El Shaddai School

By Pablo Villagran-

For the first time, three children from Dorie’s Promise are attending classes at a private school. The school, El Shaddai is connected to an evangelical Christian church in Guatemala City.

Residents Jennifer, Amelia, and Ana enrolled there at the start of the 2012 school year last January.

“The relationship between the school and Dorie’s Promise has been profitable,” says Principal Claudia Carolina Grampo Lopez. “It has worked both ways. We have learned a lot about these three girls and Dorie’s Promise.”

Recently, we learned of an even deeper connection with the principal. Just two years ago, Claudia discovered that she had been given up for adoption as an infant.

While suffering from depression after her adoptive mother’s funeral, an “aunt” called. The woman told Claudia to cheer up—her real mother was still alive. In fact, the caller was her natural mother.

“I could not believe it,” Claudia recalls. “My entire life I thought the mother and father who took care of me were my biological parents. I never imagined that I was adopted. That really changed my life around.”

She credits her adoptive mother with caring for her and teaching her to love her neighbor, which is why Claudia has always looked out for the needs of children.

So, when a former orphanage coordinator arranged for some visiting missionaries to bring the three girls to El Shaddai, the encounter touched Claudia’s heart. That meeting eventually led to our partnership.

“I cried when I heard the story of these three little girls that are now studying here, and the reason they brought them here,” Claudia says. “I opened my heart and told the coordinator that I do not believe in coincidences. I knew that God had brought her here for a reason.”

Claudia became invested in Jennifer, Amelia and Ana, and started visiting them at the orphanage. After spending more time with them and meeting other children here, she found herself more drawn to Dorie’s Promise.

After visiting other children’s homes, the principal says that she has never seen one where the kids receive as much love as they do at Dorie’s Promise.

“I have four kids of my own, so what goes on at the home touches me,” Claudia says. “I can see that while the children at Dorie’s Promise don’t have their biological parents, they do have mothers by heart.”

Still, she senses a protective urge for our three girls and tries to make them feel comfortable at El Shaddai. She says it makes her feel good to see that they are happy to be at the school.

Claudia admits she was surprised at how well the three girls have adapted to being with other students outside their traditional environment.

“At first I was worried about them adapting but now I can tell it has been the opposite,” she says. “The girls have been able to shine.”

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