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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

Meet Our Staff – MJ Uses Many Talents to Serve Others

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

MJ has worked at Dorie's Promise for the last 8 years.

By Alejandra Diaz, Director -

MJ is a valuable part of our staff.When I think about the good times and difficult times we have had at Dorie’s Promise, I can clearly see MJ close to me in all those times. One thing I have always admired about MJ is that she’s willing to help whenever necessary, even when doing things that are not her favorite. Not only is she willing to help, she always puts in her best effort.

I have known MJ since she came to Dorie’s Promise — I have seen her grow as a partner in ministry, as a person, as a woman, and, most importantly, as a Christian. Working at Dorie’s Promise changes your life, and that’s what’s happened to her. She has been here for eight years, and during those years many changes have happened in her life, both good and bad. But one thing has kept her strong: her faith. This faith has not only impacted her personal life, but also the lives of many people around her, her family, her friends, and the children at Dorie’s Promise.

MJ started working for us as an assistant, but through the years she has become more than that … she is now the finances and legal assistant and supports many other parts of our program. She is also good at decorating and organizing, so whenever there is such a need, we know who to ask.

For me there is no question that we are part of a big body, as the Bible says in Romans 12:4-6: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…”

In this body each one of us has a special function. I can see how God has used MJ’s talents in many different ways to build up His body.

During the past 8 years MJ has work at Dorie's Promise and we've seen her grow and flourish.Lesly, our receptionist, says, “MJ is a very responsible person who can be counted on for her support if you need it. Her passion and commitment to her work makes a difference in our organization. She is always willing to go the extra mile on her tasks in the legal, financial, and marketing department, and she always takes time to talk with the children. She not only takes care of her own kids, but also takes care of the Dorie’s Promise children as her own. The love she feels for children who are at our home is undeniable!”

The other staff agrees. “MJ is a hardworking, responsible, careful, attentive, and organized person,” says Special Mother supervisor Marleny. “Always worried about the children’s care, if they have what they need, no matter if it’s legal, spiritual, or material. As a co-worker, MJ is a supportive colleague, educated, a good listener, cooperative, and friendly.”

Of her work with us MJ says, “I know God has a purpose for my life and for the lives of our children. I love to see the process of their lives being transformed through God using this ministry. My job is to serve God in the work He is already doing, and while I’m here I feel that I am helping change the lives of children as well. It fills my heart with joy.

As a ministry, we are blessed to have staff like MJ who are so dedicated to our home. The work is not always easy, and I know MJ and the other staff would appreciate knowing that you are praying for them. Leave us a comment, or send us a quick note to encourage our staff.

A New Place to Play : A Playhouse For The Children of Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

 The finished playhouse is just beautiful!

By MJ Zelya-

Missions team works on the playhouse for Dorie's PromiseAs a kid you’re always dreaming about all the toys you would like. And when you’re a little girl, your dream of having a doll house is pretty exciting. But even more thrilling is having a real playhouse with “real” furniture and play things to share with your friends. It’s something beyond imaginable, especially if you are in a country where at least 50% of the population lives in poverty.

This year, the children of Dorie’s Promise were blessed when a mission group from East Hartland, CT, completed building a wooden playhouse for our children.

The process of constructing it was amazing given its size! The girls were excited and anxious to go in the backyard and discover the new things it held. A couple weeks after the house itself was finished, founder Heather Radu decorated and furnished it.

“I want to give these kids what I would give to my own kids,” Heather says.

Special Mother Supervisor, Nohemi Peña says, “When the little girls play in the backyard, this is their favorite place. They love it — they pretend to cook and then feed the babydolls. They also ‘share’ the food they cooked with the boys and the older girls. They like to pretend to be little mommies. That house is extraordinary!”

“We were so overjoyed that we could build this playhouse for the children of Dorie’s Promise,” remarks Susan Olsen, who was part of the construction team. “We feel that God has blessed us with special building skills, and we are thrilled that He is using us in this way. We love to come and serve in any capacity, but when we build something and the children get so excited, it’s just great! We feel honored to be a part of Dorie’s Promise in this way.”

The playhouse was filled with toys by founder Heather Radu.Carol Lemus, another Special Mother, loves the playhouse too: “It’s so funny to see all the girls playing in that house; some of them cooking, or baking cookies, or buying groceries, or ironing the baby clothes….”

Nayeli Lux, one of the older girls living at Dorie’s Promise, says, “It’s fun to play with little kids in the house. All of them want to be our mother or our father. At the end, we have many fathers and mothers and they treat us like babies.”

Maria (age 6) is one of those little “mommies,” who declares, “I like to be the mom!”

Nayeli Soto (also 6) says she likes “all the different things you can find in the house, and also to pretend that I’m watering the plants on the windows.”

Watching our children having fun, sharing the toys, playing together — it’s priceless. We are grateful for all our donors and mission groups that come and take the time to make our home a better place.

For all those working with us at Dorie’s Promise, either caring for children, working in the office, or doing social work, it fills us with joy to see that our children are loved and blessed by many people — people who continue to support us and give the children the opportunity to grow up in a healthy environment.

God bless you all!

Visit our Facebook page to see all the pictures.

Families are Taking Advantage of Late Summer to Aid Some of Guatemala’s Poorest

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Come and serve the children of Dorie's Promise

By Heather Radu -

Changed Lives at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaSummer is here, and Forever Changed International would like to highlight the work of families who will be traveling to Dorie’s Promise Guatemala this August. The month of August is a good time for families to travel to Dorie’s Promise because there is a higher volume of available slots just before school begins. A number of families have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

While June and July typically see a high number of mission trips to Dorie’s Promise, August is actually a good month to visit Guatemala. Many of the same benefits that are available in early summer are still available in late summer, but the smaller number of travelers means that individuals get to take a greater amount of time enjoying them.

The people of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala also face many of the same needs in August as they do in early summer. There are, however, fewer people to attend to those needs when August comes. This means mission trips that include entire families are more feasible, as there is space for each family member.

The mother and daughter team of Nancy and Shannon Wylie will be coming to serve at Dorie’s Promise in August. They will travel from North Carolina, for the opportunities to minister to homeless children, serve in the orphanage, and bring food and aid to disadvantaged communities, such as Linda Vista.

A family mission trip is an excellent experience for first time mission trippers, but it also works well for those who have visited before. Kaelyn Tarsa, who has raised an additional $675 dollars in order to provide food, water filters, and a bunk bed for Dorie’s Promise, is returning to Guatemala with her father, Stephen. Her positive experience has left her eager to return.

Serve with us this summer and change the lives of orphans.“My experience with Dorie’s Promise has been a week of clarity,” she said of her previous trip. “While in Guatemala I realized that no amount of money could give me such purpose and fulfillment than helping others.”

A family mission trip is an opportunity to strengthen the family bond. Parents and children who serve alongside each other this August will build enduring memories. They also invest time and energy in what they believe is truly important, ending summer on a positive note.

To take advantage of service opportunities at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, go to our missions section. Late summer trips are still available in both August and September.

Families on Mission

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

We are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

By Heather Radu -

Nearly 500 volunteers will visit Dorie’s Promise this year, with many due during the upcoming summer months. While we appreciate all the missionaries who come to help, we are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

Two of these units arrived in Guatemala on June 7. They include Krista and Chris Barry of Superior, Colorado, and their four children: Hunter, 18; Cade, 16; Brayden, 11; and Caysen, who will celebrate his ninth birthday during their visit. This will be Hunter’s last vacation with his family before he goes to college.

Families on MissionsThe other family team will come from a rural community just north of San Antonio, Texas. Kristi Perkins and her husband, Greg, will be joined by oldest son Greg, 24; Greg’s fiancée, Lindsay, 21; daughter Erin, 22; and daughter Ellen, 17. One other son is unable to join them because of college summer classes.

This is the Barrys first mission trip. Krista says they are “super excited” about the opportunity to get involved in another culture and make a difference.

Although Krista says she had long wanted to go on a mission trip, time and financial constraints prevented that. However, after a close friend and her family came to Dorie’s Promise last November, their collective memories inspired Krista to follow through on her dream.

“I was impressed by how powerful the trip was for each of them individually and as a family unit,” Krista says. “It was truly inspirational to talk to each one of them about their experiences and how the Guatemalan people—as well as the leaders from Dorie’s Promise—impacted them.

“The most powerful thing about their stories was the sincerity and love that was evident not only in their words but their emotions. It was after that that I became determined to find a way to give this gift to my family as well as myself.”

The Perkins family has long supported missionaries in other countries and sponsored needy children in other countries, but this is their first mission trip.

The Perkinses decided to come after Luke and his best friend, Willie Ebrom, visited Dorie’s Promise in December of 2012. Luke had to squeeze the trip in between receiving his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and starting a new job.

“After Luke and Willie came back with all their stories, I donated money to Dorie’s Promise and continue to be a supporter,” Kristi says. “Through the reports of others, we have understood the importance of the work of God’s people in countries that are less fortunate. Now we are ready to see it first-hand.”

Kim and John with Brandon when they adopted him.In late July, the staff will enjoy a special reunion with another family from Charlotte, North Carolina. Kim and John Vonder adopted their son, Brandon, from our orphanage in December of 2005. This time the Vonders are bringing their daughters Alli, 17; and Holly, 14.

Since the girls were too young to travel internationally when they adopted Brandon, Kim and John jumped at the opportunity to take them to experience their brother’s birthplace.

“Our journey did not end with Brandon’s adoption,” Kim says. “That was just the beginning. We consider it a privilege to serve the children at Dorie’s Promise. Our wish is that God will use us in some small way to minister to these children, who are precious in His sight. They are most worthy of our time and resources.

“This will be our first international mission trip, but we have served many groups in Charlotte. There are so many areas of need right around us; we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see those needs and be willing to go where God calls.”

Mission Coordinator Naomi Beazely says many families work on their own bonds while serving others. This helps them grow closer and develop a deeper appreciation for the blessings of family, she says.

“There is a special thing that happens when they work together,” Naomi says. “They realize they depend so much on each other’s affection without even knowing it. I think when a community sees this kind of caring, they are more open to receiving help and prayer.”

Which is why we like to say that dreams really do come true at Dorie’s Promise.

The Year of Jubilee

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Forever Changed International - Guatemala Orphans

Part seven of our new Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

Founder Heather RaduBy Heather Radu-

If I asked you to tell me what a “jubilee” is, what would you say? A party? Or maybe a dessert that usually involves cherries? It’s not a word we use often these days, but it is actually a beautiful example of how God cares for those who are in need.

In Leviticus 25, God told Moses to establish a “year of jubilee” in Israel, which was supposed to occur every 50 years. A major part of the year of jubilee was the forgiveness of debts. In Israel, just like today, there were people who fell on hard times. Maybe this was through their own mistakes, maybe it was through circumstances they could not control. God did not tell Moses to treat either case differently.

Any one of God’s people who had gotten into debt was set free, and everyone who had to sell their ancestral home to pay debts got their land back. That meant that if your father had to sell your home to pay debts, after 50 years it would be returned to you. Can you imagine the celebration that would come along with that?

You might be thinking, “This isn’t ancient Israel, so what does this have to do with us?” We don’t have “ancestral lands” anymore, do we?

But before we flip our Bibles out of Leviticus, we need to ask what this teaches us about who God is, and what we need to do in response.

God’s mercy is put on display through the year of jubilee. God is so incredibly forgiving to us, and He not only demonstrates this through the year of jubilee, He also gives us a chance to take part. We live in a world where things have gone terribly wrong. The first design was perfect, but it is broken. In His mercy, God is setting things right again. What a privilege it is to participate in that with Him!

When you help those who are in need, you are working in the spirit of the year of jubilee. You are saying along with God, “There are broken things in this world. Let’s set them right again.” And that is a task in which any Christian can be proud to take part.

Partners of Hope Video

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

By Bradley Burck -

Hey – there…  It’s good to connect with you again.  Somebody told me that you wanted to do something that matters. Well…  I think we can help you.

I’m told you have served our children at Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala and have served the poor in the ghettos of Guatemala City…

And my guess is that God’s touched your heart in this process.  I know he’s touched mine.  I think that’s why we’re talking. I’ve held the babies, played with the ninos and ninas, and gone out and worked side-by-side with some good Guatemalan families who are struggling to put food and water on the table. When I came home, I said …  I need to do more of that with my time and my resources and my heart!

So the question I have for you is… what’s next for you?

Do you get home and just get back into life or do you stay involved and really help make a difference here in Guatemala?

I want to tell you – that you can do both.  I know because I’ve done it – maintained life – job, school, friends, kids, family whatever.  You name it – life’s thrown just everything at me but I manage somehow to keep a connection to Guatemala – to the little ones at Dorie’s Promise.

So here’s the deal…  I want to invite you to join me…   There are a lot of things you can do. We’ve developed a program to allow people to stay involved, make a difference, and keep life going.

The program is called Partners of Hope.

If you are passionate about orphans, the poor, and God’s Justice this is for you.

Here’s what becoming a Partner of Hope means. It means you speak for orphans …  at Dorie’s Promise and around the world. That to me is one of the greatest things ever – to give voice to those who have no voice. And this is how you do it…  You invite people to come and serve in Guatemala…with you. You continue to learn, mature, and grow spiritually through the process.

Not a bad gig – if you can get it.  Right?  But what’s it gong to cost me is what I always hear….  As if I’m selling something that needs to be sold…

So here’s what it will cost you…  your heart, your mind, your time, your voice, your treasure…  Not much, right.

Seriously, this is how you become a Partner of Hope.

Step 1:

Come and visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala on your own or with a group. Since you’re watching this video, you have probably already accomplished Step 1.

Now it is time to make Step 2 happen….

Step 2:

You become a sponsor and get five others like yourself to sponsor children.  That’s a total of six children sponsored by you, your friends, family, and people you know.  There’s no time limit to this.  We will help you keep track.  You just start talking about your experience and asking people to help the children.  You will be surprise how quickly this happens.

Now Step 3: 

Bring a total of 20 NEW people to Dorie’s Promise.  WHOA….!  20 people.  Here’s the thing with this…  there is no time limit.  Come back again and bring your family.  That gets you 3 or 4 people.  Then come another year and bring your grandparents.  Maybe get your youth pastor or pastor to get a group down here.  You get credit for all those people.  You just keep coming and bringing friends.  We will keep track and when you get to 20 people you’ve brought, we will let you know.

Now here is the cool thing about this… when you do these things we actually give you some meaningful things.  Asking people to help you without saying “thanks” isn’t a good idea so we’ve tried to make this thank you worth your time and energy.

Here’s the first thing you get…  This one is my favorite. Anytime you plan a mission trip through Forever Changed International, your mission trip fee will be waived. You also get…  Your photo and bio on our Partners of Hope page on our website.  We will recommend you as a speaker on the topic of missions and orphan care to groups looking for speakers. You will also have the opportunity to represent Forever Changed International at official events. Finally, we give you a pretty nice Forever Changed International Partners of Hope speaker’s polo shirt that you can wear out to important events – you know to make you “official.” I wear mine when I go out to talk with churches.

So that’s it…  Partners of Hope.  You need to become one.

You are needed!  We need help to secure Dorie’s Promise, grow our children, launch them into the world, take in new children, and really help the families we serve in the dump and ghetto.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, let me know.  Email us.

Let’s talk!  It’ll be good!

Room Makeovers Video Tour

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

We hope you’ve had a chance to see the pictures and read the reports (New Look of Rooms Delight the Children of Dorie’s Promise and Extreme Make Over – Questions and Answers) on our recently completed room makeovers. We have one more special treat for you – a video we put together of the room makeovers. Thank you to all our partners and donors who helped make this a reality. We can’t stress enough how needed this was after 14 years and 600 plus kids in our home. It’s a huge blessing to our children and home!

Extreme Make Over – Questions and Answers

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Brayan's new soccer themed room

Here is a little Q&A and pictures from the recent makeover of our children’s rooms at Dorie’s Promise.

An Interview with Heather Radu

By Josh Duncan -

Little Boys Dinosaur themed roomQ: How long did the process take?

A: About a year to plan for it. Bedding, carpets, and wall décor were all shipped down with people who went on mission trips.

Q: How would you compare the rooms before and after the renovation?

A: Everything we redid was more than 14 years old. Our kids had outgrown toddler beds, and the bedding and other room décor had finally just worn out. And the difference is extreme. Color and life were brought back to the rooms. Everything looks as good as it did the day we opened 14 years ago.

Q: How did the children react to their rooms?

A: The anticipation in the days prior was so clear by their excitement to take a peek at what we were doing. We had no mission teams the week we completed everything, so the kids were living in the guest house. When they were finally brought into their new rooms, they were overjoyed to see every detail that brought those rooms to life!

Q: What were some of your favorite things included in the rooms?

A: I really like how each room has a theme, and how the age groups represented in each room go well with those themes. We took into consideration who would be sleeping where as we made decisions. For instance, the older boys who are in the pirate room are full of energy, and when they saw their room you could tell it was the perfect fit for their personalities.

Middle girls "dream" inspirational themed roomQ: What motivated the renovations?

A: It was time. 14 years and 650 children have passed through our doors. Things were looking really tired and very worn out. We have always wanted to have a home that represented what we would give our own kids. I feel with these renovations we are
living up to that standard.

Q: How were the renovations funded?

A: We were fortunate to have several donors help.

Q: Is there anything you would like people to know about the renovations?

A: We are excited to have everything completed and ready to see 15 new children join us in the coming months.

Sports Themed Room at Dorie's PromiseDorie's Promise Girls BedroomDorie's Promise Girls BedroomDorie's Promise Nursery make over.

Check out more pictures on our Facebook page.

Dehumidifiers Needed at Dorie’s Promise

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Smaller Unit for Children's rooms

Smaller Unit for Children’s rooms

We are in need of two sizes of dehumidifiers, smaller ones for the children’s rooms and larger ones for storage. The humid tropical climate in Guatemala means that moisture builds up on walls and and items in storage can quickly become musty. If left too long they quickly go from musty to moldy.

We’ve recently completed a major room renovation on our home. The next step is to protect the new linens and other items with good dehumidifiers. The dehumidifiers will also help improve the quality of the air and reduce allergens. Everyone will breathe a little easier once we get these installed, but especially some of the children who have health issues.

We need 8 smaller units for the children’s rooms, and 2 larger ones for storage. Both units are listed as priority items in our new gift registry. If you are able to help us purchase these items we’d greatly appreciate it. It will not only make the air healthier for us, but it will help us to be good stewards of our home.

My Call? Your Call? – It’s God’s Call!

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

 Forever Changed International - August, 2009 - Image by Brad Person

Part six of our new Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

Founder Heather RaduBy Heather Radu-

The more I learn about Jesus and what He has called us to do in this world, the more I am convinced Christians should be helping people in need.

After all, giving to the poor and the weak is encouraged throughout the Bible. But I’ve learned something else over the years I’ve worked with the poor. Not everyone has to serve in the same way!

You might think that is an obvious point, but I can’t tell you how important it is to let it sink into your heart. You see, we humans love to imitate each other. We love it so much that when we find someone we admire, we try to be like them. We want to imitate their walk, talk, even their style of dress.

In some ways this is good. After all, St. Paul told the Corinthians to imitate him (1 Corinthians 4:16). But Paul did not mean that God wanted them to do the exact same things Paul did all the time. In fact, God has different plans for each of us. So if your friend is working in a soup kitchen, but you have a passion for literacy, don’t feel like you have to do exactly what your friend does. And don’t try to make your friend join your literacy program either.

God will work through you both where he wants you.

There are examples of this scattered through the entire Bible. King David and Nathan the prophet had different ministries in Israel, but both were needed. The apostles and the deacons in Acts had different jobs to do in the church, and neither group was condemned. So don’t feel guilty if the desire God has given you differs from people you really respect. We can each love and serve God the best by doing what He has planned for us.