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Posts Tagged ‘giving’

A Message From Dorie About The Fire At Virgen de Asuncion Orphanage

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am horrified and heartbroken for all the orphaned children who lost their lives in the fire in Guatemala as well as the hundreds who were made homeless. I visited this orphanage years ago and I remember thinking it was much like the one I grew up and was abused in. The worst of the worst has happened to these precious children and they desperately need someone to care. Please help Forever Changed bring some of these little ones into Dorie’s Promise by offering your support so we can give them God’s promise of a loving home. A place of safety filled with a future and hope. I know how lost they must feel and how much they long for someone to reach out and lift them out of this nightmare. It was something I felt and longed for too. I invite you to pray with me as we ask the Lord together to restore and heal each precious life. We are all called and commanded “to look after the orphan in their distress” James 1:27. This is a distress of disastrous proportions. Please reach out to help rescue them with me.

For His Glory and in His name.
Dorie

Yes, I want to make a gift today to help the children who survived the fire at Virgen de Asuncion!

New Arrivals from Virgen de Asuncion

Monday, March 27th, 2017

The fire at Virgen de Asuncion happened just over two weeks ago. In addition to helping the leadership of that orphanage with supplies for the children still in their care, we also committed to the government to take some children at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

As of today four children from the State Orphanage arrived. Three more from other circumstances have also entered our home. The crisis at Virgen de Asuncion has created overcrowding at all the state’s facilities. Because of this overcrowding, the courts started to send children to private orphanages like ours because the state simply doesn’t have the capacity in their current facilities.

This has all happened very quickly. We want to take a moment to update you on all that has transpired at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala in the last few weeks.

As of this post, we now have seven new children in our care. That takes us up to 44 children living at Dorie’s Promise. We are now slightly over our preferred capacity of 40 children. That’s a big deal! Pray for us.

Our team in Guatemala is working their hearts out to make this happen. They value these children and want to make right the bad decisions their government made.

Cost

As you know from all the letters and emails we send, we have been making ends with 37 children in our care (just barely). Adding 7 more children to the mix changes our situation considerably. Many of you have stepped forward and made gifts to help. Thank you! The situation is that these 7 children are going to be with us until they are adults. That cost to us is close to $100,000 a year.

I think you will agree. We need to get Dorie’s Promise 100 percent sponsored as soon as possible. Help us spread the world!

Meet the New Children

Orphans from fire in GuatMyra is 14 years old. She is very friendly and has made herself at home at Dorie’s Promise. Myra’s mother died when she was younger. After being passed around to relatives, she ended up at the state orphanage. She lived there for 10 months before the fire destroyed the building.

When she came to Dorie’s Promise, she stayed in an isolation room for several days with one special mother. We do this with all new children who come to Dorie’s Promise until Doc Castro clears them. Myra told us she loved the isolation and having the attention of one person. After living at the state orphanage where the adult to child ratio was 20 to 1, she felt special having all the attention and care of one person.

Myra is a great girl. She loves to play basketball, bike, and do Zumba. One thing she wants to learn how to do is play the piano. Her favorite foods are pizza and pollo campero.

She will start at Hosanna School soon and will be enrolled in the 8th grade. She says that she would like to be a lawyer or designer when she grows up.

New at Dorie's PromiseManuel came to Dorie’s Promise on Monday, March 13th. He comes to us from the orphanage Virgen de Asuncion. The tragic fire there has changed his life (hopefully for the better)!

Manuel is 6. He has the biggest smile you have ever seen. Our staff keeps commenting on how infectious his smile is in our home.

As a baby Manuel was abandoned at the hospital because of some severe physical issues. Over the years, he has had a number of surgeries to allow him to function and get by in life. His medical issues have made it so most orphanages in the country don’t want him because they can’t care for him. Because we have Doc Castro on staff and have experience with children with special needs, we know how to care for him properly.

Manuel likes to play soccer. He enjoys coloring books and playing with cars. He is every bit a little boy!

His transition to Dorie’s Promise has been very good. Manuel started at Hosanna School in kindergarden this week. This is his first time in school. He says when he grows up he wants to be a police officer.

Guatemala's OrphansMaberly also came to us on March 13, 2017. Her psychologist called Dorie’s Promise and specially asked that she come and stay with us. How could we turn down a personal request from a doctor caring for children at Virgen de Asuncion. When our staff came to pick her up, Marberly got excited! She immediately recognized our team from all our missions’ teams visits to Virgen de Asuncion. She was so excited!

This wonderful little girl was totally abandoned at age 10 when her father died. Nobody would claim her and care for her. As a result, she was sent to the state run orphanage and lived there for three years.

Doc Castro is monitoring her health and will be working with our psychology team to make sure that she gets the best possible care and transitions well into our home.

New child at Dorie's PromiseNew orphan at Dorie'sFlor and Mateo are a brother and sister dynamic duo. They came to Dorie’s Promise on March 17, 2017. These two have a hard story. They were abandoned and then adopted by a Guatemalan family. The adoptive family eventually gave them up. They were put back into the government system. That’s how they came to us!

The change and transition to Dorie’s Promise has been hard on them. Abandonment is always tough on children. When it happens twice at a very young age, you can only begin to image the pain and frustration these two children are feeling. Despite their trials, Flor and Mateo love each other very much and look after each other. Flor is 11 and Mateo is 9. They are friendly and happy children. In the next few weeks, we will get them started at Hosanna School. We are so excited to see how they do at Dories Promise and in school. Our team in Guatemala thinks they are going to thrive!

Christina Pedro ArrivesChristina Pedro arrived at Dorie’s Promise on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. We call day a child arrive at Dorie’s promise their Forever Changed Day! Christina was at Virgen de Asuncion when the fire happened. She was moved to Zacapa (hours from Guatemala City) immediately after the fire, but her social worker contacted us and asked us to take her in at Dorie’s Promise.

The life of an orphan is never easy, but Christina’s life has been tough. She is a child of abuse and neglect. Her official record says that she is 9 years old but she has never been registered with the government and has no birth certificate. Nobody at the government agencies knows her real age or anything about her.

One of the things we do in this situation is work the beauracy and try to find out everything possible about the child. After years of working with orphans, we know how to find out things. Our team is tenacious about details. We will find out the true story of Christina’s life. As her life changes and she matures, we will share more about her with you.

Eswin arrives at Dorie's PromiseEswin is seven! He arrived at Dorie’s Promise just two days ago. Because he just arrived, we don’t know very much about him. The judge who sent him to us spent the day trying to find him a safe spot to live. He couldn’t so he called us and asked us to take him in and care for him.

Your Help is Needed

Pray about each of these children. Ask God to bless them and allow them to thrive in our care!

As you pray, remember that our finance barely cover 38 children. We need to get our children 100 percent sponsored. Whatever you can do to help with a monthly give would be a huge help.

Give a special gift today!

New Child at Dorie’s Promise

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Orphans from fire in GuatThe first of the orphans from the tragic fire at the Virgen de Asuncion Orphanage has arrived at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

Her name is Mayra. She is 13. Both of her parents have passed away and no relatives have made a petition for her.

Pray for her transition into our home.

For more information about our response to the fire at Virgen de Asuncion please read our last blog post about the fire in Guatemala and the tragic loss of life.

Orphanage Fire in Guatemala – Our Response

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

By Bradley Burck

You may have heard the horrible news coming out of Guatemala about a state run orphanage that caught on fire. We are trying to get all the details we can about what happened and how many perished in this tragedy.   The details about the incident are coming out slowly and seem to change daily.

The name of the orphanage was Virgen de Asuncion. This is the same orphanage that all our mission teams visit when they come to Guatemala. For those of you who have visited this home, you know that if feels more like a prison than the kind of home we run for orphaned children.

Our sources tell us that 34 are now confirmed dead. That number is expected to rise in the next few days.

Virgen de Asuncion was built to hold 400 people. We know that 640 children were living there at the time of the fire. The ages of those children ranged from 5 to 18 and included children who were abandoned early in childhood, troubled teens whose parents released them into the custody of the state for care and rehabilitation, special needs children, teenage mothers, and teens convicted of crime.

As you can imagine, reports of sexual abuse and overcrowing have been coming from Virgen de Asuncion for the last few years.

The night before the fire, there was rioting in the orphanage. More than 60 boys escaped the facility.

The escape of the boys caused the institution to go into lockdown. Our sources tell us that in response to the lockdown a few teenage girls set a mattress on fire thinking the fire would cause the officials to open the doors and let them out. That fire quickly got out of control and consumed that section of the building.

The office of Human Rights is now demanding the orphanage be closed and all the children living there be moved to other orphanages, returned to their parents, or put in a foster care situation.

Our immediate response to this tragedy is to work with the leadership of the orphanage to provide the supplies, blankets, food, and clothing they need to help their children until they are all moved to new locations.

We also contacted the government and let them know we have the ability to take in 8 new children between the ages of 5 and 8. This will put us well over our financial and space capacity. We currently have 38 of 40 beds occupied. Adding an additional 8 children is going to make life very interesting for the next several months.

If you would like to help the children who survived this fire, our team would like to encourage you to make a donation.

You can give to provide immediate resources to help all the orphans coming out of Virgen de Asuncion or to help Dorie’s Promise cover the costs of taking in an additional 8 children.

Please be praying for all the children of Virgen de Asuncion!

Educational Accomplishments in 2015

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Teacher Lucky with a couple of the children at Dori'es Promise

By Lucrecia “Lucky” Perez  –

Lucky in the classroom at Dorie's PromiseHow do you fundamentally change a society? Education. It is a fundamental human right and will be the basis for building a better future for Guatemala. Education opens doors to being a better person, a person who will help make our world better. It helps us develop our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses. That is why we believe that with a good education our children can change the pattern set by previous generations who were stuck in a cycle of poverty.

This is our approach at Dorie’s Promise, we believe that greater education will make our children better people. It also allows the children to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy ways of living and to make wise decisions for their future.

During this school year, we saw impressive progress in most of our children. We have several students who were already excelling at school. Some others started school this year, and gave it their best, despite hardships along the way. Attending school has helped our children feel safer, learn to share with others, to speak more clearly, and a host of other benefits.

We are so excited to share with you some of their accomplishments:

Several students participated in a science fair this year. Jennifer and Ana both did group projects that won prizes. It was an unforgettable experience.

Abraham and Nayeli Soto started primary school at El Shaddai this year. Abraham found it hard to adapt at first. During the year we worked together with his teacher to get positive results in his ability to follow the classroom routine and to get along with his classmates.

Lucky helping Jennifer with her homework.This year was a challenge for Ingrid, math is her least favorite subject and this year she had to do more than she’s done before. However, she stuck with it and we worked with her to improve her skill at mathematics. By the end of the year, her teach told us that she had improved and was a very responsible student.

Finally, let me tell you about Lucia- her teacher told us she takes initiative to learn and is interested in improving her reading. Lucia is a girl with clear goals and if she continues working hard there is no limit to what she can achieve. She has already overcome so much in her life (read her story here) it’s great to see her taking a positive approach to her education.

The school year in Guatemala runs from January through October. We currently have 15 children who will start private school in January.

The average cost of sending a child to private school is $1,700 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. Help us continue to give our children an exceptional education experience through your kind giving. Our goal is to raise $55,600 by December 31. These accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg. We have seen education do so much for the children of Dorie’s Promise.

Please consider a special gift to enable us to continue to provide these opportunities for our children.

A Great Need… Support Forever Changed International Today

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Our children need you now more than ever before.

Founder Heather Radu

By Heather Radu –

I want to share something that’s weighing on my heart with you. 

Since we started Forever Changed International, it has been our goal to see our home sustained 100% through child sponsorship. Monthly child sponsorship gives our children the most reliable source of income to fund the home and therefore provides them the most secure future possible.

Over the years, we have been diligent in asking those who support the ministry to become monthly sponsors of our children. Currently, 70% of the children are sponsored.

To cover the remaining 30%, we look to friends who give generously AND to our missions program’s donation fees. This year, our missions program is down in numbers. We are forecasting 160 less mission trip participants this year than last. Unfortunately this year, both spring and summer trip numbers were much lower than in years past. A few large teams were unexpectedly unable to participate.

This means about $160,000 less coming through our doors — funds that are necessary for us to maintain the level of care we are currently providing our children.

Honestly, we have been talking about the possibility of this kind of thing happening for years. It is impossible to know for certain that the same number of participants will serve with us as planned each year. Every time we talk about sponsorship, I want you know we are looking at our mission program and saying, “We can’t rely on this as a steady income source.”

Again, our goal is to see our homes 100% funded through our monthly sponsors. All other income would then be available for administrative and potential growth expenses. So, all of this to say…

The income we rely on to run Dorie’s Promise is down and is expected to be down for at least the next several months. WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!

Would you consider a special gift to the ministry today?

Give a gift today to help these boys living at our home in Guatemala.There are so many ways to help us at this time.  I have listed a few options here:

  • Give a special gift today.
  • Become a sponsor.
  • Contact Charity Danielson, our sponsorship coordinator, at 360-836-7626 or to find out how you can help us spread the word to friends and family about our sponsorship programs. Monthly sponsorship is the most secure way to care for our children!
  • Contact Naomi Beazely  to find out more about planning a future mission trip to serve with us.
  • Pray for our ministry and children — that we will continue to be able to serve for years to come.

I don’t know what you could do given the urgency of this post. Would you pray about it and give as God leads you?

Whatever you do, please know that your help is needed, and needed immediately. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Our children need you now more than ever before.

The New Vehicles Are Great Blessings!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Thank YOu donors for helping us buy new vehicles!

Ingrid, Silvia and Brayan check out the new van.For us at Dorie’s Promise, the safety of our children, along with their happiness and health, is one of the most important needs we meet. Every day we need to transport them to the school, appointments, or different outings, and it feels really good to know that the vehicles in which they are transported are nice, safe, and comfortable.

When we first talked with Heather about the need to upgrade the vehicles to carry our children and to transport the mission teams, we thought it was going to be a long-term goal. It was truly a surprise and a blessing to see how many people wanted to donate and help us reach that goal — in just a few months, we had enough funds to start looking for the best options.

“Buying new cars for Dorie’s Promise was seen as a challenge, but we trusted in God to make it happen,” says Alej, the director of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

When we knew the fundraising was complete, the first thing that came to mind was, “This is a miracle, a gift from God, a dream come true!” God provided for us! What a lesson for all of us working for Forever Changed International and for the children at our home.

The process was exciting: we got quotes in several places, thanks to the Internet, to find the best price, while comparing the options for quality, safety, and security — all very important factors when you decide to purchase a vehicle.

The new van is already hard at work transporting our children.Seeing the happiness in the children’s faces when they got into the new vehicles the first time is beyond comparison. They were really excited — everybody wanted to get in at the same time. They are pleased that they won’t be riding in the old cars to school and on outings. The new vehicles feel so comfortable — and they have air-conditioning!

One of the children, Jennifer, told us, “I am happy with the new cars; we will no longer feel hot because it is air-conditioned, and we are very comfortable without it being such a tight fit for us all.”

We can now feel proud to give our children and visiting missionaries good, safe transportation in a comfortable ride.

We are so blessed to know that many people believe in what we do every day at Dorie’s Promise — even being so far away, they take care of our children by helping us give them the best!

Gratitude

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The children of Dorie's Promise showing their gratitude for all the sponsors and donors who have give to their home.

By MJ Zelya-

Orphans from Guatemala have found on oasis at Dorie's Promise.This note really has been inspired by God…I feel He spoke to my heart, urging me to express my gratitude and thanking those who have been channels of blessing to us, no matter the size or shape. What matters is the motivation behind people’s generosity — LOVE.

It’s amazing how God manifests Himself through people or things — reminding you at every moment what He needs you to do. This happens to me all the time.

He put on my heart that we should be thankful at all times, regardless of the circumstances we are facing. Very recently my mom passed away. It has been difficult to pass this test in life — my mom was very young and did not expect her departure so soon. The first thing that came to my mind were the children of Dorie’s Promise, and how they also go through a bereavement — leaving their family and the environment they know, many because they were neglected or orphaned.

Many sponsors, missionaries, and donors have been able to support these children by giving them a home, an oasis, where they can find love, security, education. A home that maybe doesn’t fully fill the emptiness of a lost family, but certainly helps heal the wounds left by the circumstances of life. We believe that God has sent them here to change their weeping and mourning into joy, Psalm (30:11-12) — He always has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).

Simple Gratitude - Dorie's PromiseWe have seen God move through many people, filling us with blessing, always providing what we need.

Every donation, no matter how small or big it is, is very important to us. A donation of furniture we received this month … the money that was raised to reach the finish line to buy new cars, clothing, medicine — and more. These many blessing are impacting those living in extreme poverty, those who need a ray of hope.

Being thankful is a fundamental characteristic of those who believe in God, because it allows us to bring the Gospel and to honor His name in everything we receive. It is grace poured on us through people, and it extends to our children, to our home, and to our community.

It is necessary to always “give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NLT).

And pray not only because you are in need of something, but also because you have a lot of things to be thankful for….

We Met Our Goal!! All Because Of You!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

We Met our Goal!!  All because of you!

Since August 2014, we have been asking our friends and supporters to help us buy a new microbus to transport our children. If you’ve been to Guatemala, you have seen firsthand that our current vehicles are no longer safe and secure to transport our children.

We actually needed a Microbus for our children and a van to effectively transport our guests as well. Our plan was to raise money for the Microbus in 2014 and start raising money for the van in early 2015.

Well, we have some exciting news!

Since August 2014, we have been asking our friends and supporters to help us buy a new microbus to help transport our children. Because of your overwhelming support, enough money came in through December 31, 2014 to allow us to buy both vehicles! Late last week, we ordered a 12-passenger Hyundai H1 van and a 30-passenger Hyundai County Microbus. We decided to go with Hyundai because we were able to get an extended warranty and bigger vehicles for our money.

The total amount raised for this need, as of today, is $87,300. I think you will agree: that’s amazing! The cost of the 12-passenger Hyundai H1 van was $28,500. The 30-passenger Hyundai County Bus was $59,000.

We expect the Microbus and van to be delivered to Dories Promise within the next few weeks. We will update you with pictures and video of our Children seeing the new vehicles for the first time.

To everyone who gave to help us buy these vehicles: Thank you! Your support and love have been astounding. Our children are blessed to have such a compassionate, generous family looking out for them.

Year-End Giving

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Luis, Lester and Brandon - Donors make their smiles possble.

We can’t thank our Sponsors and Donors enough for their generosity this past year! We praise God for all that we were able to accomplish because of YOU – our faithful partners who help us so generously. Thank you for giving to our children and home.

We want to ask you one last time for 2014 to give a special gift to our home. Help us end the year on a strong note. Help us to continue investing in the lives of those who need it most.

You can contribute up until the last seconds of 2014 for this tax year…

Also I wanted to take a moment to let you know about an upcoming opportunity to designate IRA funds to a charity of your choice.

On Wednesday Congress passed a bill, which is now awaiting President Obama’s signature, enabling you to transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA to a qualified public charity. The transfer will be made free from federal income tax and the gift qualifies for your 2014 required minimum distribution (RMD).

This opportunity is retroactive to January 1, 2014 and reauthorizes the IRA charitable rollover through December 31, 2014.

As we look ahead at the next 12 days that remain in the year, will you prayerfully consider taking advantage of this great IRA option and make a gift to help support the children of Dorie’s Promise?

If you have questions about this new way to give we’d be happy to talk to you. Please call 360-836-7626 or email us.

God Bless,

Heather Radu