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Posts Tagged ‘Orphan’


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….

Meet Efrain (Age 10)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Efrain with his Special Mother at Dorie's Promise.

By MJ Zelya-

EfrainEfrain after his eye surgery has been living at Dorie’s Promise since 2005. He is now 10 years old. He was abandoned by his mother because of her economic inability to take care of him.

Efrain is very attentive to his surroundings. He loves it when the Special Mothers sing to him. Efrain knows he is loved and cared for, and the Special Moms and other children make him a very happy boy who constantly laughs.

Janet, the Special Mother who takes care of him, says, “The movement in his legs and arms has improved. The therapy he is receiving has helped him a lot. He looks happier, and he can reach his foot and hold it with his hands. It’s so exciting to see how flexible he is now.”

His favorite meal is the sweet porridge, and he loves to drink milk — lemonade too.

Dr. Castro says that Efrain is a boy who is kind, patient, and content. In addition to his developmental delays, he has a genetic defect, which is only present in some of his cells. Otherwise he would not have survived until now. It does cause him to be small in growth, blind with cerebral Efrain is a boy with a big heart, a patient nature, and a gentle spirit.palsy (muscle-joints spasticity), and have seizures. As part of the syndrome, he has a cataract in one eye and a coloboma (a sort of hole in the eye) in another. One eye cataract has been operated on; hopefully he is beginning to distinguish some shadows. Due to all these problems, Efrain is confined to a wheelchair.

Our nurse, Mirna Yuman, has recently taken a physiotherapy course with the intention to provide better care for Efrain. The outcome has been astonishingly positive; in just one month of this extra personalized therapy Efrain is able to keep he own head up better and is stronger, while his limbs and back are more flexible. He has received from our Lord a special gift, what Doc Castro calls “the gene of happiness.”

Efrain behaves as if he is conscious of the good care he receives, and we believe that he knows how much he is loved. He needs your love too. Efrain is only 40% sponsored. Sponsorship helps pay for the extra medical care and personalized attention that is required to give him the best care. Sponsor Efrain today and become a part of the family that cares for this special child!

A Report from Doctor Castro

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Doctor Castro with children from Dorie's Promise

Some reflections on my experience as a physician and pediatrician at Dorie’s Promise, serving orphans and battered, abused, neglected Guatemalan children:

In my youth I was attracted to, and still am, to three different fields of study: anthropology, architecture, and medicine. I learned, in fact, that the three are related to each other. They are centered on the needs of the human race, such as the need for cooperation between people working together in order to achieve an ultimate goal.

All three fields are in a constant search for knowledge and practices that can improve people’s lives, but above all, the three are based on the idea of the common good of the people. I visualized myself helping and caring for children, so I decided to study Pediatrics in Guatemala and England.

Luis gets a check up.Working with children in a pediatric practice has transformed and utterly touched my life.

Every moment I have spent serving children has made me more conscious and aware of the true miracle of life.

Children are the light of the world — they are a fount of energy emitted onto others, especially people who are in direct contact with them and, ultimately, those people are the primary beneficiaries of this positive energy.

After my decision to retire from academia, hospital life, and private practice, a position at Dorie’s Promise was offered to me, and I saw this as a good opportunity to continue serving children. So I accepted and have been serving at the orphanage for more than eight years.

Guatemala is a poor country where many children need attention and good care. I truly feel God has provided me with direction, proper guidance, and the strength to continue as a doctor and health adviser serving the children of Dorie’s Promise — not only visiting them as their pediatrician, but also being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our nurse assistant and administrative personnel plus the Special Moms, I have been privileged in the task of watching the children’s growth and development closely, coming up with early interventions to prevent and cure almost 97% of their health needs. In regards to the other 3-5% of their health needs that I am not able to directly provide, I have been able to use my resources and medical contacts for expert second opinions and intervention.

Our health program has been blessed by having great leadership for both our home and non-profit organization and coworkers that believe in our work, who are committed and passionate for service. This has allowed us to improve and maintain efficient and effective health Doctor Castro checks up on a child from Dorie's Promiseinterventions, based on Christian principles. Dorie’s Promise is always concerned about the children’s safety, fulfilling their needs by providing them shelter, their basic physiological needs, integral health, security, affection, self-esteem, learning, and a beautiful and harmonious home.

The children have suffered through a few very dangerous infectious outbreaks in the past: large Rotavirus gastroenteritis, adenovirus pneumonia, eye and skin infections, and parasites. But I can proudly say that since 2006, and with great thanks to our health system, home improvements, and preventative measures, our children have not suffered anymore infectious outbreaks and have been protected from these always-potential threats.

So what’s in store for Dorie’s Promise in the future? We will continue to work with these beautiful and amazing children through the support and dedication from U.S. supporters and our dedicated Christian missionaries and other partners. I see Dorie’s Promise as a good example to other homes, working with other Guatemalan organizations as partners to improve and extend our services to communities in need. Our health program will be caring for children ranging from newborns to adolescents, but the fact of life is that our children are growing up under our care and bit by bit reaching adulthood; so we will need to focus our health care and education on preparing our children for the real world with responsibilities.

Give A Special Gift to Orphans

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Give a Gift to Orphans : Become a Sponsor

Sponsoring a child is a gift that gives a life – Forever Changed.

Our goal is to see Dorie’s Promise Guatemala fully funded by monthly sponsors.  By funding our home 100% through sponsorship, we can be certain that our monthly obligations will be met. It is essential that as a ministry we are responsible in how we go about funding our home and its growth in order to serve even more children in the years to come. If we are able to reach our goal, we will be able to use additional gifts to expand our ministry to serve even more children! Every gift you give to our ministry goes toward improving the lives of orphans and children who would otherwise have no other hope.

Get started by viewing the children currently available to Sponsor, reading our FAQ and sponsorship benefits.

Here are three special children who need you to sponsor them today:

Sponsor Dulce Today!Dulce (Age 2) is a very special child to us. When a mere newborn, Dulce was found bloodied and lying on a bar room floor. Most likely premature, she came to us with low birth weight, low height, small head circumference, and developmental delay. Shortly after her arrival at Dorie’s, she developed viral pneumonia. She was hospitalized and, miraculously, as tiny and frail as she was, she recovered. Since coming to us in July 2012, she has suffered a myriad of health problems.

Dulce is a fighter — she has been fighting to survive ever since she was born. Her Special Mother Myriam prays every day for Dulce’s life. She is improving slowly with increasing weight and increased mobility of her arms and legs. We are hopeful that with the love and care she is receiving, Dulce will continue to thrive.

Josue (Age 2) was found abandoned on the streets in Guatemala City when he was only two days old. He was sent immediately to the hospital where it was discovered that he had a genetic abdominal defect. While there, he had numerous surgeries to correct the problem. Josue was brought to Dorie’s and was transferred to the care of our staff physician. He has been waiting on more surgery to rebuild his urinary tract but is making tremendous progress.

Josue also has a lot of fight in him. He has tremendous energy and enthusiasm for life. He is happy by nature and is very active and affectionate. Josue likes to imitate the older boys and tags along after them as much as they will allow.

Abraham Emanual (Age 6) came to Dorie’s Promise via court order in the Spring of 2012. He was 4. His father abandoned the family when he was an infant and then his mother died. Relatives took Abraham in, but shortly thereafter Protective Services removed him from the home because of abuse and neglect. With the love and sense of security Abraham is receiving at Dorie’s Promise, he is blossoming into a wonderful little boy. He has big brown eyes and a beautiful smile. He loves to play with toys, run in the backyard, and play with the other children. Whenever it is time for group activities, Abraham is the first to jump in. He is a great dancer and loves to play soccer.

Please consider sponsoring a child today!

Meet Jennifer : A Bright, Happy Girl

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Jennifer's lived at Dorie's Promise sinceshe was an infant.

By MJ Zelya –

Jennifer is a beautiful, optimist, happy girl.Jennifer’s mother entered the Promise of Life program in 2007. She was going to give Jennifer up for international adoption*. It wasn’t completed because her mother abandoned the program early.

From the very beginning, Jennifer has shown that she is intelligent. When she came to us, she did not speak Spanish — instead she spoke the Mayan language, and it was very difficult to understand what she was trying to say. But she learned Spanish very quickly, and we were able to get her in to the preschool program right away.

Now Jennifer is one of the best students in her classroom! She has wonderful grades and loves to speak English. She enjoys going to school and coming home to share the new things she’s learned. She attends El Shaddai Christian school, a private school where several of our children have been given a chance to better their education. Jennifer brings home what she’s taught about the Bible and good values and is influencing her friends at home at Dorie’s Promise.

Lorena, supervisor of the house, says, “Jennifer is a beautiful, optimist, happy girl.

In addition to being a good student, Jennifer likes to play with dolls and play soccer! Her favorite part of the day is when she does homework with her tutor at Dorie’s. She LOVES hamburgers and Coca-Cola.

Get to know Jennifer better.She’s adventurous and she likes to discover new things, and invent new games. Her favorite color is yellow, and she loves listening to Christian music, especially Kari Jobe.

Carol, one of our special mothers, says, “Jennifer is very responsible, especially with her schoolwork — she works very neatly and is good at organization. She is a natural-born leader.”

Jennifer yearns to be part of a Forever Family. She is eligible for adoption to a Guatemalan family. We know God has a plan for her and pray that He provides just the right family — one where she can continue to grow and learn and be loved.

Until then, Jennifer is in good hands at Dorie’s Promise. She loves the staff, and they all say she is a very polite girl. Dorie’s Promise Guatemala is a place filled with love and care for Jennifer and all our children. It is a place where joy is a daily experience, and orphaned children find safety and security. Most of all, it is a place where children who have never experienced love can grow up knowing that God loves them no matter what and has a plan for their lives. Join our family by sponsoring Jennifer today!


*International adoptions in Guatemala closed in 2008

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!

Amelia Home With Her Forever Family After 8 Years at Dorie’s Promise

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Amelia with her adopted family the Rachors of Flint, Michigan.

By Heather Radu –

The Rachor’s visited Amelia many times over the years.The subject heading of Cinda Rachor’s recent e-mail said it best: “She’s coming home!!!” “She” is eight-year-old Amelia, who spent most of her life at Dorie’s Promise until Cinda and her husband, Jim, secured the approval of Guatemalan officials to take Amelia to their home in Michigan.

Although it was a bittersweet moment, at a farewell dinner on Amelia’s final night (May 29) at Dorie’s Promise, she and her mother offered their “thank you’s” to the Special Mothers and staff who cared for her.

Director Alejandra Diaz was pleased to see this moment arrive, saying as Amelia matured and grew more aware of her situation, she displayed more anxiety.

“We know that she is going where she belongs,” Ale says. “She was so original and different that we are going to miss her. She was always so kind and full of love for the Special Mothers. Each of those moments will remain alive in our hearts.

“For the other children, it is difficult to see her leave and know that they need to stay. However, they are so happy for her, especially the older ones who really understand what this means.”

Cinda says that while Amelia’s adoption proved quite challenging, the Lord continually provided in the midst of situations that appeared desperate and daunting.

“We’ve seen Him meet us at so many times when we thought we were at a dead end,” Cinda says. “God always said, ‘I’m in charge. I just need for you to keep following. Allow Me to lead and I’ll keep leading. I’ll allow Amelia to get home and I have a bunch of cool stuff to show you in the meantime.’”

Cinda and Amelia during a December 2013 visit.This “cool stuff” included Cinda and Jim Rachor getting a first-hand look at Dorie’s Promise, which in 2008 inspired them to start bringing mission teams to Guatemala twice a year.

Made up of mostly teenagers from their church (Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint, Michigan), when some of the teens reach college age they return with classmates and friends. This helps spread awareness of our work far beyond Michigan.

In addition, as interest at Central Church grew, Cinda persuaded their youth pastor to lead a trip. A team of 30 will arrive on June 14, followed by another team of 30 led by the Rachors a week later.

The story of this family’s perseverance over so many years inspires me and other staff members at Forever Changed International and Dorie’s Promise.

I knew Cinda was special the day she called repeatedly to see if we would take Amelia, who had been in foster care.

The agency handling her adoption wanted to send her to another orphanage. However, after hearing from a fellow church member about our home, Cinda insisted Amelia be sent to Dorie’s Promise.

After hearing the urgency and concern in her voice, I couldn’t refuse her request, even though at the time we had little space available. I knew she would leave no stone unturned to bring Amelia home, even though that required eight years and four different attorneys.

Amelia in May 2014 shortly before going home with her Forever Family.The Rachors visited throughout the year, coming on Christmas, Amelia’s birthday every October, and with mission teams. They built thick books of documents and photo albums to verify their interest in providing a home for this little girl.

Cinda and Jim finally experienced a breakthrough last September when they found an attorney willing to argue their case with Guatemalan government authorities as well as officials at the U.S. embassy.

“For the first time someone who had power said, ‘We’ll help you get her home,’” Cinda recalls. “Before it was always: ‘We’re sorry but there’s nothing we can do.’ In front of my children I had a meltdown and cried tears of joy. This attorney said, ‘I can help you, but you have to have the support of the U.S. embassy.’”

The Rachors obtained that support despite many difficulties, including a lack of proof of Amelia’s background. Although she arrived here as an infant, no one knew how she entered the foster care system. Not even private investigators could find any traces of her family.

However, that is all behind us now. Amelia is home, with a younger sister (Hope, 7) from Guatemala whom the Rachors adopted six years ago. Amelia will have five other siblings, ranging from Annagrace, 13, to Steven, 21.

“When we first saw Amelia’s picture, we said, ‘That’s who God has sent to be our child,’” Cinda says. “Like your own children, they don’t have to earn it. They’re your family. They’re a gift. It’s your job to advocate for them and protect them, the way Christ advocates for us.”

Without a doubt, the story of Amelia’s adoption is one of the happiest we have seen in many years.

New Gift Registry Up and Running

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Children playing with toys at Dorie's Promise - An orphanage in Guatemala City

By Heather Radu –

So many mission teams ask what they can bring to Guatemala that it inspired us to create a gift registry to streamline the giving process. It will enable volunteers and supporters to stay abreast of current needs while simplifying our record-keeping.

Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley and I came up with the idea last year while helping teams arrange trips. Numerous people asked, “What are some needs at Dorie’s Promise?”

Education Bundle - Elementary $75.00

Education Bundle – Elementary $75.00

Since the situation changes regularly, we often needed to check with Director Alejandra Diaz before calling people back, sometimes on the verge of their trip. We decided that by posting a list on our website, teams could have the latest information at their fingertips.

After a recent “soft” launch, we are informing our network of supporters about this option. Our current list includes seven priorities — totaling nearly $47,000. The most expensive is a Toyota microbus (for $36,000), while the lowest-priced item is a supply of size 2 diapers (for $246).

We are thrilled to announce we have received our first donation of $460 toward a computer lab, which will cost a total of $3,340. A team from Northwest Community Church in Mundelein, Illinois, that visited March 15-22, included the money in a generous gift. It will also buy our children shoes and Christmas presents and three coffeemakers for our staff.

Naturally, we don’t expect someone to provide all the funds for a particular item. We will combine any size donation with others designated for that purpose. If additional gifts are received after we have raised the money for a specific item, we will contact those donors to ask where they prefer we use it.

We are also working on a group registry to facilitate mission projects in the community. The logistics aren’t yet complete, but by early summer we hope to post a listing of needs in Guatemala City.

Girl Bundle - (0-3 months) $50.00

Girl Bundle – (0-3 months) $50.00

This idea stems from similar inquiries from volunteers who wanted to know what kind of help they can offer to Guatemala City residents during their stay.

Through the group registry, they will be able to plan that work in advance. It can be tasks such as putting in bunk beds, pouring a cement floor in someone’s home, or installing a pila (a watering station used to wash clothes and dishes).

On the registry website, you can find lists of other needs at the orphanage — things like appliances, children’s toys, clothing, shoes, health and hygiene items, and educational resources.

This registry will save teams time and the logistical problems of transporting donations, since online gifts will enable our staff to purchase items locally. We hope friends like you are as excited about this new system as we are … to see our gift registry, click here!

Find Out For Yourself – Visit During Spring Break

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Come Spend Spring Break in Guatemala

While many will spend their spring break serving themselves at beach parties, the pool, and the mall, we want to invite you to something different — something life-changing.

Something for Everyone

Serve Orphans in GuatemalaOur trips aren’t just for church groups or college kids. People of all ages have come to our home to help with the work God is doing.

Debi Johnson and her kids recently returned for their second trip to Dorie’s Promise: “We had an amazing week of seeing God move! The teens in our group were so inspired by Pablo’s love for Christ, we won’t ever be the same after this week!” (Read more about Debi’s experience…)

After her son Christian completed three trips to Dorie’s Promise, Debbi Cryer, a 52-year-old mom, was interested and decided to come see for herself. “I have been intrigued and often wondered, Why do people keep returning here to Dorie’s Promise? Why multiple trips? What is the draw? How has it captured their heart in a way that you can’t forget about the kids, special moms, Pablo, Jessica, and Abel, and the rich presence of Jesus that dwells here? NOW I KNOW!!!”

Seconds and Thirds

“We have many new blessings at Dorie’s Promise. Our kids are growing and becoming what God created them to be — their lives are being Forever Changed!” says Pablo our Missions Director. If it’s been a while since your last trip, consider coming again … with new improvements to the facilities, new children, and seeing old friends, it will be worth it.

Cinda has been to our home nine times and still says, “Every time we come to Dorie’s Promise, God shows us something new. Every time!” (Read more about Cinda’s experience…)

We don’t place a limit on how many times you can visit us. We believe in building relationships, and that, in turn, God will use those relationships to build passion for His Kingdom into our hearts.

Short Term Missions You Can Do With Your FamilyKatie experienced this for herself as well. “I truly thought it would be a while before I could manage another trip to Guatemala, but after hearing all that I shared with him, my husband wanted to experience Dorie’s Promise for himself. We were back six months later.” (Read more about Katie’s trip…)

Wayne Hanson hasn’t been able to get enough either. We asked him, “What is it that keeps you coming back to Guatemala?” His answer: “The connections we have made with the children of Dorie’s, especially the Najera children. We have also found all of the people in Guatemala we have met to be kind and appreciative of the help we can give. Many of them, even though they have nothing, want to give back to us.” (Read the full interview with Wayne…)

These are just a handful of the people who have been blessed by being a blessing to us and the people they have served in Guatemala. I want to invite you to be part of what God’s doing here too. Together, we can do a lot — there is an urgency for spreading the love, mercy, and forgiveness of the Gospel. Spring break is a great time to come and visit us!

Find out for yourself why so many who come here are forever changed by the experience. Apply today.

Missions – An Infectious Passion

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Forever Changed International Missions

Guest Post By: Jeff Semler-

What is a missions trip and who is it for? Wouldn’t it be better to just send money rather than spend it on our own travel costs?

Every missions team member and leader faces these well-meaning, yet short-sighted, questions.

A long and not-so-straight road from Hagerstown, Maryland, led our 250-person congregation at Valley Grace Brethren Church to Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala City. Our story starts with stirrings in several hearts that blossomed into a shared and infectious passion.

Missions Team at Antigua GuatemalaBecky, one of the leaders of our first trip to Dorie’s, puts it this way: “I will start with Proverbs 24:12 — ’If you say, but we knew nothing about this, does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?’”

“Looking back, I think my life changed when in college I did a missions trip to Costa Rica. It was there I decided I wanted to adopt. Then, the adoption of Anna changed my life and gave me a heart for the country of Guatemala. That is why I am so excited to take people to Dorie’s Promise. I think when people see, God will work out the rest. I think He holds those who see very responsible for what they do with that knowledge. I strongly believe that Dorie’s Promise is an excellent place for giving individuals a heart for the least of these … and that heart will look different for each individual. I am so excited to watch our church grow in this partnership with Dorie’s, but, most of all, I am excited to see how God is raising up people who are changing the world because of their firsthand experiences.

From here, Becky enlisted three more ladies, and they made the first trip to Dorie’s Promise. Those ladies came back with passion and enthusiasm that became infectious.

Just like a pebble tossed into a pond, the ripple effect keeps on going. After that first visit, our church dedicated its Christmas offering to Dorie’s Promise and raised $6,900. Knowing that the congregation was committed, we added Dorie’s Promise to our annual missions budget to receive financial support regardless of a team eventually returning.

Reaching the ghettos of Guatemala City with Forever ChangedBut it did not stop there. In 2012, we sent a group of four, two couples including my wife and myself. A team of 14 traveled from our church in July 2013 to once again support the home and community. Committed to orphan care, our Thanksgiving/Christmas offerings this year were split 70% to Guatemala (Dorie’s Promise and Village of Hope) and 30% to the Boanerges Deaf Initiative in Uganda. Over the past three years, the original group of four has grown to 42 total visitors to Guatemala, multiple trips from church members, and an additional trip of Interstate Batteries representatives.

Families are sponsoring 13 children through Dorie’s Promise alone. Team members’ children have joined the cause. Caleb’s seventh grade class is currently selling popcorn and slushies to raise money for water filters. Last year, Rachel requested clothes to send with Kelly and Leslie to Guatemala instead of birthday presents because Aubrey had done the same thing and she thought it was a neat idea. The ripple effect is amazing….

In short, one visit to Dorie’s Promise by a team of four women has had far-reaching effects in three different countries on two different continents. God has moved mightily in our midst and continues to move. Two couples have adopted three children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the last two years.

So the answer to the original questions is an emphatic No. Going on a missions trip involves so many intangibles with little cost but with unbelievable value.