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Why all are welcome into my “start an orphanage” course

Start an OrphanageThere have been some questions about why I don’t have any requirements for people taking my “start an orphanage” course. The following is my reason.

When Jesus saw potential disciples who were strangers, he would tell them, “come follow me” ( Matt. 4:18-22; Mark 10:17-21). Jesus had no educational requirements or even a clearly stated type of work experience you had to have to be his disciple. He invited people from all walks of life to follow him. The invitation was to come and learn, not to come and be an apostle–the people Jesus hand-picked as qualified to lead his church. At some point, Jesus had thousands of disciples. The invitation to come and learn–disciple means student, pupil, follower etc–did not mean that Jesus was certifying them as ready for ministry as a missionary (apostles are missionaries). No, after training his disciples for years, he finally selected 12 people whom he called apostles. Those were the qualified ones. It was to them (the remaining eleven apostles) that he gave the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, not to the thousands who had followed him before.

Jesus even asked the 12, “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:67). This shows that he was even open to the 12 leaving and not continuing through if they chose to. Coming to learn from Jesus wasn’t a guarantee that you will remain until you go to serve him as an apostle. It was an opportunity to come and learn and decide for yourself whether you wanted to continue or not; in short, whether that line of work was what you thought or was something you wanted to pursue. No doubt, the disciples viewpoints were changed for the better as they followed Jesus. Many of them thought Jesus was going to take over the kingdom at the very time and free them from Roman oppression. They learned that it was not so. They learned that to be first, they had to be slaves of all, etc.  In fact, the changing of minds is what learning is all about. If you take a class and never have your perception of things challenged and changed for the better, what have you really learned? As it was for Jesus, there is also no requirement that we impose on people to come and learn except that they feel called of God to serve orphans and of course are proficient in English, the language of instruction. All are welcome, believers and non-believers alike.

* Jesus did something interesting to note here. Before choosing 12 of his many disciples to be his apostles, he spent the entire night praying before making that decision. Luke 6:12-13 records it saying, “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.” Jesus first invited people to be disciples (students). He taught them and spent time with them. Afterward, he agonized in prayer all night before choosing 12 of them to be apostles. But how did he choose disciples, he seemed to have simply invited people to come and learn.

This course invites people to come and learn!

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4 Comments

  1. If “all are welcome” and there are no requirements to take this 8 week course, why do I have to do these –

    Reply of ABI (8/17/2015)

    We have received your completed application for enrollment in our Start an Orphanage course ………

    The class starts August 24th and there are a few steps that need to be taken before we can determine whether you admit you or not. This being said, please complete the following steps as soon as possible.

    Completing “interview questionnaire and reference questionnaire”

    After completing. I received this email from ABI (8/18/2015)

    This is to inform you that your application packet has been submitted to our admissions committee and you will be notified within the next 5 business days of our decision regarding your acceptance. Thank you!

    • Luisa,
      That’s a great question. We say “all are welcome” to ensure that despite applicants age, gender, previous education, etc. they are welcome to apply. We are an institute of higher education and have simple procedures for all new students. Things like interview questionnaires help us get to know our students better and make informed decisions for whether we think they are who we would like in our student body. Everyone who applies, regardless of their program, goes through the same steps.

  2. Iam in zambia, a school teacher, intending to start an outreach orphanage. but i have no financial capacity. Curently iam taking care of four (4) double orphans, one boy and three girls at my home, feeding and educating them using my little resources. The question is, how can can i source for extra funds to support more orphans out there?

    • Hello Raphael,
      Thank you for the heart that you have for orphans. Not many people take the time and make the sacrifice that you are making. There are many fundraising methods. However, the one you use will depend on your context and what God is leading you to do. What I suggest is that you start by building a team that can work with you to raise support. Then together with the team, figure out which ways would be best for you in your situation.
      Thanks