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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

Families Are Welcome: Come See For Yourself

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Come Spend Spring Break in GuatemalaBy Charity Danielson-

The video below was prepared by two families who visited Dorie’s Promise last year.   The insights and reflections they share about their time in Guatemala will touch your heart. Perhaps you will also be inspired to come for a visit yourself.

As this video shows, there is something for everyone in our missions program– something each age group can give.

A trip with Forever Changed International allows you to minister in a multitude of ways. The children at Dorie’s Promise are eager for play, for affection, for your time together. In addition, you’ll spend time at the state orphanage and it will be obvious to you why we exist– to provide opportunity for these little ones who are so desperate for attention and affection. Our outreach to the inner city makes way for connection with children living in the ghetto – whose parent work from sunrise to sunset scavenging about in the city dump searching for bits of glass and metal to sell on the streets so they can care for their family. During your trip you will meet the pastor who runs a feeding program near the dump. By faith, they feed these children a mid-day meal each day.

Your family will be able to reach out to impoverished children and families, providing necessities; water filters, clothing, toiletries along with prayer and love. Your kids will remember it forever. You will too! Time with our missions staff in Guatemala will result in growth, and spiritual refreshment as it is an opportunity to completely focus on the love of Christ and what it means to serve. I hope you enjoy the video and prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you to join us soon.

An amazing adventure and life changing experience awaits you.

The New Vehicles Are Great Blessings!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Thank YOu donors for helping us buy new vehicles!

Ingrid, Silvia and Brayan check out the new van.For us at Dorie’s Promise, the safety of our children, along with their happiness and health, is one of the most important needs we meet. Every day we need to transport them to the school, appointments, or different outings, and it feels really good to know that the vehicles in which they are transported are nice, safe, and comfortable.

When we first talked with Heather about the need to upgrade the vehicles to carry our children and to transport the mission teams, we thought it was going to be a long-term goal. It was truly a surprise and a blessing to see how many people wanted to donate and help us reach that goal — in just a few months, we had enough funds to start looking for the best options.

“Buying new cars for Dorie’s Promise was seen as a challenge, but we trusted in God to make it happen,” says Alej, the director of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

When we knew the fundraising was complete, the first thing that came to mind was, “This is a miracle, a gift from God, a dream come true!” God provided for us! What a lesson for all of us working for Forever Changed International and for the children at our home.

The process was exciting: we got quotes in several places, thanks to the Internet, to find the best price, while comparing the options for quality, safety, and security — all very important factors when you decide to purchase a vehicle.

The new van is already hard at work transporting our children.Seeing the happiness in the children’s faces when they got into the new vehicles the first time is beyond comparison. They were really excited — everybody wanted to get in at the same time. They are pleased that they won’t be riding in the old cars to school and on outings. The new vehicles feel so comfortable — and they have air-conditioning!

One of the children, Jennifer, told us, “I am happy with the new cars; we will no longer feel hot because it is air-conditioned, and we are very comfortable without it being such a tight fit for us all.”

We can now feel proud to give our children and visiting missionaries good, safe transportation in a comfortable ride.

We are so blessed to know that many people believe in what we do every day at Dorie’s Promise — even being so far away, they take care of our children by helping us give them the best!

Giving Children Opportunities to Play, Learn and Dance!

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Nailey Soto in her dance costume

Even the older girls got into the dance spirit.We were recently contacted by a non-profit organization called Traveling Tutus.  They donate gently used ballet costumes, tap shoes and ballet shoes to underprivileged children.  We gave them sizes and favorite colors for the girls at Dorie’s Promise. They sent us back dance costumes and shoes for every girl at our home. Shortly after we sent Traveling Tutus our information we also received some donations for dance classes for the girls. One of the donors told us she was “so excited for the children to have this activity.”

Another donor sent us this note: “I know the little girls will be so thrilled with the costumes and shoes. We are blessed to be a part of this work at Dories.”

Childhood is a stage when we create in our minds fantasies and ideals, of what we would like to do and be, most children develop their talents according to their abilities and interests. It is a time for exploration and wonder.

However, most of the children who come to our home come from a hostile environment where parents spend all of their time and energy just trying to put food on the table. For many families in Guatemala, the first and the only interest of parents is to bring food home, there is no time for the children to play, or go to school. It’s a hard lifestyle where children mature faster and childhood barely exists.

Ana showing off her dance costume.Life at Dorie’s Promise is so much different. Besides the opportunities to play and receive an education we want to help our children to discover what they like to do, experimenting in different areas where they can develop their skills.

The Dorie’s Promise education program, in addition to facilitating schooling and offering homework tutoring, includes also offers the children different activities such as: tennis, ballet and karate lessons. This has been achieved due the support of many different people, like those who donated for the dance classes. The added donations from Traveling Tutus, the girls are even more excited to explore the opportunities to learn to dance.

We are delighted to see them happy, pursuing their dreams, and overcoming personal challenges and their own limitations. Each one of our children was created for a purpose. God gave us the gift of life and He sent his son, Jesus, that we all could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10.)

We have witnessed the changes in each child’s life. The work that Forever Changed is doing through all children lives has a meaning. Everyone participating in that work from our directors, staff, special mothers, drivers, mission trippers, sponsors and donors – each one has contributed to lives changed!

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures.

Missions With A Purpose

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Come visit Dorie's Promise Guatemala and share the love of God.

By Pablo Villagran -

I want to encourage you today to come on a mission trip...I get the idea that sometimes people think mission trips are designed for particular people who have everything together and live a life morally correct and, as a result, like to help others.

I think missions at Forever Changed International is for anybody who is willing to humble themselves and let God work. There isn’t any specific skill or ability you need in order to come. It is all about loving our kids, the people of Guatemala, and God. But there is a first step we all have to take. You have to begin with the decision to COME.

I think one of my favorite writers explains it very well:

Charity means “love, in the Christian sense.” But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.

—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

So it’s more will than feeling. Sometimes we don’t get to “feeling” right away, but it’s also part of the will to make the decision of loving others.

Through working in the communities around our home you will meet some of the most impoverished people on this planet.The Bible says that Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

So the love we have for others comes from our main love. The love of God.

I want to encourage you today to come on a mission trip. If you have been receiving a lot of seed (Word of God), this is a good time to put your faith in action and plant some of it. As Scripture says, be doers of the word, not just good listeners (James 1:22). God has called everybody to care for the poor, the orphans, and the widows.

God did not call perfect people to fulfill His Word. We can see many examples of people who didn’t have everything together, but rather did it because of the great love they receive from God.

A Dorie’s Top 10 List

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

"We were blessed through our trip to Dorie's Promise."

I would like to mention some of the specific ways we were blessed through our trip to Dorie’s Promise.

The children showing affection.1. The humble, Christ-like hearts of Pablo, Abel, and Jessica. They were so gracious, helpful, and caring. We especially liked the morning devotions and evening debrief times.

2. The access to our own kitchen stocked with some of our favorite foods when we arrived. Granola bars, peanut butter, coffee, fruit, ramen noodles, mac and cheese.

3. The way the special mom’s welcomed us into their lives and routines.

4. The church service.

5.  The humble and thorough maintenance staff who even folded our laundry for us once!

6. The ability to visit and play with the children during different parts of the day.

7. All of the amazing outings we took – State Orphanage, Paradise, Galilee, the Dump, Antigua…..

8. Safe and comfortable accommodations. I couldn’t believe I had the privilege of going on daily walks without safety concerns.

9. Tasty meals.

10. Just the right balance of service time and free time.

Thanks so much for all you do.

Rachel Clyne

A Great Week of Ministry

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Ministering to the poor in Guatemala City.Last year I had the opportunity to go on a one week missions trip to Guatemala with Dorie’s promise.  I was part of a group of 13 people from our church. It was a great week of ministry and life change for all who went.  Here are some highlights.

1) It was well organized. From the moment we arrived until we left we followed a well planned schedule and always knew what to expect and what was expected of us.

2) It had a balance of information, service and rest. We learned about Dorie’s Promise, the challenges of the poor and orphans in Guatemala and had the opportunity to serve in meaningful ways.

3) It was a spiritually enriching time. We had group devotions every day, many opportunities to pray for and with those in need and time to debrief every evening.

4) It is well staffed. I can’t say enough positive about Pablo, Abel and Jessica. They are true servants of the Lord and were very effective leaders.

There is much to commend about this missions trip. I highly recommend it to any who are interested in going on a missions trip.

In His grace,
Ward Cushman

Love Lived Out

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Love Lived Out~ by Lyn Finnegan
1 Thessalonians 1:3  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lyn's son with Lester at Dorie's PromiseRecently, I traveled with my son, Ben and his friend to Dori’s Promise in Guatemala.  It was quite the adventure because my son found Dori’s Promise on the internet.  We wanted to go on a mission trip before my son graduated from high school, so we needed a group that would take just us.  This made things a little uneasy, especially for me as a mom, to step out and go with a group we knew nothing about.  On our adventure, what we found was a true treasure.  We found a place like 1 Thessalonians above says, that worked in faith, labored in love and persevered by their belief in Christ. 

After much prayer and multiple conversations with the people at Forever Changed International, we decided to jump in with both feet, live on faith, and trust God to take us where he wanted us to go.  One month later after signing up, we found ourselves in Guatemala where we met Pablo, Jessica, and Abel, our leaders.   They were so jovial and friendly. They showed us Christ’s heart. We loved them.

I am so thankful we took that step of faith.

A Selfie in GuatemalaI believe success is achieved by those leading you.  The leadership team in Guatemala was outstanding.  Abel was full of humor, love and friendship.  Jessica was beautiful, and the light of Christ shone through her. Pablo was on fire for God and demonstrated what it means to follow God fully.  All three were committed to their mission and to us.  They showed us their hearts for the people of Guatemala, for the orphan’s and for the struggles they face day to day- not only those living at Dorie’s Promise, but in Guatemala City. They were incredible examples to each of us for what it means to lay down your life for others and live for Christ.

Not only was I impressed at their vision and how they carried it out in their community but also for the work being done at Dorie’s Promise.  I have adopted from China and wish my daughter had been cared for like they care for their orphans! They teach them about God, character, respect, and responsibility. Furthermore, I saw hardworking, Christian women taking care of the kids with love and devotion.  I know first hand how difficult it is sometimes dealing with the baggage these children unfortunately bring with them.  These women have developed a strong sisterhood through Christ to do what they’ve been called to do.  It comes out in the way they share laughter between both themselves and the children.  These women are on the front line fighting for each of these small souls to know Christ and then to make Him known to others.  They are Princess Warriors!

A family in GuatemalaDorie’s Promise was a place my son, his friend and I found a bit of God’s heart unfurled. I would recommend this trip to anyone.  Abel, Jessica, and Pablo spoke God’s word into each of our hearts just the way we were supposed to hear it.  It’s amazing when that happens. For that, I am truly grateful, especially for the bond my son and I were able to share his senior year, a memory forever.  I would sum it up by saying, if you go to Dorie’s Promise, you will find a mix of Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and David Platt’s Radical being lived out. Just go!

Lyn Finnegan

Words Cannot Explain

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Tacarra: and one of the children from Dorie's Promise I’m so glad I had the courage to listen to my spirit the night of September 11, 2014. For whatever reason,  I could not sleep that night. Exhausted from the constant restlessness, I reached for my smartphone and Googled “causes of insomnia.” I quickly learned how stress and anxiety could be the culprit of my sleepless night. What could I so stressed and anxious about? I wondered. A million and one questions began to flood my mind about my life and its purpose:

  • Am I doing the right type of work?
  • Am I surviving or thriving in life?
  • Will I ever be enough for him or will I be single forever?
  • Am I worthy and do I matter?

Clearly, I had and still have a lot of exploring to do to get to the bottom of my restless spirit. I then had an aha moment and figured out that the best way for me to begin to heal myself was to first become a blessing for someone else in need. It also didn’t hurt that I was itching for a vacation as well so I decided to get the best of both worlds by signing up for my first mission trip!

Tacarra chilling with the children and Special Mother of Dorie's Promise.Little did I know that my life would be forever changed in the most positive ways moving forward.

Words cannot explain the immense feelings of pure love, genuineness, caring and compassion I felt directly from the open hearts of Pablo, Abel, the special mothers and the kids while there! It was almost as if they knew me and we’ve met before. Like we we’re long lost friends reconnecting or something. It was the most beautiful feeling! And for the first time in my adult life, I felt like I mattered. I felt that my presence mattered and that my life was worthwhile. Powerful revelation  and life changing stuff for a 28 year old who was working hard climbing the corporate ladder and trying to find her way in life.

My experience in Guatemala revealed to me just how emotionally and spiritually improvised I was. I was living a life without love and that’s no way for anyone to live. I’m forever grateful for this new found awareness and awakening. It took me 28 years and a mission trip to learn what these kids are blessed to live day in and day out.

Dorie’s Promise is a very good thing and they are doing an incredible job raising the world’s forgotten children. I felt forgotten too, just didn’t realize it- so glad they remembered me. And trust me when I say that these kids are receiving all the love, nurturing, care and attention needed to thrive and overcome ANY obstacles life may  throw their way. After all, love conquers all as they say.Out to the movies with some of the teens from Dorie's Promise.

As for me, nowadays, I look forward to receiving my quarterly updates from Dorie’s on the beautiful child and my personal forever friend I’ve chosen to sponsor, Yire Abraham. That little boy single handedly made my life better. I will always love and appreciate him for what he did for my soul. Most importantly though, I cannot wait to see my little forever friend again! I just request Pablo and Abel to have the cupboard stocked full with plenty of Chiky’s and Nutella for my next visit!!!

Tacarra Christie

Missions Leads to Sponsorship

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Jessica with Alejandra, during her Nov 2104 trip to Dorie's Promise.I came down to Guatemala last November, it was a great trip.

Four months later I decided to sponsor Alejandra. I had been wanting to sponsor a child for a while. Financially, I knew it was going to be important to be at a spot where I could sustain the sponsorship and also truly be a part of the child’s life (letter, gifts, etc). I finally got to a point in my job that was going to work and I already knew sponsorship was going to be a priority.

Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old, God has laid on my heart to want to adopt a child. I am not married yet, but certainly plan to go through with that when I am. However, I didn’t want to wait till then to start being apart of a child’s life from an orphaned situation. When I found out about Dorie’s Promise from one of your board members, I was so excited to get involved. So, I helped get the process going to take a mission there (which we did in November).

While I was there with our team, something about Alejandra caught my attention. She reminded me about what I’ve been told I was like as a little girl. I felt I could relate to her and her personality in that way. She captured my heart and, since adoption wasn’t a possibility at this time (for many reasons), I decided to sponsor her.

I look forward to being a part of her life as she grows up and look forward to doing more as God provides. It’s so cool she has a place like Dorie’s Promise to grow up in!

Jessica Cross

My Mission Trip Experience

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Nine years ago, my husband and I first went to Dorie’s Promise on two occasions – one was to meet our new son whom we would adopt just a few short months later, and the second was to bring him home. His name is now Matthew James. During that time period, I knew that one day I would return to Dorie’s to do mission work and that hopefully, it would even become something my family could do, once everyone was a little older.

My first opportunity came in March of 2014. I’ve been sponsoring a few children at Dorie’s ever since Matthew’s adoption, and keeping in touch with Heather Radu and the organization from time to time. My new position as Orphan Ministry Director led me and a wonderful team right into the hands of Dorie’s Promise so that we could potentially make just the slightest difference in the lives of the children living there, and the amazing people in the community whom we assisted. Well, the biggest difference was not what we could do for all of them, it was what they could do IN all of us!

From the start, we were placed in the hands of an outstanding team – Pablo who is wise beyond his age (Mission Director), Jessica who is so intelligent, sweet, loving and caring (assistant to Pablo); and of course, wonderful “servant’s heart” Abel (who was our driver 9 years ago, and remembered me the moment he saw me this time). We still feel like family to this day with the entire team and miss them greatly. Next, spending time with all of the children who we see in our videos and photos was heart-warming and inspiring. Each of those kids has a purpose from God and what a blessing to us to spend time playing with them, braiding their hair, reading books and watching movies, and seeing the smiles as we presented some gifts. And Lastly, we were not prepared to be as astonished by the love and faith of the locals in the community that we assisted with various projects and shared meals with, as well as the special needs children at the State Orphanage who just loved upon us and showed us that God truly is in each and every one of them! I personally came back with a changed perspective.

One of the special things about this trip was that my dear friend Rosa (who is 70 and very much family to me and my family) was with us. Rosa is from Mexico originally and we spoke about doing this trip ever since Matthew was adopted. Having that desire become a reality still warms my heart. Rosa was the biggest blessing to everyone on the trip since she spoke the language fluently and connected with the people in ways none of us could. She knows we plan to go back together!

I’ve always been impressed with Heather’s work and with Dorie’s Promise and their philosophy of orphan care. But doing “mission” work brought my admiration so much higher than I ever expected. They are so well planned, so thorough in the details, and keep care and safety of the teams to the highest level. I highly recommend you grab your team (large or small) and book a trip to Dorie’s soon!

Gerianne Cygan

Wauconda, IL