So, there’s been this discussion about charity and what should one do when faced with beggars. But one of the undercurrents of that conversation is what should people say about their own charity. So I’d like that address that first. Pardon my thought process, but usually I go to the Bible first, and what I get from it adds up to: don’t let yourself get puffed up over it. Don’t start thinking you are better than others or think less of anyone because of what you do or they do in regards to helping others (or anything else for that matter). But this notion that we should not talk about our charity (and in particular those who’s whole lives are acts of charity) is wrong-headed – sinful even. Factually discussing the events of your life without false humility or attempting to Lord it over another person is always acceptable. There is no such thing as "Humblebragging." If you are truly humble, you aren't bragging, and if you are not humble, then it is false humility or pride that is the issue. People that promote the idea that you should never ever talk about your charitable work or giving are, for the most part, merely embarrassed by it (or their lack of doing it). Not talking about it discourages others from doing things, from knowing what can be done. Indeed, one thing I would say about my own work is that anyone could do it. There is absolutely nothing special about what I do. And if you think for a second I come to YT for affirmation, you’ve clearly not read any of the responses to anything I’ve ever posted there. Believe me when I say that I get a lot of unwanted affirmation for what I do from my home church and from my co-workers. My experience with people that tell you they admire what you are doing or are thankful for it are only going to ask you to reach higher and do more. And I confess I am perhaps one of the laziest people I know and have no desire to do any more than I am already doing. I can’t help but note that I’ve heard people *say* that the people they know that do a lot of charity never talk about it. The only truth there is that I don’t bring it up very often at all: because people are always asking me about it. It’s all my family and friends back home seem to ever want to talk about. The ask me to give speeches, sermons and teach about it. So in that respect, I’m happy when people want to talk about something else, its become one of the reasons I come to YT. The fact that my life revolves around it still causes it to come up with some degree of frequency, just as whatever you do for a living does also.
So on to what I actually am doing? The thing I don't do: I do not proselytize. First of all, that would be illegal, and we run a very legal government registered orphanage and school here. I realize that the word proselytize might get interpreted differently by different people, so I’m going to clarify a bit. In the sense that I am a Christian and espouse Christian viewpoints, yes I guess I do. In the sense that I go out and try and talk people into being saved or preach on the corner, no. No child from here is turned away because of their faith or lack of it. Many children here go on to practice Islam, some practice Christianity as adults, others atheism. Would any of these kids ever know anything about Christianity if we were not here? Probably not. But then, since all of these children are rejected as product of sin (and therefore are sin themselves) and not allowed a family name of their own and would likely be dead by the time they reached adulthood if we were not here, I’m not feeling we are infringing on anything there. I don’t preach to the kids, I don’t hold church services for the kids, I don’t even run a youth group for them. Like when I taught in public US school, if a kid asks me, I’ll tell them what I think on faith. Otherwise, I say nothing that they wouldn’t hear in a public school from anyone else (you can talk about God/Creator here). But even that: as an opinion, not as fact and it is only that I might bring it up first. Now, WHY I do it has everything to do with my faith, and that’s the same with everyone here. It is a Christian mission group. But then, I’d hope every Christian does everything they do to glorify God (or at least makes that attempt) whether they are a construction worker or a Church pastor.
So what do I do and how did I get there? I was a network admin/consultant when I went on my first short term missions trip in 2005. Already my wife and I knew we might want to be in the field someday. On that trip, our leader had been to the orphanage where I work now, and we asked if we could go with him on his next trip there (more to that story, but its personal). So we went with him, and at that time they had a school. Many things came together in the next 5 years for us to convince us that that teaching at a place like this was what we wanted to do. For one, I found that I had a gift for teaching and went back to school to get certified as a chemistry teacher (OK, that part might be classified as bragging, but I base this on what many many people in church classes, other teachers, students, and parents have told me). For another, God provided for us financially in such a way that with good management we would have enough to retire and support ourselves in the field (just like Paul) when we were still young enough to be effective. However, I am responsible to the same Board of Missions everyone else here is. And finding a Board that would govern over me while I was self-supporting was actually harder than you’d think.