In Episode 79, we re-visit Season 3 and share with you excerpts from the Top 10 episodes of Season 3, based on downloads, comments, and feedback during 2017. The link to each episode (or episodes in the case of two-part episodes) is available below, and we hope that you continue to learn from our incredible guests after hearing the clips from their interviews. There are so many reasons why these episodes were the most popular in 2017, and one of our hardest jobs was to find one clip from each episode to share. We look forward to hearing your feedback and hope that you’ll review and rate the show on iTunes if you haven’t done so already.


10) Mike Douris: Episode 68 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Mike provides his take on the complex and difficult issue of the residential orphanage debate. In the interview, he also discusses his view on mission trips, foster care, and other lessons he has learned in his four decades of orphan care experience. We know that his wisdom and expertise will challenge you to think more deeply about issues central to how we care for orphaned and vulnerable children.


9) Dr. Paul David Tripp: Episode 70 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Dr. Tripp discusses Ambassador vs. Owner mentality in parenting. In the rest of the interview, he draws from his pastoral and parenting experience and research to talk about the importance of having a Biblical worldview, eternal perspective, and awe of God, two key ingredients of a successful marriage, how parenting adopted children is different from parenting biological children, and the importance of a father in a child’s life.


8) Krish Kandiah: Episode 57 [ listen to full episode here. ]

This clip provides us with a different take on vetting of refugees that we expect will challenge you to think differently about our refugee brothers and sisters around the world. In the rest of the episode, which kicked off our Refugee Crisis series, Krish shares with us the Biblical call to love refugees, the interconnected between the refugee crisis and the care of orphaned and vulnerable children, and how we all can get involved in alleviating the refugee crisis.


7) Tom Lukasik: Episode 48 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Tom gives us a glimpse into some of the lessons he has learned in his decades of fostering experience and what he wishes he would’ve known when he started fostering. In the rest of the episode, he shares how his organization in Florida cares for women in crisis pregnancies and children aging out of care, and how we can help pastors and churches fulfill their call to love orphaned and vulnerable children around the world.


6) Jeff Sandefer: Episodes 53 and 54 [ listen to full episode here, and here. ]

In these two clips (one from Part 1 and one from Part 2 of his interview), Jeff talks with Phil about 2 of the 3 things that drive the disruptive education being lived out every day at The Acton Academy. He shared the first driving factor earlier in the interview, but you’ll have to listen to the entire episode to find out what it is. The second clip covers the influence of a parent’s attitude on a child’s education. In the rest of the interview, Jeff shares about how The Acton Academy differs from traditional education, why it is important to fail early, cheaply, and often, the power of collaboration, the components of a Hero’s Journey, and what all students must be able to ask and answer to truly succeed and flourish.


5) Michael Miller: Episodes 46 and 47 [ listen to full episode here, and here. ]

In these two clips from each part of this two-part interview with Michael Miller that kicked off Season 3, Michael blew us away with wisdom drawn from his research and experience making Poverty, Inc. and the Poverty Cure series, sharing about why we need to have a heart for the poor AND a mind for the poor in the first clip. In the second one, he speaks to something that we talk about a lot on this show: the interconnectedness of family strengthening (and other issues) and poverty alleviation, and he talked about how the orphanage system in Haiti is actually creating incentives to give their children away. In the rest of the interview, Michael discusses the real causes of poverty around the world, what is wrong with our poverty alleviation efforts around the world and how we can remedy the situation, potential issues with child sponsorships, what religion, culture, family, trust, and worldview have to do with poverty, and how we can discern who to collaborate and partner with around the world.


4) Dr. Sharen Ford: Episode 49 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Dr. Ford of Focus on the Family talks about the importance of family and a father in a child’s life. In the rest of her conversation with Phil, she shares with deep passion about how we can care for orphaned and vulnerable children, including with “ear hustle” and the circle of balance. She also shares with us about wrap-around care, and how we all can take care of the orphaned and vulnerable without fostering or adopting. If she doesn’t encourage and inspire you to action, we don’t know what will.


3) Peter Greer: Episode 55 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Peter shares about how thinking about our mortality impacted his life and hopefully will impact ours in ways that help us to fulfill our purposes that matter in the eternal perspective. In the rest of this episode on self-care, Peter talks about why busy isn’t necessarily a good thing, how hurriedness can sabotage relationships, how we can protect ourselves from sacrificing family at the altar of ministry, and how we can avoid “Mission Drift” in our lives and organizations.


2) Kent Annan: Episode 50 [ listen to full episode here. ]

In this clip, Kent shared about what a Haitian proverb can teach us about focus and justice, and three critical questions to ask before every mission trip. This interview also draws from Kent’s experiences around the world to cover how we can engage the refugee crisis effectively, how we effectively respond to disasters in short-term and long-term ways, the five practices for doing justice, and how we can participate in the important work of “Truthing” in our global work with orphaned and vulnerable children.


1) Delia Pop: Episodes 51 and 52 [ listen to full episode here, and here. ]

In this clip from Part 1 of our most downloaded episode of Season 3, Delia discusses one side of the biggest debates in orphan care today: the problems with orphanages. And in the answer immediately following the one in this clip in the full interview, she addresses the other side of the debate. Again, though, you’ll have to listen to her interview to hear her thoughts on it. The second clip discusses the importance of collaboration and what it actually looks like in practice. The rest of this interview covers the important topics of deinstitutionalization, child-headed households, how to care for orphaned and vulnerable children aging out of care, community hubs, poverty alleviation, short-term missions trips, and five steps that will help us work cross-culturally with others to develop strategies that work in each specific culture and country where we are working.

As with all of our episodes, we look forward to hearing your feedback on these interviews and all of the other great content in the episodes represented in this list and over the rest of Season 3. We love that you’re a part of the Think Orphan community and couldn’t do all of this without your engagement and support!



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