By Arwen McGilvra-
When we received this touching letter and donation from a teenager who had visited Dorie’s Promise Guatemala back in August 2013, it got us thinking about the long-term impact that supporting Forever Changed International has on our mission-trippers, donors, and sponsors.
Dear Forever Changed:
I just wanted to write a quick note telling this organization about how you have impacted my life. Going on a mission trip to Guatemala through Forever Changed was one of the greatest trips I’ve taken. I truly am forever changed. I’m giving to you ($50) because I feel this is how God wants me to give to Him, by giving to Forever Changed. I saw what you do for the kids at the orphanage, and those kids are precious. I saw what our mission group was able to do for the people we visited, and I even made friends I will never forget. I hope I can go back, and I hope this money helps.
Obviously for this 14-year-old, the impact is still strong. And she’s not the only one. Our post-trip surveys are full of comments about the impact a mission trip with Forever Changed has on participants. In fact, many come back for repeat trips.
Returning to the dump had a significant impact on one mission-tripper: “I recognized a lady who lives at the dump/ghetto. Last year she had given me a bracelet she was making. This year when she saw me her face lit up, and I knew she recognized me also. It meant a lot to see that she, one year later, would recognize me. She remembered my face because of God’s love shown through us.”*
Another expressed why so many become sponsors after visiting: “The breadth of your programming is definitely the most impactful part of the trip. By connecting the dots of how your children come to be there and the pieces of Guatemala that connect to their plight, the need is better understood.”*
One of our donors, Helen Beidel, recently passed away. Before she died, she requested that in lieu of funeral flowers, donations be sent in her memory to Dorie’s Promise. A steady stream of donations flowed in for about three months. In the end, her family and friends donated $2,500.
When Rebecca Scott, Helen’s daughter, adopted her third child from Guatemala back in 2008, her mom traveled with them to Guatemala to pick her up. Later, the Scotts found out about Dorie’s Promise through their friends the Ratcliffs, who had adopted through our home**.
“They told us about the mission trips, and we immediately knew we wanted to go on one with our family. My mom was very sick at the time and was so sad that she couldn’t go with us, but she gave generously for us to be able to go,” says Rebecca. “When we got back and told her about our trip, she immediately wanted to send money to the pastor who feeds the children every day near the dump (and whom we had helped). She was so thrilled that we got to return to Guatemala and serve in that way.”
“After she passed away, and we talked about where to have people donate, we immediately thought of Dorie’s Promise and Forever Changed because of how much it has impacted our family. We knew she would be thrilled to have money go to y’all.”
The impact goes on … we regularly receive letters and comments telling us how lives have been forever changed by interaction with our organization. Here are just a few:
“It has forever changed my life.”
“I thought at first the name ‘Forever Changed’ was ambitious. But it was a reality. I am truly changed forever.”
“It was an amazing experience — they don’t only forever change the lives of the children and communities, but it has changed me and how I see the world and what I want to do.”
“Your name Forever Changed could not be more appropriate, for I am forever changed!”
Want to experience for yourself what they are all raving about? Get started here.
*Survey results are collected anonymously
**International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008