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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

An Interview With Celebration Church

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


By Arwen McGilvra-

A group of 17 people from Celebration Church in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), visited us at Dorie’s Promise in October. We interviewed Cory Illingworth, the Pastoral Team Leader and trip coordinator, about their visit.

Guatemala City McDonalds and Celebration Church members.How did you hear about Dorie’s Promise? A father and son from our church wanted to go on a mission trip together in 2013. They searched on Google with the following criteria: slums, orphanage, garbage dump, and Central America. Dorie’s Promise was the top search. The father prayed about it and felt it was the exact place they should go. Blaine, his son Carson, my son Luke, and I made the trip to Guatemala in June of 2013.

Have you been on other mission trips? Our church participates in many types of mission trips. We have outreach opportunities in our community, city, country, and to the corners of the earth. For more than eight years, we have sent a team to northern Canada to work with the first nation’s people and the Metis of Canada. Over the last couple of years, we sent teams to India, Uganda, Haiti, and Las Vegas.

How was your trip with FCI different? Working with FCI has been such a blessing. So professional. So organized. So accommodating. So encouraging. Everyone who attended Dorie’s Promise this past year commented on how safe, comfortable, and cared for they felt. The Special Mothers are amazing.

Mission trippers from the from Celebration Church in ReginaWe heard you did some special activities with the children. Can you tell us about those? We went to the football pitch with the children, the staff, and the Special Moms. It was Canada versus Guatemala. Then we taught everyone from Dorie’s Promise how to play Canadian football. We also took all of the kids to Divercity. That was a great experience for us. The children had so much fun.

The highlight special activity was having Canadian Thanksgiving (Monday, October 13, 2014) with the children, Special Mothers, and staff. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, pumpkin pie, and Canadian candies. The children all came dressed up to the guest house, and we ate the meal together. To my understanding, it was one of the only times the children had been to the guest house. It was by far one of my all-time favourite Thanksgiving meals.

What was your impression of the home? The staff and Special Mothers? The children? Everyone on the team stated they felt like we were staying at a resort. The staff and Special Mothers are my favourite part of Dorie’s Promise. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those kids. But I personally feel God has called me and our team to bless and encourage the staff and Special Mothers for what they do. Our youth loved the children. They even got to go water sliding in the backyard with some of the them.

What other projects did you do while in Guatemala? Here in our city we have a ministry called the Burger Bus. It is a bus that goes into the inner city and hands out McDonald’s cheeseburgers to people. We bought 300 cheeseburgers and had the opportunity to hand those out all over Guatemala City. We had the chance to pray for people at the hospital, on the streets, and in the rain. We want to be ambassadors for Dorie’s Promise in the ghettos and in the dump. We are so proud of you, as our brothers and sisters in Christ, for the impact you are making there. You gave our team exposure to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you.

Outing with the children to Divercity.In the future, we would love to have two teams come to Dorie’s Promise. One team that solely works with your partner ministries in the ghetto and dump and one that spends the majority of its time with the children of Dorie’s Promise.

Other thoughts? I have a few other comments I need to share. If you are a team considering going to Dorie’s Promise or any other mission trip, please read the book When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Finkert. Our job as short-term missionaries needs to be to support the staff of FCI and your partner ministries.

One of the goals we had as a team while we were serving with Dorie’s Promise was to make sure that we were a blessing to everyone we encountered: the bus driver, the police officers who protected us, the people at McDonald’s, and every person in Guatemala we met. FCI does not need us to tell them how to run their ministry (they are doing an incredible job) — they need us to hold up their arms and cheer them on.

To the FCI staff and Special Mothers: We love you — you are doing a fabulous job for God’s kingdom.

We heard you are already planning a return trip. Why would you like to come back to Dorie’s?
1. Obedience to God
2. The Special Mothers
3. Missions Staff
4. Queso Pies from McDonald’s
5. The hill above the garbage dump
6. The food at the guest house
7. The children
8. The children
9. The children
10. To bloom for God in the land of eternal spring.

Cory Illingworth — Pastoral Team Leader

 

Give A Special Gift to Orphans

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Give a Gift to Orphans : Become a Sponsor

Sponsoring a child is a gift that gives a life – Forever Changed.

Our goal is to see Dorie’s Promise Guatemala fully funded by monthly sponsors.  By funding our home 100% through sponsorship, we can be certain that our monthly obligations will be met. It is essential that as a ministry we are responsible in how we go about funding our home and its growth in order to serve even more children in the years to come. If we are able to reach our goal, we will be able to use additional gifts to expand our ministry to serve even more children! Every gift you give to our ministry goes toward improving the lives of orphans and children who would otherwise have no other hope.

Get started by viewing the children currently available to Sponsor, reading our FAQ and sponsorship benefits.

Here are three special children who need you to sponsor them today:

Sponsor Dulce Today!Dulce (Age 2) is a very special child to us. When a mere newborn, Dulce was found bloodied and lying on a bar room floor. Most likely premature, she came to us with low birth weight, low height, small head circumference, and developmental delay. Shortly after her arrival at Dorie’s, she developed viral pneumonia. She was hospitalized and, miraculously, as tiny and frail as she was, she recovered. Since coming to us in July 2012, she has suffered a myriad of health problems.

Dulce is a fighter — she has been fighting to survive ever since she was born. Her Special Mother Myriam prays every day for Dulce’s life. She is improving slowly with increasing weight and increased mobility of her arms and legs. We are hopeful that with the love and care she is receiving, Dulce will continue to thrive.

Josue (Age 2) was found abandoned on the streets in Guatemala City when he was only two days old. He was sent immediately to the hospital where it was discovered that he had a genetic abdominal defect. While there, he had numerous surgeries to correct the problem. Josue was brought to Dorie’s and was transferred to the care of our staff physician. He has been waiting on more surgery to rebuild his urinary tract but is making tremendous progress.

Josue also has a lot of fight in him. He has tremendous energy and enthusiasm for life. He is happy by nature and is very active and affectionate. Josue likes to imitate the older boys and tags along after them as much as they will allow.

Abraham Emanual (Age 6) came to Dorie’s Promise via court order in the Spring of 2012. He was 4. His father abandoned the family when he was an infant and then his mother died. Relatives took Abraham in, but shortly thereafter Protective Services removed him from the home because of abuse and neglect. With the love and sense of security Abraham is receiving at Dorie’s Promise, he is blossoming into a wonderful little boy. He has big brown eyes and a beautiful smile. He loves to play with toys, run in the backyard, and play with the other children. Whenever it is time for group activities, Abraham is the first to jump in. He is a great dancer and loves to play soccer.

Please consider sponsoring a child today!

Changing Lives Every Day!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Sisters Ana Lucía, 13, and Fabiola, 6

By Alej Diaz-

Meet Fabiola, age 6.Some weeks ago I attended a hearing for two of our new children, Ana Lucía and Fabiola. During that hearing I realized one more time why we are here … why we serve at Dorie’s Promise … why it is so important to open our hands and our hearts to those children who have nowhere to go.

Ana Lucía 13, and Fabiola, 6, entered Dorie´s Promise in July. When I met Ana Lucía, I could see her joy for life, her enthusiasm to help others, and how protective she was of her sister. I had no idea of her past or what life was like for them before they came to live with us.

As it turns out, they were living with their mother in a very poor community close to Guatemala City, but at the end of last year their mother got sick and was diagnosed with cancer. Just six months later she passed away. Ana Lucía and Fabiola were able to stay with their oldest brother, who was 17 at the time. After two months, their brother went to jail, and the girls had nobody to take care of them. They went to live with a neighbor and stayed with her for some time.

Ana Lucía had to work in the mornings in order to earn money for her and her sister — she would to sell candies in the street or outside a big mall close to where they lived. She and Fabiola would attend school in the afternoons.

Meet Ana Lucía, age 13.In June of this year, these neighbors they were staying with decided they couldn’t take care of the girls anymore — she simply didn’t have enough money or resources for the girls and her own family. As a result, they were taken to Minor’s Court — and it’s how we in turn received a phone call asking if we had space for two girls aged 13 and 6. We said yes. And from my perspective, this is when the girls’ lives started changing.

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference for them. They are gaining weight, eating well, sleeping in nice beds, and will go to school next year. Most importantly, they are learning about God and are experiencing His love every day through the Special Moms and the entire staff at Dorie’s Promise.

Once again, we believe this is the reason for the children’s home of Dorie’s Promise: to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children in Guatemala City. To accomplish this mission, we need your continued prayers and support — we even have a special sponsorship opportunity to help us provide open beds so we can take in more children like Ana Lucía and Fabiola.

We praise God for these changed lives! And we pray we can continue changing lives every day!!

Meet Charity Danielson: Champion of Sponsorship

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Sponsor make s huge difference in the lives of Guatemalan orphans.

By Arwen McGilvra-

Charity DanielsonCharity Danielson started working for Forever Changed International in March as our Sponsorship Coordinator.

Prior to this position, Charity did administrative work, as she and her husband also had an insurance company. Her previous experience has been a good fit with FCI.

“I really enjoy the type of interactions I have with people through Forever Changed,” Charity says of her work. “Insurance was boring and impersonal. It’s great to work with people who have a heart for orphans and the poor. It’s a whole new way of thinking.”

She has also really enjoyed working with Heather, Naomi, and the others on the team.

She went down to Dorie’s Promise for a mission trip, where she experienced firsthand not JUST a mission trip, but also all the children and the care the Special Mothers give them.

“I am so thankful I went,” Charity said. “Pablo is an amazing leader and made it an incredible spiritual experience. Daily devotions were a heart-grabbing, emotional, and spiritual time.”

“I’ve been a sponsor with World Vision for years,” she continued. “World Vision was more about meeting the needs of the community by helping children on a material level. FCI is more holistic — meeting spiritual needs is a priority. Plus there is a real connection between the children and sponsors of FCI.”

Charity has seen how many people extend themselves beyond the monthly pledge amount. One couple went on a mission trip and saw that the bicycles needed to be replaced. They sent an extra gift for bicycles for the children. They noticed a need and then met that need without being asked. One woman always remembers the birthday of the child she sponsors and sends cards and a gift. Through FCI, sponsors have the opportunity to participate in the lives of the children.

Sponsors who have visited Dorie’s Promise know that they are changing lives. They’ve experienced the dumps and the ghettos of Guatemala, as well as the state orphanage. They’ve seen the night-and-day difference that our home and the love of the Special Mothers and staff make in the lives of children. They’ve seen where the children could have been and where they are today.

“When I updated the profiles of our children, I couldn’t believe the stories,” Charity shared. “Children thrown out, mothers selling their daughters, children unwanted and left alone on the street. We can change all that.

She added: “I encourage those thinking about sponsoring to read the bios of the children. Really think about which one you can make a heartfelt attachment with. Pray for them and then dedicate yourself to that child. Don’t stop with supporting the child financially. Make a heartfelt commitment. Sponsoring will become more than an automatic deduction from your bank account.

Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from the children fo Dorie's Promise

Giving Thanks for the many blessing at Dorie's Promise in 2014.By Arwen McGilvra-

This Thanksgiving we’d like to look back over 2014 and the many things we have to be thankful for at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

To start the year off we shared the wonderful news of Chelsea going home to her Forever Family. This year we’ve seen many children go home to Forever Families, many of whom were stuck in the legal system when Guatemala closed it’s door to international adoptions in 2008. After an 8 year wait Amelia went home to her adoptive parents. Siblings Jackie, Jessie and Vanessa went home to the USA with their adoptive mother and Jazmin’s adoption was finalized within the same month, Saying Goodbye to Five. Most recently Brandon went home to his Forever Family just last month.

We’ve had many special gifts and donations to be thankful for as well. From new bicycles for the children to a new play house our donors have been very gracious this year. Air Force Cadet Cayce Dossett gave her winning from a NFL training camp event to Dorie’s Promise, Special Donation Through The Bronco Country Heroes Award. We are also thankful for the donor who have made special gifts to help us purchase new transportation for our home. We are close to our goal and hope that by the time the children return to school in January they’ll be riding in the new Microbus.

YOur support helps keep them smiling. Thank you!Thanks to faithful donors and sponsors we were also able to make some much needed updates to our home. House 6 got a much need transformation early this year. The biggest change came when we did makeovers on all the rooms for the children. You can read about that here New Look of Rooms Delight the Children of Dorie’s Promise, and here Extreme Make Over – Questions and Answers and watch the video here Room Makeovers Video Tour. What a huge blessing this was for our children and our home!

Of course we are extremely thankful for our supporters, donors, sponsors, prayer team member and those who have taken the time to serve with us on a missions trip. We couldn’t do this without each one of you. As the scripture says:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrating Advancement in Education

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Nayeli Lux at her Junior HIgh graduation

By MJ Zelya-

Nayeli Lux, Franco and Maria are moving up to new levels in school.The school year starts in January and ends in October in Guatemala. This year we’ve been very blessed at our home: children have been reunited with their adoptive parents, we have new children whose lives can now be forever changed, and we received many missionaries who have come to contribute to the work we do. Three of our children also graduated to another educational level. All of which fills us with satisfaction and pride.

The children are also very happy because they know they are building their futures step-by-step. Marking accomplishments like this keep them full of motivation and give them perseverance to make their lives better.

Education is an essential part of their development. Giving them the opportunity to have a quality education allows them to build a different future, one that can transport them out of a cycle of poverty. The goals and achievements of our children are truly stepping stones to a better life.

Being a part of their lives while giving them the support they need to accomplish their goals is one of the tasks we are committed to at Dorie’s Promise — to help and improve their level of education and to build good citizens with godly values.

Maria walks down the aisle at her preschool graduation.This work changes lives forever! It motivates us to move forward in what we do for the children of Guatemala.

The children whose accomplishments we are celebrating this year included Nayeli Lux, one of the older girls, who finished junior high and is now moving on to high school. She says: “I’m so happy! I’ve had a hard time in school but with the support of the moms and staff and my faith in God, I know I can achieve my goals for the future.”

Maria and Franco graduated from preschool, and next year they will attend elementary school. They are so excited to be growing up. They know next year they’ll be able to play with bigger kids, and Maria is excited to see her sisters at recess time. Maria says she wants to be a doctor when she grows up … Franco says he wants to be a police officer.

Lucky, a teacher at Dorie’s Promise, says, “It’s so touching to see all the kids getting good grades — they take advantage of every moment at school to learn. They always do their homework neatly. We support them as much as we can so that they are successful in their education.”

We are so proud of them as they move on to this next step of their lives. We are also very grateful for the sponsors and supporters who help make this all possible for our children. If you want to help secure a good education for the children at Dorie’s Promise, you can give a special gift to our education fund. You may be able to give $125, $75, or $50. Whatever the amount is, let us, together, give our children the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically through the best education possible.

Help Us Get A New Bus Before The New Year

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Help us get a new bus before the new year!

Toyota microbusWe first wrote to you in June about our vehicles needing to be replaced. We started a fundraising campaign to purchase a new 16-passenger Microbus.

Thanks to many generous donors and their faithful support of this ministry, we have raised $45,700 of the $55,000 needed to make the purchase.

We want to remind you how pressing this need is for our orphanage. The vehicle we are using to transport the children is seeing its last days.  We have repaired it, patched it up, and made do for as long as possible, but it’s definitely time to replace it. We are praying that the funds will all be raised by year’s end. This will provide reliability and more space for our growing children for years to come.

Will you please consider making a donation for this cause? Any amount matters when it’s a group effort. Your donation of $20 or $50 or even $100 will add together with donations from other supporters and a couple of matching grants we’ve secured to get us to the end of our goal. We have seen God do amazing things in the past when we pooled our resources. We know it can be done!

The children start school again in January, so let’s make sure they have reliable transportation by that time.

Donate Today!

Poverty in Guatemala

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A boy wandering in the trash at the Guatamal City dump.

By MJ Zelaya-

As the trucks come into the dump working rush to sort through the rubble.Not only does Africa contain some of the poorest countries in the world, but there is also one country in the Americas, a very small country called Guatemala, where people exist and live in inhumane conditions.

And it’s hard to say this when you are talking about the country where you were born.

Poverty can be defined generally as a situation in which households or individuals do not have sufficient resources or skills to meet the needs of those individuals. In the national survey of living conditions in 2011, more than 13 million inhabitants, above 50% of the population in Guatemala live below the poverty line— with more than seven million people living in extreme poverty.

And it’s why thousands of Guatemalans decide to emigrate to other countries, risking their lives simply to seek better opportunities. Poverty in Guatemala is cataloged in two ways, from “poor” to “extreme poverty.” People living in extreme poverty live on $1 a day. That dollar is supposed to cover their basic needs, and in reality they have only one: eat to survive.

A vicious circle is created over generations that is hard to escape because you have such limited options: without education the new generation follows the same pattern… work hard to get the minimum to eat and survive, or die.

Children, like this girl are the most vunerable to poverty's effects.It’s a daunting but very real scenario. Just walk around the cities of Guatemala — you can see people in need in the streets, poor people trying to get by with God’s help, needing Him to be true to what it says in Scripture: give us today our daily bread (Mathew 6:11).

A lot of those who are better off try to indulge being islands, keeping to themselves — no matter what is happening around them, they are only satisfying their OWN needs and forgetting God’s heart — to help the poor.

And that’s why Forever Changed International supports those in need, working to meet the many needs Guatemalans suffer. Through outreaches in our missions program you can make a real difference. The many children and families we serve throughout Guatemala eagerly wait for Forever Changed International to bring teams of people to share Christ’s love with them as well as provide them with what we would consider basic living essentials. Soap and a pair of shoes can brighten the eyes of a 5-year-old boy more than you can imagine. Apply for a trip today!

Coming to Guatemala is a real eye-opener. The suffering will change your mind and your point of view. It will show you how many are truly hungry, and that you have been privileged to be born and raised in a country with a multitude of opportunities —a very different life to live. Even more so it will help you gain a kingdom perspective. One mission tripper put it this way, “Seeing their hearts for the Lord displayed with Dorie’s Promise children, the communities we visited and with our team was very impacting on us. Every person on our team has expressed the positive life experience our time at Dorie’s Promise has produced.”

A home in the ghettoBut poverty is affecting many things in our country: starving children are being exploited physically, emotionally, and sexually — a reason why Dorie’s Promise, our orphan home in Guatemala, is so important.

Dorie’s Promise Guatemala changes the lives of those most vulnerable to poverty’s effects – children. They come to us lacking the emotional, physical, mental, and, most important of all, spiritual fundamentals they need to break free from the cycle of poverty. You have the opportunity to lift a child out of poverty and into a loving home by becoming a sponsor! Sponsorship does more than just provide them with the basics of life – food and shelter.  Your sponsorship fills their life with love, hope, education, and care.

Can God Use My Mess?

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Change Life

Part eighteen of our Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu-

Heather Radu with BrayanI love reading biographies of great Christians. Learning about how others have stepped out in faith and how God used them is very encouraging. Or maybe I should say it’s encouraging most of the time. On one hand, seeing how others served Jesus is encouraging, but on the other hand sometimes I doubt I could do what they did. They almost seem perfect!

The truth is that no Christian has ever been perfect. Any follower of Jesus, past, present, or future, would tell you the same. Still, we sometimes get intimidated by the amazing lives other Christians have read. We might even think, “I can’t get out there and serve the poor for God. I’m too much of a mess.”

Let me encourage you: God specializes in using messes! Paul used to persecute the church right up until the moment Jesus called him. Peter denied he even knew Jesus after three years of serving alongside him. The disciples messed up and misunderstood Jesus over and over again. Read the gospels—it isn’t pretty!

In spite of all these things, God used these men to do an amazing work. They have influenced lives for 2000 years and all across the globe. If God can do that, he can certainly use you and me to minister in our own back yards.

When you have the opportunity to serve others, do not let your troubled life serve as an excuse. Do not say, “I’m just too sinful for God to use me.” Instead, if you follow God’s will by serving where he has called you to serve, your heart will start to change. You may just find that your love for your sins is shrinking while your desire to know God and serve him keeps growing.

Remember, God does not ask you to become perfect before you serve the poor. All he asks is that you love him, and you love them. When this is true, the light of God’s love will shine through and overwhelm your imperfections. They will still be there, but they will not dominate you. They will not control your actions. In fact, those imperfections will give you the opportunity to point the glory for your work back to God where it belongs, and that is what every Christian should aim for.

Mission Program Updates

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Missions Team - Von Hausen

My team has learned what it means to have compassion for others. The kind of compassion that enters your gut and compels you to do something.

By Pablo Villagran-

Mission Program Updates - Phot provided by Cayce DossettGod has been so merciful and faithful in every single step of this program. We have learned to give Him the glory for everything and in every moment. He has shaped this program into what He wants it to be. We have learned to trust the Lord and to know He is the pilot — we only have to enjoy the ride.

Teams have come with us and have connected with our kids here at Dorie’s. Our kids have learned to make friends and to trust people again. They love to have “missioners,” as they call, them around. They often come to me to ask if any are coming because they know they will be able to receive and give so much love and attention. Our mission program has become very important for the kids here at Dorie’s.

I would love to thank every person who came this last summer and loved our kids. Some relationships and connections impacted them in many positive ways.

Unfortunately, our missions outreach was affected by the news that the community of Linda Vista was removed from their territory. They had been fighting a legal battle for their land for more than two years, but in the end they lost the land— the buildings as well as about 100 families were removed. It was a tragedy for us. We couldn’t do anything about it, but we know that God is in control. Of course, the families were devastated. In past years, whenever there is an eviction, many people die trying to defend the land. But the Gospel was deep inside these people’s hearts and no one fought — they all left there in peace, not in tragedy.

For me personally it was a crisis. It marked my life. I have heard from a good friend that crises refine your life. I think it molded my character to have more compassion for the homeless and the poor. The community is waiting for the government to get a new place to start a community again. Many were touched by this place and the people. They are the most rejected people in my country, and that’s where we work. I believe Jesus would have done the same thing. So I thank everyone for how you have invested in this place.

Aside from the changes in some of these plans, we have seen how other doors are being opened to new opportunities to help others in need. We are constantly working to help and support places that are making a big difference in their communities:

Panaroma of Guatemala CityThe first one, is Casa de Pan (Bread house). This is a feeding center that helps 260 kids who live and work in the dump of Guatemala City. Pastor Mercedez has shown many people what it means to work for the poor and to have compassion for the one who has less. Years before, she used to be one of those kids who would dig in the garbage to find food for her siblings because her parents, addicted to drugs, were not providing. She knew her purpose in life was to help kids who live in extreme poverty.

The second one is hogar estatal (a state orphanage). They currently have 700 children but only the capacity for 400. The kids living in these conditions are exposed to abuse. The state of Guatemala at some point looks like it doesn’t know what to do with them.

Our program is focusing right now on their facilities. We want these children to have a nice environment to grow in, and we are working with the kids, teaching them the Gospel and how it has changed our lives … and it could change theirs!

The third option: Luz del Paraiso (Light of Paradise). Located in Palencia, it is a place helping 60 children with food and tutoring classes. But the children here suffer malnutrition, poverty, and violence in their home life. The program is run by college students. We support this place and the homes around it with different infrastructure and water projects. They just received a land grant, for the next 20 years, donated by the municipality to do their project. We will support them as much as we can.

Luz del Paraiso (Light of Paradise)We have also started visiting an abandoned school in a place call El Palmar, Palencia. We realize that because it is far away, the help doesn’t get there … but there are plenty of opportunities for us to help.

It is clear there are many places that need your support. You can donate to give to a community, water, educational, or health project, and we will use it in the best way.

And that “best way” is to come on a mission trip. Every single week is different. But God has called us to help the poor.

You might have the idea that you are coming to give so much, but in reality you will receive much more in return.

I think God is opening doors to us to help people in need in different places. He has given us a Kingdom vision so that we can work with other organizations for the sake of that Kingdom.