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Posts Tagged ‘staff’

Meet Gabby – Our Child Development Coordinator

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Gabby with Maria Jose and Nayeli Soto.

By MJ Zelya –

Gabby with Fabiola at Dorie's Promise.I have always thought that children are the future of our planet. To make a positive change in them, and in our world, they must have the right balance of spiritual, psycho-social, educational, emotional, and moral training. The goal being to raise them to be responsible adults.

When children come to us, we work hard to make sure they have what they need, no matter how much time they stay at Dorie’s Promise. We need to satisfy every part of a child’s life.

Education and proper development are an essential part to their future, which is why Dorie’s Promise is always looking for team members who can contribute to improving the children’s skills. Last December we hired a Child Development Coordinator named Gabriela Calderon, or “Gabby.” Gabby has created a series of programs and resources for the development of our children according to their age, as well as their physical and mental needs.

Alejandra, our Director, says, “One thing that I enjoy a lot at Dorie’s is that we are always looking for more! We want to give not only a basic education to our children, we want to give them the best; we want to make sure they not only receive good care, we want the best care for them; we want to make sure that each one of them gets the opportunity to develop all their God-given capabilities — and that is the reason why Gabby joined our team.”

Gabby is in charge of the daily routines for the children in the home. She also keeps up close communication with the schools and teachers following the progress of each child. She has even found some opportunities for extracurricular activities for some children — ballet, Our ne child development director Gabby, with children at our home.karate, and tennis classes, and hopefully soon we will also have dance classes for the older girls.

Gabby worked for Dorie’s Promise several years ago as the House Director. “I’ve always had good memories of my time working here,” she says. “Last year, the Lord gave me the opportunity to come back to Dorie’s Promise. I was really excited and eager to help our children.”

As soon as she arrived, Gabby started developing new schedules and activities for the kids to take advantage of every minute they have. “My intention is to facilitate opportunities for these kids to be the best they can be in every area of their lives — and for them to realize that, if they work hard, they can get out of their unprivileged situation and become successful people.“

Every day is a new challenge, as new needs arise that have to be tackled. “I ask the Lord to give me the wisdom to know what’s best for them. It doesn’t matter if the children stay with us for one month, or the rest of their lives; I am going to work, with the help of our donors and devoted staff, for them to experience what it is to have a good life…the life that they deserve.”

It has been a blessing to have Gabby on our team, to share the vision of Forever Changed in the lives of our children and with all of us at Dorie’s Promise.

Meet Charity Danielson: Champion of Sponsorship

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Sponsor make s huge difference in the lives of Guatemalan orphans.

By Arwen McGilvra-

Charity DanielsonCharity Danielson started working for Forever Changed International in March as our Sponsorship Coordinator.

Prior to this position, Charity did administrative work, as she and her husband also had an insurance company. Her previous experience has been a good fit with FCI.

“I really enjoy the type of interactions I have with people through Forever Changed,” Charity says of her work. “Insurance was boring and impersonal. It’s great to work with people who have a heart for orphans and the poor. It’s a whole new way of thinking.”

She has also really enjoyed working with Heather, Naomi, and the others on the team.

She went down to Dorie’s Promise for a mission trip, where she experienced firsthand not JUST a mission trip, but also all the children and the care the Special Mothers give them.

“I am so thankful I went,” Charity said. “Pablo is an amazing leader and made it an incredible spiritual experience. Daily devotions were a heart-grabbing, emotional, and spiritual time.”

“I’ve been a sponsor with World Vision for years,” she continued. “World Vision was more about meeting the needs of the community by helping children on a material level. FCI is more holistic — meeting spiritual needs is a priority. Plus there is a real connection between the children and sponsors of FCI.”

Charity has seen how many people extend themselves beyond the monthly pledge amount. One couple went on a mission trip and saw that the bicycles needed to be replaced. They sent an extra gift for bicycles for the children. They noticed a need and then met that need without being asked. One woman always remembers the birthday of the child she sponsors and sends cards and a gift. Through FCI, sponsors have the opportunity to participate in the lives of the children.

Sponsors who have visited Dorie’s Promise know that they are changing lives. They’ve experienced the dumps and the ghettos of Guatemala, as well as the state orphanage. They’ve seen the night-and-day difference that our home and the love of the Special Mothers and staff make in the lives of children. They’ve seen where the children could have been and where they are today.

“When I updated the profiles of our children, I couldn’t believe the stories,” Charity shared. “Children thrown out, mothers selling their daughters, children unwanted and left alone on the street. We can change all that.

She added: “I encourage those thinking about sponsoring to read the bios of the children. Really think about which one you can make a heartfelt attachment with. Pray for them and then dedicate yourself to that child. Don’t stop with supporting the child financially. Make a heartfelt commitment. Sponsoring will become more than an automatic deduction from your bank account.

Special Mothers : The Heart Behind Our Home

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Dorie's Promise Special Mothers

By MJ Zelya-

A Special Mother play in the water with our children during a recent trip to the beach.Everyone who does the work of a Special Mother at Dorie’s Promise has an important role in the lives of our children that will be remembered for the rest of their lives. If not by a name, it will be by a loving gesture, good manners that have become a habit, polite character, and an appreciation of how valuable life is. But the top goal of being a Special Mother is to show our children that there is a living God.

We want them to know that God is our Father, that He takes care of us, that everything in life happens according to God’s loving plan. They can feel free to talk and pray to Him. All of us want to pass on faith in God and the hope He gives for their future.

Each of the Special Mothers, supervisors, staff, and drivers are motivated by the most important thing in this world: LOVE.

Love for the Lord and love for the children. As Scripture says:

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

—1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (NIV)

The value of the work the Special Mothers and other staff do for our children is immeasurable. It’s not easy raising so many children of the same age at the same time, but because they have a foundation of love in their hearts, they can Two of our older children, Mirna and Brayan, with one of the Special Motherscontinue to work with joy despite the difficulties that are bound to arise.

When we do activities with the children, one thing that touches my heart is the way they act like a family — protecting each other, worrying about each other, looking out to make sure no one is missing out. The children at our home show the fruits of love as they grow. The love we give them they not only return to us, but also show each other. Life hasn’t always been easy or pleasant for these children, yet they find that Dorie’s Promise is an oasis where they have everything they need: food, toys, a nice bed, medical assistance, protection, and people who genuinely love and care for them.

Meet Our Staff – MJ Uses Many Talents to Serve Others

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

MJ has worked at Dorie's Promise for the last 8 years.

By Alejandra Diaz, Director –

MJ is a valuable part of our staff.When I think about the good times and difficult times we have had at Dorie’s Promise, I can clearly see MJ close to me in all those times. One thing I have always admired about MJ is that she’s willing to help whenever necessary, even when doing things that are not her favorite. Not only is she willing to help, she always puts in her best effort.

I have known MJ since she came to Dorie’s Promise — I have seen her grow as a partner in ministry, as a person, as a woman, and, most importantly, as a Christian. Working at Dorie’s Promise changes your life, and that’s what’s happened to her. She has been here for eight years, and during those years many changes have happened in her life, both good and bad. But one thing has kept her strong: her faith. This faith has not only impacted her personal life, but also the lives of many people around her, her family, her friends, and the children at Dorie’s Promise.

MJ started working for us as an assistant, but through the years she has become more than that … she is now the finances and legal assistant and supports many other parts of our program. She is also good at decorating and organizing, so whenever there is such a need, we know who to ask.

For me there is no question that we are part of a big body, as the Bible says in Romans 12:4-6: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…”

In this body each one of us has a special function. I can see how God has used MJ’s talents in many different ways to build up His body.

During the past 8 years MJ has work at Dorie's Promise and we've seen her grow and flourish.Lesly, our receptionist, says, “MJ is a very responsible person who can be counted on for her support if you need it. Her passion and commitment to her work makes a difference in our organization. She is always willing to go the extra mile on her tasks in the legal, financial, and marketing department, and she always takes time to talk with the children. She not only takes care of her own kids, but also takes care of the Dorie’s Promise children as her own. The love she feels for children who are at our home is undeniable!”

The other staff agrees. “MJ is a hardworking, responsible, careful, attentive, and organized person,” says Special Mother supervisor Marleny. “Always worried about the children’s care, if they have what they need, no matter if it’s legal, spiritual, or material. As a co-worker, MJ is a supportive colleague, educated, a good listener, cooperative, and friendly.”

Of her work with us MJ says, “I know God has a purpose for my life and for the lives of our children. I love to see the process of their lives being transformed through God using this ministry. My job is to serve God in the work He is already doing, and while I’m here I feel that I am helping change the lives of children as well. It fills my heart with joy.

As a ministry, we are blessed to have staff like MJ who are so dedicated to our home. The work is not always easy, and I know MJ and the other staff would appreciate knowing that you are praying for them. Leave us a comment, or send us a quick note to encourage our staff.

More Than Just A Driver – Meet Abel

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Abel Garcia (right) - Dorie's Promise Guatemala Driver

By Arwen McGilvra –

Abel Garcia - Dorie's Promise Guatemala DriverAbel Garcia is more than just the driver for Forever Changed International — he been a great blessing to our ministry, the community, and everyone who meets him.

Abel started with us in 2006 as a driver. His responsibilities have grown to include assisting Pablo with the mission program. If you come to visit Dorie’s Promise, Abel is most likely the first face you’ll have waiting for you. He also helps get the home ready to receive the mission-trippers and goes to the supermarket to get the food for them too. He is also the contact in the communities where we do projects.

He is married and has two children, one of whom is in college. Abel is the type of guy everyone likes to be around — authentically charismatic. He is also a man of moral character and who greatly appreciates his family.

“I have been very happy working with the missions program through Forever Changed International,” Abel says. “My experience has been wonderful! I have met new people and made more friends.”

“I am shocked to see how most people live in the poor communities we help. I love that the help we provide them also will help my country get out of poverty.”

Abel and PabloWe are always hearing good things about Abel from our mission-trippers. They love the way he loves and protects our children.

“Abel! What can I say about this man who works extremely hard in ALL he does? I was amazed by his work ethic, his love for Pablo and for Jess, and how he served and loved us, too. This is definitely his God-given gift as well,” said Debbie after her trip.

Another mission team told us, “The relationships he has developed in these new communities was a beautiful thing … he shares God’s love with the Guatemalan people so clearly which, in turn, helps us as a team to follow!”

Pablo reports, “Abel’s role has been very important, and he is a great blessing for many people. He is part of the foundation of the mission program. In charge of a big part of the logistics and community projects, he does his work with a lot of passion and love. I am very happy with the work he is doing in the mission department. Besides working together, Abel is also a great friend of mine!

Abel has also been a father-like figure for the children, and they look at Papa Abel as someone they can trust. And … they love to play with him!

Abel in a soccer game with mission trippers and kids.His joy has inspired many people, and if you haven’t met him we invite you to come on a trip to Guatemala and serve with us so that you can.

“I believe everyone who has ever been around Abel will never forget the kind of man of God he is,” says Pablo. We agree, and if you do too, please take a moment to stop and pray for Abel and our staff. Pray for God’s grace and favor in their lives, and for a special blessing of protection on their health and well-being as they serve with us.

A Heart for Orphans

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

We have many great staff members on our team. It would be impossible to do what we do — serve the children in our home and the community around us — without them. Alejandra Diaz is the Director of Dorie’s Promise and has been part of the team for more than eight years. If you’ve met her, you know what a dynamic and delightful person she is.

The story of her journey to Dorie’s Promise and her heart for orphans is below:

I want to start by saying that God has done so many great things in my life that it is difficult to know where to begin.

I am the middle child of three siblings. My parents led by example — going to church and helping people in need. I remember while I was in middle school we went to an orphanage to feed the children, ages two to nine years old, once a month. I still remember the odor of rice and chicken. They would eat the same thing day after day. Many of the children would be crying, looking for attention, because there were not enough people to take care of all of them. It made me realize how thankful I was for my family and the variety of meals we were able to have in our home.

After I left middle school, I continued to visit that orphanage occasionally, sometimes with my family and sometimes with a friend from church. That feeling of knowing you are helping somebody is incomparable — and it’s what kept us coming back. During this time, God started showing me that there are lots of needs around us. Just 10 years later, I understood why He had given me the opportunity to volunteer there and to see the needs of those children. He was preparing me for Dorie’s Promise.

During the eight years that I have been at Dorie’s Promise, I have seen God’s hand at work, taking care of our children. As it says in His Word, He is “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows…” (Psalm 68:5). The ways God has shown us His love have been many, but I remember some special occasions in particular, like the time when the end of the month was nearing and we didn’t have enough groceries. The very afternoon we realized the situation, a girl came to us saying she had found us through our website. She and her classmates had collected groceries for the — – more than enough food to last us until the new month came. For me, it was clearly God saying, “They are my children, I will feed them.”

It is amazing to see how He knows the desires of my heart. He has faithfully given as I ask. I am blessed with a family — my husband and I have been married for 15 years and have two children of our own, and a place to serve Him while helping others.

I have learned that it is not necessary to give birth to children to love them as your own. I say that I have many, many children — some of them are still here, some of them have found forever families, but in each one of them I have seen God’s face. 

I remember one special boy, Angel. I can vividly picture him when he was about three months old and we had an epidemic of rotavirus. He was so little and struggling with a high fever, non-stop vomiting, and diarrhea. We ended up taking him to the hospital. I stayed with him for a long time there because I was so afraid to lose him. While the doctor and nurses worked, the only thing I could do was pray. Two days later, he came back to Dorie’s Promise … and sometime later, I had the blessing of seeing him leave with his adoptive family. We recently received some pictures from him, and I still remember that tiny baby whose only family was here at Dorie’s Promise.

As God’s Word says, I have had times to be happy or to be sad, to cry and to smile, to be worried and to be thankful, to lose and to win, but in all those times it has been God’s will acting in my life. 

Taking Care of Business

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

By Pablo Villagran-

When Maria Jose Ramirez walked in the door of Dorie’s Promise, she got a sense of déjà vu. After responding to our job ad, she remembered that she had seen the home before when it was featured in a report on a U.S. TV station about adoptions in Guatemala.

“It was very exciting,” says Maria, 31. “It looked familiar to me. Definitely God grants you what you want, because at the time I saw that TV report I thought that I would like to work in a place like Dorie’s Promise. And here I am.”

The manager of our legal, financial and maintenance issues, Maria handles everything related to those three departments.

She loves the work that the orphanage does for children and is proud to be a part of an important cause. Not only does it give kids a better place to live, fulfill their necessities, and give them love and care, Dorie’s Promise has been a blessing in Maria’s life.

“With the organization, I feel committed to do my best for the children,” she says. “I love to see the metamorphosis they go through after they arrive. They come here with sad faces, often dirty and unhealthy, but then become happy children, full of energy brought on by improved health.”

As much as she enjoys her work, Maria admits there are challenges with every department, starting with legal. She often has to push Minors Court authorities to set a hearing date for children to establish their adoptability, and other agencies to find a family willing to raise them.

Finances are another hurdle, since factors beyond her control often affect the outcome of the budget, including maintenance.

“It’s hard because every week prices fluctuate,” Maria says. “But thank God and all the people who are supporting us so we can care for the kids and give them what they need.”

The highlight of her time came soon after she joined the staff four years ago. In 2007 Guatemala closed most international adoptions, putting many cases already in process into legal limbo.

Five of them dragged on for two years, but thanks to Maria’s efforts the first one came out in 2009. “That was so exciting for me, that finally one child was able to join her family,” she says.

Director Alej Diaz says Maria is a great worker who knows that tasks need to be completed in the right way. She says there are two kinds of people needed on our team: 1) those who spend time with the children and 2) those who devote their time to the office to make sure backstage details are covered.

“For me, Maria is that person,” Alej says. “She is very precise, organized and passionate. When the Bible says in Romans 12:4-6 that we are one body but have many members, she is a great example of that. We are all doing different tasks here, but as part of the same body.”

Staff Gain Communication Tools

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

By Desi Stephens

Earlier this month our staff attended a two-day communication training course, which was designed to help us achieve better understanding with co-workers and the children we serve.

Held at Dorie’s Promise, the course was taught by Aldo Cruz. Director Alejandra Diaz became aware of Mr. Cruz through her husband, who took similar training at his workplace.

“Communication is the process by which information is exchanged,” Aldo told us. “The key questions you need to ask yourself are what messages am I trying to relay to others—and what hinders them from understanding me?”

He outlined the barriers to communication, which can include:

a) sound

b) distance

c) lack of trust

d) emotions

e) judgment

f) attitude.

“Our attitude makes a huge impact on how people read and understand what we are saying,” Aldo said of the final point. “We need to understand that people are listening to our messages through our body language, not just by our words.”

“It was quite important for our staff to participate in this kind of training course,” Alej says.

“If they are happy and able to express their concerns in a positive way, it will make the work environment better for everyone. Communication is a vital part of every-day life. Without it we are not able to express our needs and concerns, or highlight the joys of our children.”

“I learned the importance of paying close attention to what people are asking for,” says Abel Garcia, one of our drivers, about the seminar. “I can see how it is important to be happy and help create a positive work environment, because teamwork is so vital to our mission.”

Not only is communication the tool that helps us feel connected with one another, Alej says it is particularly important at Dorie’s Promise.

Without it, we can harm our efficiency and overlook small—but very important— details about each child’s case and needs.

“As a staff, the most important thing for us to remember is whatever message we relay to each other, the children will learn from our example,” Alej says. “We want to share positive examples with our children.”

She also hopes that this training will help avoid potential problems and create a better work environment, which will help the staff and our children. In addition, it can benefit us in daily interaction with family and friends.

Finally, we hope it will benefit our communications with you, our faithful supporters.

Please let us know how we can serve you better.