Sunday, July 31, 2011


Dorie's Promise is a home for children who would not otherwise have a safe, healthy place to live.  As you walk around the property, it is clear that this is no ordinary orphanage.  The children live in two homes.  Casa 5 is home to babies and toddlers.  The youngest baby is only three weeks old.  Casa 6 is home to the children ages 3 years and older.  Looking quickly, it's just like any other home.

Isn't she cute!!

a quiet place for feedings and sleeping,

family pictures fill the house,

a friend who reminds me of Isaiah, and

hours of fun in the backyard.

It looks like a quiet home on a quiet street until you look a little bit closer...

It's a quiet home full of beautiful children who are loved by the Special Mothers.  These women have the unique calling to care for the health, well being, and emotional needs of children who have suffered abuse and abandonment.

A loving home for beautiful children filled with caring "mothers."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thinking of Gene

It's amazing that someone who you haven't really seen in years can have a profound impact on your life.  We spent the evening at the Ag Expo 4-H Market Sale.  We go every year and most years we buy an animal--completing the circle.  For eleven years, I led my 4-H projects around that ring hoping to garner enough money to pad my savings account.  Luckily for me, I had the long term support of many businesspeople in the community.  They never let me down. 

This year was different.  The evening seemed to begin like every other year, the bleachers scattered with people, just as many lined up in their assigned position in their lawn chairs, and even more standing on the perimeter.  Walking around takes me back to life before we were so busy with work, when we could easily go spend the evenings and several days during Ag Expo just sitting and talking with our friends who we only saw a few times a year.  As the parade of market animals progressed to the swine, the true spirit of 4-H and the fair became apparent.

As is customary, the Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, and the Champion Pair were sold first but they were followed by three of the most special hogs ever to be sold in that ring.  They weren't the champions, two wouldn't have even made weight but they were the best animals there because they were Gene's.  Gene Wiles died earlier this summer after an atv accident.  In his short life, he made an impact on everyone he met.  While in high school, I worked for Gene's grandparents on their farm.  After college, I was active in Young Farmers with Gene's parents.  Since working at the battery business though, we had lost touch to a large degree. 

Even without seeing them for a long time, Gene's death left a hole in my heart.  On some level I don't feel worthy of grief.  I can't understand what this time is like for those who were closest to him.  I feel so deeply for the whole family's loss.  When I think of him, I think of "Mean Gene" the chubby little boy that I knew when he was little.  Even then he was funny.  Sitting on the bleachers bidding on that hog this evening I couldn't help but cry.  I just can't imagine losing my child.

Gene's blessing is his family's faith.  I am deeply impressed by his parents and grandparents and will always be.  I pray that his legacy will be just one person learning of and accepting the gift of salvation because of this family.  The true spirit of 4-H and the fair is the family that it creates.  It doesn't matter if the only time you see these people is that one week each year, they are all a family that supports each other, no matter what.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dorie's Promise

Dorie's Promise-Guatemala is a privately-run orphanage in Guatemala City, operated by Forever Changed International.  FCI's mission is to help meet the needs of the world's forgotten children. They are home to between 30 and 40 children at any time, ranging in age from small infants to pre-teens.  Some of these children have been removed from their homes while others have been given up by parents who simply can't meet their child's basic needs.

During our visit, we will help the employees who have dedicated their lives to these children while also reaching out to families in the city.  We will have the opportunity to travel to some of the less than desirable areas of Guatemala City to reach families who struggle everyday. 

The kids of Dorie's Promise
 If you would like to learn more about these children and Forever Changed International, visit:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In the Beginning

For many years, I've pondered the thought of a blog but I didn't know what to write or have the guts to follow through.  I am fiercely private but thanks to a wonderful conversation in the Canadian Rockies, I decided to take the leap.  My intention is to honestly share my personal walk as I try to discern and follow God's path for my life. 

In less than two weeks, I'll be on a plane headed to Guatemala City with three friends.  We'll spend one week volunteering at a private orphanage.  With their guidance, we'll also journey to a government-run orphanage, a ghetto, and the Guatemala City Dump.  Why the dump?  Because thousands of people, adults and children alike, live there, trying to collect enough to sell and exist.  Enough children live there that a school has been built just for them.