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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

New School in 2016 : Missions Project with Dorie’s Promise

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Missions Project with Dorie's Promise | Community Leaders Greet Volunteers from FCI.

By Pablo Villigran –

Boys outside of the school Dorie's Promise Missions Team Built in 2015.Our mission program has accomplished many things since I’ve been a part of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, and now we are moving to a new level of help and service. While keeping our focus on the mission to help the forgotten children of Guatemala we are taking it a step further to focus on education.

We are building a new school this year. This will be our second school and with this school we want to start a training program for teachers, to help them implement better teaching techniques and teaching resources.

We have just started building the school. A team from Connecticut helped us with the foundation. We can’t thank them enough for their long hours of work.

Plans for the new school

Plans for the new school.

Working on the foundation for the new school.The logistics for a project of this size are not easy. In order to accomplish this big of a project we are working together with the community members and mayor of Palencia, an architect, missions teams and the Forever Changed International staff. We understand that a building doesn’t come together without the work of many hand.

This new school represents a big change for the children of Palencia— a change for the better. Imagine after meeting in makeshift classrooms, under trees or in a garage, having a real classroom. For communities in poverty, education is a powerful tool for change in the lives of children.

There is no doubt that real change comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that will always be our first priority. Yet as God opens doors for Forever Changed International to build relationships with communities, it also opens up opportunities for the Gospel.

Our Goal is to keep building the school and finish it by the end of the summer with help from all the teams who will be visiting Dorie’s Promise. If you’d like to be a part of the project we still have openings on the summer schedule.  You can apply online and begin your journey to Guatemala today. And please contact us if you have any questions.

You can also be praying with us for this project. Ask for Gods provision and guidance to be with us. Finally you can donate to the project, just write “Palencia School” in the comment section when you give. It is through partners like you that we can continue to forever change the lives of children!

Life Is A Journey: Nayeli’s Story

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2011

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in 2011

As time passes, things remind you that you are getting older. Changing physically, maturing emotionally — life teaching you along the way.

Looking at the photos of Nayeli, you’ll notice how she has changed over the years, how she has turned into an amazing young lady.

When Nayeli came to Dorie’s Promise in 2005 she was 7, she was sad and insecure, just like most of the children who come to us. Nayeli, over time, was able to forgive those in her past who hurt her — and she’s become a resilient person despite her suffering as a young child (from physical and psychological abuse by her biological parents to an attempted adoption that failed). The ups and downs in life helped her

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2016

May of 2016 Nayeli is growing into a lovely young woman.

mature and grow into a happy young woman who is sure of herself and has high self-esteem. Nayeli says, “I have a future ahead and many things left for me to do.”

She tells us:

What I love about Dorie’s Promise is that despite our differences, in coming from different backgrounds, we are all one big, happy family.

We are taught to be polite, to have good manners, and to thank God every day for His grace and mercy. I am with people I love and appreciate. I love to share with all my brothers and sisters — they are an important part of my life.

At Dorie’s Promise I have found unconditional support and people who have been there for me when I was

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2015

Nayeli credits God’s hand in giving meaning to her life.

sad and angry and even happy … They love, accept, and respect me as I am. Most importantly, this is the place I met God. I did not know who God was before Dorie’s Promise, but when I got here I learned I am His beloved daughter — that His plans are perfect, that He brought me to this place for a reason.

I remember well that when we started doing devotionals, I found it boring at first. But with time, my sadness was turned into happiness as I listened to all He has created and done — how He died for my sins. All the people around me have impacted my life. I came to understand that someone loves me, and that I’m not alone. God gives a sense of meaning to my life.

My life has been a journey, and I thank God for all the people I have met who have given me good advice and guidance. I also thank all the sponsors from the bottom of my heart who give not only me but all the children of Dorie’s Promise the opportunity to change their lives!

Sponsor are an essential part of what we do at Forever Changed. Without you, we couldn’t give Nayeli and all of our children the excellent care, love and support that we do. Nayeli is currently 100% sponsored, but we have many more children waiting for sponsors. Please consider sponsoring a child and helping us change more lives.

What I Saw in Guatemala

Thursday, May 5th, 2016


Bradley's 2016 trip to Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Bradley Burck –

I was recently in Guatemala and spent a few days at Dorie’s Promise. As I toured the homes and saw all the improvements that have been made in recent years, I was reminded of how far we’ve come since Forever Changed International took over the orphanage.

Our children are doing better than I think I have ever seen. It is interesting to see them grow up. Gone are most of the high chairs. The homes are now split between boys and girls. Our children are growing up!

"I can tell you firsthand that special things are happening because of our work together!"One evening while I was there, Nayeli spoke to us about her plans for the future. She talked about how much she loved her family at Dorie’s Promise. I smiled when she talked about Bryan being just like a brother. I realized that we have not only taken care of the physical needs of the children there, but we’ve created a family between the children who care about each other and the special mothers who look out for them on a daily basis.

I loved walking through the homes and seeing the organization and the new furniture, beds, and painting. I’ve always said that our Dorie’s Promise home should be just like your home. That was totally evident during my visit.

As part of the leadership of Forever Changed, I want to give honor where honor is due. First — God is amazing. It is clear to me He has a plan for our children, and that He is intimately involved in each of their lives. He has provided for their care every day of their lives from the moment they were born through their time with us. To Him be all honor, glory, and praise!

Second — thank YOU for seeing the value of the children at Dorie’s Promise. Thank you for giving of your hard-earned money and time to make sure these children are given the best possible opportunity to succeed in life and grow spiritually. Without you, Forever Changed and our work at Dorie’s Promise would only be a dream.

Please continue to be involved. I can tell you firsthand that special things are happening because of our work together!

God Provides A Forever Family for Sheily

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Sheily with her Forever Family

By MJ Zelya –

Baby Sheily at 3-4 months old.

Sheily at about 3-4 months old, at Dorie’s Promise.

During life you experienced many stages, that you are probably not prepared for, especially when it comes to saying goodbye. It is difficult because it’s hard letting go of what we love so much.

This month we were notified by the CNA (the Central Authority, in Guatemala the agency in charge of adoption*,) that there was a family interested in adopting Sheily (Age 2.)

In Guatemala it is really difficult to find families that want to adopt children*.  There are precious few families who adopt, and if they adopt, the child has to be healthy and in perfect condition, which makes it harder for the CNA to find a family that fulfills all the requirements.

We thought this would be the case with Sheily, because she has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and attention deficit disorder (ADD.) But after a week of visits Sheily wanted to go home with her new family.

We know that God hears our prayers and that is a perfect plan for each of our children and everything is done in His time.

Sheily was so happy with the visits and the opportunity to spend  time with this family. We knew that this was an opportunity from God.

Every time a new child comes to Dorie’s Promise we are full of joy, and even though we know that the environment where they came from was full of  sadness, we are excited by what God is going to do.

Sheily with her adoptive mother during one of their visits.

Sheily with her adoptive mother during one of their visits.

When Sheily came to Dorie’s promise that in  September of 2013, she was a very small baby, that had been found abandoned in the street. She experienced chronic malnutrition, anemia, and a growth deficit. I remember that even after months with us she was still the same size and height. Her development was slow and it was difficult to get her to a normal weight for her age. After several studies our Pediatrician, Dr. Castro, determined that she suffered from a growth deficiency and fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause smaller height and speech delays.

During the initial investigation her biological parents appeared to be homeless, alcoholics and drug addicts.  Through the court process they never reappeared and the Minor’s court declared Sheily adoptable.

Meanwhile, Sheily was getting healthier, gaining weight, and improving her mobility with the help of the health support from Dr. Castro and the stimulation from the Special Mothers as part of her care plan.

It was with tears in the eyes that we said goodbye to Sheily this week. Yet our hearts were happy because Sheily has the opportunity to grow up in a forever family that will love and care for her as she deserves.

We thank God for the opportunity he gave us to care for her and for the moments that she filled us with joy, laughter, and her many hugs.

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008


Care Concert May 24th Camas Meadows

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Mark your calendars for a Care Concert to Support Forever Changed International.

Mark your calendars for a Care Concert to Support Forever Changed International. The concert will be Tuesday May 24th from 6-8pm at Camas Meadows in Camas, WA. If you are anywhere near the Portland/Vancouver area, you won’t want to miss this special event. Featuring performances by Caryn Jamison and the Opus Student Ensemble this concert will be fun for the whole family.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10/person. FREE Appetizers will be provided and wine will be available. Plus, we will have lots of door prizes and raffle giveaways. (Raffle tickets will be 3 for $5 at the door.) Check out our Facebook page for updates on the great donations from our friends and sponsors for the raffle prizes. Our first prize is an overnight stay at Skamania lodge located on the beautiful Columbia Gorge.  This package includes 1 night of lodging, breakfast for two in the Cascade dining room, and two rounds of golf.  Receive two RAFFLE TICKETS TODAY by Pre-Registering for the event.

Forever Changed International is a nonprofit organization based in Camas, WA. We have owned and operated an orphanage (Dorie’s Promise), in Guatemala City for more than 16 years, providing a loving home to Guatemala’s forgotten children. As an organization we also provide: services to poor families in communities and send people to experience trips from all over the United States: church groups, community groups, schools, businesses, families and individuals are all welcome to join us on a trip.

This is a family friendly event so feel free to bring your children! It will be a great evening of live music, food, and activities for everyone. Your donation enters you into a drawing for one of many prizes we will be giving away. We look forward to seeing you! Get your tickets today.

Mario Making Improvements with Special Care

Thursday, March 31st, 2016


Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Mario has been making great improvement.

By MJ Zelya –

Mario came to Dorie’s Promise in 2012. He was at a low weight after being born prematurely and had physical and neurological issues.

Once he turned 1, Dr. Castro found some abnormal arm movements and diagnosed Mario with a tic after seizures were ruled out.

Dr. Castro told us, “After observing and following up Mario’s behavior, I concluded that he was presenting a neurological syndrome called Gilles de la Tourette. As he has difficulty tolerating the noises of the children in the home, his eye contact was almost nonexistent, and he showed a repetitive obsessive behavior pattern, I suspected Mario was suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, a common associated sign. Then with a neurologist and some psychological assistance, we confirmed the diagnosis.”

Mario started special psychological therapy that emphasized developmental stimulation and socialization behavior. He also receives personalized attention from our Special Mothers and staff — they follow specific instructions to help him cope socially at Dorie’s Promise and to help stimulate his speech and his fine and gross motor and social-personal development.

Mario has improved while he’s been with us.

He now likes to jump and can balance on one leg, catch the ball, and even imitate animal movements. He enjoys finger-painting, playing musical instruments — especially the piano — and likes to drawing large lines. He is friendly, shows affection, and smiles more often!

Among other things Mario's language has taken a huge turn for the better.Mario’s language has taken a huge turn for the better: he imitates animal noises — cows, dogs, pigs. He communicates what he wants or dislikes with phrases like “I am hungry,” “I am tired.” And he can tell when someone is being funny, or if someone is angry.

Special Mother Marleni Marroquin says, “He is such a cute boy. He likes to play with puzzles; he loves to go out and walk with the kids around the neighborhood. When we see other people out and about he tells them Good morning or Good-bye. He can count from 1 to 10 and also knows colors and shapes. He is not a picky eater — his favorite foods are meat with veggies and fruits. He is even potty-trained — no more diaper! He is a loving boy who smiles all the time and shares with our kids, staff, and visitors.”

The improvement in Mario’s development is thanks to people who support Dorie’s Promise — friends like you make it possible for Mario to receive such special care. As he gets older, he will of course continue receiving all the training and therapy he needs, as well as medical follow-ups. Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Cooking Healthy Food For Our Children

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Chef Ruth prepares food for a party.

By MJ Zelya –

Chef Ruth serving a meal at Dorie's Promise.An important part of every child’s health is nutrition and a balanced diet. At Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, we strive to help our children keep and reach good health based on the food pyramid and supported and supervised by our nutritionist and doctor, Dr. Castro.

Two people help make this possible — our Chef, Ruth, and her assistant, Mary. They always serve delicious food and snacks.

They also prepare the food for our mission trip visitors. In fact, the work they do is amazing — they cook anywhere from 40 to 70 dishes a day, plus healthy snacks and beverages.

Ruth says: I love my profession. It is a way I can show affection to the people I love. I know that the children love my food, and the most amazing experience here is seeing the new children in Dorie’s Promise look at their plate of food and see their smiles and faces light up. It’s priceless.

Some of the favorites include barbecue, baked potatoes, grilled chicken, and zucchini lasagna.

Mary helps prepare food in the kitchen.Mary remarks: I love these children — they are so special and they always put a smile on your face. I love the work I do for them, because through food we can demonstrate our love for them.

One leader from a mission team, Pastor Robert William of Community Baptist Church, shares his experience with our food: Let me tell you — the food is great! Breakfast and supper were wonderful … very good and high quality!

With God’s help, and through the support of our sponsors and mission teams, we are able to hire personnel who are committed to their work and faithful to cooking healthy food for our children. Consider helping us continue our work by becoming a Sponsor Today.

Quinceañera Party

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Ingrid looks like a princess in her Quinceañera dress.

Alej giving a speech for Ingrid's Quinceañera.One of our customs in Guatemala is to celebrate the 15th birthday of any girl — as she is becoming a young lady. One of our girls turned 15 in February, and she was so excited to celebrate it — she had been looking forward to her Quinceañera Party for a year. But we continued to explain to her that we hoped to have the funds to do it. So she prayed and prayed: if it was the Lord’s will, He would make it happen.

In the months leading up to Ingrid’s birthday, Alejandra, our Director, and Jessica, the children’s activities coordinator, started planning. It’s always amazing how God opens doors! A company donated turkeys for the dinner, another donated the cake, and still others donated the dresses. It was unbelievable at the beginning! God proved that anything is possible, and that He is in control!

Alej says: “It was a great day for Ingrid and everyone made her feel so special … all the planning, decoration, music, lights, dresses, her hairdo and makeup — everything!”

Everyone cooperated to help make it happen.

The special birthday cake for the Quinceañera.We are grateful she is a part of our home. If she weren’t here, she may not have had the opportunity to experience all the excitement and celebration.

Jessica says that it was amazing to see Ingrid’s dream come true, to see her transformed into a fairy tale princess, and make her beyond happy. Even all the children were amazed to see how pretty she was — they loved being part of the celebration.

“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced,” Ingrid says. “It was so magical. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to celebrate my 15th birthday in that way … Thank you all!

The special moms, staff, and children love Ingrid. This celebration was full of beauty, excitement, gratitude — we had so much fun. Thank you for helping make dreams like this one come true!

See more of the Quinceañera pictures on our Facebook page.

Cari’s Kids

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Give a Gift to Orphans : Become a Sponsor

By Cari Burck –

Cari with her husband Bradley.I will never forget my first trip to Guatemala, when I made it my mission to get a little guy named Lester to smile. I loved on him, devoted attention to him, and acted silly. Before leaving, I snapped the first-ever picture of him smiling.

On that trip, I left a piece of my heart at Dorie’s Promise. Our support of the home gives my husband, Bradley, and me dozens of children in addition to the two who live in our own home. In a modest way, we are helping to solve the world’s orphan crisis.

As I flew home after a recent visit, I thought of ways others in North America can play a vital role in helping orphans in Guatemala. This is true even though it’s been eight years since the country curtailed international adoptions.

To start with, anyone can sponsor a child. Providing 24/7 care in a safe environment is expensive; it takes $1,000 a month per child to meet Forever Changed International’s standards. FCI asks for a minimum pledge of $35 a month, which means it takes multiple sponsors to meet each child’s needs.

Thanks to e-mail, Skype, and other modern communications, you can maintain regular contact with your child, too. You can find out what’s going on in their lives as you help feed, clothe, and care for kids like Mario, Fabiola, Yojana, Alex, and Dulce.

However, don’t restrict your involvement to instant messages or video chats. Think about coming to Guatemala. Over the years thousands have. All return home with a familiar refrain on their lips: “This changed my life.”

All Smiles from Ingrid and Jennifer.It isn’t just helping the orphans at Dorie’s Promise that makes a difference. Participating in community improvement projects will help you get a better understanding of the conditions in the Guatemala City area. Making a difference in needy people’s lives will make a difference in yours.

Back home, you can take part in awareness activities. Churches have sponsored fun runs that not only raise money for FCI, but spread the message about our work. Others have sponsored garage sales or asked guests coming to their child’s birthday party to donate to Dorie’s Promise as their gift.

You can plan a fundraiser for your sponsored child’s community, too. Bake sales, yard sales, and dance marathons may seem like outdated activities. But when the purpose is helping the poor, old becomes “retro” and young people get as excited as their parents.

If your area gets blanketed by another storm this winter, why not use some of that time to read a book about global poverty or international adoption*? There are many titles that will increase your understanding of the deplorable conditions that have created the global orphan crisis.

When you take a reading break, consider jumping online to join FCI’s prayer team. Each month you will receive specific prayer requests and praise items. Prayer is an essential lifeline for this ministry. Or, if you just want to stay informed about developments, you can sign up for e-mail notifications.

Your help changes lives!Other ways you can help include:

  • Consider giving a special gift. You can check the gift registry for the latest needs, or consider placing one of the children on your Christmas gift list next fall.
  • Host a dinner. Invite good friends to your home, and after dinner make a short presentation on Dorie’s Promise. Tell others what this means to your life. You may attract another sponsor or two for the home.
  • Engage your church. Many need some kind of missions focus. Letting them know about our Reach Out Missions could light a spark among the members.
  • Tell others about sponsorship. Speak to the Rotary Club or other community organization. After all, if you sponsor a child, you’re an expert. You know what good this accomplishes and how it makes you feel.

Go ahead. Join my mission to let everyone know about the incredible things that are happening in Guatemala!

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008

Announcing the Forever Changed Care Concert

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

care concert

If you are in the Portland/ Vancouver area you’ll want to mark your calendars for Tuesday May 24th 6pm-8pm, for a Care Concert at Camas Meadows. Tickets are a $10 donation/person. FREE Appetizers will be provided and wine will be available. All proceeds go towards providing orphans in Guatemala with much needed food, clothing, shelter, medicine and loving care.

Last years Care Concert support All God’s Children International and featured performers like Caryn Jamieson, Tom Mann, and Dani Tanzella. More Information will be coming soon so stay in touch!