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Posts Tagged ‘Child Sponsor’

Generous Donation – “We Wanted to Help.”

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Photo Provided By Bryan and Rachel Kreitz

By Heather Radu –

Photo Provided By Bryan and Rachel KreitzBryan and Rachel Kreitz were among 18 members of a mission team that came to Guatemala on spring break in March. Although it was the Houston couple’s first trip to Dorie’s Promise, it won’t be their last.

That’s because the children at our home captured their hearts. In addition to planning a return trip next June, they recently made a generous donation of 1 percent of their sales during May.

It was the first business-related donation made by the couple, who purchased Trinity Legal Discovery in Houston nearly two years ago.

“It was my wife’s idea,” Bryan says. “She wanted to start giving back to community groups and charities. I asked, ‘What do you want to do for the first month?’ and she said, ‘Dorie’s.’

“We fell in love with those kids. It’s a tough road for them and we wanted to help. We took downloadable pictures off the web site and put stickers on our boxes. So during May, every box of client documents we sent out had pictures from Dorie’s Promise on them.”

The Kreitzes learned about us through some friends who made their first mission trip to Guatemala last year. Bryan and Rachel were eager to come after hearing about Dorie’s Promise; ultimately, they helped assemble a team from various places. It included six children age 12 or younger.

The trip touched the couple in a dramatic way. As the owners of a small (14 employees) business that includes constant cash-flow pressures, they saw that what they face isn’t that tough compared to the poor in Guatemala.

“We were dealing with people who live in an eight-by-eight-foot home and four people sleeping in one bed and they weren’t complaining,” Bryan says. “There’s a week’s worth of food in our refrigerator, and they may not eat more than once a day.”

Photo Provided By Bryan and Rachel KreitzThe team completed a number of community projects in the town of Palencia, where we are building a school. Among their efforts: delivering two weeks of food to a soup kitchen, 50 water filters and two sets of bunk beds to residents, and completing two house extensions.

The trip also impacted their nine-year-old and 12-year-old daughter. Back home, the couple still discuss their visit as they remind their children of how much more they have than kids in Central America.

“It was great to see them get outside themselves,” Bryan says. “It was eye opening for all the kids. One of them talked about wanting this and that, but the second day he said, ‘Mom, I don’t want anything. I want to help these kids.’ She started bawling.”

In addition to helping in the community, the spring break team spent a lot of time with our kids—playing soccer, throwing a football around, going to a trampoline park, and attending church together.

The team was especially impressed with the care and attention offered by our Special Mothers.

“The kids wanted to be loved on and you can tell they are,” Bryan says. “These kids need our help and a dollar there goes so much further. I look at it as being able to help one kid at a time.”

Needless to say, supporters like the Kreitzes make our work a little easier.

Gymnastics Boosts Girls’ Confidence

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

The girls from Doire's Promise who participated in the gymnastic classes last fall.

By Alejandra Diaz –

Three of our students get ready for their final performance.Even though Guatemala just passed the halfway point of the 2017 school year, our girls are already looking forward to their Gymnastics Vacation Course this fall.

A dozen of our girls participated in last fall’s course. About 100 students overall were involved in the classes, which start after the school year—which begins in January—ends in October.

Our children participated for the first time two years ago, but were eager to enroll again last year because some of the girls are very talented. (To see some photos from the classes, click here.)

Although they only have the chance to take formal lessons in October and November, every time they have the chance to practice at home, they do it! Sometimes we have to caution them to watch out for other people when they do their tumbles, flips and other moves.

These gymnastics classes have made a huge impact on our girls, improving their school work and self-confidence. We have seen big changes in their outlook and attitudes.

They have shown themselves they are able to do great things. The girls felt so good when they made their presentations at the final show and everyone congratulated them.

After all, taking part in the gymnastics classes requires a lot of effort and self-discipline. These sessions demanded a lot of practice and meant they had to demonstrate a daily commitment to improve.

Not only do these classes show the kind of achievements that are possible with hard work and dedication, they emphasize the value of child sponsorship.

Several of the girls from Dorie's Promise performing iat the end of their gymnastic class.It is only because of the support of so many generous donors that we can take the girls to these vacation courses. Indeed, we would really love to find a way to give them the opportunity to participate in gymnastics year-round to allow them to further develop and use their talents.

Since the costs of shelter, food, clothing and other necessities require so much of our resources, it is only when children receive full sponsorship that monies are available to sign them up for additional opportunities.

Our goal is to meet all our ongoing monthly expenses through child sponsorship, which will enable us to be much more flexible in our operations.

If you would like to help our children take part in things like the gymnastics course and other character-building and educational exercises, consider becoming a child sponsor today.

A Connection with Merary

Monday, May 8th, 2017

By Alejandra Diaz –

Merary at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaWhile numerous donors have visited Dorie’s Promise, a couple of our most avid supporters have yet to come to Guatemala. However, Christina and Patrick Wallis are saving for the mission trip they plan to take with their five children.

The couple started following FCI after sensing a strong attraction to missions and short-term possibilities where they could serve as a family.

After discovering Dorie’s Promise in online research, they signed up for email updates and started a mission trip savings account.

Then, a few years ago, Patrick found himself repeating “Merary” at work. Later, the couple discovered several references to this name in the Bible and recognized the Holy Spirit was speaking.

“One day we got an email about a new girl at Dorie’s, whose name was Merary,” Christina says. “We both immediately knew that was the Merary we had been praying about. Immediately, we began to give and help support her.” (Learn how you can sponsor Merary too.)

Christina, Patrick and their children—Carissa, 17; Grace, 14; Elyse, 13; Hannah, 11; and Levi, 6—pray for Merary regularly. After learning her name means “bitter” or “sad,” their prayers included the request that she would know joy and happiness.

Recently, the Wallises learned they can correspond with the girl and plan to start writing her letters. As adoptive parents, the Wallises would love to take Merary into their family. Since Guatemala has closed internal adoptions they realize that isn’t possible, but they want Merary to know that she is loved.

Merary loves to color.Through the Special Mothers, Patrick has sent her pictures of the family and money to buy special gifts. In turn, we have sent them photographs of Merary enjoying the gifts.

Christina says they have read her profile online and watched videos of her, as well as keeping Merary’s picture on the refrigerator and their phones. “I know she likes most food, but not onions,” Christina says. “She loves jokes and to make people laugh—very much like our family does.”

The spiritual connection that originated with the Holy Spirit leading Patrick to repeat Merary’s name has dramatically affected the Wallises faith, which continues to grow.

“I think of how specifically, how personally, and with great detail the Lord worked to make sure Merary knows she is loved,” Christina says. “There is a God that loves her and He took great effort to communicate with a family across the world about her very existence.

“She can also know there is a mom, a dad, and siblings out there who know her name, who care what is happening to her, and love her because she is precious.”

Needless to say, these kinds of stories are an incredible blessing to us!

Child Sponsorship Needed

Monday, April 10th, 2017

The smiling faces of children whose lives have been Forever Changed at Dorie's Promise.

By Bradley Burck –

Orphans from fire in Guatemala

Marbely is a survivor of the fire at Virgen de Asuncion. She is now at Dorie’s Promise.

The current situation at Dorie’s Promise underscores the importance of Forever Changed International’s child sponsorship program.

As you may have read on our blog, the home recently accepted four children from the Virgen de Asuncion orphanage in Guatemala after a disastrous fire there in early March. The death toll at the state-run home recently reached 41, with several dozen others sustaining injuries.

In addition, we recently accepted three other children from desperate circumstances, which increased the number living at the home to 44, which is several above capacity.

Given the needs in Guatemala, sponsoring residents through FCI is an excellent way for people wanting to help to respond.

News reports outline the seriousness of the situation. Although designed to accommodate 400 people, the week of the fire the New York Times reported that 750 were crammed into the aging structures at the state-run orphanage.

The newspaper also reported that, although they had been removed from their homes for their own safety, many were victims of sexual assault and other abuse by staff members. The situation prompted criminal cases and complaints with the country’s human rights commission.

Alejandra Diaz, the director of Dorie’s Promise, says that feelings of frustration are common around Guatemala. This situation could have been avoided if the government had provided the care that the children at the state orphanage needed, she says.

Children like Elvis are in need of sponsors.

Children like Elvis (Age 5) are in need of sponsors.

“We are accepting the challenge to take more children, which has filled us beyond our capacity,” Alejandra says. “But we cannot stay indifferent to the need of a safe place for so many children.

“I wish we could have more space and resources to take more children so we could offer them the opportunities that we have provided to the children who have been with us for a long time.”

This situation cries out for prayer, which Alejandra says is one of the most important things that supporters in the United States and elsewhere can offer right now.

  • Pray for emotional relief for our newcomers
  • Pray that they would have a smooth transition
  • Pray too for the nation of Guatemala—that that positive changes can be made for so many children who live in poverty and serious circumstances

“The other important thing we need is their commitment to support us,” Alejandra says. “Not just now during this emergency, but ongoing support so we can offer as many children as possible a future and the opportunities to forever change their life.”

To read more about children who need sponsors, visit this page. Monthly sponsors provide ongoing safety and security for children and are needed now more than ever. Or give today, a special one time gift, to help the children who survived the fire at Virgen de Asuncion.

Meet Abraham Emanuel

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

 

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!

Hope for Orphans: An Update on Lucia and Fabiola

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

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…

Friday, June 17th, 2016

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

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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

Life Is A Journey: Nayeli’s Story

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2011

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in 2011

As time passes, things remind you that you are getting older. Changing physically, maturing emotionally — life teaching you along the way.

Looking at the photos of Nayeli, you’ll notice how she has changed over the years, how she has turned into an amazing young lady.

When Nayeli came to Dorie’s Promise in 2005 she was 7, she was sad and insecure, just like most of the children who come to us. Nayeli, over time, was able to forgive those in her past who hurt her — and she’s become a resilient person despite her suffering as a young child (from physical and psychological abuse by her biological parents to an attempted adoption that failed). The ups and downs in life helped her

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2016

May of 2016 Nayeli is growing into a lovely young woman.

mature and grow into a happy young woman who is sure of herself and has high self-esteem. Nayeli says, “I have a future ahead and many things left for me to do.”

She tells us:

What I love about Dorie’s Promise is that despite our differences, in coming from different backgrounds, we are all one big, happy family.

We are taught to be polite, to have good manners, and to thank God every day for His grace and mercy. I am with people I love and appreciate. I love to share with all my brothers and sisters — they are an important part of my life.

At Dorie’s Promise I have found unconditional support and people who have been there for me when I was

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2015

Nayeli credits God’s hand in giving meaning to her life.

sad and angry and even happy … They love, accept, and respect me as I am. Most importantly, this is the place I met God. I did not know who God was before Dorie’s Promise, but when I got here I learned I am His beloved daughter — that His plans are perfect, that He brought me to this place for a reason.

I remember well that when we started doing devotionals, I found it boring at first. But with time, my sadness was turned into happiness as I listened to all He has created and done — how He died for my sins. All the people around me have impacted my life. I came to understand that someone loves me, and that I’m not alone. God gives a sense of meaning to my life.

My life has been a journey, and I thank God for all the people I have met who have given me good advice and guidance. I also thank all the sponsors from the bottom of my heart who give not only me but all the children of Dorie’s Promise the opportunity to change their lives!

Sponsor are an essential part of what we do at Forever Changed. Without you, we couldn’t give Nayeli and all of our children the excellent care, love and support that we do. Nayeli is currently 100% sponsored, but we have many more children waiting for sponsors. Please consider sponsoring a child and helping us change more lives.

Cari’s Kids

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Give a Gift to Orphans : Become a Sponsor

By Cari Burck –

Cari with her husband Bradley.I will never forget my first trip to Guatemala, when I made it my mission to get a little guy named Lester to smile. I loved on him, devoted attention to him, and acted silly. Before leaving, I snapped the first-ever picture of him smiling.

On that trip, I left a piece of my heart at Dorie’s Promise. Our support of the home gives my husband, Bradley, and me dozens of children in addition to the two who live in our own home. In a modest way, we are helping to solve the world’s orphan crisis.

As I flew home after a recent visit, I thought of ways others in North America can play a vital role in helping orphans in Guatemala. This is true even though it’s been eight years since the country curtailed international adoptions.

To start with, anyone can sponsor a child. Providing 24/7 care in a safe environment is expensive; it takes $1,000 a month per child to meet Forever Changed International’s standards. FCI asks for a minimum pledge of $35 a month, which means it takes multiple sponsors to meet each child’s needs.

Thanks to e-mail, Skype, and other modern communications, you can maintain regular contact with your child, too. You can find out what’s going on in their lives as you help feed, clothe, and care for kids like Mario, Fabiola, Yojana, Alex, and Dulce.

However, don’t restrict your involvement to instant messages or video chats. Think about coming to Guatemala. Over the years thousands have. All return home with a familiar refrain on their lips: “This changed my life.”

All Smiles from Ingrid and Jennifer.It isn’t just helping the orphans at Dorie’s Promise that makes a difference. Participating in community improvement projects will help you get a better understanding of the conditions in the Guatemala City area. Making a difference in needy people’s lives will make a difference in yours.

Back home, you can take part in awareness activities. Churches have sponsored fun runs that not only raise money for FCI, but spread the message about our work. Others have sponsored garage sales or asked guests coming to their child’s birthday party to donate to Dorie’s Promise as their gift.

You can plan a fundraiser for your sponsored child’s community, too. Bake sales, yard sales, and dance marathons may seem like outdated activities. But when the purpose is helping the poor, old becomes “retro” and young people get as excited as their parents.

If your area gets blanketed by another storm this winter, why not use some of that time to read a book about global poverty or international adoption*? There are many titles that will increase your understanding of the deplorable conditions that have created the global orphan crisis.

When you take a reading break, consider jumping online to join FCI’s prayer team. Each month you will receive specific prayer requests and praise items. Prayer is an essential lifeline for this ministry. Or, if you just want to stay informed about developments, you can sign up for e-mail notifications.

Your help changes lives!Other ways you can help include:

  • Consider giving a special gift. You can check the gift registry for the latest needs, or consider placing one of the children on your Christmas gift list next fall.
  • Host a dinner. Invite good friends to your home, and after dinner make a short presentation on Dorie’s Promise. Tell others what this means to your life. You may attract another sponsor or two for the home.
  • Engage your church. Many need some kind of missions focus. Letting them know about our Reach Out Missions could light a spark among the members.
  • Tell others about sponsorship. Speak to the Rotary Club or other community organization. After all, if you sponsor a child, you’re an expert. You know what good this accomplishes and how it makes you feel.

Go ahead. Join my mission to let everyone know about the incredible things that are happening in Guatemala!

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008