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10 comments on “Contact

  1. Hey Phil, Kelli and team,
    I’ve really been blessed by the podcasts that you guys have been producing. I try to stay up to date with what God’s doing in orphan care and your podcast has really helped me. All your guests have been enlightening, you’ve brought in people that I’ve already heard or read and others that I’m learning of for the first time. Fantastic work, keep it up.

    I wanted to throw this out to you as it came to my mind when I was listening to your podcast last week. If you’re looking for other people to be guests on the show, I would really love to throw my hat in the ring. I feel a bit over my head to an extent because the people you interview are titans to me, people that I aspire to be like (Jedd Medefind, John Sowers, Rebecca Nhep, Rick Morton, etc.), but at the same time God’s been doing something in my family’s life and our work in Tanzania that I’d love to engage the audience with. Since you’re working with people (and are yourself) larger movers and shakers, I totally understand if you’re not looking at this time or if your schedule is already set. Just wanted to throw this out there.

    To give you context, I oversee a ministry in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania called Kingdom Families. Kingdom Families is a family-based orphan care ministry, inspiring and empowering the local church to care for orphans in their own communities, specifically in regards to foster care and adoption. I put our website below. There is no foster care system in Tanzania and KF has begun setting one up together with the social welfare department. We’re also working on establishing a culture of adoption within the church where there isn’t one (there isn’t even a Swahili for “adoption”). I came out of working at a Christian orphanage in Moshi (our hometown in Tanzania) from 2010-2012 and realized that there was a lot of work to be done to get kids into families, so that’s where we focus now. We partner with Bethany Christian Services Global (http://www.thestiversintanzania.com/2016/04/partnering-with-best-our-time-with.html) and are finalizing our membership with CAFO this week.

    My wife Melissa and I are originally from California, but Moshi has been our main home for almost seven years. We have three kids, one of whom we adopted out of the orphanage we used to work at in Moshi. I write (http://buildthiskingdom.com) and speak regularly on orphan care. I attached a couple sermons below (though I’m hoping the sermon I gave last week at a California church gets posted soon, because that’s the one I go through Romans 8:12-17). If you want to hear more, I can send other links. We are currently in CA meeting with various people and having people meet our son Moses for the first time. I figured this would be a good time to reach out to you before we return to Tanzania next month.

    That’s a whirlwind, but wanted to at least act on the impulse to contact you and see if you’re interested. I’d really love to discuss global orphan care, specifically the role of western missionaries/NGO-workers in empowering the local church. I’d also love to discuss family-based care and adoption which I’m really passionate about. Honestly there are a few podcasts I haven’t listened to just yet (9,10,13-16) but to my knowledge this hasn’t been covered in depth yet. I hope to hear back from you and let me know if this is something you’d be interested in.

    Blessings to you all and keep up the great work.

    Grace,
    Brandon Stiver

    https://kingdomfamiliestanzania.org
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj9veL5vCzA&feature=youtu.be
    http://www.cayucoschurch.org/2014/Sermons/ser%2012%2007%2014.mp3

  2. Ashley Johnston Aug 7, 2016

    Hello, my name is Ashley Johnston, I am a graduate student at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Having a passion for orphans since I was 16 years old, I fought for years my purpose in life. Now at almost 29 years of age, I am in full pursuit of a career in orphan care, particularly the foster care system in America. Currently, I am working on my MA in History, with every bit of research possible focused on orphans. In my BA and MA classes so far, I have studied special needs orphans in the USSR/Russia, specifically Downs Syndrome (since one of my sisters has DS), Russian foreign policy on international adoption looking specifically at the US adoption ban, George Muller in Victorian England, the Orphan Trains the forerunner of the foster care system in America, even a tour of Savannah with orphans as the theme providing the history of orphans in Savannah since George Whitefield in the 1700s to current homes and policies. Starting soon I will begin an independent study geared for my interests, looking at the world’s first technical orphanage (specifically built for orphans) in Renaissance Florence, Italy. So far, in my over the summer studying, I have found that their social networking and familial systems prevented child abandonment, until plagues and illegitimacy overworked that system. My ultimate goal is to change the system in America. We have too many kids in foster care, and too many of them who cannot be adopted. Once I finish my degree in May, I would like to teach high school history while I work on an online degree for a Master’s in Social Work, so I can learn the system. My missing piece to all of this is my faith. What resources would you recommend that could help me in my endeavors? I can learn the history of different cultures and time periods, I can learn the social work in our country through the government agencies, but I would like to learn from Christian experts on the subject. I honestly do not know much about the Christian realm of the orphan movement, which is sad to say. I recently, rededicated my life to Christ (as I have been fighting Him just all the way on everything), and have been out of the loop for quite some time. Who are some of the Christian leaders of the orphan movement, specifically in the American foster care system? Is the focus more on helping individual kids and church families in the fostering and adopting processes, or also in the system, that leaves kids forgotten and angry, confused and hurt? Any information or resources you can provide would be amazing! I enjoy listening to your podcast, and I look forward to hearing more of them!

  3. Cheryl Insua Jan 28, 2017

    Hi Phil and Kelly,
    I have so appreciated listening to these podcasts …on so many levels they have been challenging and thought provoking. Don’t know if you ever take suggestions for podcasts … but there is a ministry working to restore street children to their families that has captured my heart and my attention. Agape Children’s Ministry, Kisumu, Kenya. It has been in operation for over 20 years, but have transitioned to reintegrating kids to their families over the past 8 years. I visited there last summer, and their process is amazing. agapechildren.org

  4. Jephat Chifamba Feb 5, 2017

    Kelly and Philip, I am currently visiting a country with 3% Christian.(Nepal)..just got me thinking that even if they wanted too, there is not enough Christian homes to take in Children for adoption or foster care. So they are looking for Christian parents to run small homes –What Matt Storer said if i heard him right a lot adaptations locally and hearing God means its not wise to prescribe solutions globally….some will not work. I am thinking of orphanages (homes) in this case—what do you think?

  5. Faith Anderson Jun 7, 2017

    I was trying to subscribe to the news letters. I would like to know when the next part of the ‘Nine Things that can change millions of Orphan’s lives’ article continues. I got an error message saying “Can not detect authorization fo account owner. Contact site owner to resolve this issue”. So I am contacting you guys. Thanks so much.

  6. Diane Jan 2, 2018

    What a great resource for those who are serious about digging into the complex and challenging issues surrounding orphaned and vulnerable children. Thank you, Phil and Kelly, for being willing to guide us through the mase of information and point us in the right direction!

  7. Thanks for the great work you are doing. Our 12-year-old daughter is adopted and your podcast has been a helpful resource for navigating the beauty and complexity surrounding orphans and international adoption.

    I think our organization’s CEO, Gaston Warner, would be an excellent guest on an upcoming podcast episode.

    Blessings!

    Bill Cummings
    Director of Strategic Development
    919.624.5728
    WeAreZOE.org

  8. I was wondering if someone from ThinkOrphan would be interested in doing a quick interview about the show and cause for a new podcast I am launching soon called Causecasts?

  9. Dear Phil and Karen

    I am writing to thank you for initiating and hosting this podcast. I only discovered it a few weeks ago and I haven’t stopped listening to your casts since then! I wish I had discovered it earlier while we were going through our de-institutionalisation process.

    I am a doctor (paedicatric HIV) and my wife and am currently the director of Beautiful Gate in South Africa. My history is that my wife and I first started volunteering at Beautiful Gate while it was still an orphanage/HIV hospice in 1999. Eventually, through God’s amazing guidance and provision, I came to join Beautiful Gate first time, first as a doctor and later as the executive director.
    Over the past 18 years Beautiful Gate has been through a difficult process of following our beliefs to de-institutionalise our 2 Child and Youth Care Centres (orphanages) and this has created a lot of challenges and push-back – from donors, volunteers and even government. In the process we have priortised a family strengthening approach and community development practices to empower local parents and community responses and while we are now able to support over 1000 children, it has not been without it’s challenges and doubts along the way!

    I have been so encouraged to hear your podcast and hear Christians discussing difficult issues such as de-institutionalisation and short term missions, family preservation and strengthening from so many different perspectives! It has made me feel like we are not alone and has almost lifted a weight from my shoulders!

    I continue to follow your podcasts and so much enjoy being able to get connected to other organisations with a similar heart, resources that speak to our vision and ideas that shape my thinking.

    May God bless you as you continue to bring light and wisdom into Orphan care worldwide.
    Sincerely

    Vaughan

  10. Heather Nelson Aug 15, 2018

    Hello!
    I am a missionary and Pastor’s wife in Panama, working on indigenous tribes, with Deaf children. Most of the work we do is Pioneering work. I really love what I do. The culture of missionaries here is very unhealthy, and Panama, is waaay behind other countries in regards to organizations working here. Which makes the work exciting, as well as challenging. So much potential for the kingdom, and people of this country. We are independent and self funded….

    I am coming up against my own “baggage”, that is really debilitating.

    I haven’t seen a podcast focusing on this. Hurting helpers…. I am really hurting, and really trying to help….

    Thanks!
    Blessings,
    Heather Nelson,
    Chiriqui, Panama.