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Why The Winter Months Are A Good Time To Visit Dorie’s Promise

September 15th, 2016 by

A Mission group at Dorie's Promise

By MJ Zelya –

The children of Dorie's Promise Guatemala can't wait to meet you!When it’s winter in America, it’s the best time to visit Guatemala!

Going to visit the children of Dorie’s Promise — and help the surrounding communities in need while there — is the perfect choice if you are planning to travel and don’t yet know where to go during the colder months.

The weather is perfect because the rainy season has stopped, and the children enjoy playing outside and going on walks around the neighborhood.

Dorie’s Promise boasts plenty of reasons for you to say good-bye to your routine and do something different — something that will make an eternal impact on others.

You are not only sharing with the children, you are creating a bond with them; it will truly be an eye-opening experience, one that will change you from the inside out!

When you arrive in Guatemala, the first thing you will notice is the mixture of people and cultures. Guatemala is well-known for its diversity, but you’ll immediately realize that the people are warm and friendly — you will feel at home.Imagine it … loving children who don’t have parents, helping families that have nothing, bringing water and food to people who need it.

Throughout your time at Dorie’s Promise, you will find children hugging you and wanting to be your friend — taking you by the hand and asking to play with them.

But your impact is not only on the children’s lives, but also on the communities, where many people, in desperate need, are grateful for the help and time friends like you invest.

Alejandra our home director says:

In summer, our children are busy in school, a season when it’s difficult to have enough time to share with them. But it’s different in winter! They are on vacation, out of school, and there is plenty of time to have fun, do different activities, and plan special outings during the week.When you serve at Dorie's Promise you'll be working with some of the most impoverished people on the planet.

Through outreaches in our missions program you can make a real difference. The many children and families we serve throughout Guatemala eagerly wait for Forever Changed International to bring teams of people to share Christ’s love with them as well as provide them with what we would consider basic living essentials. Soap and a pair of shoes can brighten the eyes of a 5-year-old boy more than you can imagine.

We run trips all year long so come anytime.  We would love to have you join us for a week very soon! Apply Today!

New Opportunities: Brayan’s Education

September 8th, 2016 by

Brayan learning to cook in his vocational school.

By MJ Zelya-

Pablo our Missions Director with BrayanBrayan is attending a new school, a training/vocational school, to help him develop in other capacities and areas. It will provide him the tools he needs for his future.

He loves both gastronomy and music. He does well at French cooking, and he loves to play the guitar. Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.

He is also playing on a soccer team on Saturdays. They have played in several championships — winning first place in one and fifth place in the other. He was so excited when they won the trophy. His trainer says Brayan has the potential to be a great soccer player.

His teachers say:

He has great culinary ability, is dedicated to the craft, and finishes what he starts. His leadership qualities help him in workshops and as part of a team. Sometimes he gets upset if he has to correct something that was done wrong.

Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.In regard to art and sculpture, he has developed artistic skills and can perfectly mix all the colors he uses when he’s drawing and making models.

In his dance classes, he is enthusiastic and loves the Latin rhythms. He is always positive, getting more coordinated, and creating new steps and giving suggestions.

In computer class, he is a genius — one of the best in the classroom.

He is a strong student, polite, loving, and responsible.

We are so proud of Brayan’s achievements in and out of school! He is a boy with great potential who is not only developing skills for his future, but also preparing to be a good citizen of his country. If you’d like to help us continue to provide educational and growth opportunities for children like Brayan consider a special gift for education. Every year it takes nearly $55,000 to continue to ensure our children receive the EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION they need. We want to make sure that every child living at our home gets education that is tailored to their needs. You can help make that happen: GIVE TODAY!

Mission Trip to Dorie’s Promise: I Will Never Be The Same!

September 2nd, 2016 by

Guatemala - By Sarah GillSarah GillGoing on a missions trip is life changing event. We often hear about the excitement and passion that a trip to Dorie’s Promise builds into the lives of those who visit. Below is an interview with Sarah Gill about her recent visit to Dorie’s Promise.

Where did you hear about Forever Changed International (FCI)?

I heard about FCI through my employer Lisa Le of Lovely Homes Realty. She had just gotten back from an event where she had met Heather, and asked if I wanted to go to Guatemala. My heart has always been for mission work, so I said yes.

What made you want to take a mission trip with us?

It had been six years since my last missions tip, and I was eager to go on another trip. I’ve always felt like my life was suppose to be about helping people, and this seemed like a good way to do so.

What was it like to travel to Guatemala?

Exhilarating. Even on he plane I could not contain my excitement to land. Traveling throughout the communities as the week progressed was a real wake-up call. I had never seen anything like Guatemala before! My favorite thing about traveling to Guatemala was the kindness of the people, and the generosity of the culture.

What was your impression of the Dorie’s Promise?

It felt like I had found home. Aside from the very comfortable accommodations, it felt like a place that was full of warmth and kindness. There was so much love there!

What was your biggest take-away from the trip?

That there is much work to do in this world, and it can all get done if people are willing to lovingly give what they have.

One of the children living at Dorie's Promise, photo by Sarah Gill.Why do you think people should support Dorie Promise or sponsor one of our children?

There’s a quote from Schindler’s List that echoed through my heart during the week that I stayed at Dorie’s: “He who saves a life, saves the world entire.” If every person who’s able did what they could to help the forgotten children of Guatemala, they wouldn’t be forgotten. $35 dollars isn’t too much. FCI does so much for the children and the community with what they are given, imagine what they could do with more!

My trip to Dorie’s was so amazing, and it impacted me greatly. It made me realize that I don’t have to have my life in perfect order to help people, I just have to be willing.

Because of my trip, I have been inspired to take my own team to Dorie’s next year. My hopes are also high for seeing what else I can do to help the children of Guatemala, as well as others who have been forgotten around the world.

I am so thankful for my experience with FCI. I will never be the same!

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Would you like to share your Dorie’s Promise Mission Trip experience on our blog? Email Us.

If you’d like to experience a missions trip like Sarah’s click here to watch our video and request more info.

Update On Extracurricular Activities: Karate, Ballet and More!

August 31st, 2016 by

THe CHildren of Dorie's Promise with their Karate Instructor

By MJ Zelya –

The children of Dorie's Promise in Ballet class.As a part of our child development sphere of care, the children at Dorie’s Promise participate in different extracurricular activities — things like karate, ballet, or tennis classes.

And we have even such improvement! They share and communicate better with each other, and their self-esteem has flourished.

In fact, one important facet of a child’s participation in extracurricular activities is the link to higher academic achievement, fewer behavior problems, and higher rates of success in adulthood.

For example, involvement in sports:

  1. Teaches children the concepts of discipline, effort, and teamwork.
  2. Creates healthy habits for life.
  3. Helps with hyperactivity in some children and can affect their school performance by increasing their concentration and improving their mood.The Karate Instructor visiting Dorie's Promise.
  4. Allows them to be better organized outside of school.
  5. Strengthens motor coordination and improves reflexes, providing greater strength and agility.
  6. Can be essential in the process of socialization, meaning an easy way to make new friends, improve relationships, and help them be more tolerant and accepting of different viewpoints.
  7. And it not only uses energy — but it lets them have fun!

One karate teacher explains some of his experience:
“When I started karate classes with the children of Dorie’s Promise, it was a bit difficult because I was used to starting a karate class with discipline and order. I understood that while children of Dorie’s Promise need to know the philosophy of karate on issues such as self-control, discipline, and respect, they also needed a class that was entertaining for them. Combining discipline with a game, always reminding them of the concepts of control and respect, I have seen remarkable changes — especially in Hans and Lester. They both have better coordination and control of their space. They have also improved in the areas of self-control. On one occasion, I asked Hans the meaning of control. He thought for a moment and replied that it meant ‘do not act crazy.’ I found that a very good response and remember them (in his words) at appropriate times.The children enjoy their Karate classes.

“In most children I have also noticed an improvement in their self-esteem. At first, Abraham Cabrera, Luis, and Jose Antonio did not like to demonstrate an exercise or a technique, but now they are the first to raise their hands to be an example.

“In all children I have observed, as is normal, increased strength, flexibility, and the ability to pay attention. We always play a game that I call ‘Sensei says’ — with the same rules as ‘Simon says’ — which includes karate techniques, and it has improved their attention and reaction time.”

The ballet teacher says:

The girls enjoy the opportunity to take ballet classes.“There has been a big change in their behavior, in discipline, in following instructions, and improvement in technique; their flexibility and ability are great; teamwork is something they have learned well instead working solo.”

Thanks to the support of friends like you, the precious children of Dorie’s Promise have a brand-new future awaiting them. No longer are they “orphans,” forgotten and alone, but rather part of a growing, thriving, loving family dedicated to providing them opportunities for success — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you or someone you know wants to forever change a child’s life, become a sponsor now — simply click here to do so. Thank you for being part of lifelong transformation, one child at a time!

Meet Abraham Emanuel

August 25th, 2016 by

 

Abraham Emanuel is now 8 years old.

By MJ Zelya –

Abraham Emanuel playing at the playground of Dories' PromiseAbraham Emanuel was sent by minor’s court to Dorie’s Promise because of the neglect and abuse he had experienced at home. He was living with an aunt after his mother passed away. The judge was looking for relatives to take care of him; Abraham’s biological father showed up but was unable to keep him because he lacked the resources.

When he arrived at Dorie’s Promise at the age of 4, he was a sad, passive, introverted boy who never smiled. The road to self-esteem and happiness for him has been a long one, but with the support of our psychologist, special moms, and others, his emotional health is improving as he learns to leave the past behind him.

Now he feels protected and loved in a healthy environment. He likes to help others, play soccer, go for walks around the neighborhood, read books (he loves stories about pirates, David and Goliath, and Jonah), and play with superhero toys (his favorite is Captain America!). He loves to eat pizza and salad.

He is very smart, is respectful of his teachers and classmates, and does a good job with his homework — his favorite subject in school is math. He gets happy when it’s time to go to church.

Abraham would love to know a special friend — someone just like you — is on this journey with him, as he continues to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sponsoring Abraham, financially and in prayer, will help him thrive today and tomorrow. Thank you for your compassion for the children of Forever Changed International!

Dorie’s Promise Students Participate in the School Science Fair!

July 14th, 2016 by

Students from Dorie's Promise participate in a science fair.

By MJ Zelya –

Ana smiling during a school activity.One of the things the children at Dorie’s Promise love the most is the chance to experience a wide range of different activities. We are especially excited when our children participate in fun school activities. The hands-on-learning they get from these activities helps them develop a lifelong love for learning.

Recently, the school held a Science Fair. The children were so excited! They couldn’t stop talking about it. All of them planning and thinking about what kind of experiments to do and if it’a going to work for them. They were happy, anxious, and enthusiastic- all at the same time.

We are glad to see them so excited for school, it’s really satisfying to watch them grow, becoming more responsible with their homework and see the effort they make to do their best.

Here some of them share their experience with their science experiments:

Fabiola – I did my presentation on making rainbows. The experiment was to use a disc and a candle to reproduce a rainbow. My friends and I worked together to prepared for the project. We worked through every step of the experiment. I was a little nervous, but with the support of my friends it encouraged me. In the end everything went really well.

Ingrid and Lucia – It was very fun for us. It was the first time we have participated in this kind of activity. Our experiment was to make a hologram with a box and a disc. The first step was to form the pieces of the disc into a triangle. A video is projected and the triangle shaped disc reflects the image. It was an unforgettable experience! The best part was sharing it with our peers and their parents, our Special Mothers and the others at home and our teacher. This have motivated us both to discover and learn more.

Silvia with her science fair gorup.Silvia – (For Silvia the fair meant a lot, because she is afraid of public speaking. The Science Fair was challenging for her, but gave her a chance to overcome her fears.) I was very nervous because I had to say a paragraph about the process of our experiment. We filled a water balloon with water and then had to keep it from exploding as we moved it closer to the fire from a candle. It caused my nerves to go crazy when I’d hear the explosion of a balloon, but I practice it a lot before we gave our presentation. I really wanted everything to go great. Having this experience gives me confidence and security in front of the school.

It’s incredible how all our children are growing, and it’s fun to watch them experiencing new things. Without the opportunity to attend to school they would not be getting opportunities like these that help prepare them for the future. Their lives are forever changing through this ministry! It’s because of your support that these children are preparing for a brighter future. Each year we need to raise over $50,000 to help provide exceptional education for our students. We are thankful for the many donors and sponsors who make this possible. Would you like to give a special gift for education? Go now.

Hope for Orphans: An Update on Lucia and Fabiola

June 23rd, 2016 by

AFter 2 Years at Dorie's Promise Lucia and Fabiola are flourishing.

By MJ Zelya –

Fabiola loves the food and friends at Dorie's Promise.
Its been almost two years since Lucia (also called Ana Lucia) and her sister Fabiola arrived at Dorie’s Promise and their lives have been changed in many ways since then.

At first, they were very shy – keeping to themselves and not saying much. They came to our home with signs of both physical and emotional abuse. Shortly before moving to Dorie’s Promise their mother had died of cancer and they were living with a neighbor. That neighbor didn’t have the resources to properly care for the girls and they would often miss school to sell candies or trinkets to try to make extra money. Because of this they had chronic malnutrition, dental cavities and chronic viral respiratory infection when Doctor Castro did his initial exam.

As you know, after coming from this kind of environment it has taken time for them to recover their physical and emotional health. Definitely the consequences of chronic malnutrition are long term and typically result in shorter height. Emotionally they have improved by leaps and bounds, they have become outgoing girls, with high-self esteem, independence, and they are very happy. It’s satisfying to see our children improve so much, and to be able to give them the tools for a different life, a Forever Changed life.

God’s hand has been in this. We see the evidence in their lives. The hard work and loving care that everyone involved in our home; our founder Heather, the staff, the Special Mothers, those visiting us on missions trips, the sponsors, everyone has made this possible. Thank you for your dedication to our children.

Ana Lucia (age 14) says:Lucia, age 14, dreams of becoming a business administrator.

I feel happy to be here at Dorie’s Promise. I feel at peace, because here I have the opportunity to reach my goals in life, to chase my dreams. If I have the opportunity I would like to be a business administrator. I like the way everyone treats me, they give me lots of love and attention. And everyone is very kind to my little sister.

I enjoy it when we go on an outing with the mission trippers and have special dinner with them. I also like playing with all of them. I’m learning English and I am able to practice and get an better understanding of English when the missions groups are here.

Before coming to Dorie’s, my life was very hard. Sometimes we didn’t have enough food and we ate only one or two meals a day. Here I have delicious food, a doctor worried for my health, people worried for my education and many others who give me the most important thing of all… Love! I appreciate that!

I want especially say thank you to my sponsors for the way they’ve helped change my life. I’m grateful for what are you doing for us, and you are in my prayers.

Fabiola (age 8) says:

I like to live here. I like going to school and having friends. I love the food they prepare, and the attention and love of my moms. Thank you for helping me.

Both girls are in need of a handful of new sponsors. Will you consider sponsoring Lucia or Fabiola and helping provide them with continued care, education and love?

Luis Still Waiting…

June 17th, 2016 by

Luis 2016

By MJ Zelya –

LuisLuis working on a drawing project. came to Dorie’s promise from a Government home; he is one of the children whose adoption case was stuck in court after Guatemala close their door to international adoptions in 2008. His case is still in process and we are waiting for the court to make a final decision. He has been waiting a long time.

Meanwhile, we enjoy watching him grow and learn. Luis, age 9, is now a big boy, who cares about the little ones, shares his toys and plays with them. A great “big brother” to the younger children.

When he came to our home we noticed that he had some problems with his speech, saying the “ch” sound instead of “s”. In the other home he was never taught him to say his words correctly, he simply learned the wrong way to pronounce them. When he came to Dorie’s Promise, the psychologist evaluated him and gave us some guidelines to help him work on improving his speech. He has worked hard to make the changes, with the help and the support of the Special Mothers his speech has improved tremendously.

Luis is a little gentleman. He is polite and likes to be neat and well dressed. Special Mother Diana admits, “Sometimes he amazes me, he is so mature for his age.” His special mothers also remark about how honest he is, and how if he makes a mistake he recognizes it and will apologize.

He loves to play football (soccer) and play at the park, the swings are a special favorite of his. He loves school, where he makes good grades, and he likes to work alone on his homework.

Luis, dressed and ready for school.This year he participate in a science fair at school. Luis and a partner had to show how to make a rainbow using a CD and a candle. Lucky his teacher said, “The science fair was an unforgettable experience for Luis. At first, he was so anxious because he had to demonstrate the experiment in front of his classroom and teachers. He worked hard, memorized his speech and did a wonderful job!” At the end of the fair the class had an ice cream party.

Special mother Diana says of Luis, “He is a funny and bold boy. He makes you laugh- making funny faces or telling jokes to the other boys. Sometimes he pretends to be crying and when I look at him he starts laughing. It was only a joke!”

She also says, “He likes to help with the chores at the home.  He even likes to stay later than the other kids helping me at night and he says, ‘Mama Diana you have to rest too.’ ”

While he wait for the court to finalize his case Luis needs your help. He needs your prayers, it hard to be left waiting for a Forever Family, year after year. Pray for his to be reunited with them soon. Luis also needs sponsors. By becoming a sponsor you help us continue to offer the exceptional level of care that Dorie’s Promise is know for. At our home it’s so much more than room and board, for our children love is an daily experience. We also provide education, medical and psychological care, special activities and spiritual support. Sponsor Luis today, and become part of his Forever Changed life!

 

Meet Dulce Alejandra

June 3rd, 2016 by

Meet Dulce Alejandra

By MJ Zelya –

lejandra, recently entered to Dorie's Promise.Let me introduce you to the newest child in the sponsorship program, this is Dulce Alejandra, she prefers to be called Alejandra. She recently transferred to Dorie’s Promise from another home by an order from the Minor’s Court. She was declared abandoned by her birth parents and is now waiting for the court to declare her adoptable*.

Moving to a new home can be difficult, but Alejandra is adjusting. With the love and care of our Special Mothers and staff Alejandra is already feeling like she’s part of the Dorie’s Promise family.

Special Mother Candy told me that during the time she has been with us, we’ve seen how curious she is about everything. She is also very active and she loves to help the Special Mothers with chores around the home. She is not a picky eater. She just loves to eat! She especially likes fruits. Some of her favorites are strawberries, grapes, and mangoes. She also loves fried chicken, chocolates, and strawberry cake.

Getting to know Alejandra you’ll find out that her favorite color is pink, her favorite T.V. programs are Sophia the First and Dora the Explorer. She loves to play in the backyard. Football (soccer) and kickball are her favorites, but she also loves to run around and play with the other girls. Alejandra also likes to ride bikes.

She loves to write her experiences in a diary. And she says that when she grows up, she would like to go to Law School and become a Lawyer.

Learn more about Alejandra and consider becoming her sponsor. Your sponsorship helps us provide so much more than just room and board. It also helps us provide medical care, education and spiritual and emotional support. Sponsor Alejandra and help us make her dreams for the future come true!

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008

New School in 2016 : Missions Project with Dorie’s Promise

May 20th, 2016 by

Missions Project with Dorie's Promise | Community Leaders Greet Volunteers from FCI.

By Pablo Villigran –

Boys outside of the school Dorie's Promise Missions Team Built in 2015.Our mission program has accomplished many things since I’ve been a part of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, and now we are moving to a new level of help and service. While keeping our focus on the mission to help the forgotten children of Guatemala we are taking it a step further to focus on education.

We are building a new school this year. This will be our second school and with this school we want to start a training program for teachers, to help them implement better teaching techniques and teaching resources.

We have just started building the school. A team from Connecticut helped us with the foundation. We can’t thank them enough for their long hours of work.

Plans for the new school

Plans for the new school.

Working on the foundation for the new school.The logistics for a project of this size are not easy. In order to accomplish this big of a project we are working together with the community members and mayor of Palencia, an architect, missions teams and the Forever Changed International staff. We understand that a building doesn’t come together without the work of many hand.

This new school represents a big change for the children of Palencia— a change for the better. Imagine after meeting in makeshift classrooms, under trees or in a garage, having a real classroom. For communities in poverty, education is a powerful tool for change in the lives of children.

There is no doubt that real change comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that will always be our first priority. Yet as God opens doors for Forever Changed International to build relationships with communities, it also opens up opportunities for the Gospel.

Our Goal is to keep building the school and finish it by the end of the summer with help from all the teams who will be visiting Dorie’s Promise. If you’d like to be a part of the project we still have openings on the summer schedule.  You can apply online and begin your journey to Guatemala today. And please contact us if you have any questions.

You can also be praying with us for this project. Ask for Gods provision and guidance to be with us. Finally you can donate to the project, just write “Palencia School” in the comment section when you give. It is through partners like you that we can continue to forever change the lives of children!