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Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

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!

Families are Taking Advantage of Late Summer to Aid Some of Guatemala’s Poorest

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Come and serve the children of Dorie's Promise

By Heather Radu -

Changed Lives at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaSummer is here, and Forever Changed International would like to highlight the work of families who will be traveling to Dorie’s Promise Guatemala this August. The month of August is a good time for families to travel to Dorie’s Promise because there is a higher volume of available slots just before school begins. A number of families have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

While June and July typically see a high number of mission trips to Dorie’s Promise, August is actually a good month to visit Guatemala. Many of the same benefits that are available in early summer are still available in late summer, but the smaller number of travelers means that individuals get to take a greater amount of time enjoying them.

The people of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala also face many of the same needs in August as they do in early summer. There are, however, fewer people to attend to those needs when August comes. This means mission trips that include entire families are more feasible, as there is space for each family member.

The mother and daughter team of Nancy and Shannon Wylie will be coming to serve at Dorie’s Promise in August. They will travel from North Carolina, for the opportunities to minister to homeless children, serve in the orphanage, and bring food and aid to disadvantaged communities, such as Linda Vista.

A family mission trip is an excellent experience for first time mission trippers, but it also works well for those who have visited before. Kaelyn Tarsa, who has raised an additional $675 dollars in order to provide food, water filters, and a bunk bed for Dorie’s Promise, is returning to Guatemala with her father, Stephen. Her positive experience has left her eager to return.

Serve with us this summer and change the lives of orphans.“My experience with Dorie’s Promise has been a week of clarity,” she said of her previous trip. “While in Guatemala I realized that no amount of money could give me such purpose and fulfillment than helping others.”

A family mission trip is an opportunity to strengthen the family bond. Parents and children who serve alongside each other this August will build enduring memories. They also invest time and energy in what they believe is truly important, ending summer on a positive note.

To take advantage of service opportunities at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, go to our missions section. Late summer trips are still available in both August and September.

Families on Mission

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

We are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

By Heather Radu -

Nearly 500 volunteers will visit Dorie’s Promise this year, with many due during the upcoming summer months. While we appreciate all the missionaries who come to help, we are especially blessed when teams made up of family members visit.

Two of these units arrived in Guatemala on June 7. They include Krista and Chris Barry of Superior, Colorado, and their four children: Hunter, 18; Cade, 16; Brayden, 11; and Caysen, who will celebrate his ninth birthday during their visit. This will be Hunter’s last vacation with his family before he goes to college.

Families on MissionsThe other family team will come from a rural community just north of San Antonio, Texas. Kristi Perkins and her husband, Greg, will be joined by oldest son Greg, 24; Greg’s fiancée, Lindsay, 21; daughter Erin, 22; and daughter Ellen, 17. One other son is unable to join them because of college summer classes.

This is the Barrys first mission trip. Krista says they are “super excited” about the opportunity to get involved in another culture and make a difference.

Although Krista says she had long wanted to go on a mission trip, time and financial constraints prevented that. However, after a close friend and her family came to Dorie’s Promise last November, their collective memories inspired Krista to follow through on her dream.

“I was impressed by how powerful the trip was for each of them individually and as a family unit,” Krista says. “It was truly inspirational to talk to each one of them about their experiences and how the Guatemalan people—as well as the leaders from Dorie’s Promise—impacted them.

“The most powerful thing about their stories was the sincerity and love that was evident not only in their words but their emotions. It was after that that I became determined to find a way to give this gift to my family as well as myself.”

The Perkins family has long supported missionaries in other countries and sponsored needy children in other countries, but this is their first mission trip.

The Perkinses decided to come after Luke and his best friend, Willie Ebrom, visited Dorie’s Promise in December of 2012. Luke had to squeeze the trip in between receiving his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and starting a new job.

“After Luke and Willie came back with all their stories, I donated money to Dorie’s Promise and continue to be a supporter,” Kristi says. “Through the reports of others, we have understood the importance of the work of God’s people in countries that are less fortunate. Now we are ready to see it first-hand.”

Kim and John with Brandon when they adopted him.In late July, the staff will enjoy a special reunion with another family from Charlotte, North Carolina. Kim and John Vonder adopted their son, Brandon, from our orphanage in December of 2005. This time the Vonders are bringing their daughters Alli, 17; and Holly, 14.

Since the girls were too young to travel internationally when they adopted Brandon, Kim and John jumped at the opportunity to take them to experience their brother’s birthplace.

“Our journey did not end with Brandon’s adoption,” Kim says. “That was just the beginning. We consider it a privilege to serve the children at Dorie’s Promise. Our wish is that God will use us in some small way to minister to these children, who are precious in His sight. They are most worthy of our time and resources.

“This will be our first international mission trip, but we have served many groups in Charlotte. There are so many areas of need right around us; we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see those needs and be willing to go where God calls.”

Mission Coordinator Naomi Beazely says many families work on their own bonds while serving others. This helps them grow closer and develop a deeper appreciation for the blessings of family, she says.

“There is a special thing that happens when they work together,” Naomi says. “They realize they depend so much on each other’s affection without even knowing it. I think when a community sees this kind of caring, they are more open to receiving help and prayer.”

Which is why we like to say that dreams really do come true at Dorie’s Promise.

The Year of Jubilee

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Forever Changed International - Guatemala Orphans

Part seven 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…

Founder Heather RaduBy Heather Radu-

If I asked you to tell me what a “jubilee” is, what would you say? A party? Or maybe a dessert that usually involves cherries? It’s not a word we use often these days, but it is actually a beautiful example of how God cares for those who are in need.

In Leviticus 25, God told Moses to establish a “year of jubilee” in Israel, which was supposed to occur every 50 years. A major part of the year of jubilee was the forgiveness of debts. In Israel, just like today, there were people who fell on hard times. Maybe this was through their own mistakes, maybe it was through circumstances they could not control. God did not tell Moses to treat either case differently.

Any one of God’s people who had gotten into debt was set free, and everyone who had to sell their ancestral home to pay debts got their land back. That meant that if your father had to sell your home to pay debts, after 50 years it would be returned to you. Can you imagine the celebration that would come along with that?

You might be thinking, “This isn’t ancient Israel, so what does this have to do with us?” We don’t have “ancestral lands” anymore, do we?

But before we flip our Bibles out of Leviticus, we need to ask what this teaches us about who God is, and what we need to do in response.

God’s mercy is put on display through the year of jubilee. God is so incredibly forgiving to us, and He not only demonstrates this through the year of jubilee, He also gives us a chance to take part. We live in a world where things have gone terribly wrong. The first design was perfect, but it is broken. In His mercy, God is setting things right again. What a privilege it is to participate in that with Him!

When you help those who are in need, you are working in the spirit of the year of jubilee. You are saying along with God, “There are broken things in this world. Let’s set them right again.” And that is a task in which any Christian can be proud to take part.

My Call? Your Call? – It’s God’s Call!

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

 Forever Changed International - August, 2009 - Image by Brad Person

Part six 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…

Founder Heather RaduBy Heather Radu-

The more I learn about Jesus and what He has called us to do in this world, the more I am convinced Christians should be helping people in need.

After all, giving to the poor and the weak is encouraged throughout the Bible. But I’ve learned something else over the years I’ve worked with the poor. Not everyone has to serve in the same way!

You might think that is an obvious point, but I can’t tell you how important it is to let it sink into your heart. You see, we humans love to imitate each other. We love it so much that when we find someone we admire, we try to be like them. We want to imitate their walk, talk, even their style of dress.

In some ways this is good. After all, St. Paul told the Corinthians to imitate him (1 Corinthians 4:16). But Paul did not mean that God wanted them to do the exact same things Paul did all the time. In fact, God has different plans for each of us. So if your friend is working in a soup kitchen, but you have a passion for literacy, don’t feel like you have to do exactly what your friend does. And don’t try to make your friend join your literacy program either.

God will work through you both where he wants you.

There are examples of this scattered through the entire Bible. King David and Nathan the prophet had different ministries in Israel, but both were needed. The apostles and the deacons in Acts had different jobs to do in the church, and neither group was condemned. So don’t feel guilty if the desire God has given you differs from people you really respect. We can each love and serve God the best by doing what He has planned for us.