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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

Part of the Family

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Here's our"family" photo with Jennifer taken in June 2014

By Kari Janusz-

Friends, Brayan and Wilmer together during one of the Januszes trips to Dorie's PromiseOur family first began receiving newsletters from All God’s Children International sometime around 2004. To this day we have no idea how we got on the organization’s mailing list, but I believe strongly that God placed us there. At the time, I had already been praying about adoption, but my husband Chris (who is adopted) was not quite there yet. I would lay out the newsletter on our kitchen table with the photos of children in the hope that God would soften his heart.

In December 2005, Chris asked me to go to Starbucks on a “date” and to bring my adoption information with me. So there we sat, discussing the possibility of opening our hearts and home to another child. I had already prayed about which country I felt God leading us to adopt from, but asked Chris what country he thought we should pursue. He looked up over my head for a second and said, “Guatemala*.” About a year later, he told me that when he looked up, he saw a sign advertising Guatemalan coffee, and knew that God was speaking into his heart. Chris and I both had ministered to Hispanic teens in New York City and knew that we felt at home with the culture.

I made a promise when we brought Wilmer home to the United States back on March 16, 2008. I promised the Special Moms of Dorie’s Promise that I would not forget them, that we would be back. Now, I am sure that they had heard that before, but we don’t make promises we can’t keep in our family. So in February 2009, we were on a plane to Guatemala on a mission trip to Hannah’s Hope/Dorie’s Promise. We continue to visit Dorie’s because of our desire to expose our son Wilmer to his culture, to maintain the friendships forged when Wilmer was growing up there, and because of our deep love for the country and her people. Guatemala and Dorie’s Promise are forever a part of our family, because they a part of our son Wilmer.

We feel strongly that God has called us to continue to support the place that raised our son for the first five years of his life. It is also important for us to continue to give opportunities for other children to be impacted by the tremendous love and care given at Dorie’s Promise by the Special Moms and staff.

Sponsorship allows us to see how the children are growing when we are not there.

Wilmer with Mama Noe, one of the Special Moms who raised himWilmer had a sponsor when he was at Dorie’s, and she reached out to me after we brought Wilmer home. This awesome woman had saved some of the drawings Wilmer did for her when she was sponsoring him. She sent those drawings to us, and we have framed them and hung them on our wall. Her impact as a sponsor continues to bring joy to Wilmer’s heart every time he looks at the pictures he made when he was young. Sponsorship has lasting impact. Even our 16-year-old son Caleb knows of the importance of sponsorship — he supports one of the teens at Dorie’s.

Mission trips provide such an awesome opportunity for people to bond with the children they sponsor. Personally seeing your sponsored child can make a huge difference. It changes the child from being a photo in your mind to a hug in your heart. Mission trips for our family provide us the ability to continue to grow the relationships that we already have with the children and staff there.

The bonds our family has with the children and staff are forever. Going back to Dorie’s is like going home. They are like family to us. The precious women and men who care so deeply for these children amaze us. Dorie’s Promise is a safe haven, an oasis for children and visitors alike. It is not just a house, it is a home. It is a place very hard to leave. That really is what sets Dorie’s apart from other places — it is a home. When God has His hand upon a ministry like this, you can feel His presence in such a palpable way.

If you want to find the kinds of connections the Januszes have, start by visiting our sponsorship section and reading about our children.

*International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008

The Long Term Impact of Missions

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Children of Dorie's Promise


The Scott's visiting the state orphanage while on a trip to Dorie's Promise.By Arwen McGilvra-

When we received this touching letter and donation from a teenager who had visited Dorie’s Promise Guatemala back in August 2013, it got us thinking about the long-term impact that supporting Forever Changed International has on our mission-trippers, donors, and sponsors.

Dear Forever Changed:

I just wanted to write a quick note telling this organization about how you have impacted my life. Going on a mission trip to Guatemala through Forever Changed was one of the greatest trips I’ve taken. I truly am forever changed. I’m giving to you ($50) because I feel this is how God wants me to give to Him, by giving to Forever Changed. I saw what you do for the kids at the orphanage, and those kids are precious. I saw what our mission group was able to do for the people we visited, and I even made friends I will never forget. I hope I can go back, and I hope this money helps. 

Dannae Sribnik

Obviously for this 14-year-old, the impact is still strong. And she’s not the only one. Our post-trip surveys are full of comments about the impact a mission trip with Forever Changed has on participants. In fact, many come back for repeat trips.

Returning to the dump had a significant impact on one mission-tripper: “I recognized a lady who lives at the dump/ghetto. Last year she had given me a bracelet she was making. This year when she saw me her face lit up, and I knew she recognized me also. It meant a lot to see that she, one year later, would recognize me. She remembered my face because of God’s love shown through us.”*

Holding a baby at the state orphanage.Another expressed why so many become sponsors after visiting: “The breadth of your programming is definitely the most impactful part of the trip. By connecting the dots of how your children come to be there and the pieces of Guatemala that connect to their plight, the need is better understood.”*

One of our donors, Helen Beidel, recently passed away. Before she died, she requested that in lieu of funeral flowers, donations be sent in her memory to Dorie’s Promise. A steady stream of donations flowed in for about three months. In the end, her family and friends donated $2,500.

When Rebecca Scott, Helen’s daughter, adopted her third child from Guatemala back in 2008, her mom traveled with them to Guatemala to pick her up. Later, the Scotts found out about Dorie’s Promise through their friends the Ratcliffs, who had adopted through our home**.

“They told us about the mission trips, and we immediately knew we wanted to go on one with our family. My mom was very sick at the time and was so sad that she couldn’t go with us, but she gave generously for us to be able to go,” says Rebecca. “When we got back and told her about our trip, she immediately wanted to send money to the pastor who feeds the children every day near the dump (and whom we had helped). She was so thrilled that we got to return to Guatemala and serve in that way.”

“After she passed away, and we talked about where to have people donate, we immediately thought of Dorie’s Promise and Forever Changed because of how much it has impacted our family. We knew she would be thrilled to have money go to y’all.”

The impact goes on … we regularly receive letters and comments telling us how lives have been forever changed by interaction with our organization. Here are just a few:

“It has forever changed my life.”

“I thought at first the name ‘Forever Changed’ was ambitious. But it was a reality. I am truly changed forever.”

“It was an amazing experience — they don’t only forever change the lives of the children and communities, but it has changed me and how I see the world and what I want to do.”

“Your name Forever Changed could not be more appropriate, for I am forever changed!”

Want to experience for yourself what they are all raving about? Get started here.


*Survey results are collected anonymously

**International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008


Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The children of Dorie's Promise showing their gratitude for all the sponsors and donors who have give to their home.

By MJ Zelya-

Orphans from Guatemala have found on oasis at Dorie's Promise.This note really has been inspired by God…I feel He spoke to my heart, urging me to express my gratitude and thanking those who have been channels of blessing to us, no matter the size or shape. What matters is the motivation behind people’s generosity — LOVE.

It’s amazing how God manifests Himself through people or things — reminding you at every moment what He needs you to do. This happens to me all the time.

He put on my heart that we should be thankful at all times, regardless of the circumstances we are facing. Very recently my mom passed away. It has been difficult to pass this test in life — my mom was very young and did not expect her departure so soon. The first thing that came to my mind were the children of Dorie’s Promise, and how they also go through a bereavement — leaving their family and the environment they know, many because they were neglected or orphaned.

Many sponsors, missionaries, and donors have been able to support these children by giving them a home, an oasis, where they can find love, security, education. A home that maybe doesn’t fully fill the emptiness of a lost family, but certainly helps heal the wounds left by the circumstances of life. We believe that God has sent them here to change their weeping and mourning into joy, Psalm (30:11-12) — He always has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).

Simple Gratitude - Dorie's PromiseWe have seen God move through many people, filling us with blessing, always providing what we need.

Every donation, no matter how small or big it is, is very important to us. A donation of furniture we received this month … the money that was raised to reach the finish line to buy new cars, clothing, medicine — and more. These many blessing are impacting those living in extreme poverty, those who need a ray of hope.

Being thankful is a fundamental characteristic of those who believe in God, because it allows us to bring the Gospel and to honor His name in everything we receive. It is grace poured on us through people, and it extends to our children, to our home, and to our community.

It is necessary to always “give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NLT).

And pray not only because you are in need of something, but also because you have a lot of things to be thankful for….

A New School Year

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Your donations allow all of this for our children — resulting in a better education, and a better life!

Bryan and Lester are still attending a special needs school in which they are developing their skills and receive the extra attention they need.Education is very important to a child’s development. That’s why Dorie’s Promise puts an emphasis on our children’s education. We want to prepare children for the future so that they can give testimony of God’s grace for the opportunity to study — one that many children in Guatemala would like and need, but do not have.

This year most of our children are attending school to fulfill that necessity and requirement, according to their developmental stage.

In Guatemala, the school year is from January to October. Thank God, we have had a successful and blessed year in 2014 — all the children from our home who are old enough to start their academic education are attending schools that fulfill their needs!

As you may know, Nayeli, 16, has finished Guatemalan high school and is now studying to be a Bilingual Secretary!!! Bryan and Lester are still attending a special needs school in which they are developing their skills and receive the extra attention they need. Sylvia is going to a regular school now called La Academia! She is adapting really well and is very excited about her new friends. The rest of the kids are going to a well-known private school in Guatemala called El Shaddai.

Ready for a new school year.The little boys and girls are eager to learn how to read and write, and they love to read storybooks at night! Several of the girls, including Ana, Maria Jose, and Jennifer, are very responsible with their homework. As soon as they come home from school, they are sure to get started — so that they have time to have fun in the afternoons playing ball, tag, or games.

Your donations allow all of this for our children — resulting in a better education, and a better life! What’s more, we have even been able to fulfill each one of their needs for school supplies: backpacks, lunch boxes, uniforms, and shoes, in addition to the books and all the materials they need.

Thank you SO MUCH!

While we have secured their education for the 2015 school year, your continued generosity will help us make sure we can offer them the best possible education in the years to come. Please consider giving a special gift today for the education of our children.

Meet Efrain (Age 10)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Efrain with his Special Mother at Dorie's Promise.

By MJ Zelya-

EfrainEfrain after his eye surgery has been living at Dorie’s Promise since 2005. He is now 10 years old. He was abandoned by his mother because of her economic inability to take care of him.

Efrain is very attentive to his surroundings. He loves it when the Special Mothers sing to him. Efrain knows he is loved and cared for, and the Special Moms and other children make him a very happy boy who constantly laughs.

Janet, the Special Mother who takes care of him, says, “The movement in his legs and arms has improved. The therapy he is receiving has helped him a lot. He looks happier, and he can reach his foot and hold it with his hands. It’s so exciting to see how flexible he is now.”

His favorite meal is the sweet porridge, and he loves to drink milk — lemonade too.

Dr. Castro says that Efrain is a boy who is kind, patient, and content. In addition to his developmental delays, he has a genetic defect, which is only present in some of his cells. Otherwise he would not have survived until now. It does cause him to be small in growth, blind with cerebral Efrain is a boy with a big heart, a patient nature, and a gentle spirit.palsy (muscle-joints spasticity), and have seizures. As part of the syndrome, he has a cataract in one eye and a coloboma (a sort of hole in the eye) in another. One eye cataract has been operated on; hopefully he is beginning to distinguish some shadows. Due to all these problems, Efrain is confined to a wheelchair.

Our nurse, Mirna Yuman, has recently taken a physiotherapy course with the intention to provide better care for Efrain. The outcome has been astonishingly positive; in just one month of this extra personalized therapy Efrain is able to keep he own head up better and is stronger, while his limbs and back are more flexible. He has received from our Lord a special gift, what Doc Castro calls “the gene of happiness.”

Efrain behaves as if he is conscious of the good care he receives, and we believe that he knows how much he is loved. He needs your love too. Efrain is only 40% sponsored. Sponsorship helps pay for the extra medical care and personalized attention that is required to give him the best care. Sponsor Efrain today and become a part of the family that cares for this special child!

A Report from Doctor Castro

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Doctor Castro with children from Dorie's Promise

Some reflections on my experience as a physician and pediatrician at Dorie’s Promise, serving orphans and battered, abused, neglected Guatemalan children:

In my youth I was attracted to, and still am, to three different fields of study: anthropology, architecture, and medicine. I learned, in fact, that the three are related to each other. They are centered on the needs of the human race, such as the need for cooperation between people working together in order to achieve an ultimate goal.

All three fields are in a constant search for knowledge and practices that can improve people’s lives, but above all, the three are based on the idea of the common good of the people. I visualized myself helping and caring for children, so I decided to study Pediatrics in Guatemala and England.

Luis gets a check up.Working with children in a pediatric practice has transformed and utterly touched my life.

Every moment I have spent serving children has made me more conscious and aware of the true miracle of life.

Children are the light of the world — they are a fount of energy emitted onto others, especially people who are in direct contact with them and, ultimately, those people are the primary beneficiaries of this positive energy.

After my decision to retire from academia, hospital life, and private practice, a position at Dorie’s Promise was offered to me, and I saw this as a good opportunity to continue serving children. So I accepted and have been serving at the orphanage for more than eight years.

Guatemala is a poor country where many children need attention and good care. I truly feel God has provided me with direction, proper guidance, and the strength to continue as a doctor and health adviser serving the children of Dorie’s Promise — not only visiting them as their pediatrician, but also being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our nurse assistant and administrative personnel plus the Special Moms, I have been privileged in the task of watching the children’s growth and development closely, coming up with early interventions to prevent and cure almost 97% of their health needs. In regards to the other 3-5% of their health needs that I am not able to directly provide, I have been able to use my resources and medical contacts for expert second opinions and intervention.

Our health program has been blessed by having great leadership for both our home and non-profit organization and coworkers that believe in our work, who are committed and passionate for service. This has allowed us to improve and maintain efficient and effective health Doctor Castro checks up on a child from Dorie's Promiseinterventions, based on Christian principles. Dorie’s Promise is always concerned about the children’s safety, fulfilling their needs by providing them shelter, their basic physiological needs, integral health, security, affection, self-esteem, learning, and a beautiful and harmonious home.

The children have suffered through a few very dangerous infectious outbreaks in the past: large Rotavirus gastroenteritis, adenovirus pneumonia, eye and skin infections, and parasites. But I can proudly say that since 2006, and with great thanks to our health system, home improvements, and preventative measures, our children have not suffered anymore infectious outbreaks and have been protected from these always-potential threats.

So what’s in store for Dorie’s Promise in the future? We will continue to work with these beautiful and amazing children through the support and dedication from U.S. supporters and our dedicated Christian missionaries and other partners. I see Dorie’s Promise as a good example to other homes, working with other Guatemalan organizations as partners to improve and extend our services to communities in need. Our health program will be caring for children ranging from newborns to adolescents, but the fact of life is that our children are growing up under our care and bit by bit reaching adulthood; so we will need to focus our health care and education on preparing our children for the real world with responsibilities.

We Met Our Goal!! All Because Of You!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

We Met our Goal!!  All because of you!

Since August 2014, we have been asking our friends and supporters to help us buy a new microbus to transport our children. If you’ve been to Guatemala, you have seen firsthand that our current vehicles are no longer safe and secure to transport our children.

We actually needed a Microbus for our children and a van to effectively transport our guests as well. Our plan was to raise money for the Microbus in 2014 and start raising money for the van in early 2015.

Well, we have some exciting news!

Since August 2014, we have been asking our friends and supporters to help us buy a new microbus to help transport our children. Because of your overwhelming support, enough money came in through December 31, 2014 to allow us to buy both vehicles! Late last week, we ordered a 12-passenger Hyundai H1 van and a 30-passenger Hyundai County Microbus. We decided to go with Hyundai because we were able to get an extended warranty and bigger vehicles for our money.

The total amount raised for this need, as of today, is $87,300. I think you will agree: that’s amazing! The cost of the 12-passenger Hyundai H1 van was $28,500. The 30-passenger Hyundai County Bus was $59,000.

We expect the Microbus and van to be delivered to Dories Promise within the next few weeks. We will update you with pictures and video of our Children seeing the new vehicles for the first time.

To everyone who gave to help us buy these vehicles: Thank you! Your support and love have been astounding. Our children are blessed to have such a compassionate, generous family looking out for them.

Christmas for Orphans at Dorie’s Promise

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click an image below to see a larger version.






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

Thank You for A Great 2014

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Thank you from the children of Dorie's Promise!As you watched the video I hope you noticed the bright and happy smiles of our children. Having just been in Guatemala, I can tell you that our homes are running better than they ever have. I’m so proud of our team and the hard work they are doing to care for our children. But I have to tell you that, at the same time, our bank account for operating Dorie’s Promise is lower than it has ever been before. We need your help. The end of the year is coming soon. This is the most important time of the year for us. Would you consider a special gift over and above anything you have done in 2014? Every contribution matters! Please do what you can. Together we can raise the children of Dorie’s Promise and give them opportunities to grow and thrive.

You can give online up until the last minutes of the year.

For the Children,
Heather Radu

Donate Now

Missions: All about relationships

Friday, December 26th, 2014

A family serving with FCI installs a sink called a pila for a family living in one of Guatemala's ghettos.

By Pablo Villagran -

Missions Coordinator Pablo VillagranIf you are reading this message, it means you are a friend of Dorie’s Promise, and we thank you for having a relationship with us. I would like to extend a special invitation to you to come visit us during spring break 2015 … And here’s why:

When you come to a place like Dorie’s Promise, you are part of the change that is going on with the children in our home. You become a part of their lives. They love to build relationships with mission-trippers and those who visit us because the children receive the love and attention they deserve.

In your visit to Guatemala, you will see other ways of living — the realities that are the dump and the city ghettos.

We focus a lot on relationships in those communities as well. We constantly visit there, and we meet people who are living in very poor conditions and lack opportunities, but who have a great heart and sense of meaning. It is easy to connect with these people.  Those relationships are life-changing.

When we do development projects in communities we try to practice this Bible verse: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Self-sacrifice is the high water mark of love.

A missions team visiting a ghetto in Guatemala.When we share love, we share Jesus. When we share Jesus, we plant a seed. When we plant seeds of the Gospel, we fulfill God’s purpose to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

Coming on a mission trip is more than just a chance to make good memories. It is life-changing. It has changed mine. It will continue to change anyone exposed to it.

The reason is very simply: JESUS.

He transforms us. By doing His Kingdom work, we are challenged, stretched, and made more like Him. Having a relationship with Him changes everything. Knowing this is the most important relationship of all, we focus on it with all the children at Dorie’s Promise, staff, and friends of the organization. When you visit us, it will be our focus for you, too, to grow your most important relationship.

We are waiting for you. Get started today! Check out our trip handbook, watch a video, or fill out an application!