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Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

Missions: All about relationships

Friday, December 26th, 2014

A family serving with FCI installs a sink called a pila for a family living in one of Guatemala's ghettos.

By Pablo Villagran –

Missions Coordinator Pablo VillagranIf you are reading this message, it means you are a friend of Dorie’s Promise, and we thank you for having a relationship with us. I would like to extend a special invitation to you to come visit us during spring break 2015 … And here’s why:

When you come to a place like Dorie’s Promise, you are part of the change that is going on with the children in our home. You become a part of their lives. They love to build relationships with mission-trippers and those who visit us because the children receive the love and attention they deserve.

In your visit to Guatemala, you will see other ways of living — the realities that are the dump and the city ghettos.

We focus a lot on relationships in those communities as well. We constantly visit there, and we meet people who are living in very poor conditions and lack opportunities, but who have a great heart and sense of meaning. It is easy to connect with these people.  Those relationships are life-changing.

When we do development projects in communities we try to practice this Bible verse: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Self-sacrifice is the high water mark of love.

A missions team visiting a ghetto in Guatemala.When we share love, we share Jesus. When we share Jesus, we plant a seed. When we plant seeds of the Gospel, we fulfill God’s purpose to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

Coming on a mission trip is more than just a chance to make good memories. It is life-changing. It has changed mine. It will continue to change anyone exposed to it.

The reason is very simply: JESUS.

He transforms us. By doing His Kingdom work, we are challenged, stretched, and made more like Him. Having a relationship with Him changes everything. Knowing this is the most important relationship of all, we focus on it with all the children at Dorie’s Promise, staff, and friends of the organization. When you visit us, it will be our focus for you, too, to grow your most important relationship.

We are waiting for you. Get started today! Check out our trip handbook, watch a video, or fill out an application!

 

An Interview With Celebration Church

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


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.

Guatemala City McDonalds and Celebration Church members.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.

Mission trippers from the from Celebration Church in ReginaWe 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.

Outing with the children to Divercity.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

 

Poverty in Guatemala

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A boy wandering in the trash at the Guatamal City dump.

By MJ Zelaya-

As the trucks come into the dump working rush to sort through the rubble.Not only does Africa contain some of the poorest countries in the world, but there is also one country in the Americas, a very small country called Guatemala, where people exist and live in inhumane conditions.

And it’s hard to say this when you are talking about the country where you were born.

Poverty can be defined generally as a situation in which households or individuals do not have sufficient resources or skills to meet the needs of those individuals. In the national survey of living conditions in 2011, more than 13 million inhabitants, above 50% of the population in Guatemala live below the poverty line— with more than seven million people living in extreme poverty.

And it’s why thousands of Guatemalans decide to emigrate to other countries, risking their lives simply to seek better opportunities. Poverty in Guatemala is cataloged in two ways, from “poor” to “extreme poverty.” People living in extreme poverty live on $1 a day. That dollar is supposed to cover their basic needs, and in reality they have only one: eat to survive.

A vicious circle is created over generations that is hard to escape because you have such limited options: without education the new generation follows the same pattern… work hard to get the minimum to eat and survive, or die.

Children, like this girl are the most vunerable to poverty's effects.It’s a daunting but very real scenario. Just walk around the cities of Guatemala — you can see people in need in the streets, poor people trying to get by with God’s help, needing Him to be true to what it says in Scripture: give us today our daily bread (Mathew 6:11).

A lot of those who are better off try to indulge being islands, keeping to themselves — no matter what is happening around them, they are only satisfying their OWN needs and forgetting God’s heart — to help the poor.

And that’s why Forever Changed International supports those in need, working to meet the many needs Guatemalans suffer. Through outreaches in our missions program you can make a real difference. The many children and families we serve throughout Guatemala eagerly wait for Forever Changed International to bring teams of people to share Christ’s love with them as well as provide them with what we would consider basic living essentials. Soap and a pair of shoes can brighten the eyes of a 5-year-old boy more than you can imagine. Apply for a trip today!

Coming to Guatemala is a real eye-opener. The suffering will change your mind and your point of view. It will show you how many are truly hungry, and that you have been privileged to be born and raised in a country with a multitude of opportunities —a very different life to live. Even more so it will help you gain a kingdom perspective. One mission tripper put it this way, “Seeing their hearts for the Lord displayed with Dorie’s Promise children, the communities we visited and with our team was very impacting on us. Every person on our team has expressed the positive life experience our time at Dorie’s Promise has produced.”

A home in the ghettoBut poverty is affecting many things in our country: starving children are being exploited physically, emotionally, and sexually — a reason why Dorie’s Promise, our orphan home in Guatemala, is so important.

Dorie’s Promise Guatemala changes the lives of those most vulnerable to poverty’s effects – children. They come to us lacking the emotional, physical, mental, and, most important of all, spiritual fundamentals they need to break free from the cycle of poverty. You have the opportunity to lift a child out of poverty and into a loving home by becoming a sponsor! Sponsorship does more than just provide them with the basics of life – food and shelter.  Your sponsorship fills their life with love, hope, education, and care.

Mission Program Updates

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Missions Team - Von Hausen

My team has learned what it means to have compassion for others. The kind of compassion that enters your gut and compels you to do something.

By Pablo Villagran-

Mission Program Updates - Phot provided by Cayce DossettGod has been so merciful and faithful in every single step of this program. We have learned to give Him the glory for everything and in every moment. He has shaped this program into what He wants it to be. We have learned to trust the Lord and to know He is the pilot — we only have to enjoy the ride.

Teams have come with us and have connected with our kids here at Dorie’s. Our kids have learned to make friends and to trust people again. They love to have “missioners,” as they call, them around. They often come to me to ask if any are coming because they know they will be able to receive and give so much love and attention. Our mission program has become very important for the kids here at Dorie’s.

I would love to thank every person who came this last summer and loved our kids. Some relationships and connections impacted them in many positive ways.

Unfortunately, our missions outreach was affected by the news that the community of Linda Vista was removed from their territory. They had been fighting a legal battle for their land for more than two years, but in the end they lost the land— the buildings as well as about 100 families were removed. It was a tragedy for us. We couldn’t do anything about it, but we know that God is in control. Of course, the families were devastated. In past years, whenever there is an eviction, many people die trying to defend the land. But the Gospel was deep inside these people’s hearts and no one fought — they all left there in peace, not in tragedy.

For me personally it was a crisis. It marked my life. I have heard from a good friend that crises refine your life. I think it molded my character to have more compassion for the homeless and the poor. The community is waiting for the government to get a new place to start a community again. Many were touched by this place and the people. They are the most rejected people in my country, and that’s where we work. I believe Jesus would have done the same thing. So I thank everyone for how you have invested in this place.

Aside from the changes in some of these plans, we have seen how other doors are being opened to new opportunities to help others in need. We are constantly working to help and support places that are making a big difference in their communities:

Panaroma of Guatemala CityThe first one, is Casa de Pan (Bread house). This is a feeding center that helps 260 kids who live and work in the dump of Guatemala City. Pastor Mercedez has shown many people what it means to work for the poor and to have compassion for the one who has less. Years before, she used to be one of those kids who would dig in the garbage to find food for her siblings because her parents, addicted to drugs, were not providing. She knew her purpose in life was to help kids who live in extreme poverty.

The second one is hogar estatal (a state orphanage). They currently have 700 children but only the capacity for 400. The kids living in these conditions are exposed to abuse. The state of Guatemala at some point looks like it doesn’t know what to do with them.

Our program is focusing right now on their facilities. We want these children to have a nice environment to grow in, and we are working with the kids, teaching them the Gospel and how it has changed our lives … and it could change theirs!

The third option: Luz del Paraiso (Light of Paradise). Located in Palencia, it is a place helping 60 children with food and tutoring classes. But the children here suffer malnutrition, poverty, and violence in their home life. The program is run by college students. We support this place and the homes around it with different infrastructure and water projects. They just received a land grant, for the next 20 years, donated by the municipality to do their project. We will support them as much as we can.

Luz del Paraiso (Light of Paradise)We have also started visiting an abandoned school in a place call El Palmar, Palencia. We realize that because it is far away, the help doesn’t get there … but there are plenty of opportunities for us to help.

It is clear there are many places that need your support. You can donate to give to a community, water, educational, or health project, and we will use it in the best way.

And that “best way” is to come on a mission trip. Every single week is different. But God has called us to help the poor.

You might have the idea that you are coming to give so much, but in reality you will receive much more in return.

I think God is opening doors to us to help people in need in different places. He has given us a Kingdom vision so that we can work with other organizations for the sake of that Kingdom.

Special Donation Through The Bronco Country Heroes Award

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Cayce Dossett with her team at Dorie's Promise

By Heather Radu-

Cayce Dossett  in Guatemala with LesterWhile it is impossible to rank the importance of a particular donation to the work of Dorie’s Promise, I am especially pleased by a recent $500 gift from Cayce Dossett.

A senior at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Cayce made her first trip to Guatemala last March. She and a friend joined nine other volunteers from various parts of the U.S. and Canada to make the week an unforgettable one for our residents.

The children especially enjoyed a day of music instruction provided by Cayce and her friend Andrew, who brought along a guitar, ukulele, and harmonica.

“I loved doing music with the kids,” says Cayce, who grew up in Winter Springs, Florida. “Pablo said they had never been able to do that. It was neat to help them learn some music. The Special Mothers are amazing, too. We got to hang out with them and see how they treat the children as their own.”

SCayce Dossett participating in the Broncos eventince she sponsors one of our children, we already knew Cayce had a special bond with our home. Still, we were excited when we learned she had designated her winnings from a pro football athletic competition to FCI.

“Train Like A Bronco” was held prior to a Denver Broncos’ training camp. It included 50 members of various military branches. Participants competed in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, cone drills, bench press, and vertical leap.

Cayce, a member of Cadet Squadron 34, was the winner among the female contestants. Fellow cadet Christopher Ryals won the men’s division.

The pair received their Bronco Country Heroes Award at Denver’s first preseason game at Sports Authority Field, the team’s home field.

Since National Football League telecasts are among TV’s most-viewed events, we are pleased that this year’s season includes a link to FCI. I would say I’m surprised, except that I’ve seen God do so many things over the years I really should expect it!

I’m also pleased that Cayce plans to spend her final spring break next March in Guatemala. She is recruiting other cadets and members of her Colorado Springs church (Woodmen Valley Chapel) to join her.

She is sharing with them about the home, as well as the community projects completed by most of our mission teams.

Cayce Dossett with a new friend she made while on her trip to GuatemalaCayce’s mission trip included going to a state-run orphanage, pouring cement sidewalks, and painting a pool at a community center near Guatemala City.

“It was my first time going on a mission trip,” Cayce says. “I was impressed with how organized it was. It made traveling there easy. I felt safe the whole time and I loved being with the kids. I think I learned more from the people and the kids there than I helped them.”

We like to say that mission-trippers’ lives are changed by a visit to Guatemala. Cayce’s story is proof of it!

Gospel Words and Deeds

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Efrain and Specail MOther.

Part fifteen of our Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu-

Founder Heather RaduI would love to live in a world that has been totally transformed by the Gospel of Jesus. I suspect you would, too. Imagine how much love, peace, and mercy would fill people’s lives! No one would steal, kill, or betray—it would be incredibly beautiful. Sadly, we do not live in that world right now. We live in a world that has been shattered by sin.

Part of our calling as Christians is to recognize that the world is shattered, but to also remember that God sent Jesus to repair it. One of the most important ways to do that is just go out and tell people about what Jesus has accomplished (and continues to do). But I want you to know that there are other ways to bring healing to the people we meet.

I think sometimes we forget that we demonstrate the Gospel just by bringing relief to those who are suffering. I cannot help but think of what Jesus said in Matthew 25. When we provide for the needs of the “least of these” it is as though we are doing it for him. We are living out the truth that his life teaches us. That is an essential part of the truth of Christianity.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying we don’t need to proclaim the Gospel with words! That is absolutely vital because God has chosen preaching as the major way to declare his message. But what I am saying is that there are times when our words will not penetrate people’s hearts.

When people are suffering they often can’t hear your words. In fact, they may actively resist what you say. But if they can see your actions, then you have their attention. Once they are sure you care and that you are trustworthy, your words will have a much greater impact. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen or heard about hard-hearted people who were softened by someone who patiently lived the Gospel out before they spoke up.

I look forward to living in a world that has been transformed by the Gospel of Jesus. Until that reality comes to pass we can, through God’s strength, live in a way that shows what that transformation looks like. Then those who are in need will understand that Jesus is what they’ve been looking for all along.

Following the Way of Jesus

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Following the Way of Jesus

Part fourteen of our Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu-

Founder Heather RaduDid you know we have not always been called “Christians?” If you read the book of Acts, Luke tells us that Christians were also called followers of “the Way” (Acts 9:2, ch. 19). If you think on those verse for a while, you might come to realize something surprising: being a Christian is not just about believing the truth about Jesus (although that is absolutely vital). It is also about following his example.

When Jesus graciously saves us, we are not called to relax and live a comfortable life. He didn’t, after all! Instead, we represent him and share his message. One of the things that Jesus did while he was here on earth was identify with the poor. In Matthew 8:20, he told his followers that he had no place to lay his head. Can you imagine? The God of the universe was homeless!

What does this have to do with us? Am I saying that we all need to be homeless and give everything away to the poor? No, of course not. Again, the book of Acts shows us that some people in the church had more money than others. The problem arises, though, when we who might be a little more well off begin valuing comfort over service. This is a huge danger for me, and for many Christians in the U.S.

Christians have to return to Jesus again and again. We need to be reminded that being a Christian should lead us into serving others, not because we’re better than them, but because we are just like them. When Jesus came to earth he became a human being he did not say, “I’m going to separate my people into the ‘upper class’ and the ‘lower class.'” This means that the playing field is even. No one is better than anyone else.

Since all this is true, we need to ask ourselves if we are truly imitating our Lord as we go about our daily lives. And the majority of the time, we will have to say ‘no!’ But even those moments can serve as a reminder that Jesus came down and put on a body just like ours so he could identify with us. As Christians (or followers of the Way, as Luke put it), we should always be ready to imitate our Lord.

Making the Most of Your Time

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Serving children in the ghetto of Guatemala

Part ten of our new Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu –

Founder Heather RaduHow much time do you have?

That’s a pretty open-ended question isn’t it? “How much time do I have for what?” you might ask. Maybe I mean, “how much time until your next appointment?” or “how much free time do you have?” In the latter question’s case, I would guess your answer is “not much.” We are busy people, aren’t we?

We have work and family commitments, and we’re involved at your churches. Then we have to get our children where they need to go, and there are things to do around the house. And our friends end up getting a piece of our time too, don’t they? So if I ask you, “how much time do you have?” you would be tempted to answer “none.”

But it’s not true. The answer to “how much time do you have?” is “all of it.” God has given every moment of your life to you as a gift. That doesn’t mean that you should use your time in whatever way you want, but I think it can help us remember that we don’t have to let our clocks get out of control.

Sadly, serving is one of the first things people stop doing when their free time disappears. It’s hard to make time to feed the poor in our towns if we don’t have time to sit down and eat without going through a drive through. But we have to remember that the need doesn’t go away because our time did.

Please do not think I want you to add something to your already busy schedule! In Ephesians 5:16 Paul calls us to “redeem the time” (as the King James Version translates it), and that includes cutting back on the schedule. If we want to make time for the sorts of things that God is calling us to do, we have to trim some unnecessary things from our lives.

It is not easy, I know. Some “unnecessary things” are very enjoyable, and giving them up is hard. But if we really want to serve God in our communities, as he calls us to do, we need to make those hard choices. We need to find the time to serve those who are suffering all around us. Pray that God will show how you can trim your schedule so he can use you to demonstrate his love to those around you.

God’s Big Mission

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Children at Guatemalan Orphanage

Part nine of our new Missions Matter Series, come back each week to find out more about serving those around your home and community as well as around the world. God has given us the power to be His witnesses! Start today…

By Heather Radu –

Founder Heather RaduI think one of the most important realizations I’ve ever had is this: The only reason we have a mission is because God has a mission. Have you thought about that before? God is on a mission. It’s not just about saving souls either—though that is one of the most important parts. God’s mission is all about fixing what is broken in this world.

Back in Genesis God created a perfect world with perfect people who worshiped him perfectly. But, as we all know, sin came in and ruined that perfection. Once sin came in and wounded our hearts, all sorts of evil became possible. We see the impact of sin to this day. It hurts, damages, and destroys the good things God made.

God’s mission is to make all of that right again. He wants people to have that beautiful, loving relationship that we once had, and he sent Jesus to make it happen. Jesus succeeded, but you know what? God has given us the blessing of being able to play a part in that big mission.

This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping those who are in need. Many of these people have no idea how to help themselves out of poverty. Many have been abused and taken advantage of. Jesus came to set people free, and to help them worship the Father. When you and I step in and help the poor, we are demonstrating what Jesus is like to the people we meet. We can be a part of that mission.

So if you ever ask yourself, “why am I helping these people? What benefit is there for any of us?” You can answer, “because I am joining with God on his mission. The way that I help the poor is a picture of the gospel, and it opens the hearts and eats of people everywhere.” If you had never thought about God having a mission before, please think about that right now. Think about how your work in your own community actually contributes to God healing the damage that sin has done in this world.

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!