of excitement and compassion for those in need. I wanted to help everyone I saw and I broke my heart to hear their stories and see their desperation. I remember meeting a young woman who had lost her home and was living on the street, begging for food or money. I reached into my purse and gave her some money and then prayed for her. I asked her what else she needed. I remember her looking me straight in the eyes and saying, “I need a home. I need a place to live.” Of course, I couldn’t supply for her. I felt terrible and helpless. What could I do to change her situation? This is a classic example of the difference between relief and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is, of course, not the final step but a bridge to development. Different situations require different responses: either relief, rehabilitation, or development. 1: Point of Crisis; 2: Point where Rehabilitation begins; 3: Point where Development begins Relief is the temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce immediate suffering from a natural or man-made crisis. For example, when a child is discovered to be severely malnourished and living on the streets, her immediate needs may be a safe place to stay, immediate medical care, and nutritious food to nurse her back to health. Counseling, therapy, schooling, etc. can come later. Rehabilitation begins as soon as the immediate needs are met, and is purposed to restore people to where they were before the crisis occurred. Notice the diagram above: once rehabilitation is complete, the highest point in that line is even with the path the individual was on before the crisis (marked by a lightning bolt) hit. A key difference is that relief is mostly assistance provided to helpless people while rehabilitation works with victims or the community to empower them in participating in their own recovery. For example, that child who was discovered malnourished and abandoned may begin meeting with a counselor and therapist who can help them understand and deal with their trauma. A pastor or mentor can begin loving on them and revealing to them who they are in Christ Jesus. She can be re-enrolled in school so she can begin learning again and growing mentally and socially…back to where she was before she was abandoned and left to starve. The child is not just sitting back receiving things. No, she is an active participant in this process and so is the community. Getting the community involved in key to this sustainable and relational step. This is the bridge between relief and development. Development is the process of ongoing change that moves people closer to being in right relationship with God (spiritual growth), with each other (social growth), with themselves (emotional growth), and with the world around them (material growth). It is a process that people do with each other, not simply for each other. For example, placing the child with a loving, stable, Christian relative (or family) in her community will allow her to continue to develop farther than she was even before tragedy struck. She will continue upward to mature as an individual, have a sense of belonging, learn how to work...

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7 Steps to Creating Last Positive Change

Posted by on August 21, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

The children that you work with are probably going through a major change in their lives, or they need to. Whether you are helping place them with a family, putting them in a transition home, or helping provide relief to their situation they have probably gone through some sort of traumatic event that is drastically changing their life…for the worse. In this blog post, however, Dr. Kenneth Acha talks about 7 steps to creating positive change in your life. As you read, be thinking about how you can implement this into your orphan care. “Every new year we set new goals to create life changes that we believe would make our lives better. Most of us don’t make it through the first month. We all know how it feels when we fall off the bandwagon. It doesn’t help our self-confidence or our self-esteem. Deep inside, we all desire to be able to make commitments to positive change and stick with them.” Read...

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When the Center Cannot Hold and Things Fall Apart

Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

When it comes to caring for orphans, you get to see the true hardship of ministry – the fact that as much joy and fulfillment as it can bring, it can be a very scary and exhausting venture. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you had planned. How does that happen? In this blog post, Dr. Kenneth Acha shares about some possible causes for things “falling apart”. “Think of a moment in your life when your center could not hold and things fell apart. What do you think was the cause? I’ve discovered three common things that often throw people’s worlds upside down.” Read...

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Hosting a Fundraising Event – What Management Systems Are Needed?

Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

So you’ve got a plan for your fundraising event, you see the vision, you know what winning looks like, and you are gathering a team of rock stars to help you get there. Now what? How do you put all these pieces together? How do you actually implement your plan? This is where some management systems come in. We’re at the last step in the planning strategy for your fundraising event. Over the course of this series we’ve learned about setting goals, determining your playing field, planning for your success, putting capabilities in place, and now we’re going to discuss the management systems that are needed to ensure those capabilities are supported. We’ve talked about how capabilities have to do mostly with the type of people on your team – staff members, a planning committee, or a group of volunteers – and the specific skills and talents that these people bring to the table – customer service, web development, registration organization, etc. Each of the capabilities needs to work together and collaborate in the right way. And management systems help this collaboration and smooth interaction for your fundraising event. Management systems are the ships that will carry your crew, your captain, and all your supplies to your treasure. These include a website or landing page to advertise your event, a payment platform so people can donate or register online, an ad for volunteers, or a peer-to-peer fundraising platform to generate engagement among your donors. You will need to know the desired capabilities to determine these management systems and vice-versa. Knowing one component will lead to the other. If you know you need a landing page to display information about your bake sale (management system), then you know you’ll need someone who can create and manage a page (a capability). Let’s take Shaping Destiny’s Ultimate Frisbee for the Fatherless Tournament for example. Two of their management systems would be the landing page on their website and the peer-to-peer fundraising page for their donors and participants. Of course, they had someone who had the capability to create the landing page as well as set up the peer-to-peer fundraising platform. The landing page is used to display general information about the fundraising event (time, date, info, FAQs, sponsors, etc.) as well as a promo video and links to register, donate, or volunteer. But they didn’t want to stop there. They wanted to have an event with some excitement to it and they decided that peer-to-peer fundraising would be just the thing! Their Frisbee players could share their campaign on social media, ask others to donate, and keep track in real time of their progress. This online portion of the event all of a sudden wasn’t simply a stagnant landing page…it became alive. So, the peer-to-peer fundraising page is used to have teams and participants sign up, collect donations, and track the progress of the fundraising event all while being easy to use and shareable! So as you plan out what type of event you want and who you need to help plan it, also be thinking what supporting management systems you’ll need to manage everything and ensure your event is a success! This post is written by Stephanie Eitzen, a staff member at Shaping Destiny who is heavily involved in fundraising and advocating on behalf of...

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The 5 Conflict Resolution Styles or Modes

Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Leadership | 0 comments

A few years ago, Dr. Kenneth Acha created a video lesson on the five conflict resolution styles for a conflict transformation course offered at Austin Bible Institute. It’s a great overview of the different styles or modes of handling conflict. When working with anyone – adults, children, family, community members, etc. – odds are you will run into some conflict. Part of being an effective orphan care worker is learning how to deal with conflict. View the programs offered by Austin Bible Institute that include this course in their...

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The Ultimate Dream Killer

Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Orphan Care | 0 comments

So, you have a dream? Perhaps to start an orphanage, an orphan care ministry, or foster a child? How do you protect that dream from the snares and weeds of this life? In this TED Talk, Barbara Sher shares what she thinks the ultimate dream killer is…

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Hosting a Fundraising Event – What Capabilities Are Needed?

Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Orphan Care | 3 comments

If you’re following along in our Hosting a Fundraising Event series, we’re now entering into the last couple steps of strategy. Why is any of this important to you? Well, if you are attempting to start or run a non-profit, care for orphans, and advocate for those in need…fundraising is crucial to enabling your programs to continue and your ministry to grow. By now, you’ve set your goal, determined where you will set up, and considered how you will succeed. Now, you will be establishing what capabilities you’ll need for this event. Capabilities have to do mostly with the type of people on your team. These could be staff members, a planning committee, or a group of volunteers. More specifically, the capabilities you’ll need are specific skills and talents that people bring to the table. For example, you may need someone who has customer service experience or a friendly demeanor to handle the registration table at your 5K. Or you may determine that you need a great promoter to help spread the word about your gala and invite the right people. And while you definitely want the right people on your team with the right skills, having a group of “super stars” is not enough. Each of the capabilities need to work together and collaborate in the right way. Determining these capabilities will help you choose the proper actions that are needed as you prepare and plan for your fundraising event. If you know you need to spread the word and get people to register for your event, then you would know you need someone with the capability of mobilizing, encouraging, and marketing. This will then lead you to build the right team and lead your team to plan how they’re going to get people to attend. Use the following questions to get you on the right track of determining the necessary capabilities: How are we going to spread the word? >> We need a promoter or someone in charge of posting flyers, making calls, inviting individuals What marketing or promotional materials do we need? >> We need someone with design skills to create flyers or handouts, make a Facebook event or social media graphic How will people register or sign up? >> We need a team member who has basic knowledge of creating landing pages, sign up forms, accepting payments, etc. How are we going to pay for upfront costs? >> We need someone who is passionate and outgoing, perhaps with a sales background, to approach businesses or individuals to sponsor the event Who will help ensure the event runs smoothly? >> We need a coordinator who can manage volunteers. These people need to be friendly, approachable, flexible, available, and great representatives of the cause. These are just some of the questions that you should be considering that will help you plan effectively. What other capabilities do you think you may need? Comment below to share your insights…   This post is written by Stephanie Eitzen, a staff member at Shaping Destiny who is heavily involved in fundraising and advocating on behalf of the orphans and families they...

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