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Posts Tagged ‘short term missions’

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

A Great Week of Ministry

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Ministering to the poor in Guatemala City.Last year I had the opportunity to go on a one week missions trip to Guatemala with Dorie’s promise.  I was part of a group of 13 people from our church. It was a great week of ministry and life change for all who went.  Here are some highlights.

1) It was well organized. From the moment we arrived until we left we followed a well planned schedule and always knew what to expect and what was expected of us.

2) It had a balance of information, service and rest. We learned about Dorie’s Promise, the challenges of the poor and orphans in Guatemala and had the opportunity to serve in meaningful ways.

3) It was a spiritually enriching time. We had group devotions every day, many opportunities to pray for and with those in need and time to debrief every evening.

4) It is well staffed. I can’t say enough positive about Pablo, Abel and Jessica. They are true servants of the Lord and were very effective leaders.

There is much to commend about this missions trip. I highly recommend it to any who are interested in going on a missions trip.

In His grace,
Ward Cushman

Love Lived Out

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Love Lived Out~ by Lyn Finnegan
1 Thessalonians 1:3  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lyn's son with Lester at Dorie's PromiseRecently, I traveled with my son, Ben and his friend to Dori’s Promise in Guatemala.  It was quite the adventure because my son found Dori’s Promise on the internet.  We wanted to go on a mission trip before my son graduated from high school, so we needed a group that would take just us.  This made things a little uneasy, especially for me as a mom, to step out and go with a group we knew nothing about.  On our adventure, what we found was a true treasure.  We found a place like 1 Thessalonians above says, that worked in faith, labored in love and persevered by their belief in Christ. 

After much prayer and multiple conversations with the people at Forever Changed International, we decided to jump in with both feet, live on faith, and trust God to take us where he wanted us to go.  One month later after signing up, we found ourselves in Guatemala where we met Pablo, Jessica, and Abel, our leaders.   They were so jovial and friendly. They showed us Christ’s heart. We loved them.

I am so thankful we took that step of faith.

A Selfie in GuatemalaI believe success is achieved by those leading you.  The leadership team in Guatemala was outstanding.  Abel was full of humor, love and friendship.  Jessica was beautiful, and the light of Christ shone through her. Pablo was on fire for God and demonstrated what it means to follow God fully.  All three were committed to their mission and to us.  They showed us their hearts for the people of Guatemala, for the orphan’s and for the struggles they face day to day- not only those living at Dorie’s Promise, but in Guatemala City. They were incredible examples to each of us for what it means to lay down your life for others and live for Christ.

Not only was I impressed at their vision and how they carried it out in their community but also for the work being done at Dorie’s Promise.  I have adopted from China and wish my daughter had been cared for like they care for their orphans! They teach them about God, character, respect, and responsibility. Furthermore, I saw hardworking, Christian women taking care of the kids with love and devotion.  I know first hand how difficult it is sometimes dealing with the baggage these children unfortunately bring with them.  These women have developed a strong sisterhood through Christ to do what they’ve been called to do.  It comes out in the way they share laughter between both themselves and the children.  These women are on the front line fighting for each of these small souls to know Christ and then to make Him known to others.  They are Princess Warriors!

A family in GuatemalaDorie’s Promise was a place my son, his friend and I found a bit of God’s heart unfurled. I would recommend this trip to anyone.  Abel, Jessica, and Pablo spoke God’s word into each of our hearts just the way we were supposed to hear it.  It’s amazing when that happens. For that, I am truly grateful, especially for the bond my son and I were able to share his senior year, a memory forever.  I would sum it up by saying, if you go to Dorie’s Promise, you will find a mix of Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and David Platt’s Radical being lived out. Just go!

Lyn Finnegan

Words Cannot Explain

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Tacarra: and one of the children from Dorie's Promise I’m so glad I had the courage to listen to my spirit the night of September 11, 2014. For whatever reason,  I could not sleep that night. Exhausted from the constant restlessness, I reached for my smartphone and Googled “causes of insomnia.” I quickly learned how stress and anxiety could be the culprit of my sleepless night. What could I so stressed and anxious about? I wondered. A million and one questions began to flood my mind about my life and its purpose:

  • Am I doing the right type of work?
  • Am I surviving or thriving in life?
  • Will I ever be enough for him or will I be single forever?
  • Am I worthy and do I matter?

Clearly, I had and still have a lot of exploring to do to get to the bottom of my restless spirit. I then had an aha moment and figured out that the best way for me to begin to heal myself was to first become a blessing for someone else in need. It also didn’t hurt that I was itching for a vacation as well so I decided to get the best of both worlds by signing up for my first mission trip!

Tacarra chilling with the children and Special Mother of Dorie's Promise.Little did I know that my life would be forever changed in the most positive ways moving forward.

Words cannot explain the immense feelings of pure love, genuineness, caring and compassion I felt directly from the open hearts of Pablo, Abel, the special mothers and the kids while there! It was almost as if they knew me and we’ve met before. Like we we’re long lost friends reconnecting or something. It was the most beautiful feeling! And for the first time in my adult life, I felt like I mattered. I felt that my presence mattered and that my life was worthwhile. Powerful revelation  and life changing stuff for a 28 year old who was working hard climbing the corporate ladder and trying to find her way in life.

My experience in Guatemala revealed to me just how emotionally and spiritually improvised I was. I was living a life without love and that’s no way for anyone to live. I’m forever grateful for this new found awareness and awakening. It took me 28 years and a mission trip to learn what these kids are blessed to live day in and day out.

Dorie’s Promise is a very good thing and they are doing an incredible job raising the world’s forgotten children. I felt forgotten too, just didn’t realize it- so glad they remembered me. And trust me when I say that these kids are receiving all the love, nurturing, care and attention needed to thrive and overcome ANY obstacles life may  throw their way. After all, love conquers all as they say.Out to the movies with some of the teens from Dorie's Promise.

As for me, nowadays, I look forward to receiving my quarterly updates from Dorie’s on the beautiful child and my personal forever friend I’ve chosen to sponsor, Yire Abraham. That little boy single handedly made my life better. I will always love and appreciate him for what he did for my soul. Most importantly though, I cannot wait to see my little forever friend again! I just request Pablo and Abel to have the cupboard stocked full with plenty of Chiky’s and Nutella for my next visit!!!

Tacarra Christie

My Mission Trip Experience

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Nine years ago, my husband and I first went to Dorie’s Promise on two occasions – one was to meet our new son whom we would adopt just a few short months later, and the second was to bring him home. His name is now Matthew James. During that time period, I knew that one day I would return to Dorie’s to do mission work and that hopefully, it would even become something my family could do, once everyone was a little older.

My first opportunity came in March of 2014. I’ve been sponsoring a few children at Dorie’s ever since Matthew’s adoption, and keeping in touch with Heather Radu and the organization from time to time. My new position as Orphan Ministry Director led me and a wonderful team right into the hands of Dorie’s Promise so that we could potentially make just the slightest difference in the lives of the children living there, and the amazing people in the community whom we assisted. Well, the biggest difference was not what we could do for all of them, it was what they could do IN all of us!

From the start, we were placed in the hands of an outstanding team – Pablo who is wise beyond his age (Mission Director), Jessica who is so intelligent, sweet, loving and caring (assistant to Pablo); and of course, wonderful “servant’s heart” Abel (who was our driver 9 years ago, and remembered me the moment he saw me this time). We still feel like family to this day with the entire team and miss them greatly. Next, spending time with all of the children who we see in our videos and photos was heart-warming and inspiring. Each of those kids has a purpose from God and what a blessing to us to spend time playing with them, braiding their hair, reading books and watching movies, and seeing the smiles as we presented some gifts. And Lastly, we were not prepared to be as astonished by the love and faith of the locals in the community that we assisted with various projects and shared meals with, as well as the special needs children at the State Orphanage who just loved upon us and showed us that God truly is in each and every one of them! I personally came back with a changed perspective.

One of the special things about this trip was that my dear friend Rosa (who is 70 and very much family to me and my family) was with us. Rosa is from Mexico originally and we spoke about doing this trip ever since Matthew was adopted. Having that desire become a reality still warms my heart. Rosa was the biggest blessing to everyone on the trip since she spoke the language fluently and connected with the people in ways none of us could. She knows we plan to go back together!

I’ve always been impressed with Heather’s work and with Dorie’s Promise and their philosophy of orphan care. But doing “mission” work brought my admiration so much higher than I ever expected. They are so well planned, so thorough in the details, and keep care and safety of the teams to the highest level. I highly recommend you grab your team (large or small) and book a trip to Dorie’s soon!

Gerianne Cygan

Wauconda, IL