By Arwen McGilvra-
A group of 17 people from Celebration Church in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), visited us at Dorie’s Promise in October. We interviewed Cory Illingworth, the Pastoral Team Leader and trip coordinator, about their visit.
How did you hear about Dorie’s Promise? A father and son from our church wanted to go on a mission trip together in 2013. They searched on Google with the following criteria: slums, orphanage, garbage dump, and Central America. Dorie’s Promise was the top search. The father prayed about it and felt it was the exact place they should go. Blaine, his son Carson, my son Luke, and I made the trip to Guatemala in June of 2013.
Have you been on other mission trips? Our church participates in many types of mission trips. We have outreach opportunities in our community, city, country, and to the corners of the earth. For more than eight years, we have sent a team to northern Canada to work with the first nation’s people and the Metis of Canada. Over the last couple of years, we sent teams to India, Uganda, Haiti, and Las Vegas.
How was your trip with FCI different? Working with FCI has been such a blessing. So professional. So organized. So accommodating. So encouraging. Everyone who attended Dorie’s Promise this past year commented on how safe, comfortable, and cared for they felt. The Special Mothers are amazing.
We heard you did some special activities with the children. Can you tell us about those? We went to the football pitch with the children, the staff, and the Special Moms. It was Canada versus Guatemala. Then we taught everyone from Dorie’s Promise how to play Canadian football. We also took all of the kids to Divercity. That was a great experience for us. The children had so much fun.
The highlight special activity was having Canadian Thanksgiving (Monday, October 13, 2014) with the children, Special Mothers, and staff. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, pumpkin pie, and Canadian candies. The children all came dressed up to the guest house, and we ate the meal together. To my understanding, it was one of the only times the children had been to the guest house. It was by far one of my all-time favourite Thanksgiving meals.
What was your impression of the home? The staff and Special Mothers? The children? Everyone on the team stated they felt like we were staying at a resort. The staff and Special Mothers are my favourite part of Dorie’s Promise. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those kids. But I personally feel God has called me and our team to bless and encourage the staff and Special Mothers for what they do. Our youth loved the children. They even got to go water sliding in the backyard with some of the them.
What other projects did you do while in Guatemala? Here in our city we have a ministry called the Burger Bus. It is a bus that goes into the inner city and hands out McDonald’s cheeseburgers to people. We bought 300 cheeseburgers and had the opportunity to hand those out all over Guatemala City. We had the chance to pray for people at the hospital, on the streets, and in the rain. We want to be ambassadors for Dorie’s Promise in the ghettos and in the dump. We are so proud of you, as our brothers and sisters in Christ, for the impact you are making there. You gave our team exposure to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you.
In the future, we would love to have two teams come to Dorie’s Promise. One team that solely works with your partner ministries in the ghetto and dump and one that spends the majority of its time with the children of Dorie’s Promise.
Other thoughts? I have a few other comments I need to share. If you are a team considering going to Dorie’s Promise or any other mission trip, please read the book When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Finkert. Our job as short-term missionaries needs to be to support the staff of FCI and your partner ministries.
One of the goals we had as a team while we were serving with Dorie’s Promise was to make sure that we were a blessing to everyone we encountered: the bus driver, the police officers who protected us, the people at McDonald’s, and every person in Guatemala we met. FCI does not need us to tell them how to run their ministry (they are doing an incredible job) — they need us to hold up their arms and cheer them on.
To the FCI staff and Special Mothers: We love you — you are doing a fabulous job for God’s kingdom.
We heard you are already planning a return trip. Why would you like to come back to Dorie’s?
1. Obedience to God
2. The Special Mothers
3. Missions Staff
4. Queso Pies from McDonald’s
5. The hill above the garbage dump
6. The food at the guest house
7. The children
8. The children
9. The children
10. To bloom for God in the land of eternal spring.
Cory Illingworth — Pastoral Team Leader