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Posts Tagged ‘Mission Trip’

2018: Our Year to Refocus Missions

Monday, February 19th, 2018

2018 is the year we refocus on the reason we first started hosting teams.

By Kelly Shank –

Mixing the daily needs of 40 children with 300 visitors can be overwhelming to both our staff and kids. The 2018 mission trip season is quickly approaching at Dorie’s Promise and we’re readying our home for more than 300 visitors. Recently, our staff met to discuss our home, our children, and what we want 2018 to look like at Dorie’s Promise.

Mixing the daily needs of 40 children with 300 visitors can be overwhelming to both our staff and kids. Some may wonder why we welcome visitors at all. There is no better way for people to understand the needs in Guatemala than through experience. Plus, we know the people who come to Dorie’s Promise want to serve our children and communities. Our job is to create a program that is healthy for our children, manageable for our staff, and meaningful to those we serve.

As a staff, we asked hard questions and consulted professionals who know our children.

What are the benefits of allowing so many people into our home? How many people should we allow into our home? What changes can create healthy boundaries for our children? What should we really expect from our staff? What kind of projects are we good at?

Over the course of 3 days, we realized just how far we’ve strayed from our original mission.

God has called us to passionately serve the

world’s forgotten children through life-changing ministries.

2018 is the year we refocus on the reason we first started hosting teams. We know when people meet our children and see the need in Guatemala, they join with us to serve the families and children of Guatemala.

By identifying our priorities and gifts, our focus again became clear—the children in our home. They are our greatest priority at all times. Our gifts can also help families throughout the country. We believe in families and are committed to preserving families who may be on the verge of crisis. For those children whose families have experienced crisis and find themselves in a government orphanage, we intend to partner with organizations to care for them until they too can be united with a family.

2018 is our year to refocus missions at Dorie’s Promise. Our calling is clear.

New York Yankee's pitcher Ben Heller at Dorie's Promise.Preserving Families. Caring for Orphans. Transforming Lives.

This is how we fit into the Guatemala missions community. We are both relieved and excited as we prepare for the 2018 trip season at Dorie’s Promise. As a staff, we are united in our vision for the future. We understand how we are called to serve the families and children of Guatemala. We are already identifying families, community partners, and other facilities who share our vision and have needs we can meet this year.

We will serve everyone with dignity and humility, providing solutions and opportunities that promote independence instead of dependency. We will listen well and only offer solutions that are needed, even if it means we change the way we operate.

This is the year we remember why we started.

Will you help us preserve, care, and transform in 2018? We still have openings for both teams and individuals in 2018. Join us as we serve the children and families of Guatemala.

Bringing Baseball to Dorie’s Promise

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Yankee's Pitcher Ben Heller at Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Kelly Shank –

Imagine the excitement for our children when New York Yankee’s pitcher Ben Heller visited in December.It’s not every week we host a professional baseball player at Dorie’s Promise. So imagine the excitement for our children when New York Yankee’s pitcher Ben Heller visited in December.

We caught up with Ben a few weeks ago to follow up on his trip and plans heading into spring training.

Ben’s connection to Dorie’s Promise started long before he and his wife, Martha, visited our home last December. In fact, they’ve been sponsors for more than four years. In 2011, a friend of the Hellers visited Guatemala and returned home on a mission to share about her trip and raise support for our children. Thankfully, Ben and Martha understood our needs and valued our desire to transform the lives of children.

Although he had served on mission trips previously, Ben was surprised by the extremes of Guatemala. The natural beauty of the country and wealth in some Guatemala City neighborhoods is a stark contrast to the poverty in many villages and overwhelming conditions surrounding the Guatemala City landfill. Even our kids surprised him by how quickly they made him feel welcomed.

Baseball is a huge part of Ben’s life at home, but he didn’t want baseball to overshadow the reason he was working in Guatemala.

He preferred to quietly join his wife and friend for a week serving at Dorie’s Promise without fanfare. As their trip grew closer, a Yankees fan from Guatemala reached out via Twitter and asked Ben to consider holding a baseball clinic in Guatemala City. Although soccer is definitely the favorite sport of Guatemalans, little league baseball has a steady fan base, with teams for children of all ages and tournaments throughout Latin America.

As he considered the request, it became obvious that his baseball experience offered a unique opportunity At the baseball clinic Ben Heller held while in Guatemala.for him to serve others during his trip. With the help of Guatemalan fans, Ben hosted a pitching clinic for 100 local players. As little league players honed their pitching skills, ours learned the game’s fundamentals.

Thanks to Ben and local organizers, Dorie’s Promise received a generous donation from the players’ families. We are thankful for the opportunity to connect with local families. Most importantly, Ben shared his testimony with the children after the clinic, bringing together his story of faith, baseball, and service.

Ben’s looking forward to sharing about his Guatemala trip with teammates and fans as spring training begins. Visiting our home has given him a new perspective on our work and the importance of our supporters. Ben stressed the importance of having a long-term commitment to Dorie’s Promise. He encourages others to become monthly sponsors, like he and his wife, and support our children as we transform their lives. After visiting our home, Ben understands the difference we make in the lives of children and sees the value in his sponsorship.

We look forward to many more years partnering with the Hellers!

Behind the Scenes: Meet our Board of Directors

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

The FCI Board of Directors on a tour of a Mission project in Guatemala.

By Kelly Shank –

Forever Changed International owes a debt of gratitude to the four women who serve along with founder, Heather Radu, as our Board of Directors. These women help guide us, make tremendous contributions with their time and talents, and are our biggest supporters.

We would like to thank them for their commitment to our children and their support for our work in Guatemala.

Our Board of Directors:

Cari Burck:

Dr. Cari Burck (left) with Dorie Van Stone.

Dr. Cari Burck (left) with Dorie Van Stone.

Being able to spend time with Dorie Van Stone deeply influenced Cari. Dorie’s resiliency and God’s provision for Dorie during her childhood taught Cari how to love orphans. While playing with our children and taking pictures many years ago Cari captured 1 year-old Lester’s first smile. She was able to witness the moment he finally felt safe enough to express joy in his new home. That moment is one of her favorite memories. Serving Dorie’s Promise is family affair for Cari, her husband, and their two children. When not working as an Osteopathic Family Physician in West Virginia, Cari enjoys gardening, painting, and photography.

Barb Quinn:

During the 1990s Barb and her husband adopted three children with the help of Heather Radu. Experiencing Eastern European orphanages firsthand changed Barb and ignited a passion for helping orphans. Since the beginning Barb has been a supporter of FCI and she continues to help guide our work today as a board member. She wants people to know that Dorie’s Promise is different. “There is a sense when you walk into Dorie’s Promise that it is a home, full of love and hope.” Barb and her husband are happily retired and enjoy splitting their time between Washington and Hawaii.

Cinda Rachor:

Cinda with her daughter.

Cinda with her daughter.

Cinda’s connection to FCI began as she was desperately trying to find a loving home for her daughter during her adoption process. Fast forward more than a decade and she is still visiting FCI. Along with her husband and seven children, she now leads mission teams each year. “I work with FCI because I love the way they seek to honor God with every decision. I work with FCI because I believe in our staff.  I work with FCI because I adore the children that live there and believe they have been beautifully and wonderfully made.  I believe God created each child there to have a hope and a future and I love being able to support that purpose in any capacity that I can.” The Rachor family calls Michigan home.

Dorie Van Stone:

Dorie Van Stone is the namesake of our orphan care home. As a young girl, Dorie’s mother dropped her off at an orphanage because she no longer wanted her. Abused daily and rejected by a series of prospective adoptive parents, she became tough and angry. A series of encounters would give her hope and eventually change the course of her life. With her husband, Lloyd Van Stone, she served as a missionary to New Guinea. She chronicled her experiences in the book, Dorie, the Girl Nobody Loved. Dorie is now retired in North Carolina.

Exciting News for Pastora Mercedez

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Pastora Mercedez with her mother.

By Kelly Shank –

Casa de Pan feeding center.For the last four years, visiting teams at Dorie’s Promise have faithfully served the children at Casa de Pan feeding center outside the Guatemala City landfill. The weekly visits with Pastora Mercedez and her staff have been a staple of our community work.

Pastora Mercedez works with some of the poorest, most socially outcast residents of Guatemala City. The families she serves primarily work as “scavengers” in the landfill. Parents in these households spend their days scavenging for anything valuable or recyclable from the landfill while children are often left alone to care for themselves.

Although they earn an honest living, these families are among the lowest social classes within the city. They live in harsh conditions, surrounded by piles of recyclables, in homes built from scrap tin and wood, and are plagued by respiratory conditions from exposure to the landfill. Pastora Mercedez understands the difficulties these families, especially the children, face because she is the daughter of scavengers.

Every weekday 400 children come to one of Pastor Mercedez’s two feeding centers to receive a hot meal.

The Forever Changed International and Casa de Pan Partnership:

Team members from Dorie's Promise gave a medical clinic.Our relationship with Pastora Mercedez has evolved over the last four years. Originally, our teams visited once a week to serve lunch and bring food donations. As our connection deepened, so did our efforts to help strengthen this ministry.

Visiting teams have helped improve the facilities at the feeding center as well as providing financial support for the ministry. Two years ago a team built four classrooms in the church to expand tutoring opportunities for the community. Additionally, twice in recent years visiting teams provided medical clinics for neighborhood children who rarely have access to reliable health services.

Our Director, Alejandra, shares her reflections on our partnership with Pastora Mercedez.

“It has been a blessing to support this ministry during the last few years. Not only have we blessed the children who come to the feeding center every day but we have also seen the blessings in the mission participants’ lives.”

We are excited to announce a generous group of donors has committed to fully funding the monthly food expenses for Pastora Mercedez and Casa de Pan! Thanks to the commitment of our teams over the last four years, the future of Pastora Mercedez’s feeding centers are secure for the future.

Thank you to everyone who has served with us and donated towards Pastora Mercedez’s feeding centers to help her reach financial security.

The Importance of All Saint’s Day

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Colourful Mayan cemetery in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

Photo By Ralf Steinberger. (CC BY 2.0)

By Kelly Shank –

Guatemala is known for its big, colorful celebrations. National holidays are packed full of fireworks, music, food, and big gatherings. Family is also very important within Latin American culture and is at the center of celebrations. All Saint’s Day incorporates the importance of family into a very special holiday celebration.

Guatemalan FiambreWhile those of us in the United States celebrate Halloween on October 31st, our Guatemalan friends focus on November 1st, the holiday known as All Saint’s Day. Based in long-standing tradition, All Saint’s Day is one of the most important holidays for Guatemalan families and serves as a way for families to recognize and honor their deceased relatives, an annual memorial day to their families. Although the day celebrates those who have died, it is not a day of sadness. Instead families truly celebrate the lives of their family members.

Unlike what we might expect in Northern America, on November 1st the cemeteries of Guatemala are transformed into elaborate festivals. Relatives spend hours creating brightly painted designs on tombs and fill the area with fresh flowers. The wonderful colors, fragrant smells, and marimba music offer the perfect backdrop for a day of celebrations.

Ladies prepare a special traditional meal called Fiambre, a large salad that incorporates the favorite foods of the families—vegetables, sausages, lunch meats, and cheeses, specifically for the occasion. Although each family’s version is passed down amongst generations, the meal itself is a tradition throughout the country. In the midst of the transformed cemeteries families gather to spend the day celebrating.

All Saints Days Kite

Photo by rpphotos. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In places like Sumpango, families carry on the tradition of kite flying for All Saints Day. Tradition states that the kites were originally created to carry messages to the souls of dead family members in the sky. As the kites were released the notes would be carried away. The kite flying tradition continues today as families spend months designing and building the intricate structures. A mixture of art, tradition, and pride, each kite is uniquely designed using colored paper and then affixed on a bamboo frame. Ranging in size from 2 meters to more than 20 meters the kites each include messages for the community. Many share messages of love, peace, and unity while others also promote awareness of social issues. The artistry of these creations is beyond words.

On the morning of November 1st families begin to assemble their kites at the local cemetery. Although some smaller kites may be flown throughout the day, the full spectacle does not take place until evening. After honoring the dead and celebrating with family during the day, locals hoist the magnificent kites into the air at dusk. For a short period of time the sky is a colorful display of Guatemalan artistry.

Although the holiday occurs only once each year we see the love that Guatemalan families share every day when we work in communities. Every time our teams are welcomed into homes, offered meals, and prayed for, we experience a glimpse of being family.

We’re Building a School in Paradise

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

We’re Building a School in Paradise

Pictures provided by Muni Palencia on Facebook

By Kelly Shank –

At the heart of our missions program is the belief that we can make big impacts through long-term partnerships with communities. Last year we partnered with the municipality of Palencia to build an elementary school in Santa Elena. 

This year we have the opportunity to help build a new elementary school in el Paraiso (Paradise), another village within Palencia.

This year we have the opportunity to help build a new elementary schoolThe rural village of Paradise is located about an hour and a half outside of Guatemala City. For the last four years we have worked with the local community and families, regularly visiting with much needed food and school donations while also helping with home improvement projects. Now, we’re meeting an even greater need in the community.

The local middle school currently doubles as an elementary school by morning and middle school by afternoon. Our new school will expand both the number of children served and the types of services provided in this community, opening doors to new possibilities for these families.

By partnering with the municipality of Palencia and the community of Paradise we are combining our shared interests and resources to provide a meaningful opportunity for the children of Paradise. The municipality has provided land adjacent to the existing school for the building site and skilled construction labor for the project. Families from the local community work alongside municipality employees and as additional labor. Through designated donations, FCI is funding the material costs for the project. Each group offers a critical component in the success of the project.

Beginning with January’s first meeting to discuss the community’s needs, the people of Paradise have shown up to champion the construction of a new school. During our weekly visits to Paradise since the groundbreaking in July we have witnessed the impact this project is having on the community. Mothers come during the day when their children are in school to help. Fathers come in the evenings once they are finished at their jobs. They are giving their time to help make the new school a reality for their children.

During our weekly visits to Paradise since the groundbreaking in July we have witnessed the impact this project is having on the community. Along with local residents, several mission teams visited this summer and helped the workers reach a critical milestone. People of all ages, from kids to adults, wielded shovels and pickaxes to help the school become a reality. Sitting against a mountain, the site is rocky and each footer was dug by hand. We want to thank every person who has worked at the site of the new school. Your willingness to spend long days in the heat, doing hard work is appreciated by us and the community.

FCI’s partnership with Paradise and the municipality of Palencia is doing more than just building a school. By working together with the community we are proving our commitment to their future and inspiring local residents to seek opportunities to improve their lives. One local resident shared that “they [the team members] are coming from so far away to help us, giving us a good example of dedication and hard work, so we have to do the same for our own community.”

We are excited to work with local communities that are committed to bettering themselves.

We are happy to report that school construction is progressing well. With block work well underway the building is starting to take shape. Our goal is for construction to be substantially complete before school begins in January so the children of Paradise can begin the 2018 school year in their new building!

What We Did This Summer: In Our Communities

Monday, September 25th, 2017

A Mission's Team Helping in one of the neighboring communities.By Kelly Shank –

Helping communities, especially struggling families is the mission of our community projects.The children of Dorie’s Promise are our highest priority. Through adoption, safe reunification, and community empowerment we’d love to see the number of vulnerable children in Guatemala decrease. Helping communities, especially struggling families is the mission of our community projects. As our mission program has grown we’ve worked hard to become better so that we’re making a positive difference in every community where we work. We’ve learned what helps and how to promote self-reliance and dignity within communities.

One of the biggest differences for us this year has been the addition of a new position, dedicated strictly to managing our community projects and helping us make the best impact with our time, money, and talents. Those who visited Dorie’s Promise this summer had the chance to meet Bertha, our new Community Development Director. She brought together all of the community relationships and the experience of our staff to start building a vision for long-term involvement in communities.

Thanks to the help of our generous trip participants this year, we were able to provide families with these gifts:

  • 213 Water Filters
  • 180 Food Baskets
  • 48 Bunkbeds
  • 17 Pilas
  • 16 Concrete Floors
  • 3 Concrete Stoves
  • 2 Home Repairs
  • 1 Metal House
  • 1 Prefabricated House

Community members work with our teams on projects.Numbers help you understand how much we did but they don’t convey the impact we made in the lives of these families.

When we give water filters to families not only do they have clean drinking water in their homes but they also save money otherwise spent on buying water. What if that money could buy food or school supplies? During one visit this summer we were able to surprise a single mother with a food basket. She was completely overwhelmed by our gift. Although she works hard there are times that she struggles just to buy food for her family. Our gift came at a time when she desperately needed help.

We are finally finding our identity as a missions organization. Our experience providing high quality care in our orphan home has taught us a very valuable lesson that we are using to define our community projects.

We are going to do the highest quality projects we are capable of doing with the money, time, and abilities that God provides while empowering local communities and extending dignity to those we serve. This principle is guiding us towards the types of projects we will do in the future and who we work with.

As she reflected on her first summer with us, Bertha shared tA new home, built by a missions team with Dorie's Promise.wo experiences that highlight her vision for communities:

The Cil Hernandez family received a new house this summer during the Clyne family’s visit. Receiving a new house was about more than just a building to their family. After losing their home to a fire, the family was desperate to provide even the bare necessities for their children. The family explained to our team that receiving a home and bunkbeds renewed their hope. They didn’t expect help and our overwhelming gift gave them hope for their future.

Later in the summer, the Perez Albizures family also received a new home. This single mother and her daughters are committed to their community, giving their time to help work on the new school being built near their home. Bertha was inspired by the team’s dedication to building the best home they could for this family. Even during a rain storm, the team and family worked together to ensure the project would be completed before the end of the week. Seeing the excitement as the little girls danced in their new home helped us all understand that by working with the community we give people the opportunity to help themselves and improve their lives.

Our work in these communities is about more than meeting material needs. We intend to form long-term relationships that strengthen families and show the most marginalized and vulnerable people that they are loved, they are worthy, and they are able to live fulfilling lives.

Maintaining Your Post Trip Impact

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

ost of our trip participants leave with a desire to share their experience with everyone they meet. But how can you put into words a life changing experience?

By Kelly Shank –

Mission Trips to Dorie's Promise are life changing!Thousands of people have visited Dorie’s Promise as part of our missions teams and many thousands more have been impacted by their stories after they returned home.

Visiting our home and experiencing Guatemala firsthand is certainly one of the most impactful ways to learn about Forever Changed International but don’t underestimate the impact you can have when you return home. People will see the impact of your trip and you don’t want to miss out on opportunities to educate others about how you were changed and the important work we’re doing in Guatemala.

The sights and experiences of Guatemala are eye-opening and energizing. Most of our trip participants leave with a desire to share their experience with everyone they meet. But how can you put into words a life changing experience? Before you begin overloading all those around you it’s important that you take time to do two important things: 1) Debrief and Process and 2) Refine your story.

Debrief and Process

Much like our nightly debriefs at Dorie’s Promise, processing your experience and return home will be essential as you begin to incorporate your Guatemala experiences into your normal life. The new memories, emotions, experiences, and perspective can be overwhelming because what you saw in Guatemala changes how you think about the life you return to. Find a friend or family member who is willing to listen to your stories, help you process what you experienced, and sort out how it impacts your life going forward. Don’t rush this very important process.

Refine Your Story

The children of Dorie's Promise can't wait to meet you.Your story is personal and although all of the intricate details are important parts of your experience, what you share will be determined by your audience. After you return home you will inevitably encounter people with a wide range of interest levels about your trip, ranging from polite acknowledgment to wholehearted interest. Your job as our ambassador is to tailor your story to best meet their needs. Combine your most impactful moments with their areas of interest to find authentic connection.

The secret of Dorie’s Promise is finding our people, those who truly understand what we do and are committed to helping us impact Guatemala. You are key to helping us identify and expand our tribe.

As you return to your normal routines we hope that you will incorporate us into your daily life. Here’s some easy ways to be an everyday ambassador for Forever Changed International and Dorie’s Promise:

  1. Share our stories on your social media. When one of these stories touches you—share it. Add your personal thoughts to help people connect even more. (Find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!)
  2. Incorporate us into your daily life—pray for our children, the staff, and our ministry; wear your FCI shirt proudly as you go about your busy day; display pictures from your trip to remind yourself of your experience and prompt others to inquire.
  3. Join with family and friends to sponsor one of our children. Then share together each time you get a sponsor update.
  4. Be consistent. Keep sharing about our ministry.
  5. Be prepared. Be ready to answer questions and tell your story in a relatable way.

Ready to visit Dorie’s Promise? Why not consider taking advantage of our discounted travel weeks this fall?

Want to do even more on behalf of Forever Changed International? Consider becoming a Partner of Hope.

Orphan Care through Missions

Monday, August 7th, 2017

A child get her lunch from Pastor Mercedez lunch program.

By Kelly Shank –

God has called us to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children through life-changing ministries.

Yire was brought to Dorie's Promise at only 2 months old. Heather Radu came to Guatemala seventeen years ago to serve children who were vulnerable and forgotten, helping hundreds of orphans be placed in loving families through Dorie’s Promise. In the years since international adoptions closed, we have become even more determined to remain in Guatemala and make a difference. We stayed because our commitment is to the children entrusted to our care and the country they will one day lead. God called us into missions as a way to support orphan care and we feel privileged to serve.

Children find their way into our home through a myriad of traumatic experiences and many will be with us for years.

Yire was brought to us at only 2 months old. Shortly thereafter his mother died, leaving him in our care indefinitely. Seven years later, Yire is thriving at Dorie’s Promise. The snuggly toddler with dark curly hair has grown into a bright little boy who enjoys playing with friends and going to school, just like your kids.

You might wonder how the missions program helps kids like Yire.Yire is now a bright eyed energetic seven year old.

Without trip participants we wouldn’t be able to sustain our home and offer the kind of care that changes lives. Trip participants help support our home financially, they provide much needed donations for our children, and they offer experiences we might not be able to afford otherwise. Even more importantly, those who meet our children often become long-term sponsors and are directly connected to the financial health of our home.

But what about all of the children who don’t live at Dorie’s Promise?

Missions helps us care for those children and their families as well. Throughout Guatemala other private organizations and government facilities care for children who make their way into the court system but the majority of the vulnerable children in Guatemala never make it onto any official records. Instead they represent those who are born into the cycle of poverty and whose families struggle to survive daily. Hunger, sickness, and lack of education are constant in their lives and they have few opportunities to change their life.

Imagine being born outside the Guatemala City landfill. From an early age you care for yourself because your parents work sorting recyclables day in and day out. If you’re lucky, your wood and tin home has a concrete floor and running water but that’s not guaranteed. On weekdays, you line up with other neighborhood kids to get a hot lunch from Pastor Mercedez at the feeding center. Hopefully you are in school instead of working. You don’t realize that life can be different.

The crowd getting a hot lunch from Pastor Mercedez at the feeding center.This is where missions helps our commitment to all of Guatemala, both in our home and in our communities. Our dedicated staff and teams allow us support local leaders and organizations that are working directly in these communities. We’re helping Pastor Mercedez feed more than 400 children each day so that their parents can work without worrying if they’re hungry. We bring much needed supplies to groups who tutor local children so that they have a better chance of finishing school.

Our goal is to improve the lives of the families so that they are able to keep their children in their homes. What we have learned is that these families love their children and most work hard to provide the best they can but the cycle of poverty is hard to overcome.

Slowly and deliberately we are learning how best to work with local leaders to provide opportunities for community change. We’re focusing on holistic healthcare, quality nutrition, and educational programs that aim to lift entire communities and begin changing the standard in Guatemala.

Fall Mission Trips

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

It's time to think about a fall missions trip to Guatemala

By Naomi Beazely –

Missions Opportunities in GuatemalaEven though summer is barely under way, it’s time for mission teams, families and church groups to start thinking about the possibilities of a fall mission trip.

From mid-October through early December, groups can take advantage of a discounted price, with the per-person cost lowered from $1,100 to $900.

The first discount opportunity will be from Oct. 21-28; the final week will be from Nov. 25-Dec. 2. We make this offer to encourage volunteers to come during a slower season. From June through August, we are booked every week, which slows down to one or two teams a month in the fall.

In the past few years fall mission teams have been able to provide valuable help to the community. And, teams typically smaller than groups coming during the summer. That facilitates more group cohesiveness, intimacy and one-on-one time with staff members and children. Plus, south of the border, autumn is generally more comfortable than summer.

The projects fall teams will be tackling has yet to be determined. It partially depends on how we far we get with the new school we will start building this summer in Palencia, about 45 minutes northeast of Guatemala City.

We have a new community outreach director, Bertha, who will be using the summer to assess the needs in the community.

The children of Dorie’s Promise get so excited to meet new team members each week. Our hope is that the children you meet with will become your forever friends! She will be going to homes and getting to know people. Our projects there will be based on the needs of each family, be that for floors, stoves, roofs, water filters, bunk beds, or prayer. Our goal will be to find a place to eventually build a community center.

As many of you know, Pablo Villagran departed this spring as our Missions Director, so teams will be seeing new faces when they arrive in Guatemala City.

In Pablo’s place, we have hired four Mission Team Leaders: Pablo, Adriana, Larry and Melissa. To take the pressure off the leaders, we will have two rotate every other week.

The transition to new leadership has been going really well. We’ve received important help from Abel, our long-time driver who also assists mission leaders with large teams. A jack of all trades, Abel has been a blessing by training community leaders how to do community projects with FCI’s mission teams.

If your church or mission group is interested in coming this fall, I can plan trips quickly—a month or two, depending on the person. However, flights tend to get more expensive the closer you get to your travel dates, so the sooner a mission team plans its trip the better.

For more information, send me an e-mail.