MDE October 2015 Newsletter         
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What's Next for the Orphans?

It is considered a rite of passage in many North American cities. High school students and their families load up the car and visit as many colleges as the parents allow until the perfect choice becomes evident. Then the students fill out applications, plan, and pack up their belongings before being lovingly deposited at their school of choice.


Not so for the children who graduate from the local orphanage in Osaka, Central Asia. Located in a town with a population under 8,000, the orphanage cares for children until they reach the age of seventeen. Then they are released into the world. After the isolation and security of the orphanage, the teenagers must quickly learn to live in society and provide for themselves. Very rarely do they receive a government grant to further their education. Most are shuttled to a trade school where they study for four tedious years to become a painter or other tradesperson. The challenge for these young people is that they lack life skills, motivation, a solid education, and parental guidance.  A recent Central Asia news article reported UNICEF statistics stating that 60% of female graduates from children’s homes turn to prostitution, and 70% of all the graduates become involved in criminal activity.


Azam has visited the orphanage in Osaka since 2010 and has witnessed firsthand the many struggles faced by the orphans. Two years ago he was asked to lead his church’s volunteer program. Despite a busy life as a university instructor in the economics department and as a translator for the deaf, Azam said yes because of his love for God and his desire to help and influence young people.


In an effort to address their needs, Azam organizes monthly meetings for teenage graduates of the orphanage. “The goal,” says Azam, “is to continue contact with the students as they transition into college, and to give them practical assistance, encouragement, and discipleship….We want them to receive the skills they need to socialize, make decisions, work, and know their goals in life. We also want to guard them from suicide and from a criminal way of life." Students are showing an interest and are especially open to being mentored. Prayer meetings have been added and, in February 2015, a monthly men’s gathering began.


Azam has also approached the local Department of Education to gain approval for regular visits to the orphanage in order to mentor the 250 children still living there. Training is needed in values, social interactions, and current events. All of this can be done through a biblical world view. Because of current laws, the visiting team will likely be able to share the gospel with children one-on-one but not in large groups. Please pray that the Lord will give Azam at least one contact at the Department of Education who can make sure his plan receives the proper permissions.

Azam is also recruiting a team of mentors to serve as host families that would be able to occasionally receive orphans into their homes for 2-3 days at a time. This will help the children learn what they need to become happy, fruitful adults--physically, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and socially--bringing benefit to the communities in which they live.


This work is complicated due to governmental regulations and involves including mentors from different denominations as well as mentors who are not believers. Azam says, “A curriculum needs to be developed and teacher training conducted to prepare volunteers.” There is also a need for small group leader training, mentor support meetings, and the identification of speakers who can address various themes.
MDE is partnering with Azam by providing him with various forms of support. First, Azam has been appointed to serve as the Director of Development for our Central Asia affiliate, which allows him to engage in this ministry under the auspices of a registered organization and not just as an individual. Second, Azam is receiving training in management skills and will be held accountable by MDE for designing and maintaining a working budget for the ministry. Finally, the MDE affiliate also provides a way for Azam to receive financial support.

Right now, Azam is praying for a leadership team to come around him to help make decisions. He is also in the process of developing a budget and identifying sources of funding. Will you pray with us that God will provide all that is needed for this ministry to orphans in Central Asia? If you are interested in providing a financial gift to enable Azam to move forward with this work, please click HERE.

Mark is running a half marathon in Indy on November 7th. In addition to completing the race in less than 90 minutes, Mark would like to raise money for MDE so that it can fulfill its mission to provide authentic access into unreached communities so that disciples will be made and healthy reproducing churches planted. If you would like to help MDE by sponsoring Mark, please click HERE.
Learn more about Marketplace & Development Enterprises at its website:
Check out the Tentmaking page on the MDE website.
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