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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

God’s Big Mission

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Children at Guatemalan Orphanage

Part nine of our new 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 -

Founder Heather RaduI think one of the most important realizations I’ve ever had is this: The only reason we have a mission is because God has a mission. Have you thought about that before? God is on a mission. It’s not just about saving souls either—though that is one of the most important parts. God’s mission is all about fixing what is broken in this world.

Back in Genesis God created a perfect world with perfect people who worshiped him perfectly. But, as we all know, sin came in and ruined that perfection. Once sin came in and wounded our hearts, all sorts of evil became possible. We see the impact of sin to this day. It hurts, damages, and destroys the good things God made.

God’s mission is to make all of that right again. He wants people to have that beautiful, loving relationship that we once had, and he sent Jesus to make it happen. Jesus succeeded, but you know what? God has given us the blessing of being able to play a part in that big mission.

This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping those who are in need. Many of these people have no idea how to help themselves out of poverty. Many have been abused and taken advantage of. Jesus came to set people free, and to help them worship the Father. When you and I step in and help the poor, we are demonstrating what Jesus is like to the people we meet. We can be a part of that mission.

So if you ever ask yourself, “why am I helping these people? What benefit is there for any of us?” You can answer, “because I am joining with God on his mission. The way that I help the poor is a picture of the gospel, and it opens the hearts and eats of people everywhere.” If you had never thought about God having a mission before, please think about that right now. Think about how your work in your own community actually contributes to God healing the damage that sin has done in this world.

3rd Quarter Sponsor Updates Ready!!!

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Sheily was recently added to our sponsor program.Sponsors it’s time to sign-in to view the new artwork, pictures and video as well as read the latest update for your child. We want to thank you for your continued support of the children at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. Your sponsorship helps us provide more than room and board for these orphans- it’s education, specialized medical and psychological care, and a loving home where they can feel safe and belong. We are always exceedingly appreciative for your faithful support of these precious little ones.

Login to get your updates.

If you are not a sponsor yet, we invite you to consider the opportunity to sponsor a child. Sheily (Age 1) was recently added to our program and is in need of more sponsors. She came to Dorie’s Promise when she was two months old because her birth mother abandoned her on the streets of Guatemala City. Today Sheily is growing and thriving even though she is tiny for her age. She is the baby everyone loves to hold. Sponsor Sheily now.

Every gift you give to our ministry goes toward improving the lives of children who would otherwise have no other hope. Please consider sponsoring a child today!

Once again to those of you who are current sponsors, “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” from our entire team.


Fighting Poverty and Bringing Hope Through Community Projects

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Serving the poor in Guatemala City.

By MJ Zelya -

Since our ministry began in 2000, Dorie’s Promise has served many needy people in the communities of Guatemala City.Working in the local communities around Guatemala City is a benefit and an alternative measure to help those who do not have the resources to care for themselves. Guatemala is a poor country where eight of 10 people live in extreme poverty, and poverty is especially harsh in rural areas. According to the World Bank, many families live on $1-2 per day. It is difficult to imagine being able to take care of basic needs with that amount of money. As a Guatemalan citizen I can tell you: that amount would barely be enough to cover three meals a day for one person, I cannot imagine how entire families survive on it.

The vulnerability and risk that exist in communities of extreme poverty obstruct opportunities for everyone in building lives of their own. It is increasingly difficult to visualize any other type of life because of the basic limitations on food, education, and medicine.

According to the Human Development Report of the United Nations, Guatemala ranks at 125 out of 187 countries — leaving it in the bottom third of all countries.

That’s why in addition to providing a home and care for children who have been abandoned or negligently treated by their parents, we want to bring blessings to those in need in the communities surrounding us. At the same time, we know the problem of poverty, and a lack of resources means more children will need care. Many of those children will be sent to state orphanages, who are themselves struggling with resources.

Working in the community moves us forward. As we help improve the living condition of people in poverty, we know the aid we’re providing will have a positive impact on the community, and ultimately society, breaking the cycle of poverty.

A team prepares the ground for a cement floor.Since our ministry began in 2000, Dorie’s Promise has served many needy people in the communities of Guatemala City. Our focus in these service projects has been to help people by giving them what they need to improve their living conditions. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving them a water filter (so need in areas where purified water is not found). By pouring a cement floor we can help make their home a sturdier living environment. By providing a family with a pila (a kind of sink) where they can wash their clothes and dishes, we help multiple generations live cleaner, healthier lives. All of this work changes lives.

And even more than that: In putting faith into motion, we demonstrate the real love and hope they can find in God. We’d love for you to join us in this effort — to experience work that makes a real difference. We conduct trips all year long. It will be worth your time to spend a week with us.

We know many organizations fight against poverty, and that there is a lot of competition for your dollar when it comes to helping people like those in Guatemala rise out of poverty. Making a trip to Dorie’s Promise isn’t just doing a good thing, it’s doing something that really matters!

The Source of Greatest Love

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Special Mother with Nayeli Soto

Part eight of our new 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-

Founder Heather RaduJesus once said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV). We recognize this, so we are impressed when we hear about someone who has given up a lot to help people in need. And rightly so!

Sometimes, though, I think we can turn a “sacrificial life” into a kind of idol. Have you ever met someone who works and works and works, giving up their time and energy, only to complain that they are the only ones working? And then, when someone does try to help, they refuse to let them? This person has turned something good (self-sacrifice) into something very bad (self-righteousness). Sadly, these people often wreck their bodies through their work, and they wreck their souls by turning prideful and bitter.

To truly serve others in a loving and sacrificial way, we can’t be focused on how it makes us look or feel, or whether it makes us a “better” person morally. Every act of service that we do has to come from the love of God, which has already filled us. When we love God, love for others will flow out naturally. Then you will be able to serve without getting bitter or suffering from burnout.

Please do not misunderstand: I’m not saying that loving God makes serving people easy! It will always have its hard moments. But the only way we can survive the hard times is through the love and strength of Jesus. He will give us the resources we need, even at our lowest.

I think it’s likely that those people we admire, the ones who lay down their lives for their friends, don’t even think of what they do as “laying down their lives.” I think they see it as loving their neighbors, and that is the motivation for service that God calls us to. When you serve, ask yourself, “Why am I making this sacrifice?” Your heart may be filled with the love of God, or you may have selfish motives (we’re probably all a mixed bag, honestly). Either way, remember that God is love, and if we want to love others, we need to draw our strength from Him.

Meet Our Staff – MJ Uses Many Talents to Serve Others

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

MJ has worked at Dorie's Promise for the last 8 years.

By Alejandra Diaz, Director -

MJ is a valuable part of our staff.When I think about the good times and difficult times we have had at Dorie’s Promise, I can clearly see MJ close to me in all those times. One thing I have always admired about MJ is that she’s willing to help whenever necessary, even when doing things that are not her favorite. Not only is she willing to help, she always puts in her best effort.

I have known MJ since she came to Dorie’s Promise — I have seen her grow as a partner in ministry, as a person, as a woman, and, most importantly, as a Christian. Working at Dorie’s Promise changes your life, and that’s what’s happened to her. She has been here for eight years, and during those years many changes have happened in her life, both good and bad. But one thing has kept her strong: her faith. This faith has not only impacted her personal life, but also the lives of many people around her, her family, her friends, and the children at Dorie’s Promise.

MJ started working for us as an assistant, but through the years she has become more than that … she is now the finances and legal assistant and supports many other parts of our program. She is also good at decorating and organizing, so whenever there is such a need, we know who to ask.

For me there is no question that we are part of a big body, as the Bible says in Romans 12:4-6: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…”

In this body each one of us has a special function. I can see how God has used MJ’s talents in many different ways to build up His body.

During the past 8 years MJ has work at Dorie's Promise and we've seen her grow and flourish.Lesly, our receptionist, says, “MJ is a very responsible person who can be counted on for her support if you need it. Her passion and commitment to her work makes a difference in our organization. She is always willing to go the extra mile on her tasks in the legal, financial, and marketing department, and she always takes time to talk with the children. She not only takes care of her own kids, but also takes care of the Dorie’s Promise children as her own. The love she feels for children who are at our home is undeniable!”

The other staff agrees. “MJ is a hardworking, responsible, careful, attentive, and organized person,” says Special Mother supervisor Marleny. “Always worried about the children’s care, if they have what they need, no matter if it’s legal, spiritual, or material. As a co-worker, MJ is a supportive colleague, educated, a good listener, cooperative, and friendly.”

Of her work with us MJ says, “I know God has a purpose for my life and for the lives of our children. I love to see the process of their lives being transformed through God using this ministry. My job is to serve God in the work He is already doing, and while I’m here I feel that I am helping change the lives of children as well. It fills my heart with joy.

As a ministry, we are blessed to have staff like MJ who are so dedicated to our home. The work is not always easy, and I know MJ and the other staff would appreciate knowing that you are praying for them. Leave us a comment, or send us a quick note to encourage our staff.

A New Place to Play : A Playhouse For The Children of Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

 The finished playhouse is just beautiful!

By MJ Zelya-

Missions team works on the playhouse for Dorie's PromiseAs a kid you’re always dreaming about all the toys you would like. And when you’re a little girl, your dream of having a doll house is pretty exciting. But even more thrilling is having a real playhouse with “real” furniture and play things to share with your friends. It’s something beyond imaginable, especially if you are in a country where at least 50% of the population lives in poverty.

This year, the children of Dorie’s Promise were blessed when a mission group from East Hartland, CT, completed building a wooden playhouse for our children.

The process of constructing it was amazing given its size! The girls were excited and anxious to go in the backyard and discover the new things it held. A couple weeks after the house itself was finished, founder Heather Radu decorated and furnished it.

“I want to give these kids what I would give to my own kids,” Heather says.

Special Mother Supervisor, Nohemi Peña says, “When the little girls play in the backyard, this is their favorite place. They love it — they pretend to cook and then feed the babydolls. They also ‘share’ the food they cooked with the boys and the older girls. They like to pretend to be little mommies. That house is extraordinary!”

“We were so overjoyed that we could build this playhouse for the children of Dorie’s Promise,” remarks Susan Olsen, who was part of the construction team. “We feel that God has blessed us with special building skills, and we are thrilled that He is using us in this way. We love to come and serve in any capacity, but when we build something and the children get so excited, it’s just great! We feel honored to be a part of Dorie’s Promise in this way.”

The playhouse was filled with toys by founder Heather Radu.Carol Lemus, another Special Mother, loves the playhouse too: “It’s so funny to see all the girls playing in that house; some of them cooking, or baking cookies, or buying groceries, or ironing the baby clothes….”

Nayeli Lux, one of the older girls living at Dorie’s Promise, says, “It’s fun to play with little kids in the house. All of them want to be our mother or our father. At the end, we have many fathers and mothers and they treat us like babies.”

Maria (age 6) is one of those little “mommies,” who declares, “I like to be the mom!”

Nayeli Soto (also 6) says she likes “all the different things you can find in the house, and also to pretend that I’m watering the plants on the windows.”

Watching our children having fun, sharing the toys, playing together — it’s priceless. We are grateful for all our donors and mission groups that come and take the time to make our home a better place.

For all those working with us at Dorie’s Promise, either caring for children, working in the office, or doing social work, it fills us with joy to see that our children are loved and blessed by many people — people who continue to support us and give the children the opportunity to grow up in a healthy environment.

God bless you all!

Visit our Facebook page to see all the pictures.

Families are Taking Advantage of Late Summer to Aid Some of Guatemala’s Poorest

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Come and serve the children of Dorie's Promise

By Heather Radu -

Changed Lives at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaSummer is here, and Forever Changed International would like to highlight the work of families who will be traveling to Dorie’s Promise Guatemala this August. The month of August is a good time for families to travel to Dorie’s Promise because there is a higher volume of available slots just before school begins. A number of families have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

While June and July typically see a high number of mission trips to Dorie’s Promise, August is actually a good month to visit Guatemala. Many of the same benefits that are available in early summer are still available in late summer, but the smaller number of travelers means that individuals get to take a greater amount of time enjoying them.

The people of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala also face many of the same needs in August as they do in early summer. There are, however, fewer people to attend to those needs when August comes. This means mission trips that include entire families are more feasible, as there is space for each family member.

The mother and daughter team of Nancy and Shannon Wylie will be coming to serve at Dorie’s Promise in August. They will travel from North Carolina, for the opportunities to minister to homeless children, serve in the orphanage, and bring food and aid to disadvantaged communities, such as Linda Vista.

A family mission trip is an excellent experience for first time mission trippers, but it also works well for those who have visited before. Kaelyn Tarsa, who has raised an additional $675 dollars in order to provide food, water filters, and a bunk bed for Dorie’s Promise, is returning to Guatemala with her father, Stephen. Her positive experience has left her eager to return.

Serve with us this summer and change the lives of orphans.“My experience with Dorie’s Promise has been a week of clarity,” she said of her previous trip. “While in Guatemala I realized that no amount of money could give me such purpose and fulfillment than helping others.”

A family mission trip is an opportunity to strengthen the family bond. Parents and children who serve alongside each other this August will build enduring memories. They also invest time and energy in what they believe is truly important, ending summer on a positive note.

To take advantage of service opportunities at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, go to our missions section. Late summer trips are still available in both August and September.

Families on Mission

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

We are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

By Heather Radu -

Nearly 500 volunteers will visit Dorie’s Promise this year, with many due during the upcoming summer months. While we appreciate all the missionaries who come to help, we are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

Two of these units arrived in Guatemala on June 7. They include Krista and Chris Barry of Superior, Colorado, and their four children: Hunter, 18; Cade, 16; Brayden, 11; and Caysen, who will celebrate his ninth birthday during their visit. This will be Hunter’s last vacation with his family before he goes to college.

Families on MissionsThe other family team will come from a rural community just north of San Antonio, Texas. Kristi Perkins and her husband, Greg, will be joined by oldest son Greg, 24; Greg’s fiancée, Lindsay, 21; daughter Erin, 22; and daughter Ellen, 17. One other son is unable to join them because of college summer classes.

This is the Barrys first mission trip. Krista says they are “super excited” about the opportunity to get involved in another culture and make a difference.

Although Krista says she had long wanted to go on a mission trip, time and financial constraints prevented that. However, after a close friend and her family came to Dorie’s Promise last November, their collective memories inspired Krista to follow through on her dream.

“I was impressed by how powerful the trip was for each of them individually and as a family unit,” Krista says. “It was truly inspirational to talk to each one of them about their experiences and how the Guatemalan people—as well as the leaders from Dorie’s Promise—impacted them.

“The most powerful thing about their stories was the sincerity and love that was evident not only in their words but their emotions. It was after that that I became determined to find a way to give this gift to my family as well as myself.”

The Perkins family has long supported missionaries in other countries and sponsored needy children in other countries, but this is their first mission trip.

The Perkinses decided to come after Luke and his best friend, Willie Ebrom, visited Dorie’s Promise in December of 2012. Luke had to squeeze the trip in between receiving his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and starting a new job.

“After Luke and Willie came back with all their stories, I donated money to Dorie’s Promise and continue to be a supporter,” Kristi says. “Through the reports of others, we have understood the importance of the work of God’s people in countries that are less fortunate. Now we are ready to see it first-hand.”

Kim and John with Brandon when they adopted him.In late July, the staff will enjoy a special reunion with another family from Charlotte, North Carolina. Kim and John Vonder adopted their son, Brandon, from our orphanage in December of 2005. This time the Vonders are bringing their daughters Alli, 17; and Holly, 14.

Since the girls were too young to travel internationally when they adopted Brandon, Kim and John jumped at the opportunity to take them to experience their brother’s birthplace.

“Our journey did not end with Brandon’s adoption,” Kim says. “That was just the beginning. We consider it a privilege to serve the children at Dorie’s Promise. Our wish is that God will use us in some small way to minister to these children, who are precious in His sight. They are most worthy of our time and resources.

“This will be our first international mission trip, but we have served many groups in Charlotte. There are so many areas of need right around us; we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see those needs and be willing to go where God calls.”

Mission Coordinator Naomi Beazely says many families work on their own bonds while serving others. This helps them grow closer and develop a deeper appreciation for the blessings of family, she says.

“There is a special thing that happens when they work together,” Naomi says. “They realize they depend so much on each other’s affection without even knowing it. I think when a community sees this kind of caring, they are more open to receiving help and prayer.”

Which is why we like to say that dreams really do come true at Dorie’s Promise.

The Year of Jubilee

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Forever Changed International - Guatemala Orphans

Part seven of our new 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…

Founder Heather RaduBy Heather Radu-

If I asked you to tell me what a “jubilee” is, what would you say? A party? Or maybe a dessert that usually involves cherries? It’s not a word we use often these days, but it is actually a beautiful example of how God cares for those who are in need.

In Leviticus 25, God told Moses to establish a “year of jubilee” in Israel, which was supposed to occur every 50 years. A major part of the year of jubilee was the forgiveness of debts. In Israel, just like today, there were people who fell on hard times. Maybe this was through their own mistakes, maybe it was through circumstances they could not control. God did not tell Moses to treat either case differently.

Any one of God’s people who had gotten into debt was set free, and everyone who had to sell their ancestral home to pay debts got their land back. That meant that if your father had to sell your home to pay debts, after 50 years it would be returned to you. Can you imagine the celebration that would come along with that?

You might be thinking, “This isn’t ancient Israel, so what does this have to do with us?” We don’t have “ancestral lands” anymore, do we?

But before we flip our Bibles out of Leviticus, we need to ask what this teaches us about who God is, and what we need to do in response.

God’s mercy is put on display through the year of jubilee. God is so incredibly forgiving to us, and He not only demonstrates this through the year of jubilee, He also gives us a chance to take part. We live in a world where things have gone terribly wrong. The first design was perfect, but it is broken. In His mercy, God is setting things right again. What a privilege it is to participate in that with Him!

When you help those who are in need, you are working in the spirit of the year of jubilee. You are saying along with God, “There are broken things in this world. Let’s set them right again.” And that is a task in which any Christian can be proud to take part.

Partners of Hope Video

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

By Bradley Burck -

Hey – there…  It’s good to connect with you again.  Somebody told me that you wanted to do something that matters. Well…  I think we can help you.

I’m told you have served our children at Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala and have served the poor in the ghettos of Guatemala City…

And my guess is that God’s touched your heart in this process.  I know he’s touched mine.  I think that’s why we’re talking. I’ve held the babies, played with the ninos and ninas, and gone out and worked side-by-side with some good Guatemalan families who are struggling to put food and water on the table. When I came home, I said …  I need to do more of that with my time and my resources and my heart!

So the question I have for you is… what’s next for you?

Do you get home and just get back into life or do you stay involved and really help make a difference here in Guatemala?

I want to tell you – that you can do both.  I know because I’ve done it – maintained life – job, school, friends, kids, family whatever.  You name it – life’s thrown just everything at me but I manage somehow to keep a connection to Guatemala – to the little ones at Dorie’s Promise.

So here’s the deal…  I want to invite you to join me…   There are a lot of things you can do. We’ve developed a program to allow people to stay involved, make a difference, and keep life going.

The program is called Partners of Hope.

If you are passionate about orphans, the poor, and God’s Justice this is for you.

Here’s what becoming a Partner of Hope means. It means you speak for orphans …  at Dorie’s Promise and around the world. That to me is one of the greatest things ever – to give voice to those who have no voice. And this is how you do it…  You invite people to come and serve in Guatemala…with you. You continue to learn, mature, and grow spiritually through the process.

Not a bad gig – if you can get it.  Right?  But what’s it gong to cost me is what I always hear….  As if I’m selling something that needs to be sold…

So here’s what it will cost you…  your heart, your mind, your time, your voice, your treasure…  Not much, right.

Seriously, this is how you become a Partner of Hope.

Step 1:

Come and visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala on your own or with a group. Since you’re watching this video, you have probably already accomplished Step 1.

Now it is time to make Step 2 happen….

Step 2:

You become a sponsor and get five others like yourself to sponsor children.  That’s a total of six children sponsored by you, your friends, family, and people you know.  There’s no time limit to this.  We will help you keep track.  You just start talking about your experience and asking people to help the children.  You will be surprise how quickly this happens.

Now Step 3: 

Bring a total of 20 NEW people to Dorie’s Promise.  WHOA….!  20 people.  Here’s the thing with this…  there is no time limit.  Come back again and bring your family.  That gets you 3 or 4 people.  Then come another year and bring your grandparents.  Maybe get your youth pastor or pastor to get a group down here.  You get credit for all those people.  You just keep coming and bringing friends.  We will keep track and when you get to 20 people you’ve brought, we will let you know.

Now here is the cool thing about this… when you do these things we actually give you some meaningful things.  Asking people to help you without saying “thanks” isn’t a good idea so we’ve tried to make this thank you worth your time and energy.

Here’s the first thing you get…  This one is my favorite. Anytime you plan a mission trip through Forever Changed International, your mission trip fee will be waived. You also get…  Your photo and bio on our Partners of Hope page on our website.  We will recommend you as a speaker on the topic of missions and orphan care to groups looking for speakers. You will also have the opportunity to represent Forever Changed International at official events. Finally, we give you a pretty nice Forever Changed International Partners of Hope speaker’s polo shirt that you can wear out to important events – you know to make you “official.” I wear mine when I go out to talk with churches.

So that’s it…  Partners of Hope.  You need to become one.

You are needed!  We need help to secure Dorie’s Promise, grow our children, launch them into the world, take in new children, and really help the families we serve in the dump and ghetto.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, let me know.  Email us.

Let’s talk!  It’ll be good!