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Posts Tagged ‘Child Sponsorship’

Back to School

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Ready for another year of school!

By MJ Zelya –

Heading to the van for schoolThe return to school after the holidays is a little difficult but exciting for the children of Dorie’s Promise. For some children they feel like they are “big kids” now because they will begin primary school. For others they are excited because they will attend to school for the first time this year, and others because they are returning to study and play with their school friends.

It is gratifying to see their excitement, as we watched them explore their backpacks filled with new school supplies, books, and workbooks.

The first day of school is always a little crazy and a bit rushed for everyone, including special mothers, because we have children attending 4 different schools. The children go to schools that can best help their development depending on their current knowledge and skill level.

The schools they attend are El Shaddai, Hossana School, American-Guatemalan Institute and a few attend public school. We truly believe that helping our children to attend a school that is right for them, will open doors in the future and will drop the barriers of poverty, that generations of their families have lived in.

Boys ready for the first day of school.One day the children will leave our home and like any good parent we want to prepare them as best as we can to be good people, who can support their families and be a godly example for others.

When children are given the opportunity to be educated they are able to gain social and emotional skills including: confidence, persistence, organization, getting along with others, and emotional resilience—qualities that they are developing not only at Dorie’s Promise but also in the school setting.

While at school they also work on developing new motor skills. Physical Education encourages them to do things better with practice (like dribbling a ball or jumping rope) and they learn teamwork which is an essential skill.

By the way— Our children really do love school!

The girls, ready on the first day of school.Seven year old, Nayeli Soto says, “I like to go to school because it helps me to learn more. Now I can read the books that I like. Last year my favorite subjects were math and science.”

Abraham Emanuel, also seven, says, “I like to do my homework, color and play with my friends at school. I like sports, especially when we play soccer!”

Ingrid who is 14 says she’s excited for school because, “this year I’m going to a private school where my English classes will be more intensive and I will learn computer Skills. I’m so happy!”

Yire, age 5, told us, “I like my school, the activities they have for us are fun. And I like to do my homework.” But he complains that it’s difficult for him to do cursive handwriting!

We are grateful because God’s has provided, through our many sponsors, the opportunity to give our children a good education and a better future! If you are not a sponsor yet, please prayerfully consider sponsoring one of our children. You’ll be part of shaping a new future for them and it might even change your life!

Merary is Added to the Sponsorship Program

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

meraryBy MJ Zelya –

Meet MeraryMerary (Age 9) came to Dorie’s Promise this last October. Since she was a small baby she had been living with a relative. Her birth mother is drug addict and was unable to care for her. Even then, the relative was abusing her and she was rescued by her aunt, who brought her to the Minor’s court. The judge sent Merary to Dorie’s Promise until her case is resolved.

Interestingly enough, Merary is Yire’s sister. They hadn’t actually met until Merary came to Dorie’s Promise.

At first Merary was very shy—she never spoke to anyone, hardly smiled and she was always distracted. Her gross motor skills were not developed. One of the things she really wanted to do was jump rope, but she wasn’t coordinated enough to do it.

It is so exciting to watch, as children come to our home and grow in the confidence and abilities!

Merary has done just that, she’s learned to jump rope, and it’s become a favorite activity for her. Lorena, one of the Supervisors says, “Now she talks all the time, she smiles and she is a joker.” What big changes in such a short time!

Lorena goes on to say, “She makes her bed neat and she likes to cooperate with us on housekeeping tasks. She shares freely and is very loving. She’s also able to expresses her feelings well.”Merary is a very smart girl.

Merary’s favorite color is red and her favorite television program is Princess Sofia.

She is very smart, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to find out that she knows all the names of Bible’s books and she says them in order. She also has learned many proverbs from the Bible and she shares them with us.

Merary certainly enjoys living at Dorie’s Promise. “I like this place,” she says. “I eat delicious food. Many times a day! I also have clothes and shoes, and I will go to school soon. When I grow up I want to be a teacher. I’m happy because I have many friends and many moms that love me here.”

Merary has just been added to our sponsorship program. Will you 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 Merary and help us make her dreams for the future come true.

Praying For the Children of Dorie’s Promise: It Makes A Difference!

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Maria Jose and Franco with Dorie's Promise Director Alej

Maria Jose and Franco with Dorie’s Promise Director Alej

By Kim Palmer –

I am happy to share my connection with the children through prayer, visits and sponsorship.

I have visited Dories Promise six times now. After my first visit to Dories Promise, my life has been Forever Changed. I have seen first hand the power of prayer, God hears our prayers!!!

I miss the children so much, the best way for me to connect with them when I am not at Dories Promise is through God and prayer. I pray for the Special Mothers, the great team there- Pablo, Abel and Jessica and the sweet amazing children! I pray in groups for the Special Mothers and other staff, they all work so hard and give so much love to the children and really make it such an amazing week for all of us who come to visit!

When I pray for the children some are really weighing on my heart, I get tears in my eyes sometimes when I pray for them. I say group prayers for the children but a lot of individual prayers for the children also. There has been one of the children that I really have been praying extra for, all my visits there was so hard to get her to smile, she really wanted a forever family. My last visit there she was hugging me and I didn’t want to let go I wanted to take her pain away. God heard our prayers, Maria and Franco were adopted! (See story)

Maria was one of the three children that I sponsor through the sponsorship program. One of the reasons I chose her was because my heart could not stop aching for her, I wanted her to smile again! The sponsorship program is great, I really appreciate all the updates on the web-site, another great way to help us stay connected with Dories Promise.

I know the sponsorship program really makes a difference for these children. I pray every day for these amazing children, pray for health, peace and happiness.

I look forward to my next visit to Dories Promise- the children are always on my mind and forever in my heart!

Meet Jennifer: Help Make Her Dreams Come True

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Jennifer at Dorie's Promise in 2009.

Jennifer at Dorie’s Promise in 2009.

By MJ Zelya –

Jennifer at Dorie's Promise 2016

Jennifer (Age 12) came to Dorie’s Promise in 2007 when she was only 4 years old.  Her mother decided to give her up for adoption* because she remarried and had a new family.  When Jennifer came to live at Dorie’s Promise she did not speak Spanish just a Mayan language called Kakchiquel. It was difficult, at first, for everyone to understand her needs. In the end, she adapted very well and learned Spanish so quickly that she was able to enroll in school that same year.

She is a smart girl, we noticed that right away. She has always earned good grades in school, and her teachers say she is a great student. She would like to learn English and speak it fluently!

“I’d like to go to college someday,” says Jennifer.

Her Special Mothers see that as a real possibly, “She is very responsible, and does her homework all by herself.”

She enjoys Bible study time and shares the stories she learns there with the other girls. One of her favorites is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 when Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish and fed the multitude.

Jennifer is very optimistic and goal orientated. When she sets a goal, she works hard to accomplish it no matter the time it may take.

She is also a very creative girl. She loves to draw and make handicrafts (especially bracelets. See photo right.)

Jennifer and friends showing off the bracelets Jennifer made.Her favorite foods are hamburgers, guacamole, and pasta.

Special Mother Nohemi, the supervisor of house 6 says, “Jennifer is always willing to help others and she is an obedient child.”

She goes on to say, “She is growing up quickly. She is so beautiful. You can see that she is leaving the childhood stage and entering into the teenage years. She is a very lovely girl in so many ways.”

Jennifer is grateful for the opportunity God’s given her to live at Dorie’s Promise. “To me, this home is like a family.” Yet still she desires a for a Forever Family to adopt her*. We will continue to pray for a loving, godly Guatemalan family for Jennifer. Yet we appreciate the privilege of knowing Jennifer and watching her grown into such a delightful young lady.

Please consider sponsoring Jennifer and helping her make her dreams come true!

*International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008

Taking The Experience Home: Farrah Carmen’s Story

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Farrah (Center) with children from Dorie's Promise.

By FCI Team –

Farrah ( on right) at the Miss Canada Globe pageantWe recently spoke with Farrah Carmen about how her experience at Dorie’s Promise inspired her as she competed in a recent pageant. Farrah used her mission trip experience in an essay as part of the Miss Canada Globe application process, and then advocated for Forever Changed International (FCI) before a panel of judges explaining why it was her charity of choice. When people like Farrah, and our Partners of Hope, share their passion for our children and home they help raise not only awareness, they also make caring connections for orphans. By speaking for orphans they are giving voice to those who typically have no voice.

We thank Farrah and all those like her who take their experiences on the mission field home with them – who invite others to be sponsors, who excite their friend and family into serving with us, and who help others give meaningfully. Thank You. (For more information about becoming a Partner of Hope click here.)

Interview with Farrah Carmen:

  1. Where did you hear about FCI or Dorie’s Promise?

I was researching different mission trips online, and I came across Forever Changed International during my research. Once I explored the website and the statement of faith I was happy to have finally found a mission trip I was serious about.

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

I was extremely interested in FCI because I wanted to travel somewhere new where I would have the opportunity to work with children. I was also inspired by Heather Radu’s life story and how she recognized the need for orphan care.

Farrah on her missions trip to Guatemala.Orphan care is close to my heart; myself having been a ward of the government, in my home country of Canada since the age of seven. I felt I would be able to connect with the children. I also appreciated the fact that Dorie’s Promise placed an importance on showing the children God’s love.

  1. What was it like to travel to Guatemala?

Initially I was scared to travel to Guatemala alone, but I was met at the airport by one of the staff who was really kind. Everyone was so friendly that I immediately felt at ease. There were fifteen of us serving together during the week I was at Dorie’s Promise. The next day, when we got to meet the children one of the little girls, Selene, jumped right into my lap. It was then I remembered why I was there.

Our group leader for the week was Pablo. He was funny and though he is young he really helped us connect with God and his love. Every morning we prayed and we were reminded about why we were there. I thought he was a great leader.

The accommodations were very clean and Pablo was so helpful. I felt from the very beginning that I had everything I needed for the week of serving God through Dories Promise.

  1. What was your impression of the Dorie’s Promise?

Farrah with Pablo in GuatemalaI couldn’t believe there was on-site pediatrician, so it was nice to see that the children were getting medical attention if they needed it. I was happy to see the ratio of Special Mothers to children, and that they really cared about the children of Dorie’s Promise. The children were so friendly. They were all so playful; it made me feel like a kid again. Even though there was a language barrier we still had so much fun, playing games together like “duck, duck, goose” and baseball. They are so special each and every one of the children at Dorie’s Promise.

  1. What was your biggest take-away from the trip?

My biggest take away from the trip was realizing the orphanage does not receive any government funding and it is solely supported through sponsorship. This made me recognize how important sponsorship is and how I can make a difference.

  1. Why do you think people should support Dorie Promise or sponsor one of our children?

I think people need information and awareness about what the Forever Changed International organization does. One way to achieve that, I believe, is through word of mouth, and I hoped by supporting Dories Promise as my platform at the pageant that a lot more people can see what how important it is to support the Forever Changed International organization.

Forever Changed International is a great organization that deserves recognition and the children of Dorie’s Promise also deserve the love, care, and medical attention that sponsors help provide.

Learn more about Farrah and the Miss Canada Globe pageant. or Become a Sponsor Today.

Meet Ingrid: Your opportunity to change a life!

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Ingrid shortly after she arrived at Dorie's Promise.

Ingrid shortly after she arrived at Dorie’s Promise.

Ingrid now (age 14) at Dorie's Promise.

Ingrid now (age 14) at Dorie’s Promise.

By MJ Zelya –

Ingrid is one of the older girls that are sheltered at Dories’ Promise, she and her siblings have been here since 2010. Watching her evolution from the reserved child she came to us as, to the smiling, caring person she has become is a privilege. But we are worried, because she doesn’t have enough sponsors to cover all her needs; she still needs your help to finish what she has started, working towards her dreams.

All too soon she will be grown and on her own. We want to make sure she is well prepared when that day comes. Not just getting a good education at school, but having the skill she needs to live on her own and continue to pursue God.

Through all these years we have witnessed the miracles of what sponsorship has done in the lives of our children. The sponsorship program helps us to give the children what they need to be better people. With the help of our sponsors our children’s physical, emotional, spiritual needs have been met.

We would like for all of our children to be supported 100% in order to fulfill those needs, but in this case we ask you to help us to reach Ingrid’s support goal-  she needs you! Your support will open doors for her future!

Ingird has grown into a confident and independant teen.Ingird is a sweet girl who her special mothers say sleeps like a bear, she really enjoys sleeping and when it’s time to wake up she gets angry because she wants to continue sleeping. They say she has grown into a more confident and independent teen.  In her free time she loves to play football (soccer) and listen to Christian music on her iPod.

Ingrid has a beautiful voice, and makes beautiful and special prayers. She is also a good activities organizer.

I believe in second chances, and for sure God bringing Ingrid to our home to have the opportunity to grow into a healthy and secure woman is a blessing.

Please consider sponsoring Ingrid, and being a part of this important second chance in the life of someone that otherwise would have been forgotten by the world. God knows your heart and will bless your gift. Together we are changing the lives of children like Ingrid forever. Your sponsorship gives the children of Dorie’s Promise what they need to be better people and eventually to build a better country.

 

 

A Pleasant Surprise

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

 

Group photo at Dorie's Promise Guatemala.By FCI Team –

We recently received a pleasant surprise: a gift of approximately $1,800 in sponsorship money for four of our children, enough to sponsor each of the four for a year.

The gift came from Antelope Hills Christian Church in Canby, Minnesota, which raised the funds during this year’s Vacation Bible School.

 Jenni Maas and Friend from the Community at the City Dump.There’s a reason the church got involved: Pastor Steve Maas and his wife, Sharon, felt called to take a family mission trip to Dorie’s Promise in the summer of 2014.

“Our family bonded forever to the children and people of Guatemala in ways we could have never imagined,” Steve says. “We hope to go back to Dorie’s Promise in the summer of 2016 with a group from our church.”

Their 2014 trip also included their two youngest children, daughters Jenni and Emily. Because of the ties established last year, the pastor thought of a way to help our home. During this summer’s Vacation Bible School, Steve and Sharon handed out photographs of residents Fabiola, Lucia, Lester and Josue. The children took the pictures home to parents to generate donations for their support.

The gift from Antelope Hills included a donation from the memorial fund established for Steve’s father. A longtime church member, the elder Maas died just before VBS started.

There’s another reason Pastor Steve and Sharon feel so strongly about helping our kids. They adopted Jenni and Emily—who are biological sisters—from Guatemala in 1990 and 1995 through the Children’s Home Society, a U.S.-based adoption agency.*

“As we thought about going, we wondered what all would transpire,” Steve recalls of their planning for the girls’ first trip back to Guatemala. “The girls fell in love with their homeland in powerful and significant ways. Their hearts opened, swelled and broke time and time again.

“Tears filled their eyes, as well as ours, over and over at the incredible and touching big and small moments in each day.”

Jenni Maas with Lucia during her trip to GuatemalaIndeed, Emily is following up on her visit. She departed recently for Guatemala where she plans to stay for three months at a language school in Antigua to learn Spanish.

Forever Changed changed us,” Steve says. “People go on trips all the time and spend lots of money, but this is so much deeper and more meaningful than taking a vacation. We’re so excited we were able to sponsor these children through VBS and our church body. Our prayers are with everyone who make Dorie’s Promise the blessing that it is.”

If you would like to help children know the joy of security by signing up as a sponsor, click here to see the children in our home. If you want to organize a mission trip for your family, youth group, or other group get started here.

*International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008

New Siblings at Dorie’s Promise Enter Sponsorship Program

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Three new siblings recently arrived at Dorie’s Promise via court order.

Three new siblings recently arrived at Dorie’s Promise via court order. Yojana (8), the eldest, has been very communicative and expressive since the first day. The boys, Alex (5) and Elvis (Age 3), were scared and sad — they came to our home very dirty and in torn clothes.

They had lived on the streets; their parents stole whatever they could in order to give them food. Yojana said that they did not have money, so it was OK that her mother stole from other people. With the help and support of the psychologist at our home, Yojana now knows that stealing is not right — that if she wants something she can’t harm anyone to get it. Alex and Elvis are too small to understand what happened with their parents.Yohana, Alex and Elvis

Due to the life these parents have chosen, both of them are in jail, and for a long time now that their sentence was determined. The children at first were sent to live with their grandfather, who rents a room with one bed. He is an alcoholic and was abusive with the children. At one point they were left in a parking lot because he forgot them. The police rescued them and took them to minor’s court. That’s when the judge decided to send the children to Dorie’s Promise, while the biological parents finish out their sentence, possibly even longer.

When we take in children who were abandoned or abused by family, it’s so easy to see the lack of care they received. Physically speaking we see malnutrition, insecurity, dirt on their skin, and cavities in their teeth. Once the children have been able to stay in our home for some time, we also see the effects of the lack of education, the poor moral standards, and the disrespect for others.

It’s a sad story that many kids call their own — and at such a young age — but we know that we are making a difference in their lives. Day by day, we see children like Yojana, Alex, and Elvis getting better, their health improving, becoming more secure and independent, and learning morals and how to respect those around them.

Elvis is the youngest of the siblings.This process of change is something we feel delighted and privileged to be part of, and it’s through this ministry that we know we are making a big impact in their lives!

Their special mother says of the siblings:

“Yojana has changed a lot. She is a happy girl who always smiles, and she likes to spend time with the girls and play dolls. She is very kind and humble. Now, she takes care of her appearance, she tries to stay neat and clean. She also likes to help the special mothers. She loves to walk around the neighborhood and loves to eat chocolate.

“Alex and Elvis have also changed a lot. Now they seem to be happy and enjoy sharing with the other boys. They are healthier, they eat all kinds of food, and they say they do not want to leave Dorie’s Promise.”

Since they will be staying with us for a long time, we’ve added Yojana, Alex, and Elvis to our sponsorship program. Please click on one of their names above to learn more about them and become their sponsor.

Meet Sheily: A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Sheily is a little ray of sunshine.

By MJ Zelya-

Sheily will turn two later this month.Sheily came to Dorie’s Promise when she was 2 months old because she was abandoned by her biological mother. The last we’ve heard is that her mother is alcoholic and homeless. Because her biological family abandoned her and she was declared adoptable and CNA is looking for a Guatemalan family* to adopt her.

When Sheily was born she was suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. This has caused her some developmental troubles such has being slow to gain height. She also has sign of emerging attention deficit hyperactivity. Yet with the loving care given to her at our home her development is getting better, and she is gaining weight.

Despite of the circumstances; she is a little ray of sunshine!!!

At first, she ignored people in order to avoid contact. After all the affection she has received at Dorie’s, she has become just the opposite. She waves at everyone that passes in front of her. As soon as she hears a song, she starts to dance and jump around. She has become a little parrot, she repeats everything!

Sheily outside with her Special mother going for a little walk.She is turning two this month, and she might not seem that age, but she has the skills! Through the early stimulation program, the Special Mothers help her learn new skills in the mornings and afternoons. Now she walks around the Home by herself, supervised of course, and whenever she enters a room she greets everyone.

Like most two-year-old’s when she is sleepy or hungry, she gets a little bit grouchy. She loves to play with balls, stuffed animals or dolls with José Carlos and Dulce. They love it when the Special Mothers let them be together in the same crib. It’s their little play date!!!

She is a loving girl and loves to be hugged and kissed, and she needs your support. When you sponsor an orphan like Sheily you help us provide the love and care that she needs. Care that goes beyond just providing for daily survival, we provide the children at our home the kind of care any parent would want for their own children. Sponsor Sheily today!

*International Adoptions in Guatemala closed in 2008

 

Extracurricular Activities: Karate Classes

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The Sensei with his students at Dorie's Promise

By MJ Zelya –

Karate helps our children learn respect and self-discipline.Part of the responsibility as a home-shelter for our children is to ensure not only intellectual development, but also good physical and emotional development as well. So besides education, developing the children’s physical abilities and motor skills is one of our priorities — including extracurricular classes … like karate!

Karate is useful in many ways. It can serve as a method of self-defense, and is also one of the most complete physical and mental sports for young people, encouraging bone and muscle development. The children have fun while learning discipline, tolerance, and respect.

The benefits of this martial art include:

  • Improvement of psychomotor coordination.
  • Development of skills, reflexes, and reactions.
  • A boost in energy.
  • Development of discipline and respect for those around us.
  • An increase in concentration.
  • Helping the child know how to control himself.
  • Improvement in values, such as tolerance and responsibility.
  • Helping generate confidence.
  • Development of strength, balance, speed, and flexibility.

Karate help development of skills, reflexes, and reactions.Gaby, our Children Development Coordinator, says: “Our kids are very excited about their karate lessons. At first, I thought that only our boys were going to participate, but as the girls watched them, they became more interested. Our sensei agreed to have boys and girls. Now, most of our boys and girls are training in karate every Tuesday and Thursday. They are divided into two groups according to their age range.

“We have observed the benefits of karate lessons. Since they are exercising, they feel happier and healthier. They are learning self-control and discipline through the routines. They are also starting to practice meditation as a tool for self-control. This will help them all their lives to reduce stress and handle everyday situations in a better way.”

Thanks to our sponsors, we have the opportunity to give our children the tools to be confident, respectful, and in control of situations that they will undoubtedly face in the future. By becoming a sponsor you can help us ensure that we will be able to continue offering our children opportunities like these.