By Heather Radu –
Our staff has never been in a better place. For years, we have had to spend a lot of time working on the daily operations and staffing. We have had staff come and go … in my opinion, the mix of personalities and talent was just never exactly right to give our children and the home the kind of care and attention they needed.
Today all that has changed. This is the best I have seen our operations run in Guatemala since the day we started. These changes in our home have allowed me to be able to engage our team and talk and dream about the future.
Those are the hopes and dreams and ideas I want you to read about.
Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care. I am completely confident in his abilities in this area and look forward to his partnership for many years to come. As you know, we decided a few years ago that the mental health of our children was also a priority. We have made significant investments in this area and will continue to do so. As the children get older, we are seeing an even greater need for this kind of therapy. We must continue to be focused on mental health issues so that our children can really grow and thrive.
We are spending a lot of time and energy on finding the right schools for our children. Last week we had two 6th grade graduations — Jennifer and Ingrid finished elementary school. When I heard Ingrid received her diploma, what immediately came to mind was the little girl who came to our home seven years ago. She had never studied. She was afraid to even think about the idea. But today her world is totally different. She has dreams, she has goals to reach. I am confident there will be a day when we see her becoming a professional. Some of our children, like Ingrid and Jennifer, have the ability to go on to college. Others are going to need to be focused on a technical track. Our tutor is helping each of our children and identifying things they love, talking with them about their hopes and dreams. Join me in continuing to pray for them and their education. Our goal is to put them each on a path that amplifies their natural abilities and allows them to be successful.
Giving children the opportunity to expand their horizons is huge. And extracurricular activities are the best way to do that. Brayan, for example, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. He did so well! The audience loved his performance. His teacher complimented his natural talent. Giving our children exposure to activities like soccer, tennis, and martial arts teaches them discipline as well. It allows them to interact with adults outside the home and learn respect. It also teaches them hobbies that are popular in Guatemalan culture — ones they will probably use with their own children and grandchildren.
One of the best things we can do for our children is to teach them English. This is one of the key factors for being financially successful in Guatemala. Our children are always exposed to English with our mission trip guests. Ana is our star right now. She has been taking some English courses at school. Paul, a volunteer who teaches English, is coming to Dorie’s twice per week and is surprised at the interest and capacity that Ana is showing to learn English. We want to give all our children the opportunity to speak English, learn it, know it, and internalize it. Our team believes this is possible for all our children.
Nayeli is a first example of giving one of our children international exposure. She is currently studying in the United States, and we are learning more and more about how to do it in the future. Our children, from their earliest ages, get a chance to interact with Americans and Canadians. Being able to send them out of Guatemala and give them a bigger picture of the world is very important to our team.
Our Board believes, and I hope you do, too, that by helping our children in these ways, we will be opening up a world of opportunities to them.
These are the hopes and dreams of our staff in Guatemala City. These are things we can do together, and what I believe God is calling us to do.
Your generosity will be used to help all our children grow and thrive and become the people God created them to be.
If you’re like me, you see each one of them as more than just an orphaned child. You see their value and their purpose. Thank you for being part of their lives!
This December, please help us with a special gift for the children. Before the years out, we need to raise around $30,000. In order to raise that amount, it is going to take all of us— you, me, everyone we know. Please share this update with your friends. Spread it on social media, email it to your church mission committee, print and give it to your grandmother— get the word out.