Charity Spotlight: Wayne Von Borstel

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Charity Spotlight

When You Care Enough to Return

Charitable inspiration can come in almost any form and at any time. The seed that sparked in Wayne von Borstel was the book, Three Cups of Tea. Though the author would later be discredited for not being entirely truthful, it had already inspired von Borstel and his wife Marta with a new charitable purpose. They would provide underprivileged children, some in the most remote regions of the world, access to educational resources and hope, from a Christian perspective, to transform their lives.

“I was born into an environment with unlimited potential and the opportunity to be anything I wanted to be,” said von Borstel. “The reality is, these are not the same circumstances afforded to children around the world.”

The seed began to sprout and soon led Wayne and Marta to partner with a friend tasked with traveling abroad to find fellow Christians working to provide children with much-needed assistance. Their journey brought them to the Island of Sumatra, on the outskirts of Medan, Indonesia where he learned of YASAH Orphanage, home to over 100 children who had lost their parents as a result of several natural disasters in the area including earthquakes, tsunamis, and a volcanic eruption.

“Elinudin and Susanna Ndraha started taking in as many children as they could after the floods of 2001. Susanna was a homemaker then, and Elinudin had a full-time job,” described von Borstel. “They lived in a tiny home housing as many as 20 children. That’s when the Ndrahas decided to devote their lives to the orphanage and applied for financial assistance from the Japanese Tsunami Fund to build a home big enough for 100 children,” continued von Borstel. “Then came an earthquake in 2004, a tsunami, a volcano eruption, and the influx of orphans continues. They average about 120 children in the home.”

“When we first visited YASAH in 2015 our spirits were filled with love for these children,” said von Borstel. “All you have to do is look into their eyes, and you see unlimited potential. Love is really what these children needed most, what Elinudin and Susanna provide, and what fuels our continued commitment.”

Wayne and Marta’s ongoing financial contributions to the orphanage have made it possible for YASAH to complete the construction of a new church and school facility. They also fund the ongoing expense of feeding the children on a daily basis and college tuition for five of the older orphans.

Today the orphanage has expanded its outreach to the surrounding Muslim community with their school which is attended by over five hundred children daily, 80 of which live at the orphanage.

“What Marta and I have found is that when you care enough about a charity to go back, that’s when your purpose is realized. Many give, which is great,” explained von Borstel. “But if you don’t care enough to return, your giving will only go so far. When you return is when you show them you really love and care.”

As a financial advisor and trusted advisor to wealthy individuals and families, von Borstel takes great pride in helping his clients realize a deeper meaning for their wealth.  “When my clients walk into my office for the first time only about 5% have included charitable giving in their estate plans,” said von Borstel. “When they leave, 90% have it added.”

von Borstel’s clients often come to him planning to leave their entire estates to their children.  When asked if their heirs will know the difference between receiving $1.1M or $1M, von Borstel often witnesses the “aha” moment that sparks his clients to change their plans. “When they realize the potential for even 10% of their wealth to transform the lives of others, they want to make it happen,” explained von Borstel.

Since embarking on his charitable journey, von Borstel’s mission has expanded. “It is my life’s dream to inspire and plant 1000 seeds of giving and hope, whether that be in the children at YASAH, the other charities we support, or in my clients,” said von Borstel.

To learn more about YASAH Orphanage, please visit