We are Orchard: Africa
FOR WHOEVER DOES NOT LOVE THEIR BROTHER AND SISTER, WHOM THEY HAVE SEEN, CANNOT LOVE GOD, WHOM THEY HAVE NOT SEEN.
1 JOHN 4: 20
We develop and equip the local church to be the response to poverty and injustice.
The church is our platform, programs are our tools and hope in Christ is our message.
We love the local church.
Our mission is to see churches in Southern Africa rise up and respond to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of their own communities. Over and over again we are astounded at the quality of the pastors and church leaders already in place in the most remote villages and areas we serve. Men and women who exemplify calling, passion and care. We do not believe the problem is human capital.
A question we often ask African church and community leaders is “Why do you think that in this specific moment of time, God has you here in this community?” We get responses like, “I was born here” or “to build a church” which are only part of the story.
We believe that that God has them there to love. To be like Jesus: to lead with spiritual maturity and calling, to care for the sick, take care of widows, love orphans, to respond to injustices, to build and love the Church.
But why is this not happening?
Resources. The best leaders in the world can only do so much without money.
Tethering. Church leaders are limited by entrenched relationships with foreign organizations or churches.
Hope. Extreme poverty, AIDS and TB, racial tensions and mass unemployment creates a hopelessness.
Accountability. Church businesses built upon empty promises without any substance or maturity.
Vision. Constantly operating in survival mode and not planning ahead.
Because of this, Orchard: Africa works to build the church and its leaders. This is who we are. Our current model is to address these issues through our programs. This may change but our mission will always be the same.
Food & Agriculture
We implement lunch meal programs and vertical farming initiatives to end hunger.
We care for the sick, widows and orphans by providing home based care and counseling.
We develop and start preschools and after-school learning centers in local churches.
We train and mentor church leaders to respond to the immediate needs of their own communities.
How We Operate
We are Orchard: Africa
CEO & Founder
FOH Pastor & Project Manager
FOH Pastor in Training
Church Development Director
Food and Agriculture Director
Operations Director, South Africa
Church Development Director
Orchard: Africa started as a church ministry in Mafikeng, South Africa in response to children who were rummaging on the city garbage dump for food. A few people from a local church decided to cook a pot of food and feed these children. From this compassionate response, the organization, Orchard: Africa, was born.
For the first ten years we grew from being a church led feeding project for thirty children to becoming a multi-programmed response to the poverty and AIDS cycle in rural Africa.
The second ten years of our existence saw us grow beyond being a church mission program to a registered ministry in its own right. Orchard: Africa moved beyond the town of Mafikeng, grew exponentially and extended its reach to over 30 community churches and 100 funded programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
These men and women are passionate about our cause and skilled in organizational leadership
Meet the board!
- Michael Tessendorf | Chairman & Co-Founder, Orchard: Africa
- Michelle Tessendorf | Executive Director & Co-Founder Orchard: Africa
- Benjamin Magwenzi | Owner, Transport Company
- Chad Moore | Lead Pastor, Sun Valley Community Church
- Claudia Pietersen | IT Director, Private University
- Herb Fluharty | Owner, MGI Services Inc.
- Palesa Etsane | Training Consultant, Social Development
- Kelvin Mwaba | Psychology Professor, Private University
- Scott Gates | President & COO, Western Windows
- Ric Leutwyler | President & Founder, Philanthropegie
- Nathan Buchalski | Partner, Plante Moran
- Diane Wagner | Business Owner
We consider the use of funds as investments. We place great value on and emphasize the impact and outcomes of all investments. We invest in people, resources, systems, tools and materials that effectively help us carry out our mission. All donations help us develop and equip the local church to be the response to poverty and injustice. We thank God for His provision and your generosity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our name is intentional. Orchard: Africa is about growth and hope and change. We work to see the local church bear fruit all over Africa.
The poverty and AIDS crisis is at its worst in rural Africa yet, because of the remote locations of most villages, they are the most under-served. The logistics of reaching these villages create obstacles that prevent many organizations from working there. Not so for Orchard: Africa. We're passionate about creating change in those areas where the need is the highest, regardless of how inconvenient it is for us to get there. We intentionally seek out the most needy. We then come alongside the local leadership and help to meet the most desperate needs first. This is typically food security for orphaned and vulnerable children. Then we start to tackle the underlying issues in a way that is sustainable by the local community. It is our goal to work ourselves out of a job and place the work in the hands of the local church leaders.
We work through a local church in a village as well as with the tribal authorities. In rural Sub-Saharan Africa, tribal and church leaders are the foundation of every community and nothing of significance can truly happen without the co-operation of both.
Depending on the need in the various villages, children are fed one cooked meal five to seven days a week. A typical meal will consist of one carbohydrate and one protein such as maize porridge (which is a staple in Africa) and a soya based topping.
The Orchard: Network is our mobilizing mechanism. Before any work starts in a geographical area, church leaders are called together and Orchard: Africa forms a network. The purpose of the network is to build and strengthen relationships, provide ongoing training and mentorship, and to provide a forum for these church leaders to fellowship with one another and to inspire and support one another. Once the Orchard: Network is formed in an area, it is ongoing for all who want to belong, not only for our funded Orchard Villages
We work in clusters of villages around a geographical radius. Once the Orchard: Network has been running in an area for a minimum of 1 year a request for proposal (RFP) is sent out. After all the leaders have had an opportunity to present us with their village proposal, those with the most potential to succeed are chosen. These undergo further training and are funded by Orchard: Africa to implement 3 basic programs through their church in their village. These are called our Orchard Villages. From those, one is chosen to be a Model Village. This church is then assisted by Orchard: Africa to expand their capacity and implement more projects in their village. The Model Village also serves in a leadership capacity over the Orchard Villages.
Orchard: Africa is committed to our partners and will do everything within our power to help them We work in clusters of villages around a geographical radius. Once the Orchard: Network has been running in an area for a minimum of 1 year a request for proposal (RFP) is sent out. After all the leaders have had an opportunity to present us with their village proposal, those with the most potential to succeed are chosen. These undergo further training and are funded by Orchard: Africa to implement 3 basic programs through their church in their village. These are called our Orchard Villages. From those, one is chosen to be a Model Village. This church is then assisted by Orchard: Africa to expand their capacity and implement more projects in their village. The Model Village also serves in a leadership capacity over the Orchard Villages.
The easiest option is to donate online. All major credit cards are accepted and our system is secure. Instead of using our online system you can make a donation
You can call our office any time from Monday – Friday between 9.00am – 5.00pm MST and we will process your credit card information.
Send checks, with a note where you want us to use it, to our office at:
1834 E. Baseline Road, Suite 202, Tempe, AZ 85283.
All donations help Orchard: Africa develop and equip the church to be the response to poverty and injustice. We consider the use of funds as investments, not expenses. We place great value on and emphasize the impact and outcomes of all investments.
Our financial philosophy is honesty, simplicity and truth in reporting the true cost of accomplishing our goals. These true costs include anything from the cost of food served to children, training of pastors, running of preschools, caring for orphans, developing sustainable agriculture to the cost of the infrastructure needed to realize the best outcomes and make the most impact.
We invest in people, resources, systems, tools, and materials that help us effectively carry out our mission. We invest in communication channels that help us increase understanding, awareness, funding and impact. Our ability to positively impact the lives of the people we serve is directly and dramatically impacted by the strength and health of the organization itself.
We do accept donations for specific programs and will invest these funds as needed to realize the best impact and outcomes. However, we actively encourage un-specified donations so that we can best utilize our experience, wisdom, integrity and faith to make an impact. Our donor relations are about trust in our staff to make strategic and Godly decisions to further our mission. Those who make unspecified donations can take credit for all the successes at OA.
When you make an online donation, you will receive an automated receipt. If you don't get it, email us and we'll rectify that immediately.
Orchard: Africa sends out annual tax receipts for all donations received outside of our online giving.
Visit our volunteer page and fill out the form. We will make sure to contact you within a week to talk about volunteer opportunities.
We are passionate about true partnerships. We want to see your church's
international footprint expand in a way that is compassionate,
relevant, intelligent and sustainable. We have developed tools that
will help your entire congregation connect – from children through
youth to adults. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also encourage your church to come on a short-term mission trip to work in our projects in Africa.
We encourage corporate involvement. We will come alongside your company and work out a strategic partnership based on your needs. We provide posters, reports and other tools to keep your staff and clients in the loop. Email email@example.com or call us 480-966-9037 and we'll get the conversation going.