18ten is a faith-based charitable organization created to respond to the needs of orphans and other disadvantaged children in Central America.
Our goal is to establish a network of Christ-centered missions throughout this region that meet both the physical and spiritual needs of local, disadvantaged children. Our strategy is to enlist local churches and Christians to perform this work in the areas where they live. Our role will be to empower them by providing guidance, expertise, resources, and any other necessary help to make these ministries as effective as possible. We want to bring glory to God by sharing the love of Jesus Christ in Central America.
18ten intends to be wholly responsive to God’s guidance. Our ambition is to always be in step with God and His leading, not falling behind out of fear or lack of faith and not racing ahead out of pride or lack of patience. By acting in this deliberate manner, we know that we can count on God to be with us in what we do and we can act with the confidence and boldness that only comes with knowing He is with us.
In fact, it is with this prayerful patience that we waited and sought God’s vision for 18ten before we launched. 18ten now possesses a unique vision for accomplishing all that God has for us to do in Central America. Like a number of other organizations, we intend to establish and support orphanages, feeding stations, and other child-focused ministries so that we might provide for the many needy children in that region of the world. However, unlike many of the organizations currently undertaking this noble work, the prime means by which we intend to accomplish this work is through the empowerment of local Christians rather than the sending of foreign missionaries; the prime goal of our work will be the spiritual salvation of the souls entrusted to us rather than merely meeting the physical needs of the children. There is no substitute for a strong Christian family. Unfortunately, the majority of these disadvantaged children will never be adopted. The emotional and spiritual toll for those that are left behind is unimaginable. We feel God is leading us to focus our ministry on the majority of children that have no hope or chance of adoption – to empower local churches and Christians to be able to minister to the spiritual and emotional well-being of these disadvantaged kids. And, in so doing, to raise up future leaders of the community and church in the love of Christ and work to break the cycle of depravity and hopelessness. We believe that this focus on local involvement will allow us to play a part in raising up Christian men and women who will then remain in these areas and continue to spread the gospel to those around them.
As the Lord leads us into new areas, we will first look to discover like-minded churches and people in that area. If mission work is already established by these local churches and Christians, we will seek to partner with them by providing whatever of their needs we may be able to meet to make their ministries more effective. If Christ-centered, child-focused mission work is not yet established in the area, we will work to get these missions established and to staff them with local, like-minded Christians. From then on, whether we partner with existing missions or create new ones, we will continue to provide support even as we head into new areas and undertake new missions. While we desire to eventually cover the entirety of Central America, our focus will squarely be on quality, not quantity. New areas will only be undertaken once we know that the resources are present and continuous for the areas already within our network.