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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas for Orphans at Dorie’s Promise

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Christmas at Dorie's Promise with special guests Elisa and Superman.Christmas — the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in a stable outside an inn in the town of Bethlehem. A time of love, peace, and harmony.

Christmas in Guatemala is celebrated in a very special way — streets, homes, and businesses begin setting up all kinds of representative motifs of the season, multicolored lights, and all kinds of creative adornments, especially red. It’s all very festive.

Throughout the last month of the year, firecrackers and fireworks of all kinds thrill children — even more so on the 24th, 25th, and 31st of December. On January 1, fireworks are lit all day and all night, making the day something truly unique and special.

Unfortunately, many Guatemalan children don’t have the opportunity to celebrate this time of year because they live in desperately poor areas, beset by violence and the lack of progress. They live where Christmas doesn’t exist.

We know most of the children at Dorie’s Promise have previously, personally lived this situation, so that’s the reason we want to make this season something special for them. Every year our children have Playing on the bouncy house at the Christmas celebration.been blessed — several sponsors have made it possible to celebrate Christmas, reminding the children of the real reason behind the season and giving them a fun time full of surprises.

Throwing a Christmas party for the children fills us with excitement and joy. This year we made an invitation card for each child — they received them two days before the celebration. From that moment, their curiosity was peaked and their excitement began to build. In addition, every boy and girl got a completely new outfit to wear to the party; they were very grateful and couldn’t wait to wear it!

When the big day came, the children went down to the backyard, were a huge Pirate Ship Jumping Castle was waiting for them. Immediately they got in — and the FUN began!!!

They also had grilled hot dogs and a sundae they got to prepare at an ice cream bar.

Right before the piñata, they had a visit from Princess Elsa, Princess Aurora, Superman, and a funny clown! They were really surprised, and the kids began to hug them. Each child also received Ice Cream Sundae's at Christmas Partya Christmas gift — they were ALL excited about their new toys. The celebration ended with the piñata and their pockets filled with candy!!

They really had a great time! We want to thank the sponsors who gave above and beyond to make this special Christmas party possible, as well as the mission team who helped us put the celebration on. We hope you notice the delight on the children’s faces and know that you made a true difference in their lives.

Click an image below to see a larger version.

 

 

 

 

 

Special Christmas Dinner Christmas Presents!!! Checking out the new toys.Toys for ChristmasChristmas with ElisaA new doll for MariaThe boys gathered around the Christmas TreeEnjoying Christmas presents.

Zumba Style for Christmas

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Zumba Style Christmas Party

Santa came with gifts for the Zumba PartyRecently we had a visit from four Guatemalan Zumba instructors. They have been working with some of our children for a school vacation course (half of October until the classes finished the first week of December).

“I met the children from Dorie’s Promise at the vacation course, and they captivated my heart with their joy and enthusiasm. Plus, they are all so very polite. Those qualities motivate me to want to know more about them and spend more time with them,” said Juan.

Juan and the other instructors gladly brought Santa to our home for a Zumba Christmas celebration! It was something completely different from our usual activities, and our children had fun from start to finish! Their faces were full of happiness, some were amazed, and others found it hard to believe that Santa came to visit them with gifts!

They were jumping from side to side. They were dancing and singing songs they had learned in the Zumba classes. They begged for another song from the Zumba teacher because they did not want to stop dancing! It was so exciting for us to watch them be so happy and enjoying a different kind of Christmas party.

Zumba is International

Santa Visits Dorie's Promise GuatemalaIn 2012, a man name Juan Jo founded a Zumba program in Guatemala. As he started to promote it, Zumba took off in Guatemala, just like it has in the States. He has certified more than 100 Guatemalans to be instructors, helping them get fit and be healthier.

Juan was one of those and started a project with the Culture and Sports Ministry in Guatemala City to teach Zumba classes to all the kids attending the vacation course. Zumba helps improve motor skills, self-esteem, and is fun for children who may not like other sports.

Zumba is great for our children, and we love that they got the opportunity to learn more about staying fit and healthy.

And by partnering with Dorie’s Promise, the instructors have been changed too: “I would like to see more people support organizations like yours,” Juan says. “The work you do helps many children in need — whether they are adopted, go back with their family, or wherever they go … they take a seed of love, sown by all the staff at the home of Dorie’s Promise! We congratulate Dorie’s Promise and Forever Changed for the beautiful labor that is changing these kids’ lives!”

Go to our Facebook page to see more photos from the Christmas Party.

Come to Guatemala to Make Christmas Special for Orphans

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Jonathan Celebrates Christmas at Dorie's Promise

Do you remember the first Christmas you ever had? The wonder you felt in that moment? It’s hard to remember back to when you celebrated that first Christmas.

The gifts, the food, your family — everything that makes that moment special.

Jonathan Celebrates Christmas at Dorie's PromiseThat wasn’t the case with Jonathan. Jonathan came to Dorie’s Promise in mid-2010 at age 8. While he was with his family, he never understood what Christmas was about. All the fireworks (a tradition in Guatemala), all the gifts … he never had any of that. Christmas was just another day.

He could sense that something was going on — but was never a part of it.

Then came that first Christmas Jonathan spent at Dorie’s Promise. He couldn’t believe all the excitement. He got a remote control car. He spent the day playing with the other kids. You could see the wonder in his eyes and on his face. He was joyous.

During that day, our special moms cooked tamales and made ponche (a traditional fruit-based hot beverage), filling the air around the house with good festive smells.

There was a mission team with us during that time getting ready for a night of special surprises for the kids. When the sun went down, the mission team cracked open the fireworks. All the children were really excited, but no one was as excited as Jonathan. It was his first time being part of the festivities, being part of a family celebrating Christmas, having a big feast on the table.

 Celebrating Christmas at Dorie's PromiseIt is hard to describe the moment. How do you explain the feelings of joy and excitement from an eight-year-old kid experiencing it for the first time? It was a wonder to behold how fascinated he was with everything — the food, the gifts, the fireworks. Most of all, it was really special to see how he was a part of everything going on around him.

A lot of our kids haven’t yet experienced a Christmas celebration. For some this year will be their first, and we want them to have the same opportunity to experience it fully like Jonathan did. All the fun, all the love, and all the joy that come from being with family during Christmas.

Wouldn’t you like to be part of that special moment?

We want you to know the joy of making Christmas real for an orphan in need, to experience a new type of Christmas. At the same time, you will also be helping make a life forever changed.

We have mission trips all throughout the year, including the holidays. You are invited to join us for a very special Christmas celebration at Dorie’s Promise. Bring the kids and show them the heart behind the true Christmas story. As that cherished Christmas song says…

“Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.”

Fill out an application today.

Year-end Reflections

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Christmas Celebration

By Pablo Villagran-

One of the highlights of this Christmas season was the visit this past week of a team from Crest Baptist Church in Creston, Iowa. Director Alejandra Diaz says the entire staff appreciates the love they and others demonstrated for our children this season.

Christmas CelebrationThrough the years she has seen how each Christmas is different, with special people thinking of various ways to make this season significant for the kids.

“For us, this is how God moves in different ways, showing us that He is always there,” Alejandra says. “Thank you very much to all the people who make our Christmas special every year and of course to the friends who came this year."

“For several of the children it was their first Christmas with us. We wanted to make it memorable for them, because it was difficult for them to be away from their families and friends. We wanted to show them how special they are.”

This was a particularly special Christmas for three former residents, who went to new adoptive families in Guatemala and celebrated their first holiday with them.

This past year has been filled with other highlights for Dorie’s Promise. Among them were completing two phases of our backyard renovation project, including the installation of a new playset.

We were also blessed to see three of our children complete their first year at the El Shaddai private school, with eight more joining them in January.

As we move into 2013, Alejandra is encouraged by our ability to offer a better quality education to all of our children. She also hopes to see more missionaries next year after a 41 percent increase this year, with visits going up from 216 last year to 369 in 2012.

New Playset“We reached more people through our outreach program into the ghetto and the dump,” she notes. “We placed about 40 pilas (water stations) into homes at the dump, installed six cement floors and distributed around 100 water filters.”

During the coming year, Alejandra hopes to enhance training, since staff members are the key to providing care and educational opportunities for our children. And, she wants to continue sending as many mission teams as possible into the ghetto, since that helps build relationships while blessing our community.

One area that needs continued growth is our sponsorship program, which hasn’t reached the level needed to cover our monthly budget.

However, as Alejandra considers the advances we have made in the past few years, she remains confident that God will continue to supply for our needs.

“The most rewarding thing about looking to the past is counting the many lives that God has changed,” she says. “Not only have we touched many children’s lives, many people who have visited us have been transformed.

“We believe that God is moving here every day. We want to bless as many children and people as possible.”

If you want to help make such a vision possible, click here for more information.

A Special Christmas Connection

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Matthew and Todd

By Ken Walker-

We welcomed two special guests this past week from Bethel Memorial Church in Princeton, Indiana. They brought Christmas gifts for residents of the ghetto, our Special Mothers, and our children.

We are doing our best to keep the latter a secret, since the children’s Christmas party is Dec. 23. The Special Mothers opened their gifts today (Dec. 21.)

Special Mother Recieve GiftsThe Christmas gift project was the idea of Matthew Sandusky, a 17-year-old high school senior who is homeschooled; and Todd Hinkel, the father of a friend of Matthew’s.

The two were part of a 20-member mission team that worked here last summer. After arriving last Saturday (Dec. 17) Matthew and Todd visited the ghetto to distribute food bags, Bibles, and presents for the kids in those areas.

This all started with a “Forever Friend” gift exchange last summer. Each member of the mission team selected a child and purchased gifts based on their age, gender and height. They presented them the second day of their visit.

“They were shocked at how much stuff we got them,” Matthew says. “We didn’t think it was really anything. Bradley (Burck, communications director) joked that we should do this for Christmas. After we got back, I felt God was telling me that we needed to do more to impact these
kids’ lives. A couple other team members felt the same thing.”

After an informal discussion at Bethel Memorial, the missions board chairman asked team leaders if the children at Dorie’s Promise ever received gifts because he was searching for a Christmas project.

In September, Matthew and Todd approached different committees and the church board to secure their approval. In October, they presented the project to the congregation.

Handing Out Gifts in the Ghetto“All the pieces fell into place and they kept going well,” Matthew says. “I asked the staff to give me a list of kids’ sizes and what they wanted for Christmas. We asked for things that they would usually not ask for or receive. I then created pamphlets with each child’s background and what he or she wanted for Christmas. Families bought presents for each child, including the babies. The toys they will receive are specifically what they asked for.”

Director Alejandra Diaz says she has been blessed and encouraged to work with both men. “I love Matthew’s excitement and passion for serving,” she says. “It’s people like Matthew and Todd who encourage me to continue to work and serve. Because of their support we are able to move forward as individuals and as an organization, and share the love of Christ.

“Often our actions speak louder than our words,” Alej says. “At times people want to know they are loved and valued. That’s what Matthew and Todd have done.”

“It’s awesome that it all came together,” Matthew says. “It feels great to be able to do so much for so many people.”