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.
The 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.”
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.