Moving Beyond Our Backyard
When Backyard Orphans was established in 2011, the mission was determined with both national and international churches in mind. It’s always been the goal to see local churches caring for the kids in their own backyard. Texas helping Texas’ kids. New York helping New York’s kids. Guatemala helping Guatemala’s kids. You get it. We knew what God was starting in the United States, He wanted to take around the world.
“When the plane touched town in Honduras, I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to the work God helped us accomplish in Guatemala for the last decade. I was grateful to have waded in the shallow end of international orphan care, but this opportunity was like jumping in the deep end! And it all started with a conversation at a Backyard Orphans booth.
‘We need your help in Honduras,’ Tara, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Identity Missions said to me. Through our conversation, it became clear that we shared the same mission. For nine years, Tara and her team at Identity Mission had been working to engage local Honduran pastors in foster care and adoption ministry. Was this God leading us to officially launch the international side of Backyard Orphans? We couldn’t wait to see what God had in store through this new opportunity.”
The road to Honduras was full of checkpoints and preparation. The biggest hurdle to overcome was the language barrier. How could we guarantee that our strategic language would not become lost in translation? We needed to ensure that our translators were emphasizing Biblical and Church language over government language. We also had to find a way to help pastors see the value of placing hurting children in healing homes. In some cultures, orphanages are the only solution known. In others, children are placed in families but are treated more like servants. But God’s way of adoption is different. Psalm 68:6 says that God places the lonely in institutions? No, “God sets the lonely in families!”
When all of the preparations were made, it was time to book the flights. As a team, we hold to the motto, find the activity of God and be a part of it. While this was a financial leap of faith, we were confident that God was in it!
“Faith is lived in the deep end of the pool. I had never been to another country, let alone taught in one! I pushed through feelings of insecurity. I worked to set aside my fears of inadequacy. Could I successfully teach cross-culturally? The answer? God gave me everything I needed. And not only did he guide me through, but he increased my confidence to a level far greater than it was before! The cracked door of Backyard Orphans’ international ministry was about to be flung wide open.
God was so faithful to our team as we ministered to the Honduran pastors. We were not only bringing them inspiration, but information on how to develop foster care, adoption, and support ministries in their local churches. We were telling pastors things they’d never heard before, and it was exhilarating to witness their reaction. We look forward to hearing the miracle stories that will come from the Honduran church orphan care ministries, and we are believing that one day there will be more families waiting for children than children waiting for families in Honduras!
We know that our work in Honduras is just scratching the surface of what God wants to do internationally through Backyard Orphans! God has given us the vision and opportunity to help the world reach the kids in their own backyard. Now, we need the partnership and provision to see it through. We believe one day God will bring in the funds to build out an international department in Backyard Orphans. Would you consider being a part of this initiative?
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
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