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Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

Pablo Coming to the US

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

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By Pablo Villagran –

Supporters already know about the awesome work going on at Dorie’s Promise. Now I am asking you kind folks to help me travel north so I can describe our ministry and let others know how they can play a role in this vital work.

10991352_10204766414392345_5100438684092583238_nThe next six months are a crucial time of planning for 2016 mission trips. Many churches, mission teams, and volunteer groups are considering where to invest their resources next year.

Since the number of visitor’s decreases during the fall and winter, it allows me the flexibility to devote time to raising financial support and spreading awareness of the orphanage. A trip to North America will help accomplish these goals.

I am interested in speaking at churches and schools and to mission groups who can benefit from learning more about Forever Changed International. In addition to a video presentation, I will share about how God uses the efforts of so many supporters in amazing ways.

The five areas that presently offer us the most support are Michigan, Canada, Illinois Washington and Texas. If you know of others there who would benefit from hearing a first-hand account of the Dorie’s Promise miracle, please let us know. If you can donate to travel costs, please click here. (Please add a note in the comments on the donation page that your donation is for “Pablo’s Trip.”)

Missions Trips for Youth

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Youth groups visit Dorie's Promise.

By FCI Team –

Cinda Rachor and some mebers of her mission team.Cinda Rachor started bringing youth groups to Dorie’s Promise six years ago. Today, instead of just her church, her teams come from dozens of congregations around Flint, Michigan.

“As word of the trips spread, the ripple effect brought many teens to us,” says Cinda, whose family attends Central Nazarene Church. “They are eager to experience a Guatemala mission trip through Forever Changed International.

“Kids come home so changed, so passionate and so much more whole,” she says. “Their friends, siblings and classmates see this and ask, ‘How can I go?’”

All teens are “blown away” by the importance of spending quality time with others and helping people, says Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley. While their service enhances the quality of life in Guatemala, it particularly makes a life-changing impact on the volunteers.

Missions trip make a life-changing impact on the volunteers“They are all humbled by how little everyone needs to be happy and the quality time playing and doing activities goes so far,” Naomi says. “It is always amazing and life-changing for young kids to be away from their families and depending on themselves and their leaders to get involved every day.”

Missions Director Pablo Villagran says anywhere from 15 to 30 participants is ideal for a youth team—the more participants, the more community projects we can accomplish.

Since he is fairly young, Pablo Villagran loves seeing youth groups visit. He can relate to them and loves watching God show mission trippers what’s next in their lives.

The children of Dorie's Promise love spending time with visiting teams.“To others it is their first time out of the country and it helps them to come out of the bubble they live in,” Pablo says. “The things they see and the experiences they have are unique. It’s a memorable trip.”

Cinda Rachor agrees with that observation. She and her husband, Jim, sometimes come twice a year. Their most recent visit was in late June, when they were the only adults on their 31-member team. All had been through monthly three-hour training sessions that started the previous September.

As leaders, Cinda says they learned that God is always best at overseeing their trips. Thing went best when they started with devotions and dedicated the day, the team, the kids and staff at Dorie’s Promise, and the communities they visited to Him.

“Our team was profoundly impacted by the kids at Dorie’s,” Cinda says. “They have a desire to connect with others and our teens fell in love with them. By the end of the week the kids knew they were loved, special and worthwhile.

“The team also came away with a renewed appreciation for their families, especially their parents. They saw so many kids and teens that are having to navigate life on their own. They realized that having parents and families invest in them is a gift they had taken for granted.”

If you would like your youth group to experience this kind of life-changing opportunity, let us know or watch this video to learn more.

Take A Missions Trip With Your Family

Friday, September 11th, 2015

By FCI Team –

Rachel Clyne, her husband and their four children visited Dorie’s Promise last March, and their life hasn’t been the same since.

The Clynes (who live in St. Paul, Minnesota) spent much of their time playing with our children. Rachel’s favorite memory: listening to her three sons laugh and make up silly jokes with Brayan. Even though barely able to speak each other’s languages, they became good friends.

Even though summer is ending, there is still time to plan a family mission trip for this fall—or next summer. “We often reflect on the way of life in Guatemala and the poverty we saw,” Rachel says. “We continue to work as a family to complete service projects and raise funds to visit again. Sometimes when we don’t feel like doing it, we remind each other of the precious kids at Dorie’s who are benefiting from the support.”

Anywhere from 10 to 15 family mission teams visit Dorie’s Promise each year. The teams can be as small as two—a parent and child—or more, including extended families.

Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley says families can plan whatever they want, including several joining together to form a team. For example, an extended family of 13 plans to visit in December, with another family of seven joining them.

“Families always say their whole family has changed,” Naomi says. “They want to help others when they get home. It is an experience they will remember forever. I took my son (14) for the first time in June, and seeing him give his time unselfishly was amazing.”

Sponsorship Coordinator Charity Danielson also brought her son Stephen, age 17, in June. Though planning to take care of ministry matters, after watching him devote “150 percent” of his efforts to missions projects, Charity spent more time on volunteering than business.

Serving together encourages new bonds, new connections, new topics of discussion, spiritual growth and better communication.“It benefits families by getting them out of their day-to-day rut,” Charity says. “It encourages new bonds, new connections, new topics of discussion, spiritual growth and better communication.”

Canadians Amber and Bob Fraser have been here three times. Years ago they adopted their daughter, Megan (now 17), from another orphanage in Guatemala. The Frasers wanted to return to learn more about Megan’s culture and family as well as taking a missions trip.

Not only did they love the children, they loved seeing their growth and the positive environment afforded our kids—so much they now sponsor three kids at the home.

“The relationships have been long lasting and we will always fondly remember our experience with Dorie’s Promise,” Amber says. “What an awesome, loving place.”

No wonder Missions Director Pablo Villagran says: “We love having these teams visit because it’s amazing to see what God can do in a week in each member of the family.”

To find out more, click here.

Fall Mission Trips

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Fall/Winter Trips: Book Now!

Fall and Winter are a great time to visit Guatemala

As summer draws to a close, so will the busiest time of year for mission trips to Guatemala. However, with many schools now scheduling fall breaks and more people working independently or with flexible time schedules, you may want to consider booking a trip to Dorie’s Promise during the next few months.

Throughout September and October (including Oct. 31 to Nov. 7), the normal $1,100 per person charge will be discounted to $900. Missions Coordinator Naomi Beazley says the discount helps sustain our program by encouraging visitors to come during a slower season.

Missions Director Pablo Villigran calls Guatemala the “country of the eternal spring,” with pretty weather throughout the year.

Our mission driector Pablo with Brayan at Dorie's Promise.“Fall and winter are the rainy season for us, but mornings are normally sunny,” Pablo says. “Plus, with global warming we’ve had drought conditions this year, which kept weather fairly sunny during the last rainy season.”

Sponsorship Coordinator Charity Danielson says a mission trip to Dorie’s Promise represents a life-changing experience. In addition, coming in the fall or winter will mean volunteers will be able to participate with smaller teams.

“Smaller teams make for more intimacy and group cohesiveness,” she says. “It also allows for more one-on-one time with our staff and children. Fall and winter months are generally much more comfortable too.”

Special projects are planned for upcoming months as well. Dorie’s Promise just finished building a school and Pablo is searching for another community in hopes of building one this fall.

The children of Dorie's Promise love spending time with missions teams.Until he finds a specific location, volunteers will be visiting a community in Palencia, about an hour from Guatemala City. The plan is to bring in donations and help repair the homes by installing new roofs, concrete floors, stoves with ventilation systems, and water filters.

Since this community is so far away and up in the hillsides of Guatemala, they rarely get teams coming in to help, Naomi says. Not only is it quite a commitment to go out so far, the dirt terrain makes for slow going.

“The team will be taking our new van,” she says, “but then will need to transfer to a city bus to get the rest of the way. I did this trip on my last visit to Guatemala. This is a very quiet community with beautiful land and humble people.

“They will be so blessed to have families and teams come this fall and winter if we can get more people to visit.”

To find out more, click here.

Memories Of Our Time At Dorie’s Promise

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Anita McCafferty with Sheily

By Anita McCafferty

My name is Anita, and I wanted to share with you some thoughts my husband Michael and I put together about our mission trip to Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

Make tortillas in GuatemalaAs a child therapist, I wondered about the impact that the often fleeting relationships formed during short term mission trips would have on the children. But after experiencing the mission, it became clear that although our individual time spent was limited, the children were experiencing a continual, common message from all those missioners with whom they spent time. This message was that they are important, they are valued, they are special, they are loveable. As victims of neglect and abandonment, this becomes a corrective emotional experience which heals their wounded self-concept and self-esteem.

Although our time was only a brief instant in their lives, the significance and impact of our time there is made up of moments, moments that can last a lifetime for each child and each moment is a building block in their lives. For example, I can recall the triumph in the eyes of Lester when, with my husband’s help, he finally conquered his fears on the jungle gym, or Franco’s excitement at hearing his own whistle sound fill the air when Michael was teaching him how to whistle. These moments were building blocks for their self-confidence.

Our first moment in meeting the children was a memorable one. We entered the baby’s room to meet Valentino, Sheily, and Dulce. When Sheily heard Michael’s voice, she threw herself down in the crib with uncontrollable fits of crying. We were told that because of the past experiences in her young, vulnerable life, she was afraid of men, and Michael had to retreat out of sight. Our hearts opened up to her and we were able to witness the beginning seeds of trust in men by the fact that she lit up when she saw Michael and reached out to him to be held by the end of our mission.

We wondered what we could possibly contribute besides financial support to such a wonderful program which was sensitive to every need of the children: physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. We realized we could offer these healing moments of affirmation to each child we encountered with the crucial message that they are loved and lovable, valued and valuable.

Helping to feed the babies at Dorie's PromiseSpirituality and Christianity consistently colored the daily atmosphere of the orphanage, as well as our mission experience. It was impressive that no meal or snack went by without an expression of thankfulness to God. My image of little Alejandra at McDonald’s on our outing to see Christmas lights in the city with her hands held up in a thankful prayer to God before she took that first lick of her ice cream cone will always remain in my mind as an example of this. Moreover, our daily meditations lead by Pablo before our mission day began and after it was over attested to the team’s desire to assure that this time was spiritually meaningful and provided an opportunity for spiritual growth through prayer and reflection.

Since we were regretfully unsuccessful in convincing our fellow parishioners, our family, and our friends to join us, we attended this mission as a team of two. We expected that the energy expended toward us would not be as great since it was just the two of us. I can attest to the fact that all the efforts put forth by the staff was as accommodating and sensitive as if we were a group of twenty. Paolo put forth preparation each day in his daily meditations with increased insight into our spiritual needs as the week went on. Abel was fervent in his goal to keep us safe and was like a “grizzly bear mom protecting her cubs” when we were out in the community.

We were able to bring along some donations with us to be spent toward the mission and Paolo was vigilant in accounting for all he spent, itemizing each day where the money went (i.e. food for the profoundly poor outreach families, feeding centers, Christmas decorations for the children at the state orphanage, bunk beds and cement to made an extra room for a needy grandmother and her grandchildren, varnish to preserve the tables in a community center, as well as outings for the children of Dorie’s Promise). When we returned home, we were able to give those who generously gave a clear picture of how they contributed.

Very proud of his tigger puppet.Besides working to help the special mothers in daily chores and care of the children and participating in the outreach projects, we PLAYED lots of soccer, played with play-dough, enjoyed several craft projects, and many more fun activities. I noticed when we entered one community, the playground was empty. By the time we finished our service project, the word had gotten out that Paolo and Abel were in town and the children began to gather for a highly anticipated soccer match. What energy and joy the mission brought to the day of these children, as well as an affirming message of them being valuable!

The unity of the children at Dorie’s promise was impressive, many of them strangers who bonded as a family. The younger sat on the lap of the older and the older spontaneously nurtured the younger, all the while learning what a loving, nurturing relationship is. This other-centered nurturance was one that many may not have experienced in their family lives and were being taught in the orphanage by the special mothers and staff. We witnessed love, respect, and cooperation throughout our stay by staff and the children. Even the older teens like Brayan sat and made Winnie the Pooh hand puppets with the younger children with as much enthusiasm. They played soccer together with all ages, combining in a loving family atmosphere of mutuality.

Not all our craft projects were successful. The felt butterfly pins we made with the young girls at the state orphanage would not stick together because we brought the wrong glue. It was a disaster! Glue was everywhere and after the project, as we toured the facility, we saw butterfly antennae, wings, and spots all over the ground. We felt disappointed. Suddenly the girls passed us by with huge smiles on their face, proudly wearing their butterfly pins as if they were priceless pieces of jewelry. We realized that in that disaster of a project, they found beauty and we had reached them by just giving them our time and effort . . . those MOMENTS that build self-worth and affirm their value.

Michael making puppets with the children at Dorie's PromiseThe quality of care given at Dorie’s Promise was like being in an oasis in the desert. The children are well taken care of, and their program is individualized and sensitive to the unique needs of each child. The exposure to the community, wrought with poverty and violence, made us appreciate the blessing of this program for the children who are fortunate enough to be there.

It is a program of HOPE . . . for each of these children are given a chance to be in a caring environment that attends to their physical growth and safety; their intellectual development, promoting aspirations and dreams for their future; as well as providing a spiritual atmosphere pivoting around the love of God and gratitude for his blessings.

We look forward to the newsletters we receive and marvel at the growth of the children already since our mission there. We know they probably don’t remember us now, but we feel confident that the common message of worth given by all the missioners by carving out time for them will have a lasting effect on them and help them to continue to grow into God-loving, giving adults who will in turn open their loving hearts to others.

If you’d like to experience a missions trip like Anita and Michael’s click here to watch our video and request more info.

Special Mission Trips

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The children showing affection.

By Bradley Burck-

Thinking you want to go on a mission trip to Guatemala but don’t exactly have the money. Now you can go! This fall we are offering a discount of $200 per person on the following weeks.

•  8/29/15-9/5/15
•  9/5/15-9/12/15
•  10/17/15-10/24/15
•  10/24/15/10/31/15
•  10/31/15-11/07/15

Bring yourself… or your family… or your youth group… or church small group. The price is right! We need you to come and visit. These weeks are wide open right now and your visit will help us financially be able to run Dorie’s Promise.

Come and enjoy playing with the kids, helping people in the surrounding communities, and generally enjoying a beautiful time of the year in Guatemala.

Make sure to email Naomi Beazely or give us a call at 360-836-7626.

Seeking the Forgotten and Needy: Missions at Forever Changed International

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

There are 40 children in this community called “el Trapichito,” who had been receiving classes under a tree, but later moved into someone’s garage for class.

By Pablo Villagran –

Serving together at “el Trapichito.”During the time we have been doing missions in different communities around Guatemala we have learned so much. Our goal has always been to serve people and to display God’s love and grace in everything we do. As our connections have grown in the last few years, we have reached out to more areas. Currently we are working with 6 different communities that are located in Guatemala City and in a town called Palencia close to the city.

At Forever Changed International and Dorie’s Promise the focus is on changing the lives of children, and we want to keep that same vision in our projects outside our home. So we constantly seek the forgotten children of Guatemala and we try to change their situation.

One step a time, and with a lot of perseverance God has allowed us to meet people in need and effectively supply their needs. These needs aren’t always material things- sometimes they are in need of love, grace or validation, and we have the responsibility and privilege as ambassadors of Christ to serve them.

The main project we have this summer is building a school for a community that lives in extreme poverty.

There are 40 children in this community called “el Trapichito,” who had been receiving classes under a tree, but later moved into someone’s garage for class. We noticed that there was a big need for school Serving the communities around Guatemala Cityfacilities but the local government didn’t have the funds. We started working with the municipality of Palencia, members of the community and Forever Changed to provide these children a better future by building a better school. We are hoping to complete a school that will have 3 classrooms and bathrooms by the end of the summer.

All of this is possible because of the generosity and support of many people that believe in changing the future of some of the children, they may have never met, in a community called “el Trapichito.” But we need more help and more people to get involved in order to keep the work moving forward.

Besides this project we also continue to provide help to other communities with different types of projects like concrete floors, stoves, bunk beds, pilas, water filters, clothing, hygiene supplies and many other things. God always amazes me that when these community projects open doors, the Gospel of Christ comes in and people are changed. It shows that in God’s eyes we are all the same and that He cares so much about our lives.

These projects open the door for the Gospel of Christ.We change lives forever with our children here at Dorie’s Promise and we want to spread that change into every community that we visit. God loves everybody!

Come and visit us this fall! The following mission trips are discounted $200 off per person! Don’t miss this chance to serve with us and see our projects firsthand. Apply Today.

o   8/29/15-9/5/15

o   9/5/15-9/12/15

o   10/17/15-10/24/15

o   10/24/15/10/31/15

o   10/31/15-11/07/15

 

Families Are Welcome: Come See For Yourself

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Come Spend Spring Break in GuatemalaBy Charity Danielson-

The video below was prepared by two families who visited Dorie’s Promise last year.   The insights and reflections they share about their time in Guatemala will touch your heart. Perhaps you will also be inspired to come for a visit yourself.

As this video shows, there is something for everyone in our missions program– something each age group can give.

A trip with Forever Changed International allows you to minister in a multitude of ways. The children at Dorie’s Promise are eager for play, for affection, for your time together. In addition, you’ll spend time at the state orphanage and it will be obvious to you why we exist– to provide opportunity for these little ones who are so desperate for attention and affection. Our outreach to the inner city makes way for connection with children living in the ghetto – whose parent work from sunrise to sunset scavenging about in the city dump searching for bits of glass and metal to sell on the streets so they can care for their family. During your trip you will meet the pastor who runs a feeding program near the dump. By faith, they feed these children a mid-day meal each day.

Your family will be able to reach out to impoverished children and families, providing necessities; water filters, clothing, toiletries along with prayer and love. Your kids will remember it forever. You will too! Time with our missions staff in Guatemala will result in growth, and spiritual refreshment as it is an opportunity to completely focus on the love of Christ and what it means to serve. I hope you enjoy the video and prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you to join us soon.

An amazing adventure and life changing experience awaits you.

Missions With A Purpose

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Come visit Dorie's Promise Guatemala and share the love of God.

By Pablo Villagran –

I want to encourage you today to come on a mission trip...I get the idea that sometimes people think mission trips are designed for particular people who have everything together and live a life morally correct and, as a result, like to help others.

I think missions at Forever Changed International is for anybody who is willing to humble themselves and let God work. There isn’t any specific skill or ability you need in order to come. It is all about loving our kids, the people of Guatemala, and God. But there is a first step we all have to take. You have to begin with the decision to COME.

I think one of my favorite writers explains it very well:

Charity means “love, in the Christian sense.” But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.

—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

So it’s more will than feeling. Sometimes we don’t get to “feeling” right away, but it’s also part of the will to make the decision of loving others.

Through working in the communities around our home you will meet some of the most impoverished people on this planet.The Bible says that Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

So the love we have for others comes from our main love. The love of God.

I want to encourage you today to come on a mission trip. If you have been receiving a lot of seed (Word of God), this is a good time to put your faith in action and plant some of it. As Scripture says, be doers of the word, not just good listeners (James 1:22). God has called everybody to care for the poor, the orphans, and the widows.

God did not call perfect people to fulfill His Word. We can see many examples of people who didn’t have everything together, but rather did it because of the great love they receive from God.

A Dorie’s Top 10 List

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

"We were blessed through our trip to Dorie's Promise."

I would like to mention some of the specific ways we were blessed through our trip to Dorie’s Promise.

The children showing affection.1. The humble, Christ-like hearts of Pablo, Abel, and Jessica. They were so gracious, helpful, and caring. We especially liked the morning devotions and evening debrief times.

2. The access to our own kitchen stocked with some of our favorite foods when we arrived. Granola bars, peanut butter, coffee, fruit, ramen noodles, mac and cheese.

3. The way the special mom’s welcomed us into their lives and routines.

4. The church service.

5.  The humble and thorough maintenance staff who even folded our laundry for us once!

6. The ability to visit and play with the children during different parts of the day.

7. All of the amazing outings we took – State Orphanage, Paradise, Galilee, the Dump, Antigua…..

8. Safe and comfortable accommodations. I couldn’t believe I had the privilege of going on daily walks without safety concerns.

9. Tasty meals.

10. Just the right balance of service time and free time.

Thanks so much for all you do.

Rachel Clyne