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Posts Tagged ‘ghetto’

A Real House

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

By Alejandra Diaz-

As part of our mission to help Guatemala’s children, Forever Changed recently built a one-room house for a single-parent family that has been living in the ghetto for 16 years.

Three mission teams worked on the home, which took about three months to complete because of a lack of resources.

In addition, some of the teams that helped were small, and not all members were strong enough to work on an outside project.

Although only constructed of tin, wood and nails, Maria Graciela is grateful for it. The 44-year-old mother is raising two teenagers and two grade-school children on her own after her husband abandoned the family five years ago. Maria’s oldest daughter lives on her own.

“She can see the hand of God over her and her family,” says Joel Juarez, our missions coordinator and project director. “At first, when we mentioned helping her, she did not believe it. When we started to work with her, though, she got very excited.”

Joel notes that Guatemalans call a house made of tin and plastic a “cobacha.” Maria says she used to have a cobacha, but she now has a real house.

Volunteers also built a small retaining wall with used cinder blocks, cement, sand, rocks and metal columns. It will help protect the home during the rainy season.

The tin and wood columns on the old house were the same ones that were in place 16 years ago. And, while the new home sounds like a modest dwelling to most Americans, for this family it is heaven-sent.

Since the main goal of Dorie’s Promise is helping children, Joel could see the necessity of helping this family, especially because they have two little children.

“This project fits with us because we want to reach communities and improve their lifestyle,” Joel says. “So with this house we know the kids will feel better and live in better conditions.”

Not only is the family excited, so is the community. Before, they saw an old house that was ugly and dirty. Now, they see a solid structure that will resist the rainy season.

This house has boosted the family’s self-esteem, since they were ashamed of where they lived. Now they are proud and wear smiles on their faces as they express how thankful they are to God and Dorie’s Promise.

“For me this was an amazing experience—just seeing their conditions before and how they live now,” Joel says. “I am very happy for them. I can see the hand of God on this too, because He brought the right people at the right time.

“Once again, I can see that God is always taking care of us. Looking at this family inspires me to keep working and reaching people. It also teaches me how thankful I need to be.”

New Pila in the Dump – Family Thrilled!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

October 2011

By Desi Stephens

Last week I wrote about the partnership Dorie’s Promise has with Safe Passage, a group providing education and social services to hundreds of children.

One of the many stories that has arisen from this partnership is the pila—a water station—that one of our mission teams installed for a poor family living near the city dump.

The team consisted primarily of teens from the youth group at Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint, Michigan. They got connected to us through fellow member Cinda Rachor, one of our board members now in the process of adopting a girl from us.

This particular family sorts through garbage to find paper, plastic bottles, tin and other items that they can sell to different vendors.

The team met them after starting their day with representatives from Safe Passage. Installing the pila brought the mission volunteers considerable rewards.

“I was personally blessed by helping them and seeing their faces after we put it in their house,” Jeff Glitz says.

“The joy they expressed over just having something to keep water in to wash their clothing and dishes just made my day.”

C.J. Pettus says the experience opened her eyes to a lifestyle that she couldn’t imagine living. Yet the people they helped were amazing, she says.

“We only had a simple water station to give them, but they gave us so much love,” says C.J. “I can say that some of the most gracious hosts I have ever had came from an unexpected location. Meeting them showed me the importance of relationships instead of objects.”

Mission Coordinator Joel Juarez says the pila proved to be a great happiness for the family.

Their old pila had broken and all the water flooded their work area, sometimes spoiling the paper they collect.

“It is very useful for them, especially for their daughter because she can wash her clothes and all the dishes from the family,” Joel says. “The new pila is something very special.”

The family appreciates more than the water station, though. They love the mission team visits, the food they receive weekly, and the clothing that some teams have brought them, he says.

Helping poor families in the community not only expands the work Dorie’s Promise does, it has been an eye-opener for Joel.

“My life will never be the same,” Joel says. “It is easy to walk close to these areas and shrug, ‘poor people.’ But being with them, getting to know them and their stories, and learning about their dreams make me feel God is giving me an opportunity to do something for them.

“My life has been forever changed. God has shown me things that are really important, like family values, and to appreciate what we have. Because people living in bad conditions are thankful with what they have.”

SPECIAL NOTE: We are still working to totally fund out medical program for the children of Dorie's Promise.  We need your help and support.  Consider a special gift today!