08 Aug Family Mission Trip Opportunity
By Pablo Villagran-
After Melissa Shelby discovered Dorie’s Promise at the beginning of 2012, she and her family became avid supporters. Their help included raising more than $4,000 to build and furnish a play room for our children.
A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Melissa and her four children visited us the first week of May to help with numerous service projects.
“It is our hope—and certainly that of our boys—that we will be able to return to see the children in the near future. They are inspiring and adorable!”
Melissa learned about Forever Changed doing online research. She hoped to find a family mission trip opportunity in which her children (ages 6 to 11) could serve. Dorie’s Promise looked like an ideal fit.
It not only complemented their mission at home, it provided her and her husband with an opportunity to show their kids that others have not enjoyed the same good fortune.
“Until our children were outside their own comfortable circumstances, they couldn’t possibly understand the needs of others in the world,” Melissa says.
The Virginia family wanted to cover their own expenses for their visit and make a financial donation. To show appreciation for the staff, they assembled bags of essential items and treats.
Melissa asked founder Heather Radu if the children had a particular need. Heather told her about our hopes of raising $2,000 to complete an additional room, since our existing indoor play area doubles as a school room.
Within days the Shelbys mailed out letters describing their trip and fund-raising goal. Checks and notes of encouragement soon arrived—so many that they collected twice as much as they had hoped.
“I have never been comfortable asking for a donation, even for a worthy cause,” Melissa says.
“We were humbled by the generosity of our friends and family’s support of our efforts. Their offerings were true gestures of love.”
During their stay, the family visited a state orphanage, the dump, the ghetto and a local school, and worked on a gardening project here. They also took our children to the park and zoo, bought them toys, and spent time with them in daily activities.
Director Alejandra Diaz says the donations collected by the Shelbys are a blessing that will help our dreams come true. Any time something like this happens, everyone here is thankful to God because this is how He shows His love, she adds.
“We are still missing some small parts of furniture and accessories,” Alej says. “However, we keep receiving the help of many people. We will have this room ready soon for therapies of babies and infants.”
When Melissa thinks about what it means to be one of God’s disciples, she can’t help thinking of our staff members.
“Their work inspires our family to do more in whatever way we might to further God’s kingdom,” she says. “We will continue to spread the good news about our experiences and encourage others to get involved.”