• The Children of Dorie’s Promise

  • Great Missions Trips for the Familiy

  • Partners of Hope

  • Other FCI Blogs

  • Archive of Posts

Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

Good Health & Relationships at Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Doctor Castro and some of his "patients"

By Dr. Francisco Castro –

Lester takes a listenWe believe that good health depends on dynamic but stable relationships among biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors. A comprehensive and integral health system should become involved in attending to such factors.

Our system utilizes four health strategies; health promotion (via education of Dorie’s Promise personnel), disease preventive, treatment and rehabilitation.

We keep a close eye on the children’s growth and development through regular check-ups, depending on child age and health, it allows us to get a baseline when a child arrives and then allows us to accurately gage outcomes from our interventions.

During the first few hours after a child arrives at Dorie’s Promise we give them a thoroughly physical and mental examination and a preliminary clinical impression is determined, follow by a plan for their health and development.

Hans, happy and healthy at our home.

Hans, happy and healthy living at our home.

A child may be put into quarantine for a few days, under close observation and gradually be adapted to the homes environment. In the meantime, we are able to get test results and treat them for any preexisting conditions. This system, of quarantine and gradual introduction has been successful in preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. It’s been many years since we’ve had a major outbreak.

One boy, Hans came to use this year after being hit by a car. He suffered some head trauma, as well as suffering from other problems being related to having lived on his own, on the streets. Dental cavities, lice and scabies are common malady’s see when children first enter our home.

The program also watches out for personnel whom could bring in infectious diseases, diagnosing and treating or giving recommendations. We also have been able to serve missionaries that become ill when visiting our home. Occasionally also serving other children´s homes that ask for pediatric assistance and advice.

We work hard to promote a healthy lifestyle for personnel and children, so almost every activity at Dorie’s Promise has a potentially positive impact on integral health. In that respect activities are assessed to help avoid accidents, food safety is reviewed to prevent food borne illnesses, and healthy food and physical activities are promoted. All children are in need of good health education and training for them to take care of themselves, live and work an independent life.

Doctor Castro and his nurse with several of the children from Dorie's Promise.25% of our children suffer more complex and chronic illness that require ongoing treatment. They will need our program to provide continuing access to pediatric, psychological and specialized professionals to help them.

Dorie’s Promise through its health program has been blessed with a good relationship so far with Guatemala´s private sector healthcare, Ministry of Health officials and medical teams working at the leading public/teaching hospitals and their pediatric and specialties departments. These hospitals, clinics and laboratories are willing to continue supporting us, most of them giving time and services without any financial demand from us.

Thank you to all of our homes donors and sponsors who provide for our children. We are only able to offer this excellent healthcare because of your help.

A Forever Family for Maria Jose and Franco

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Maria Jose and Franco with their Forever Family

Maria Jose and Franco with their Forever Family!

By MJ Zelya –

When international adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008 it made a big impact on the older children, those ages 5-17, because now there was little opportunity for them to be adopted.

We were saddened by this change. Many of our older orphans were adopted by families in the US. Families who gave children an opportunity to be part of a Forever Family no matter their age or condition.

Maria Jose and Franco just before saying goodbye.As you may know, most of the Guatemalan families want to adopt younger children, most of them babies from birth up to 3 years old.

The children we shelter at Dories Promise, have been abandoned or suffered from neglect and abuse in their biological families. Sometimes parents or the relatives choose not to visits the children and do not show interest in making the necessary lifestyle changes to recover custody of the children. It’s sadly the reality of our country many children are abandon making them feel they are unworthy. Overcoming such feelings of lonely and sadness at their young age is difficult.

The case of Maria Jose (Age 10) and Franco (Age 9) is unfortunately such a common situation in Guatemala— they were growing up in a dysfunctional home, in which the biological mother used drugs and had multiple partners. One day she left Maria Jose and Franco with her sister. She never came back for them. Their aunt wasn’t able to support them due to a lack of economic resources, so she took them to minor’s court who placed the children in our home.

Their mother never showed up to any of their hearings. After many investigations, trying to find their biological mother without success; the minor’s court declared them adoptable in June of 2014. During their last hearing Maria Jose told the judge she wanted to be adopted. She said that she didn’t understand why her mother had abandoned them and that she would like to be part of a new family with her brother Franco.

Special mother Candy told this story, “One day we asked the girls, including Maria Jose, if they could ask for anything, what would it be? Some of them requested, new clothes, a big bag of candies or chocolates, but Maria Jose said, ‘Clothes get old and torn, candies get eaten and you run out of them. I wish for a family— who I can hug and share time with, going to the beach, and visiting different places, that’s what I want.’

The siblings in 2014, shortly after being decalare adoptable.It’s unbelievable how fast God answered Maria Jose’s prayers.

When the Central Adoption Authority informed us that they had a family for them, we were so excited and surprised— because it’s was only a year after they had been declared adoptable. Some children have waited more than 5 years after they were declared adoptable and no family has been found for them. Yet for Maria Jose and Franco it only took one year! We believe that God heard their desire for a family and he responded.

Maria Jose said, “God is giving us the opportunity to have a family, just like I wanted. It will give me the opportunity to be happy because I do not know if there is going to be another family interested in adopting us.”

After one week of visiting with and sharing time with her new family, she decided to go home with them. Since the very beginning was Franco so happy, he would have gone home with them on the first day!

Maria Jose and Franco had the chance to say goodbye to the kids, the special mothers, and staff. They cried and laughed. They were absolutely overjoyed to go home with their Forever Family. Although we were sad they were leaving us, seeing them so filled with joy made us happy. When God sends us blessings he not only sends what we requested, sometimes he sends much more than that. Their adoptive family let us know that they will be continuing their education at El Shaddai School.

We wish that all their dreams would come true and that the Lord guides Maria Jose and Franco and their new family.

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.



Forever Changed Coffee is Back!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015


We think that the coffee in Guatemala is some of the best in the world. Guest at Dorie’s Promise rave about the coffee. We have worked very hard to bring this same coffee to our friends in the US and Canada.

FCI coffee bag 3DIt was a hit last year and now we are pleased to announce the return of Forever Changed Coffee. The coffee comes from the world-famous beans of El Injerto in Guatemala. We have friends in Philomath, Oregon, who have owned a coffee-roasting business since the early 1990s. They have worked with us to acquire the beans, and to match the blend, taste, and even smell of the coffee we serve in Guatemala. We wanted the experience of drinking Forever Changed Coffee to match exactly what you would experience in Guatemala.

1-pound bags of Forever Changed Coffee can be purchased for a donation of $25 or more. Order as many as you like at that price! They make great gifts because this is something you won’t find in any store in the States. The coffee lover in your life will appreciate this unique gift!

Consider this as a way to introduce your friends and family to our work in Guatemala. This coffee is a fantastic way to get people interested in the wonderful children of Dorie’s Promise.

We have a limited number of bags available, so make sure you order early.

All the profits from Forever Changed Coffee will go directly to Dorie’s Promise! Our hard costs (including packaging and shipping) are $15 per bag. That means for every bag you order, $10 goes to helping our children.

Let’s enjoy this together AND share it with others we know!

Best of all you’ll be drinking world-class coffee and helping orphaned children at the same time.

A New School in Palencia: Built by Our Missions Teams!

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

The kids in their new school.

By FCI Team –

The kids meeting in a neighbors garage previously.

The kids meeting in a neighbors garage previously.

Dorie’s Promise is making history! Thanks to numerous mission teams that helped us throughout the summer, we are close to completing a new school in Palencia, about an hour from Guatemala City.

Thanks to volunteer labor from our missionaries, we will be able to build the school for just over $11,000. That is less money than the average school construction project.

The building contains three classrooms and three bathrooms, and will accommodate about 80 students in the elementary and middle school grades.

It has been a blessing to be part of this project and amazing to see how many people joined in the cause and helped put the pieces of the puzzle together, says Director Alejandra Diaz.

“At the beginning it was just a project—a dream from the community and us,” she says. “But now it is a reality. The children have a new school and a place to learn. I am sure they are already enjoying that!

Students excited about their new school.“We thank God for the opportunity that He gave us to bless more children. Thanks also to all the people who donate to Forever Changed so that we can change lives.”

“This is truly an historic occasion,” says founder Heather Radu. “At first, I was afraid it might end up as a nice idea that caught sidetracked by all the logistical challenges of building a school so far from Guatemala City. But I should have never doubted God’s ability to provide and work through the hands of His people.”

Eight teams participated in the project, each working a day or two per week during their summer mission trips.

Located in a poor community known as El Trapichito, in the past students had to go to another community to attend school. Prior to that, their classes met under a tree.

The students haven’t been able to move in yet because the bathrooms still have to be installed. However, completion is expected by the time the 2016 school year begins in January.

The schol buildingMissions Director Pablo Villagran says God has helped every step of the way. Many believed in this project, giving not just financially, but with their heart and efforts as well, to make this happen.

“I am so thankful for everyone who allowed God to use them to bless others,” Pablo says. “This is a big event.”

For those who wish to help, teams and donations are still needed to complete the three bathrooms, which each need a toilet. Add “school project” in the notes section when you make a donation. Or contact us to find out how you can help.

Without God’s grace and helped we wouldn’t have gotten this far, Pablo says: “We believed that God would provide for the forgotten children of Guatemala and He did. He gets the glory and the honor for this great accomplishment.”

Pablo Coming to the US

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015


By Pablo Villagran –

Supporters already know about the awesome work going on at Dorie’s Promise. Now I am asking you kind folks to help me travel north so I can describe our ministry and let others know how they can play a role in this vital work.

10991352_10204766414392345_5100438684092583238_nThe next six months are a crucial time of planning for 2016 mission trips. Many churches, mission teams, and volunteer groups are considering where to invest their resources next year.

Since the number of visitor’s decreases during the fall and winter, it allows me the flexibility to devote time to raising financial support and spreading awareness of the orphanage. A trip to North America will help accomplish these goals.

I am interested in speaking at churches and schools and to mission groups who can benefit from learning more about Forever Changed International. In addition to a video presentation, I will share about how God uses the efforts of so many supporters in amazing ways.

The five areas that presently offer us the most support are Michigan, Canada, Illinois Washington and Texas. If you know of others there who would benefit from hearing a first-hand account of the Dorie’s Promise miracle, please let us know. If you can donate to travel costs, please click here. (Please add a note in the comments on the donation page that your donation is for “Pablo’s Trip.”)

Missions Trips for Youth

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Youth groups visit Dorie's Promise.

By FCI Team –

Cinda Rachor and some mebers of her mission team.Cinda Rachor started bringing youth groups to Dorie’s Promise six years ago. Today, instead of just her church, her teams come from dozens of congregations around Flint, Michigan.

“As word of the trips spread, the ripple effect brought many teens to us,” says Cinda, whose family attends Central Nazarene Church. “They are eager to experience a Guatemala mission trip through Forever Changed International.

“Kids come home so changed, so passionate and so much more whole,” she says. “Their friends, siblings and classmates see this and ask, ‘How can I go?’”

All teens are “blown away” by the importance of spending quality time with others and helping people, says Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley. While their service enhances the quality of life in Guatemala, it particularly makes a life-changing impact on the volunteers.

Missions trip make a life-changing impact on the volunteers“They are all humbled by how little everyone needs to be happy and the quality time playing and doing activities goes so far,” Naomi says. “It is always amazing and life-changing for young kids to be away from their families and depending on themselves and their leaders to get involved every day.”

Missions Director Pablo Villagran says anywhere from 15 to 30 participants is ideal for a youth team—the more participants, the more community projects we can accomplish.

Since he is fairly young, Pablo Villagran loves seeing youth groups visit. He can relate to them and loves watching God show mission trippers what’s next in their lives.

The children of Dorie's Promise love spending time with visiting teams.“To others it is their first time out of the country and it helps them to come out of the bubble they live in,” Pablo says. “The things they see and the experiences they have are unique. It’s a memorable trip.”

Cinda Rachor agrees with that observation. She and her husband, Jim, sometimes come twice a year. Their most recent visit was in late June, when they were the only adults on their 31-member team. All had been through monthly three-hour training sessions that started the previous September.

As leaders, Cinda says they learned that God is always best at overseeing their trips. Thing went best when they started with devotions and dedicated the day, the team, the kids and staff at Dorie’s Promise, and the communities they visited to Him.

“Our team was profoundly impacted by the kids at Dorie’s,” Cinda says. “They have a desire to connect with others and our teens fell in love with them. By the end of the week the kids knew they were loved, special and worthwhile.

“The team also came away with a renewed appreciation for their families, especially their parents. They saw so many kids and teens that are having to navigate life on their own. They realized that having parents and families invest in them is a gift they had taken for granted.”

If you would like your youth group to experience this kind of life-changing opportunity, let us know or watch this video to learn more.

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.

Take A Missions Trip With Your Family

Friday, September 11th, 2015

By FCI Team –

Rachel Clyne, her husband and their four children visited Dorie’s Promise last March, and their life hasn’t been the same since.

The Clynes (who live in St. Paul, Minnesota) spent much of their time playing with our children. Rachel’s favorite memory: listening to her three sons laugh and make up silly jokes with Brayan. Even though barely able to speak each other’s languages, they became good friends.

Even though summer is ending, there is still time to plan a family mission trip for this fall—or next summer. “We often reflect on the way of life in Guatemala and the poverty we saw,” Rachel says. “We continue to work as a family to complete service projects and raise funds to visit again. Sometimes when we don’t feel like doing it, we remind each other of the precious kids at Dorie’s who are benefiting from the support.”

Anywhere from 10 to 15 family mission teams visit Dorie’s Promise each year. The teams can be as small as two—a parent and child—or more, including extended families.

Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley says families can plan whatever they want, including several joining together to form a team. For example, an extended family of 13 plans to visit in December, with another family of seven joining them.

“Families always say their whole family has changed,” Naomi says. “They want to help others when they get home. It is an experience they will remember forever. I took my son (14) for the first time in June, and seeing him give his time unselfishly was amazing.”

Sponsorship Coordinator Charity Danielson also brought her son Stephen, age 17, in June. Though planning to take care of ministry matters, after watching him devote “150 percent” of his efforts to missions projects, Charity spent more time on volunteering than business.

Serving together encourages new bonds, new connections, new topics of discussion, spiritual growth and better communication.“It benefits families by getting them out of their day-to-day rut,” Charity says. “It encourages new bonds, new connections, new topics of discussion, spiritual growth and better communication.”

Canadians Amber and Bob Fraser have been here three times. Years ago they adopted their daughter, Megan (now 17), from another orphanage in Guatemala. The Frasers wanted to return to learn more about Megan’s culture and family as well as taking a missions trip.

Not only did they love the children, they loved seeing their growth and the positive environment afforded our kids—so much they now sponsor three kids at the home.

“The relationships have been long lasting and we will always fondly remember our experience with Dorie’s Promise,” Amber says. “What an awesome, loving place.”

No wonder Missions Director Pablo Villagran says: “We love having these teams visit because it’s amazing to see what God can do in a week in each member of the family.”

To find out more, click here.