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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

Mirna’s Life Has Been Forever Changed!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Mirna at Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By MJ Zelya-

Mirna came to our home on May 12, 2011 (read more about Mirna and her siblings here). It is impossible to forget the condition she was in: neglected, sad, dejected, and very unsure of herself and the situation with us. Now she is a young woman full of joy!

Mirna having her nails done by a Missions Tripper.She always has a smile on her face and is willing to help everyone. It’s like she is a completely different girl — better yet, lady. A young lady who has come out of her shell and is learning to fly.

It is exciting for us when our children go to a forever family, either Guatemalan or international* — one that will love them for the rest of their lives. However, there are some children who cannot be adopted because of age or physical condition, or because they are part of a large sibling group. The latter is the case with Mirna and her four siblings.

Mirna never had the chance for a normal childhood — neither school nor playtime — because of the poverty in which she used to live. On top of all of that, her biological mom left her in the care of her siblings. It’s hard for us to imagine the kind of life she once lived. Miraculously, the court intervened and Mirna and her siblings came to live with us. We have become their family.

Like any family we try to give our children the best education possible. Because of her education delays, Mirna is being home-schooled, learning via a distance program that allows her to get all the requirements for high school graduation. We also support her learning with a teacher at our home. Mirna is also attending a beauty school, which is preparing her for a future career.

Mirna practing her beauty school skills.In fact, this is her last year of study at the beauty school — soon she will become a professional hair stylist. She has learned a lot and accomplished much! We’ve also seen her mature through the process.

For practice, she cuts the hair of some of the other children in our home, and even does make-overs for the Special Mothers.

Mirna says that she feels blessed to be here and to have the opportunity to study, because it has taught her to enjoy learning more. She is also happy that this profession will help her obtain a job that can help her siblings too!

Forever Changed International started Dorie’s Promise Guatemala for moments exactly like these. Supporting all our children, including ones like Mirna, because we want them to have a better life, one full of opportunities and the chance to be someone in life — not to be ignored (as many are) simply because they didn’t have the same opportunities as other children have. We are committed to passionately serving the world’s forgotten children. Will you join us in our mission to reach more of them? Sponsor today, visit us, or see our online gift registry for our other needs.

 

*International Adoptions for Guatemala closed in 2008

New Gift Registry Up and Running

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Children playing with toys at Dorie's Promise - An orphanage in Guatemala City

By Heather Radu -

So many mission teams ask what they can bring to Guatemala that it inspired us to create a gift registry to streamline the giving process. It will enable volunteers and supporters to stay abreast of current needs while simplifying our record-keeping.

Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley and I came up with the idea last year while helping teams arrange trips. Numerous people asked, “What are some needs at Dorie’s Promise?”

Education Bundle - Elementary $75.00

Education Bundle – Elementary $75.00

Since the situation changes regularly, we often needed to check with Director Alejandra Diaz before calling people back, sometimes on the verge of their trip. We decided that by posting a list on our website, teams could have the latest information at their fingertips.

After a recent “soft” launch, we are informing our network of supporters about this option. Our current list includes seven priorities — totaling nearly $47,000. The most expensive is a Toyota microbus (for $36,000), while the lowest-priced item is a supply of size 2 diapers (for $246).

We are thrilled to announce we have received our first donation of $460 toward a computer lab, which will cost a total of $3,340. A team from Northwest Community Church in Mundelein, Illinois, that visited March 15-22, included the money in a generous gift. It will also buy our children shoes and Christmas presents and three coffeemakers for our staff.

Naturally, we don’t expect someone to provide all the funds for a particular item. We will combine any size donation with others designated for that purpose. If additional gifts are received after we have raised the money for a specific item, we will contact those donors to ask where they prefer we use it.

We are also working on a group registry to facilitate mission projects in the community. The logistics aren’t yet complete, but by early summer we hope to post a listing of needs in Guatemala City.

Girl Bundle - (0-3 months) $50.00

Girl Bundle – (0-3 months) $50.00

This idea stems from similar inquiries from volunteers who wanted to know what kind of help they can offer to Guatemala City residents during their stay.

Through the group registry, they will be able to plan that work in advance. It can be tasks such as putting in bunk beds, pouring a cement floor in someone’s home, or installing a pila (a watering station used to wash clothes and dishes).

On the registry website, you can find lists of other needs at the orphanage — things like appliances, children’s toys, clothing, shoes, health and hygiene items, and educational resources.

This registry will save teams time and the logistical problems of transporting donations, since online gifts will enable our staff to purchase items locally. We hope friends like you are as excited about this new system as we are … to see our gift registry, click here!

Getting Ready for Your Missions Trip

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Missions Trippers at Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Heather Radu -

Dorie's Promise Gift RegistryBefore mission teams depart for Guatemala, you should make adequate preparations for your trip. One time-saving step is going to a local bank and exchanging U.S. dollars for Guatemalan quetzlas. The average person spends $50 to $100 on souvenirs, so plan accordingly.

One of the most common questions we field is what donations teams can bring, outside of what they need for mission activities.

While such gifts are not required, we appreciate any supplies volunteers bring, since they help lower the overall costs of operating Dorie’s Promise.

However, before your team departs, we advise checking our new gift registry. There we have identified leading priorities, such as a van for transportation and an entrance roof for our recently-renovated House 6.

microbusOther needs are listed there, such as appliances, children’s toys, clothing and shoes. A visit to the registry will help maximize your team’s effectiveness.

So does considering the practical nature of donations. Some volunteers have asked if they can bring T-shirts to give away in Guatemala City. Instead of that, we suggest giving money toward water filters that can provide residents pure drinking water throughout the year.

We are currently working on a group registry to help teams with advance planning for mission projects in the community.

While we are still determining what area can benefit the most from this assistance, we hope to have this registry active soon. As with the gift registry, teams will be able to go online for details on available projects.

Naturally, if anything is unclear, we welcome your calls, but we hope the gift and group registries will reduce the time needed for trip planning. After all, we want you to make more than one visit!

While you can review questions-and-answers on another page, here are some of the more common inquiries:

Able greeting Missions Trippers for Dorie's Promise GuatemalaQ. What should I expect when I go through customs?

A. When you arrive in Guatemala City, you will go through Passport Control and then on to baggage claim.  Once everyone has their luggage, you will proceed to the line that is marked “Nothing to Declare.” Exiting the airport, you will be asked to give the customs officer your declaration form.

Q. Who will be waiting for me at the airport?

A. One of our mission leaders, who will be holding a sign with the “Forever Changed” logo on it.

Q. How much luggage can I bring?

A:  For international travel, most airlines allow 1 carry-on and 1-2 pieces of checked luggage. If you have empty space and are wondering how to fill it, check our gift registry for a current list of supply needs.

To review all FAQs, click here.

New Opportunities When You Serve With Us

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Mission Trippers working in the community of Linda Vista.

By Heather Radu -

When people come Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, they are always excited to meet our children. They bring a blessing as they interact with them, and I know they also receive a blessing.

the Guatemala, in the community of Linda Vista.We will always provide ample opportunity for mission trippers to get to know the children, but we are also eager to provide other opportunities for service. That is why we are so excited to announce some new developments with our mission program—and we think you’ll be excited too! We have three new ways to come and serve the people of Guatemala on your mission trip.

A wonderful new chance to serve the people of Guatemala comes in the community of Linda Vista. Linda Vista has a large population, yet many of the people there are squatters. Many live in makeshift homes and have a difficult time finding work and proper nutrition. Crime is a problem in Linda Vista, but we are hopeful that through the help we provide people will be able to build a better, healthier, more life. It is with great joy that we off our visitors the chance to come and minister in Linda Vista.

A boy walking on the tracks near the Guatemala City dump.Mission trippers will also have the opportunity to join us for a daily feeding at the City Dump. Many Guatemalans, a number of them children, make their living by sorting through the garbage for recyclables and other items. In this way they are able to make a little money for their families. It is a difficult life, as food is not always easy to come by. Many times the food that is available is not healthy, and children tend to suffer the most from this. That is why we are excited for those who come to serve with us to take part in this feeding. You will get to deliver healthy food directly to the people who desperately need it.

Our last new service opportunity will be for people to help us remodel the facility we own just forty minutes outside of town. It has always been important to us at Dorie’s Promise to provide the best possible facilities for our children, special moms, and our visitors. From time to time that means doing the hard work of remodeling. Every mission tripper should come prepared to clean, paint, or assist in whatever capacity that is needed. A beautiful facility is a tremendous blessing to children who have come to us out of poverty.

So please, come join us this year at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. Our children will be happy to see you, and you will have the opportunity to fill the needs of some people who suffer from genuine need.

We look forward to you blessing us with your presence, and we hope that you will take a blessing back with you.

Silvia Gets Tennis Scholarship!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Silvia at Tennis Practice - Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By MJ Zelaya-

11240117343_679d79eb3a_cSilvia, age 8, has always been known for being very intelligent and energetic — ever since she was a toddler, in fact. At school she excels in her PE classes (we had noticed she was very good at sports). She loves running, jumping, and the challenge of athletics. That gave us the idea to enroll her in a football (“soccer” in the U.S.) clinic during the last school break, from October to December. She did very well!

In October, we were able to arrange a scholarship at the Tennis Club of Guatemala, located only 5 km from our home. Silvia was very excited to start learning a new sport!

Dr. Castro plays tennis often and had previously arranged a tennis clinic for our children. He encouraged Silvia in her new endeavor and even donated a racket for her. She was beyond of excited!

Since then, Silvia trains every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for one hour. Her coach, Virbes Pascual, who teaches children from 8 to 12 years old at the club, said, “Silvia is a very skilled and athletic girl. She has very good coordination for this sport and easily handles the requirement of our practices. I’m sure that Silvia could become a competitive player in the future if she had the proper support.”

13106611614_d28f0c4e1a_cSilvia says that she likes tennis, but still enjoys other sports like soccer and basketball. Tennis allows her to run a lot and hit the ball hard, and that why it’s her favorite. She says her coach is a very good person — very patient and friendly.

Thanks to the support of many sponsors, our home is able to provide further education and opportunities for our children. Silvia has a chance to master effort, persistence, and perseverance, qualities that will help her achieve future goals. It’s what any parent would want for his/her child, and we are so pleased we can offer it to Silvia.

Our Prayer Team

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Child Praying at Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Prayer Team Coordinator, Arwen McGilvra -

No ministry or individual can stand for long without prayer. It’s integral to our missions program, our sponsorship program, and the daily responsibility of raising the children in our home. One of the powerful things about prayer is that God hears and answers your prayers from afar. Praying for our home in Guatemala doesn’t require you to be physically present. Our prayer team is an important extension of our ministry.

Every month when I get the list of requests from Guatemala, I am reminded how big of a task it is to raise 40+ children. It’s even a big task to keep them all in my prayers. I know our wonderful Special Mothers start their shift by praying for the kids. Many miles away we can “take a shift” too, and lift these precious children and their needs to the Lord.

Join with us this month in praying for:

  • Continue lifting Lester up, that his character would be like that of Jesus. For the Lord to take away the pain and struggles in his heart and fill him with peace, love, happiness and harmony.
  • For Brayan that God would grant him peace of mind. That he would know that the Lord can handle any concerns that he has. Pray that his trust in the Lord would grow.
  • For Luis Muchuch that his case will be resolved soon and that God would be with him where ever he goes from here.
  • For the children in our home who are eligible for adoption* that God provides a family where they can feel the love, warm, and peace.
  • For the teenagers in our home, adolescence is a difficult stage, prayer for them and the Special Mothers as they need more attention, discipline, love and patience. That the Lord would bless all the Special Mothers with the skills needed in order to raise our teenagers.
  • For Abraham, and Mario that God’s hand of healing would be upon them, for Abraham’s skin condition to be healed, and Mario to reach normal growth marks for his age.
  • We thank the Lord for the miracles he has done in Josue’s life to turn his health around.
  • For our Special Mothers to be filled with love and patience as they care for our children. Also for a special blessing of protection upon their health and well-being.

We trust in a God who is bigger than the brokenness, and who can heal all of our wounds and theirs, who can provide for our needs and theirs. Put this list somewhere you will see it often and pray BIG.

 

*International adoptions for Guatemala closed in 2008

Reach Out Missions Program is Growing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Reach Out Missions is Growing

By Heather Radu-

Missions Director Pablo and a team visiting the ghetto.We are so blessed by everyone who comes to Guatemala City and serves through our Reach Out Missions program. The resources we get from the missions program create a small but steady stream of support for Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, our orphan home in the city.

And today I have some exciting news! The Reach Out Missions program is growing, and I believe sharing that news with our friends is really important. The growth in this program helps our work at Dorie’s Promise in ways you can’t even imagine. Sponsorship is still the most important tool we have to raise money to feed, house, and care for the children in our home. But our short-term missions program plays an important role. Each week, we get a small but steady stream of people committing to come to Guatemala. From each mission-tripper’s fee, we receive roughly $300 to help run the orphanage. Believe me when I tell you that without this we would be in real trouble.

So let’s rejoice together over the growth of the Reach Out Missions program and thank God for this unique way to introduce people to our children and the work of caring for them.

Here’s a little history so you can see how God has been working:

2009: 60 trippers
2010: 130 trippers
2011: 216 trippers
2012: 370 trippers
2013: 313 trippers

This year, we are on track to hit our goal of 450 trippers.

We are close to our goal already but we still need a little help. If you’re thinking of coming, do it! If you know someone looking to come on a great mission trip, tell them about us! Click here to begin an application.

In one of Guatemala Cities ghettosWe’ve got new things in the works for our upcoming trips. Pablo has been working hard to identify some communities that are beyond desperate and that nobody else is helping. He is also looking at some regular lunch and dinner programs for those who work in the dump.

We think our 2014 trips are going to be some of our best ever! We’ve spent a lot of time planning and preparing, so please help us spread the word about our mission opportunities.

One note … Consider coming in August. We currently don’t have many people coming that month. It is the perfect time to come. Go on a great mission trip before the new school year starts!

Thank you again for being so supportive of our work with the children in our care and in the communities that surround our home.

P.S. Let me know if you’re interested in coming down this spring, summer, or fall. We would love to have you!

Mission Trips – Free Day; See Antigua, Do A Zip Line, or Visit A Coffee Plantation

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Free Day Adventure - Guatemala Missions

By Arwen McGilvra & Pablo Villagran-

A Missions Group Visiting Antigua GuatemalaDuring your week visiting our home, we take you to see Antigua, Guatemala, on Thursday. Antigua is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish-Baroque-influenced architecture, as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.*

We will visit a ruin and do some shopping at the local market, where you will be able to get authentic Guatemalan goods for souvenirs or gifts for your friends and family. Colorful local crafts including blankets, purses, bracelets, ponchos, shirts, traditional shoes, necklaces, and machetes are just some of the unique items that you’ll find. You can learn even more here: Guatemalan Handicrafts.

People have asked us in the past: Is it safe at the market? Will the merchants take advantage of us because we’re tourists?

Firstly, there is a lot of tourism in Antigua, so security is a priority. They don’t want to have a bad reputation. At the same time, it’s a good idea to follow these tips whenever you are in a foreign country:

  • Getting ready for the zipline - Guatemala MissionsPick-pockets often have an accomplice who will jostle you, ask you for directions or the time, point to something spilled on your clothing, or distract you by creating a disturbance. Stay alert and stay with the group.
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers. Carry your wallet in the front pocket of your jeans.
  • Don’t rummage through your wallet or count your money in public — it advertises the contents and location to a would-be thief. Take only what you need when you go out, and keep money in more than one place.

Secondly, we have made friends at the market who we know will give you the best prices, but if you want to try other stores there you have to bargain with them. They may try to charge you three times the real price, but that’s why we’re always around you, making sure you get a decent deal.

Team Building during a Guatemala Missions TripDuring the day, we will also eat at a steak house, and we could also do things like zip line, ride horses, or see a coffee plantation for an extra fee. If you have been to Antigua before, we have other options for you if you’d like something different.

Pacaya’s Volcano — Pacaya is an active complex volcano in Guatemala. Pacaya rises to an elevation of 2,552 meters (8,373 feet). After being dormant for a century, it erupted violently in 1965 and has been erupting continuously since then. It is a popular tourist attraction and lies 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Guatemala City and close to Antigua.*

Lake Atitlán — A fairly large lake in the Guatemala highlands, Atitlán is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America, with a maximum depth of about 340 meters (1,120 feet). The lake is shaped by deep escarpments that surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern flank. Lake Atitlán is further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people. The lake is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west-northwest of Antigua.

These other two tours have an extra fee. Talk to our Mission coordinator in the U.S. for details.

Guatemala is a great place to visit, full of great stories and places that will make your time there unforgettable. Apply for a trip today!

 

*Source: WIKIPEDIA

Find Out For Yourself – Visit During Spring Break

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Come Spend Spring Break in Guatemala

While many will spend their spring break serving themselves at beach parties, the pool, and the mall, we want to invite you to something different — something life-changing.

Something for Everyone

Serve Orphans in GuatemalaOur trips aren’t just for church groups or college kids. People of all ages have come to our home to help with the work God is doing.

Debi Johnson and her kids recently returned for their second trip to Dorie’s Promise: “We had an amazing week of seeing God move! The teens in our group were so inspired by Pablo’s love for Christ, we won’t ever be the same after this week!” (Read more about Debi’s experience…)

After her son Christian completed three trips to Dorie’s Promise, Debbi Cryer, a 52-year-old mom, was interested and decided to come see for herself. “I have been intrigued and often wondered, Why do people keep returning here to Dorie’s Promise? Why multiple trips? What is the draw? How has it captured their heart in a way that you can’t forget about the kids, special moms, Pablo, Jessica, and Abel, and the rich presence of Jesus that dwells here? NOW I KNOW!!!”

Seconds and Thirds

“We have many new blessings at Dorie’s Promise. Our kids are growing and becoming what God created them to be — their lives are being Forever Changed!” says Pablo our Missions Director. If it’s been a while since your last trip, consider coming again … with new improvements to the facilities, new children, and seeing old friends, it will be worth it.

Cinda has been to our home nine times and still says, “Every time we come to Dorie’s Promise, God shows us something new. Every time!” (Read more about Cinda’s experience…)

We don’t place a limit on how many times you can visit us. We believe in building relationships, and that, in turn, God will use those relationships to build passion for His Kingdom into our hearts.

Short Term Missions You Can Do With Your FamilyKatie experienced this for herself as well. “I truly thought it would be a while before I could manage another trip to Guatemala, but after hearing all that I shared with him, my husband wanted to experience Dorie’s Promise for himself. We were back six months later.” (Read more about Katie’s trip…)

Wayne Hanson hasn’t been able to get enough either. We asked him, “What is it that keeps you coming back to Guatemala?” His answer: “The connections we have made with the children of Dorie’s, especially the Najera children. We have also found all of the people in Guatemala we have met to be kind and appreciative of the help we can give. Many of them, even though they have nothing, want to give back to us.” (Read the full interview with Wayne…)

These are just a handful of the people who have been blessed by being a blessing to us and the people they have served in Guatemala. I want to invite you to be part of what God’s doing here too. Together, we can do a lot — there is an urgency for spreading the love, mercy, and forgiveness of the Gospel. Spring break is a great time to come and visit us!

Find out for yourself why so many who come here are forever changed by the experience. Apply today.

1st Quarter Sponsor Updates Ready!

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Alejandra an orpahns living at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaThey’re ready!  Your 1st  quarter updates are waiting for you. You can log in and see the new video, pictures, art, and written updates.  Thank you for standing with us to care for the orphans living at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. We are exceedingly appreciative for your faithful support of these precious little ones.

Click Here to Login Now

If you are not a sponsor yet will you consider giving just $35 month to help provide for these precious children? Take a moment to view the children living at Dorie’s Promise and see if God lays one of them on your heart. Like Alejandra (pictured age 3) she’s currently 83% sponsored and could use a few more sponsors to get her to 100%. She is a happy child with a precious smile and spirit. She recently learned to count to five, and loves to lead the other children in singing. Sponsor her today!

And once again, to our current sponsors, we just want to say “THANK YOU!” We couldn’t do it without you.