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An Amazing Week of Seeing God Move!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Mission Trip to Dorie's Promise GuatemalaWe just returned from our second trip as a family to Dorie’s! We had an amazing week of seeing God move! I just wanted to send some encouragement along to you about something wonderful things that happened…

Pablo: Our days began with beautiful praise, worship and prayer followed by devotions. Each day was like a fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit. What a blessing to witness such a love for Christ from a young man! Pablo’s leadership skills were amazing, to organize 30 people is no easy task yet he did it seamlessly! Each place we visited the directions were clear and the work was completed because of the way it had been set up ahead of time. As an organized person this really stood out to me! The teens in our group were so inspired by his love for Christ, we won’t ever be the same after this week! Lastly, the love that he has for the kids at Dorie’s is touching! It was a true blessing to see the love he has for the children and for the children boys, and girls to have such a role model in their lives!

Missions Trip to Dorie's PromiseAbel: Abel was a joy to work side by side with at Dorie’s as well as each service project. The relationships he has developed in these new communities was a beautiful thing…he shares God’s love with the Guatemalan people so clearly which in turn helps us as a team to follow! He is a very hard worker from mixing concrete for hours to playing soccer with the kids at Paradise and the park we visited, we are so impressed with this godly man! What an amazing mentor for Pablo, they worked SO well together as a team!

Jessica: We watched Jessica grow as we were there, still grieving the loss of her Dad, she planned activities for us as a team to do at each place we visited! She seems like a good fit for the team at Dorie’s! Her sweet Mom cooked all of us a delicious meal in celebration!

Mission Trip to Dorie's Promise GuatemalaSpecial Mom’s: WOW! What a blessing to get to know them better this year! It was an inspiration to see them gently correct the kids and love them through whatever the circumstance! They are truly the heart of the orphanage, it’s amazing to me how they love the children as if their very own!

Amazing Children: The kids are so happy and healthy, their English has greatly improved over this past year! What a blessing to see their big smiles and such love to pass around!

Thank you so much for all of the love you show and work you do to support Dorie’s! It has been a blessing for our family to serve there and look forward to returning soon!

Love, Debi (Kevin, Sarah and Joshua too)

Your name Forever Changed Could Not Be More Appropriate

Friday, January 17th, 2014

I just returned home from a weeks mission trip with Forever Changed at Dories Promise.  I felt compelled to send you a quick note to express my gratutide for what you do for those precious children and to praise Pablo, Abel and Jessica for the amazing job they do for your organization.  I have never experienced a trip of that magnitude and cannot put into words how much I have gained from the trip and the love I felt while I was there.  Pablo, Abel and Jessica are three of the most loving, caring, giving and Godly people I have ever met.  They were so organized, patient, personable and inspirational that I will never forget them.  The love that those three have for the children and the people of Guatemala just radiates through them.  God knew what he was doing when he placed them in your organization! They feel like family and I cannot believe I may never see them again.  Thank you for following God’s plan and caring for the orphans.  Your name Forever Changed could not be more appropriate for I am forever changed!

God Bless,

Denise

Fenton, Michigan

Come And Serve with Us

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Bradley Burck and Palbo Villagran-

The statistics are depressing; 380,000 orphans in Guatemala. The highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in Latin America. 26% of children don’t receive any schooling.  Malnutrition claims the lives of 38 children under the age of 5 every day. 1.6 million children living in poverty.

Into this darkness we are shining a light. For the past five years Reach Out Missions has been giving people a chance to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children in Guatemala. It begins with providing the basics;  food, water, clothing, but we desire to do more. By sharing the love of Jesus with them we share an eternal hope. A hope that leaves people forever changed.

Over the years, our Reach Out Missions program has grown and improved. We have had some fantastic mission leaders. Pablo is currently leading our trips, and I have been impressed with his ability to show people the heart of Guatemala. He connects so well with our guests and really makes it a point to ensure everyone who visits our home has a unique experience.

As a ministry we believe we can serve best through relationship building. When you build a healthy relationship with someone, trust is established and the person you are trying to serve is open to your help. This is why we have designed our trips to allow our team members the ability to build relationships with the children of Dorie’s Promise as well as the surrounding communities. Each part of your schedule has been designed with this is mind.

Through working in the community you will meet some of the most impoverished people on this planet. They live among garbage and make their homes out of cardboard and tin. 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. Teams that return regularly get to see how Forever Changed long-term programs are helping these children make their way to a better life.

We would love to have you come and visit. I think you will find our mission experience to be unlike any you have ever had before. You will make new friends, experience a wonderful country with a fantastic culture, and serve people who will simply be blessed by your presence and willingness to come and serve them.

Come to Guatemala!

Come and serve our orphans!

Come and do social justice work in the ghettos of the city!

Come and change lives!

Come and see your life changed … forever!

 

 

Figures are from Unicef Guatemala

Oasis of God Ventures into a Government Orphanage

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Our morning began earlier than expected with the sounds of mothers speaking to their children and songs of joy flowing through our windows. Though our lunch and dinner are provided by the cook, we are provided with groceries and are in charge of making our own breakfast. Brian was the official cook, though everyone pitched in to help. We had bacon, eggs, and toast with  jugo de anaranjado <Orange juice>! Yumm!

Joel joined us around 9.00 to begin our morning devotions. We read from John 15 and Joel explained how in these verses God commands us to love one another. He doesn’t simply suggest or request, he commands us to love another. He also noted that it doesn’t say to love our friends, family, or all nice people – He wants us to love everyone, especially the difficult to love people. Then Joel explained how the verses say God has chosen us. Of all 313 million Americans, God chose the five of us to be here. How special does that make us? It was an incredibly touching moment when he told us we were a blessing to this place and he is anxious to see God work through us to provide miracles.

We piled into the van with homemade baby blankets, baby clothes, and some clothes for the teenagers at the government orphanage. Along with the donations we brought from America, the orphanage here provided cakes and soda for us to bring. The trip to the government orphanage was about 15 /20 minutes and took us through a lot of Guatemala City and through some more rural areas. We learned about chicken buses which are brightly colored school buses that are packed full of people and their products that they are taking to the market to sell. People from rural areas ride these buses with the things they want to sell: clothes, fruit, pigs, goats, or even chicken *hence the name. Evidently, nearly 60 percent of the people in the rural areas are illiterate, so the buses that travel from the city to the rural areas are coordinated with the color that the women wear in the area. That way even illiterate people know how to get home. The trip also provided a brief sighting of the volcano and tons of lovely landscapes. As we neared the orphanage, we saw some areas with greater poverty where the houses are made of scraps of wood or sheet metal or even simple holes dug in the hillside.

The government orphanage was within a compound, so we had to get let in through the gate and then sign a logbook with our names. We gathered the donations and headed to a large classroom filled with a dozen tables and chairs filled with nearly forty children. The first group of kids we worked with had special needs. Their ‘needs’ range from emotional disturbances, delayed learning, or even physical impairments. It was heartbreaking to see so many children who had been abused and\or abandoned simply because they were different. But from the moment we walked into the doors, the children were running at us and giving us hugs, kisses, and offering to help carry the donations we brought. Before serving them snacks, we helped the students work on a project where they distinguished pictures of kids from adults. Some of the children needed help distinguishing, but most knew which category they fell under. Some of the kids spoke fluent spanish, others spoke a little english, and spoke not at all. One girl, Blanca, spoke Spanish very well and was asking all of our ages. After hearing Brian’s age she said, Es muy viejo [You’re very old!] We all got a kick out of that. After the projects were finished, we spent a ton of time taking pictures of the kids. They loved to have their pictures taken! They especially enjoyed the use of cell phones and ipods so that they could use the front camera and see the picture as it was being taken. After dozens of pictures of hugs and kisses, we began to pass out the snack. Everybody had cake and soda – it was a great party! Finally we cleaned up, took some final photos and said Adios! to the children.

Next came in a group of twenty or so teenagers [ages 12-17], all that have a child or are currently pregnant. They all sat in the center of the room in a circle and we sat on the outside. One at a time, they said their name, age, child’s name and age or how far along they were in their pregnancy and Joel translated for  us. As we looked around the room, it was truly heart wrenching to realize these children had, or were about to have, their own children. First a mother of 17 with a 2 year old son, next a 13 year old girl who was due the very next day…the stories continued as most of the mothers were about 15 with children 2 months to 3 years. Most of these ladies were abused in their own homes and left to care for their babies on their own. The orphanage attempts to find relatives to help the girls and their children, but some stay in the orphanage for many years raising their babies. After everyone had introduced themselves, including us, we shared with them cake and soda. After the snack, we set up the donation table with everything we had brought. As the mothers formed a line to pick out things, we attempted to help care for their children. Some mothers were very hesitant to have us around their children [with many of them coming from abusive situations, this wasn’t surprising, unfortunately], but others allowed us to hold their babies. Every mother received a pair of socks for their child and an outfit. Nearly every child received a brand new, homemade blanket, too! The mothers were so grateful for their gifts and they clutched them tightly as they said adios and left. However, a few of the mothers stayed back because they wanted to tell us something, which Joel translated. First, the mother who allowed us to hold her baby that was only a few months old, Ana, said thank you for everything. She said she appreciated our gifts and couldn’t thank us enough for the brief break from motherhood. These were touching words from the mouth of a fourteen year old girl. Next was one of the mothers who was also a part of the special needs group. She began thanking us for our gifts as well as our presence. She explained that even though our gifts may not have been huge, they were incredibly important because they were filled with love. She continued to explain that our love is not like the love most people get to see. She said that our love is much bigger and so much greater because, even though she had a special need, we looked at her as a person and made her feel special. She shared that she never knew her mother and her father was not around and that is why she was at the orphanage. However, she said that we came in and brought love, making everyone there a family and she was so happy to be able to experience the love of a family. She ended by asking God to bless us and wishing nothing bad, only good, upon us in our future. Everyone was teary-eyed and embracing each other. In such an unexpected way, God brought an incredibly powerful message to us.

Finally we piled back into the van and headed back to our orphanage where we shared in a lunch of spaghetti and fresh vegetables [though Kate and Jennifer preferred their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches]. Afterwards Brian and Michelle took a brief nap, Kate and Jennifer hung out, and Alyssa skyped with Jd. Around 2.30 the kids woke from their naps and it was time for us to join them in the backyard to play. We brought with us cars and rings from America, which we learned were called carro or coche, and anillo. Both the boys and girls loved both toys and had a blast playing with and trading them all afternoon. The moms also brought out chalk, so we worked with the kids to make beautiful artwork on the concrete walls and walkways. They especially enjoyed drawing outlines of each other and coloring them in. One of the special mothers brought out a sharp knife, peeled some of the 21 mangoes that the girls pulled out of the tree, and sliced the fruit for the children to dip into rock salt…tart but good! One of the girls started braiding Alyssa’s hair, but decided there was way too much, so she ran to her mama, Mama Deborah, Joel’s wife, and said she needed help. So she came over, brushed through my hair exclaiming, mucho pelo…mucho mucho pelo! [So much hair!] Another girl started braiding kate’s hair using four strands of hair. It was really pretty, but she gave up after four tiny braids.

When it was time to for dinner, we helped with the toddlers a little, feeding some of them and keeping them occupied while the  mothers put the special needs children to bed. We may not have been the best helpers….the children were a little wound up when we left! After we ate a dinner of mini meatloafs and potatoes, Brian worked on the many many pictures we took and the girls went for a walk…barefoot. They came back even sweatier and dirtier when they left, so we were all very grateful for showers!
Again, another day full of excitement, fun, and adventure. Most of all, a day of learning, growing, and giving and receiving copious amounts of love. God has continued to bless us and greatly and for that we are so thankful!

Oasis of God’s Adventures Continue!

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

After a long evening of rest, we woke up to prepare for Easter Sunday at their local Christian Church. As we walked to the street to meet the children, we waited patiently in our front yard. There’s a fence separating our yard from the Children’s, so we were able to watch them as we waited. We didn’t want to interrupt, so we were quiet. Then we heard, `Hola!’ and ‘Alyssa!’ and ‘Mami!’ followed by ‘Papi’! The children were so excited to see us! We walked around the fence and were greeted by hugs and many children climbing into our arms. After a few moments together, it was time to load into the van. The Van was a fifteen passenger van, but amazingly, it actually holds about 35 passengers – good thing we’re such a tightly knit family! The drive to church was short and filled with smiles and laughter. At church we dropped the children off at Sunday school and went into the adult worship. The building was much like large churches in America; a large gymnasium-like room, flashy lights, camera men, a live band with loud music, and projectors shining the lyrics on the wall. The beginning of the worship was music; it was awesome because a majority of the music were songs we already knew, just in Spanish. It was incredibly energetic music and the band kept everyone really engaged. We sang, Yo libre soy (I am free) and Grande Luz (marvelous light) and a few others. The sermon was completely in Spanish; they used to have English translations in headsets, but they moved that technology into their new church that opened in Antigua. However, the bulletin had sermon points and Bible verses – we could recognize enough words to get the main idea!

After worship, we piled back into the van. The children had cookies and juice from Sunday School and one of them shared his cookies with us…yum! Then we all went to a city park and played with the bubbles we brought… the children quickly learned an English word (Bubbles!). One little boy played Keep Away with Kate….he won, but he cheated by running through the plants! The girls chased children and spun them in circles (the old folks got tired). When it was time to go home we dropped the children off then went shopping for a few necessities (Coke and chocolate). Then it was back home for lunch …. steak fajitas with rice! After lunch was rest time, then a few wonderful hours playing outside with the children. They have a big backyard with a huge playset and we climbed, and went down slides, and pushed children on the swings. Jennifer was still wearing her sundress because it was so cool, but she climbed up and slid down over and over! Brian has one little guy that wants to be with him all of the time, so he played ball most of the afternoon. Alyssa climbed on top of the playset and picked mango which the children seemed to enjoy but we found very tart.

When it was time for dinner, the children went inside and we helped with the toddlers a little bit. They behave so well and looked so sweet in their little high chairs! Then it was back to our house for some much needed showers….sadly all our newly acquired tan washed off…. We have been picking up quite a few Spanish words so we know Alto means to stop pushing the swing and Estas bien means Are you okay when they fall. We are now playing with Google translator to learn more. Everyone is very good to try to teach us, although I am sure we are mangling pronunciations!

In all, another wonderful day! As we spend the evening discussing our day, we’re only becoming more excited for what tomorrow will bring! We’ve organized all of the donations we’ve brought and the living room is covered in school supplies, clothes, toys, and health products. Thank you to everyone for the donations – we`ll be sure to take pictures as we’re able to distribute the gifts. Also, thank you for all of the prayers – as always, God is faithful and he hears and answers them. Dios es muy bueno!

Day 1 of Oasis of God’s Adventure in Guatemala

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Though the day started early after an incredibly short night, we all trudged through the travels knowing great things were ahead of us. We successfully arrived in Guatemala City on time, met up with Jennifer, found our Missions leader, Joel, and made it the guest house where we are staying. We had a brief meeting describing the events of the week we had to look forward to and were given a brief tour of the house. After unpacking and exploring the house, we had lunch and prepared to explore the gated community that the orphanage is located within.

As this is part of Guatemala’s prime Summer season, everything is beautifully in blossom and the weather is incredible! Following our brief walk was a tour around the orphanage houses. We started in the infant house where we met a few of the special needs children and the youngest of the children living here, the youngest being only two months old. Though it was hard to part with the adorable little ones, it was time to move forward and meet the school-aged children.

Joel instructed us to greet the kids with enthusiasm, as they would reflect the attitude they see as displaying. His words were unbelievably true! As they opened the door to the house, we waved and said `Hola’ and children ran screaming ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ with their arms raised, begging to be held. The joy and enthusiasm they first displayed was incredibly encouraging to us all. They quickly put on shoes to play outside with us in their cozy coupes, on cars, with toys and games of tag.

Immediately one little fellow began searching our pockets for goodies where he managed to find a tube of chapstick and a cell phone. The chapstick quickly became a community tube, being shared with anyone who would allow the little guy to plaster it across your face. The phone, on the other hand, was a very valuable commodity; surprisingly, every child knew how to use it and wanted to be in charge of taking pictures of the other kids. Throughout the next thirty minutes, we quickly gather nearly 60 pictures of the kids.

The next several hours were filled with joy, laughter, screaming, playing, running, and dancing.

Though we came with a very small spanish vocabulary, the children insist upon us picking up their language. By the end of our evening we had learned, bailar: dance, correr: run, vamanos: let’s go, rapido: fast!, levantanse: stand up, como se dice: how do you say…?, me llamo: my name, como te llamas?: what is your name? and perhaps even more.

By the end of the week I’m sure we’ll have picked up even more. We’ve finished the evening by showering off, sharing a dinner of chicken and rice, and preparing for tomorrow. Without a doubt this day has been the start of an incredible week.

Everyone says these trips will leave you changed…and you wouldn’t believe how much we’ve already experience this. Thanks be to God!

 

It is Time to Book Your Mission Trip to Guatemala

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

By Heather Radu-

If you haven’t made your Spring Break or summer travel plans, I want to encourage you to consider coming to Guatemala City to spend some time holding the orphaned babies at Dorie’s Promise and playing games in the backyard with our toddlers.

Over the years, our Reach Out Missions program has grown and improved. We have had some fantastic mission leaders. Joel Juarez is currently leading our trips, and I have been impressed with his ability to show people the heart of Guatemala. He connects so well with our guests and really makes it a point to ensure everyone who visits our home has a unique experience.

While you are here, you will have a chance to be with our children, see some of the state-run orphanages in the country, and work in the ghetto with some of the families we are helping. We also give you a day to see the countryside and spend a day shopping in Antigua.

If you are considering coming, I want to challenge you to do the following:

Pray — Even if you’re not a praying person, I want to ask you to talk with God about this trip and make sure it is right for you. You might even want to consider joining our prayer team.

Talk with Others — Traveling to Guatemala is a new thing for some people. Talk with people who have been before or see if someone wants to travel with you. Spending time serving the children in our home will be a life-changing experience for you. See our testimony page.

Connect with Us — When you’re ready to come, just drop us an email, and we’ll help you make your plans.

We would love to have you come and visit. I think you will find our mission experience to be unlike any you have ever had before. You will make new friends, experience a wonderful country with a fantastic culture, and serve people who will simply be blessed by your presence and willingness to come and serve them.

Come to Guatemala!

Come and serve our orphans!

Come and do social justice work in the ghettos of the city!

Come and change lives!

Come and see your life changed … forever!

On behalf of everyone on our team, I want to say: “We look forward to see you soon!”

Real-Life Trip of a Lifetime

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Joel with a Missions Team

By Dr. Cari Burck-

They say mission trips are life-changing.

You’ve probably seen it, too — the giddy smiles on their faces after their return from that faraway land. They tell the story of their all-too-brief time and speak about the trip with such an enthusiasm and such an awe-inspired demeanor that you either cynically wonder how they could have left their brains behind, or you start planning how you can go with them next year.

If you are the cynic, it turns out that the emotional stories really are true. That brand of excitement you saw after they came home really was authentic, and the only thing your typically-rational friends left behind at their mission field was what they now know as Real Life.

If you are the one who is already planning to be on the plane with the team next year, then you have been fortunate enough to understand this concept of Real Life earlier than others.

Real life in the USA is not the real life that much of the world’s population knows.

Five out of six Americans never have to worry when their next meal is coming … but for those in poverty, real life is hard, hard work, often with seemingly small benefits. Real life is frightening, seldom — if ever — having two coins to rub together. It is oftentimes dirt floors, filthy water, illiteracy, sickness, malnutrition, crime. But it is also something sweet — looking out for each other, being grateful for the littlest of things. It is knowing, by experience, what is truly important and the profound ability to be happy in these circumstances.

While this is real life for over a billion people on our planet, the Real Life we bring home with us is even more precious. In these desperate places, on those desperate faces, through those eyes, we find peace. We see our sweet Jesus. We immediately, unknowingly block out all of the frivolous stress of our yesterdays and realize that we are in the presence of something true. It is simplicity, humility, priority. We are in a real place, looking with fresh eyes, hearing with fresh ears, touching with new fingertips what it means to have clear priorities and serious needs. But all the while, we are sensing a joy that we don’t really understand. “How can these people be so happy?” you wonder as you take in these deplorable conditions.

And then it dawns on you: “This is what it means to be sought out by a Savior and what it means to be loved by our God! This is Real Life.”

When you visit Forever Changed International, you experience Real Life, too. Yes, these children are living in a lovely, clean home. They have a delicious breakfast to wake up to and cozy beds to hop out of every day.

But it wasn’t always this way for them. Some of these sweet faces have seen their parents murdered, or watched one die of disease when they couldn’t afford a doctor. Some of these tender hearts have been beaten or sold into prostitution. Some of these fragile bodies have been walked out on, left on doorsteps or on curbs or in trash heaps. Most of us cannot even imagine it, especially when we watch them run and play in their nice, clean clothes with their plump little cheeks.

While their stories vary in how they came to this home, the underlying themes are the same. They may not have a blood mama or papa anymore, but the sparkles in their eyes and the smiles on their faces tell you everything you need to know …

… These children are at home! They have Special Mothers now, and if they didn’t have a sibling with them when they came, they sure have siblings now! Their hearts are mending. Their bodies are not only healing, they are also growing strong. They are being educated. They are safe. They are nurtured. They are developing trust. They dare to dream. They are family now.

… They are getting to know Real Life — the love of the Lord our God who is in our midst, a mighty One who will save, who will rejoice over us with gladness, who quiets us by His love, who exults over us with loud singing (Zeph 3:17) — and so will you.

Here is what you can expect a trip to be like:

The mission starts on Saturday when your team arrives. No need to worry about transportation from the airport, or at any time during your trip — we’ve got you covered. When our driver pulls you up to the houses, you will likely be greeted with some of the cutest young faces you have ever seen. That first moment with the kids is unforgettable.

We will get you settled in your rooms and acquaint you with our place.

On Sunday, your day begins just like ours by going to church with all the kids and then playing at a park close to the orphanage. Sunday afternoon, we visit Juanita’s ghetto, where we get to bless some families with much-needed food baskets. They, in turn, bless us. You’ll see.

Monday, we visit the government orphanage. Here, sadly, you will see a dramatic contrast between the conditions of our home and theirs.

Monday afternoon, like nearly all the afternoons during your stay, we spend with the kids of our place. This is a special treat for the kids, and for you.

Tuesday, we spend at home doing what we call an internal project. This will give you the opportunity to see how the orphanage runs and what a typical day is like.

Wednesday, we do an external project at a ghetto next to the Guatemala City dump. Sometimes, for example, we install pilas (water sinks), or even do a cement floor.

Thursday is a long but exciting day. First we tour an area next to the dump. Then we get to eat lunch with the family where we worked the day before.

Thursday afternoon, we go out with our kids on a special outing (like to the zoo, or to get ice cream, or to the movies). Be prepared for the excitement! The kids really love Thursday afternoons!

Thursday night, we close our activities with a special dinner at a nice restaurant.

Friday is sightseeing in Antigua, a picturesque and historic city surrounded by volcanoes. This is a great place to buy all kinds of beautifully handcrafted souvenirs.

In all of our activities, our main goal is to show your team the importance of our little place — the blessing and great opportunity that our kids have here at Dorie’s Promise — the way we can go out and reach other kids and families if we can’t have them here — and that it all happens because of the grace of God.

This is our Real Life, and we would love to share it with you. We hope to see you soon! Click for more information on our trips.

Incredible Missions Experience

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

If you’re looking for an incredible missions experience, you need look no further than Forever Changed International’s Reach Out Missions program.

Our mission trips last a week and are spent in Guatemala City serving orphans and poor families in the City’s Dump and ghettos.

Alej Diaz, the director of Forever Changed International’s orphanage in Guatemala, Dorie’s Promise, says, “From my perspective, the teams that come here from the States give a lot more than they take. We as an organization get the chance to share the amazing work being done here, and not only at Dorie’s Promise, but also in the community through our outreach programs. Our children get the chance to meet people, receive love and care, and experience God’s hands coming from all over the world.”

Here are just a few quotes from past visitors:

“This was the most rewarding trip our family has taken. The culture is so incredibly warm and loving.” —Michael Moran

“This was a life-changing trip for me, and if you want an experience of a lifetime, you should take a trip with Forever Changed International and visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.” —McKena Christian

Those who come to visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala will have an amazing week filled with wonderful experiences. Our trips start on Saturday and go all week. Here is just a sampling of what you can expect:

Saturday

Welcome to the organization

Sunday

Church with the kids and visit the ghetto

Monday

Visit the State orphanage

Tuesday

Visit the dump

Wednesday

Work on a project in the dump

Thursday

Visit the ghettos in Guatemala City and bring lunch to a family in the dump

Friday

Visit Antigua for a day of shopping, then a special dinner with the children of Dorie’s Promise

These experiences in Guatemala City will change your life. Denis Walsh, a visitor in 2012, said, “It was good for us to experience the harsh conditions and serve humbly. The people we met everywhere were a pure gift.”

Melissa McQuillen said:

I am going to write a blog called "The Top 10 reasons you should go to Dorie's Promise."  I would say that the first thing that sticks out to me is the organization. Amazing job. Every day was planned, and the time was well balanced between manual labor and spending time with the children or in prayer. Because of this organization, we did SO MUCH this week. I also really appreciated how transparent FCI was with the money and donations. Also, the heart behind everything we did. The vision is that Dorie's can help empower the people they are helping to help themselves and to grow, get an education, etc. The point isn't just to make people dependent on Dorie's. But Dorie's knows that first there must be TRUST and consistency before those things can happen. I thought at first the name "Forever Changed" was ambitious. But it was a reality. I am truly changed forever.

If you are interested in going on a mission trip with Forever Changed International to serve in Guatemala City, please let us know. You can read more about what we offer on our site, or you can call Naomi at 360-836-7626. We would love to have you!

A Rewarding Experience

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

By Pablo Villagran-

(Third of three parts)

Wayne and Michelle Hanson made their first trip to Guatemala in November of 2011. The ties formed from that visit established an ongoing relationship with Dorie’s Promise that has changed them.

“The impact of going to Guatemala makes me think about what’s really important in my daily life,” Michelle says.

“Once you experience people who live in such hard circumstances and don’t have choices, you realize that even the homeless in the U.S. have choices. The people in Guatemala don’t have that luxury.”

The members of Crest Baptist Church in Creston, Iowa “connected” with Director Alejandra Diaz and Missions Coordinator Joel Juarez Lopez on that first visit. It resulted in them inviting Joel to visit their southwestern Iowa town last spring.

The Hansons then led a team of 13 here the first week of August. Their teens had wanted to go on a mission trip, but prior service in Venezuela had become unsafe.

Among the many highlights of their visits was helping pour concrete floors at homes in the ghetto, as well as purchasing pilas (water stations) and installing them.

Wayne says the work also brought his team closer together. “My highlight from our second trip was watching a group meld together and expose their hearts to each other,” he comments.

In addition to working with our children, Michelle says their visits to different sites around Guatemala City helped them to understand our mission better and the impact Dorie’s Promise is making. Not only on our kids, but on the nation’s future by educating them and giving them choices.

“This is a huge mission that needs others to help,” she says. “Our teens in the USA have become so self-centered that it is important that they see how most of the world lives.”

The Hansons’ next visit is Dec. 17, when they and one other person will deliver Christmas gifts. Wayne says our staff is a major reason they continue to return: “To be a part of helping you and praying with you is a blessing.”

Michelle guarantees that those who come to Guatemala will find a new perspective on life. "Americans take so much for granted, whether it is a good education or plenty to eat without worrying about whether they can find enough work so they can eat," she says.

“Our children don’t have to stay home and work so the family can eat tonight,” Michelle says. “These realities are something I believe every teenager should experience—and every Christian.”

Wayne says their mission trips have shown him that he cannot out-give God.

“I haven’t even touched on the impact on our kids or how rewarding the experience is,” he says. “Many people believe it is better to just send money than go. We were commanded to go and make disciples, not just send money. Going is about relationships—which is Christ’s main focus.”

This three-part series has spotlighted just several of the many people whose lives have been forever changed by a trip to Guatemala. If you want to join them, click here to learn more.