The building blocks of GlobalFingerprints
by Jordan Mogck
W With 60 staff members in seven countries, including the United States, the GlobalFingerprints team is rallied behind a mission to help the world’s most vulnerable children. Jordan Mogck, ReachGlobal communications coordinator, interviewed Daryl Anderson, executive director of operations for ReachGlobal, to capture some highlights of this growing child-sponsorship program.
There are a lot of sponsorship programs already in the world. Why is GlobalFingerprints needed?
Actually, considering the number of vulnerable children, the world could use more sponsorship programs. Child-sponsorship programs aren’t competing against each other—our fight is against the kingdom of darkness, which seeks the destruction of the most vulnerable of God’s creatures.
If other programs were active in the same areas, the need for us wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t have been asked to help the 2,000+ youth currently involved in GlobalFingerprints.
Plus, different programs have different objectives. GlobalFingerprints’ goal is that each individual has not only what he or she needs physically and educationally to make it in life but also, most importantly, the opportunity to come to know Jesus and be part of a local church.
How does GlobalFingerprints fit with what ReachGlobal is doing globally?
All ReachGlobal ministries are about multiplying transformational churches. This is accomplished by fulfilling both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Healthy, transformational churches are such because they are made of disciples of Christ who have been transformed by His grace.
GlobalFingerprints is part of that ministry to develop such people. We know that the most vulnerable children can become the most valuable ministers of the gospel—proclaiming a testimony of His love and grace even through tragic life events.
I like to say that GlobalFingerprints is not a child-sponsorship program as much as a long-term church-planting ministry, starting where we can really make a difference: in a young person’s life. We pray that each one sponsored will come to know Jesus and become a healthy, vibrant and contributing member of a local church. By equipping them with a Christ-centered education and the skills to become a productive member of the church and society, we begin seeing serious multiplication.
It’s not overnight; it takes years of loving care and commitment to each child for this type of transformation. But now, after six years, we are beginning to see the cyclical transformation in areas where children are sponsored and discipled.
In Congo, for example, a GlobalFingerprints graduate has recently begun sponsoring a younger Congolese child. In India, a pastor has moved his family into the slum where many GlobalFingerprints kids live, in order to have more frequent discipleship opportunities with them.
Why doesn’t GlobalFingerprints emphasize sponsorship of orphans, like other programs?
We take literally the biblical admonition to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27 and Deuteronomy 14:29). Yet our goal is to seek out the most vulnerable children in a given context. While those without parents might normally be among the most vulnerable, that is not always the case.
A child might be living with a parent who intends to sell her into the human-trafficking market. Or parents may not be able to take care of their child, so they abandon him in what they see as an act of self-preservation. If we can save those children within the context of their families, we have the potential of reaching the families for Christ and eventually their communities.
We choose our sponsored children after extensive assessments conducted by on-the-ground ReachGlobal staff members and partners. Even if those we sponsor are not physical orphans, they often live like orphans—fatherless, alone, trusting no one, believing that no one loves them or cares for them. They live without hope for a better future. They live in fear: fear of when they will be hurt again, fear of when they will eat again, fear of the next harsh word or abusive act.
What is GlobalFingerprints praying for, for the future?
Our future goal is simple: provide ever more effective ways for our churches and church members to pull vulnerable children from the powers of darkness into the compassionate arms of Jesus in a caring local church community.
One step toward that goal is to double the number of sponsored children in 2014. Those children are already assessed and in great need, just waiting for an individual, family or group to start giving $35/month to meet their needs.
I think that, in 10 years, GlobalFingerprints will be serving the most vulnerable children in each of ReachGlobal’s divisions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East/North Africa.
For more frequently asked questions, read the GlobalFingerprints blog.