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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

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

 

Special Mission Trips

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The children showing affection.

By Bradley Burck-

Thinking you want to go on a mission trip to Guatemala but don’t exactly have the money. Now you can go! This fall we are offering a discount of $200 per person on the following weeks.

•  8/29/15-9/5/15
•  9/5/15-9/12/15
•  10/17/15-10/24/15
•  10/24/15/10/31/15
•  10/31/15-11/07/15

Bring yourself… or your family… or your youth group… or church small group. The price is right! We need you to come and visit. These weeks are wide open right now and your visit will help us financially be able to run Dorie’s Promise.

Come and enjoy playing with the kids, helping people in the surrounding communities, and generally enjoying a beautiful time of the year in Guatemala.

Make sure to email Naomi Beazely or give us a call at 360-836-7626.

Seeking the Forgotten and Needy: Missions at Forever Changed International

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

There are 40 children in this community called “el Trapichito,” who had been receiving classes under a tree, but later moved into someone’s garage for class.

By Pablo Villagran –

Serving together at “el Trapichito.”During the time we have been doing missions in different communities around Guatemala we have learned so much. Our goal has always been to serve people and to display God’s love and grace in everything we do. As our connections have grown in the last few years, we have reached out to more areas. Currently we are working with 6 different communities that are located in Guatemala City and in a town called Palencia close to the city.

At Forever Changed International and Dorie’s Promise the focus is on changing the lives of children, and we want to keep that same vision in our projects outside our home. So we constantly seek the forgotten children of Guatemala and we try to change their situation.

One step a time, and with a lot of perseverance God has allowed us to meet people in need and effectively supply their needs. These needs aren’t always material things- sometimes they are in need of love, grace or validation, and we have the responsibility and privilege as ambassadors of Christ to serve them.

The main project we have this summer is building a school for a community that lives in extreme poverty.

There are 40 children in this community called “el Trapichito,” who had been receiving classes under a tree, but later moved into someone’s garage for class. We noticed that there was a big need for school Serving the communities around Guatemala Cityfacilities but the local government didn’t have the funds. We started working with the municipality of Palencia, members of the community and Forever Changed to provide these children a better future by building a better school. We are hoping to complete a school that will have 3 classrooms and bathrooms by the end of the summer.

All of this is possible because of the generosity and support of many people that believe in changing the future of some of the children, they may have never met, in a community called “el Trapichito.” But we need more help and more people to get involved in order to keep the work moving forward.

Besides this project we also continue to provide help to other communities with different types of projects like concrete floors, stoves, bunk beds, pilas, water filters, clothing, hygiene supplies and many other things. God always amazes me that when these community projects open doors, the Gospel of Christ comes in and people are changed. It shows that in God’s eyes we are all the same and that He cares so much about our lives.

These projects open the door for the Gospel of Christ.We change lives forever with our children here at Dorie’s Promise and we want to spread that change into every community that we visit. God loves everybody!

Come and visit us this fall! The following mission trips are discounted $200 off per person! Don’t miss this chance to serve with us and see our projects firsthand. Apply Today.

o   8/29/15-9/5/15

o   9/5/15-9/12/15

o   10/17/15-10/24/15

o   10/24/15/10/31/15

o   10/31/15-11/07/15

 

A Great Need… Support Forever Changed International Today

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Our children need you now more than ever before.

Founder Heather Radu

By Heather Radu –

I want to share something that’s weighing on my heart with you. 

Since we started Forever Changed International, it has been our goal to see our home sustained 100% through child sponsorship. Monthly child sponsorship gives our children the most reliable source of income to fund the home and therefore provides them the most secure future possible.

Over the years, we have been diligent in asking those who support the ministry to become monthly sponsors of our children. Currently, 70% of the children are sponsored.

To cover the remaining 30%, we look to friends who give generously AND to our missions program’s donation fees. This year, our missions program is down in numbers. We are forecasting 160 less mission trip participants this year than last. Unfortunately this year, both spring and summer trip numbers were much lower than in years past. A few large teams were unexpectedly unable to participate.

This means about $160,000 less coming through our doors — funds that are necessary for us to maintain the level of care we are currently providing our children.

Honestly, we have been talking about the possibility of this kind of thing happening for years. It is impossible to know for certain that the same number of participants will serve with us as planned each year. Every time we talk about sponsorship, I want you know we are looking at our mission program and saying, “We can’t rely on this as a steady income source.”

Again, our goal is to see our homes 100% funded through our monthly sponsors. All other income would then be available for administrative and potential growth expenses. So, all of this to say…

The income we rely on to run Dorie’s Promise is down and is expected to be down for at least the next several months. WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!

Would you consider a special gift to the ministry today?

Give a gift today to help these boys living at our home in Guatemala.There are so many ways to help us at this time.  I have listed a few options here:

  • Give a special gift today.
  • Become a sponsor.
  • Contact Charity Danielson, our sponsorship coordinator, at 360-836-7626 or to find out how you can help us spread the word to friends and family about our sponsorship programs. Monthly sponsorship is the most secure way to care for our children!
  • Contact Naomi Beazely  to find out more about planning a future mission trip to serve with us.
  • Pray for our ministry and children — that we will continue to be able to serve for years to come.

I don’t know what you could do given the urgency of this post. Would you pray about it and give as God leads you?

Whatever you do, please know that your help is needed, and needed immediately. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Our children need you now more than ever before.

Our Prayer Team: Get Involved Today!

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

A special mother saying prayer with one of the children.

By Prayer Team Coordinator, Arwen McGilvra –

A boy at our home praying.Our prayer team is an important extension of our ministry. As is says in Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.*”  In my Bible the passage this verse is found in is called Love in Action. It starts out with the admonishment  “Love must be sincere.*” Romans 12:9.

Prayer is a way you can put your love for orphans into action.

God hears and answers your prayers from afar. His power isn’t limited by proximity. Praying for our home in Guatemala doesn’t require you to be physically present. That’s way we want to invite you to join our prayer team. When you join you’ll receive a monthly update from our ministry outlining some of our current prayer needs.

Here is an excerpt from our latest prayer letter:

Join with us this month in praying:

  • For the Lord to provide enough to fulfill the needs of Dories Promise’s and all of our children.
  • For health and wellness for all of our employees.
  • Praise the Lord for the Mission Teams coming this summer. Pray that they would see blessings in their lives for everything they had given to our children.
  • For the Lord to protect and bless the life of Alejandra Diaz, our director in Guatemala.
  • For the Lord to help us solve every hard situation that may come our way and that we would always trust in Him during those situations.
  • Pray for the Lord to protect our children and our drivers on their rides to school and other locations around town.
  • For guidance for the new staff members on our team. Pray that they would have wisdom in the care of our children.
  • Ask God to heal our children who have had chronic health issues. Especially pray that Josue’s would heal completely, and for Efrain’s eyesight.

Get Involved Now

*emphasis by the blog author.

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.

The Orphan Train

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The Orphan Train on display at the opening gala for the Artisan Express.

By Dr. Cari Burck –

The trains base is being painted with some help from my son and his friend.I always thought I would be the mother and have a lot of children in my home. I had no idea God put that desire in my heart so that we could help start and run an orphanage in Guatemala. A lot of our family’s time, energy, and resources go to helping run Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. I help make the decisions about private schools, remodeling bedrooms, hiring chefs who understand nutrition, and coordinating care with our physician.

In many ways, I feel like the mother of the forty children we care for. I don’t get to hug on them and love on them face-to-face like I want. Still, I know they are getting everything they need to grow, thrive, and have the chance to be exactly who God created them to be in this world. My dream is that some of these children will grow up and solve the orphan problem in Guatemala.

Along with help from my friend, Michelle De Monnin—who owns De The Orphan Train on display in Hungtinton, WVMonnin’s Art Studio in Milton, Washington, we created The Orphan Train for the project. Originating as a fund-raiser for the new Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital, the Artisans Express project has become much more. The City of Huntington, WV teamed up with the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital and the Cabell Huntington Hospital Auxiliary to launch a collaborative art initiative called All Aboard! Artisans Express 2015.

Artists from throughout the Tri-State region applied their creativity to 40 fiberglass train engines that are on display throughout the city until fall. Afterwards, the trains will be sold in an auction to benefit the children’s hospital. Michelle helped take my idea for this train and bring it to life. She did the poster and designed the decals for the train. She is the co-artist for this project and I want to make sure she gets credit for that. She is also an adoptive mother of the most beautiful little girl from India, named Chloe. To say there is not a little bit of Chloe in this project just wouldn’t be true.

A lot of people came along side us and helped. My father-in-law, Don Burck, and my friend, Frank Schuler, spent time trying to figure out what we could do with the base. One of my favorite ideas from them was covering it with rocks.

My friend, Mike Emerson, at Huntington Steel figured out how to make the springs on the top of the train come to life. He also consulted on different ideas for the base. Without him, I think I would still be trying to apply coats of fiberglass to it. Mike finally said, “Just wrap the original wood base in metal and paint it.” I also need to give credit to the guys at Paris Signs for their work. Tony Wheeler there is a friend, helping take Mike’s concept for the springs to the next level. Paris also did the decals of the children and made the metal base for us. The painting on the base is—for good or bad—all mine and based on Michelle’s concept.

The Orphan Train on Display and Up CloseWhen people see my train, I want them to feel love for children.

I want them to be reminded that there are children everywhere who need them—especially in our region. There are so many ways to help. Adoption is the ultimate way to help, but not everybody can do that. Foster care is another way to help change lives. There are local kids that need you! I know adoption and foster care overwhelm people. That’s okay. Not everybody can do that, but everybody can do a monthly sponsorship or give a gift to an organization that cares for orphans.

That’s my message with this train: look around you and jump on the opportunities to change life for children who don’t have parents.

The train will be auctioned off later this year. You can bid on The Orphan Train here.

Read more about the Artisans Express project here- Public Art Inspires.

A Passion for Orphans

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Dr. Cari Burck (left) with Dorie Van Stone.

Dr. Cari Burck (left) with Dorie Van Stone.

By Dr. Cari Burck –

Working on the orphan train for the Artisans Express

Working on a project to raise public awareness of orphans in my hometown of Huntington, WV.

Most people don’t know it, but there is an orphan crisis in the world today. Depending on whose statistics you read, there are as many as eighteen million children in the world who have lost both their parents and are growing up in orphanages.

International adoptions were a huge thing for the last twenty-five years. The problem is that most countries have been shutting down international adoptions because of the criminal elements that worked their way into the process. So, countries like Romania, Bulgaria, and Guatemala (all which continue to have orphan issues) no longer allow Americans to adopt their orphaned children. Those children go into poorly-run and scarcely funded orphanages. Most of which, if you could see them, would make you turn your head in disgust.

We are not immune to the orphan challenge in the United States, where more than 397,000 children do not have permanent families and grow up in the foster care system. Sometimes that’s a wonderful experience for children. Sometimes it isn’t. About 25 percent of these children are eligible for adoption.

How we got involved with orphans is all a blur to me now. However, one of my husband’s clients was involved in international adoptions in Guatemala. When the Guatemalan government shut that process down, most adoption agencies just left. One of his clients decided to take over an orphanage there and run it. The home had forty children who would have been shipped out to the kinds of dreary institutions you see on television, where there is one caretaker for fifty children. She called us and said, “I need you to do this with me.” We agreed.

Lester's first smile.

Lester’s first smile.

I remember my first trip down to Guatemala. Although I went to take pictures for the new website we built, I spent most of my time getting up close to little ones, looking in their eyes, and smiling. There was a little guy about eight months old named Lester. Lester didn’t smile. The Special Mothers (that’s what we call our care takers) told me that he never smiled, no matter what. So I made it my mission to get Lester to smile. I just loved on him, gave him attention, and acted silly. I remember the Special Mothers watching me. I know they thought I was a little crazy. Little by little Lester began to crack. Before I left, I snapped the first picture of him smiling.

Today I’m on the board of directors of the organization we helped start. It is called Forever Changed International.

Our goal for our children is to always have one Special Mother for four children. We want our children always surrounded by love, to know they are loved, and to know that God loves them. That’s starting to pay off too. Our children in Guatemala are growing up and thriving. They have self-esteem and confidence like you wouldn’t imagine. I see the smiling pictures every month of Lester at school and playing with the other children. His Special Mom tells me that he has come so far since he was a little guy.

Coming in the next blog the Artisans Express public art project in Huntington, WV and the message I created to raise awareness of orphans. Meanwhile you can read more about the Artisans Express project here- Public Art Inspires.

Meet Dulce: A Living Miracle

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Dulce is a Living Miracle!

By MJ Zelya –

Dulce as a baby.

Dulce as a baby.

Dulce (Age 3) is a very special girl with special needs, I call her a Living Miracle. She found in our ministry the care and love she needs in order to have good health and proper development.

She was found on the floor of a bar, rescued by people that found a small baby alone and crying. When she was taken to the hospital, doctors said she was born premature and in her condition she had little possibility of living. Her life certainly began with struggle. Twenty days after Dulce arrival at Dorie’s Promise, she developed viral pneumonia, then a week later began having seizures. Yet today it’s amazing to see her active – walking around, climbing wherever she can, crawling, and sometimes fighting with the other children like a normal kid does.

Doctor Castro gives us this report about her health:

Dulce at age 3 is behind in her development, but with love and care she is improving.

Dulce now, age 3.

Dulce special health needs include a developmental delay, growth retardation, seizures, congenital heart disease (variety or TAPVC) without heart failure, chronic bronchitis, gastro-esophageal reflux, and she is prone to respiratory and lung infections.

“After further investigation (brain CT scans, chromosomal studies) follow up and some consultations with a neurologist, and a geneticist friend of mine, we were unable to find a specific syndrome to explain her physical features, growth deficit and developmental delay. I concluded that she needed a developmental stimulation plan and close pediatric follow up,” says Dr. Castro.

At 8 months of age, Dr. Castro discovered that she also had a heart murmur that seemed abnormal. He asked a pediatric cardiologist to check her and after clinical and ultrasound studies, a new abnormality was found; Dulce was suffering from a congenital heart disease, Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venus Connection (TAPVC) – three out of the four pulmonary veins were connected to the right atrium instead to the left one. Also called inter auricular communication.)

In TAPVC, the blood does not take the normal route from the lungs to the heart and out to the body, instead, the veins from the lungs attach to the heart in abnormal positions and this means that oxygenated blood enters or leaks into the wrong chamber. Dr. Castro continues to watch her health and growth progress closely, and she sees specialists as needed.

Dulce going for a walk with the help of her special mother.

Walking with help from her Special Mother.

Her Special Mother Ismelda says, “Dulce has been progressing. She can stand by herself and take a few steps with help. She is starting to eat solid food, and loves it. She expresses what she needs, mimics others and claps.”

Dulce is a loving little girl,” says Gabby , our children development coordinator. “She loves to hold my hand and kiss it.”

With the extra medical care Dulce needs, sponsors are very important to meeting all of her needs. Sponsoring a child like Dulce, at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala is different than sponsoring a child at most other organizations.  Why?  Because we own our home.  The children live there 24 hours a day – 7 days a week in a a safe, nurturing environment, with healthy, well-balanced, delicious meals, as well as safe and well-maintained facilities, on-site health care and education. When you sponsor a child at Dorie’s Promise, you are giving life and investing in the future of a child.

Sponsor Dulce Now

Update on Siblings Ana Lucia & Fabiola

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Sisters Lucia and Fabiola, back in December. They've come a long way since then.

By MJ Zelya –

Time is going so fast, and it’s amazing to see our kids growing and developing well at school and in the home. Ana Lucia and Fabiola came eight months ago (read Changing Lives Every Day!) and since then have had many positive changes both physically and emotionally.

Their nutrition is better, they are more confident in expressing their feelings, and their self-esteem has improved a lot. They have also learned to value things in life. They have expressed that they do not want to leave Dorie’s Promise because they have all they need here … a stark contrast to the conditions they lived in after their mother passed away. They did not have any family to support them, so a neighbor took them in for a while, but was not able to provide for the girls.

Lucia studying at Dorie's Promise.The most important thing is that they feel happy and safe here. They have found a family that loves them and wants the best for them, setting them up for success in the future. We also want them to know they need to chase after their hopes and dreams, no matter the obstacles, because the extraordinarily is possible through faith.

We wanted to share with you how are they doing these last months:

LUCIA

Ana Lucía is always willing to try new things. She loves to participate in activities at the home, and always tries her best. She gets involved in the house chores voluntarily and helps the Special Mothers take care of the younger kids.

At school, she has a small group of friends. Her teachers say she listens and follows instructions. She knows that she has to pay attention in order to grasp and learn the concepts. Her favorite subject is Art.

Special Mother Lorena says: “Ana Lucía is an intelligent, cooperative, kind, loving, honest teenager. She can easily relate to people. She likes to eat pizza and chicken.

“She has the ability to draw and paint. She also likes to play soccer.”

Fabiola getting ready for school at Dorie's Promise.FABIOLA

Fabiola is full of energy! She loves the activities involving movement. She is now very excited about her ballet lessons and dreams about training in gymnastics.

Sometimes she has a hard time listening at school, because of all her energy; but she loves to do her homework and to participate in class. She is starting to learn to read and write.

Special Mother Candida says:

“She has shown that she is smart, loving, and cooperative. She is the leader in group activities and likes to participate in them. She enjoys going on outings.”

Both girls are part of our sponsorship program, and you can help them by becoming a monthly sponsor for $35/month. As a sponsor you’ll have access to quarterly updates that includes photos, video and artwork from the children. Not only is it a great way to show you care, but it’s a great way to watch the children grow. Sponsor Lucia or Fabiola today!