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Do I Need Training to Start an Orphanage?

This post is written by Dr. Ken Acha, provost of Austin Bible Institute, and founder of Shaping Destiny, a nonprofit orphan care and poverty alleviation organization. He shares his insight and heart about orphan care, formed by 10 years of personal experience.

Orphan Care TrainingWho needs training to start an orphanage? That’s a common feeling that people have. We felt like that when we started our orphanage in Africa. A good heart doesn’t equal to help for orphans. Believe us, we are speaking from experience. We have seen people hurt poor people (especially orphans) and themselves when they are working hard and doing what they think is best to help the poor.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but, in the end, it leads to death.” Prov. 14:12

In other words, what you think is the right road may lead to death.  So let us not be too confident that we don’t stop to learn. On the contrary, we should not allow this to cause us to be too afraid to serve the poor. God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of love, power, and of a sound mind. When we labor and pursue the right things in the right way, even if we sometimes fall, the Holy Spirit will lead us to success. Note that doing things right is righteousness.

There is a proverb that says “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” (Prov. 19:2)

The NLT renders this verse as: “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” That proverb is so true. It is very easy to have a vision for serving orphans. Then we become very passionate and jump into it without proper training. Before we know it that passion burns out and then we give up. Often we are very frustrated. Even when we succeed after making too many mistakes early, the orphans miss out on the great potential that we have that is lost and settle for the little success that we have attained simply because we made the mistake of not getting proper training. But this can be avoided.

If you are starting an orphanage because you feel God is calling you to serve, you are doing a great thing. But starting an orphanage to serve orphans in God’s name (because God sent you) makes you a man or woman of God even if you wouldn’t call yourself that. Working for God is not only about good work, it is spiritual warfare and Satan will do everything in his power to frustrate the work. Satan doesn’t want orphans to be served. He wants them to remain in bondage. So going out to serve orphans is going to battle with Satan. You need to be trained and ready to spend time interceding and praying for the orphans that you serve. You also need to intercede for the work to really have a meaningful effect on the children. You want it to glorify God.Going out to serve orphans is going to battle with Satan. Click To Tweet

We will be sharing examples of cases where some of our well-meaning and smart staff have unintentionally caused irreparable harm to orphans because of their lack of training. We will use them to encourage you to get some training.

Austin Bible Institute is the first institution in the world to offer training in orphan care. As of right now, they are the only ones that we know that offer full training programs in that area.   If you find any training resources that could help someone to start an orphanage or run an existing one better, please contact us and share so that we can add it to this site to help others. We need to share information to help others serve orphans better!

Austin Bible Institute offers several certificate and degree programs designed to train people on how to serve orphans and poor people. Their programs can teach a person everything they will need to start and run an orphan care organization. Click here for more on ABI’s Orphan Care Training Programs.

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  1. I am about to set up an orphanage in Nigeria, I have no experience but the passion and commitment. It is a legacy I want to leave and believe I have been called to.
    I am presently reading all the literature available to equip myself. I believe that is not enough. I would need help.
    I would like to take a quick course as I go along so that I will be properly guided. Thank you.

    • Wenebi, have you already applied to any of our programs? We have a basic 8 week course that will teach you what is needed to start a nonprofit, such as an orphanage. There is A LOT of education needed to properly care for orphans and 1 course could not possibly do this. However, it is a good place to start…

  2. I would like to start in orphanage in U.S.A and I need some guidance. What process and documents are necessary to open a successful orphanage.

  3. I would like to start my own orphanage I’ve got a piece of land so I don’t know where to start. I need help to start building. so I need your advise and I already register for the 8weeks course. I am in South Africa.