Recently, our Director Alejandra found a copy of the very first letter our Founder Heather Radu sent to announce the official creation of Forever Changed International as an orphan ministry.
Reading Heather’s letter is like traveling back in time to the early days of Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.
Becoming Forever Changed International
After almost a decade uniting Guatemalan children with adoptive families, our work in Guatemala was changing in 2009 and Heather was faithfully leading us into uncharted territory. Although we didn’t know exactly what the future held, a faithful group of family, friends, and supporters had been praying for months and offering guidance.
The opportunity to offer a safe home for children during the international adoption process brought Heather to Guatemala in 2000. Unfortunately, international adoptions closed in 2008, leaving thousands of Guatemalan children in need of care. Heather and her family were faced with a heartbreaking decision – what happens to their work in Guatemala without international adoptions?
In August 2009, Forever Changed International officially became an independent organization led by Heather and dedicated to orphan care in Guatemala. Adoption services continued in other countries with Heather’s family through their original organization. Together, the two ministries cared for both adoptive families as well as orphaned and abandoned children.
In Heather’s words
From Heather’s first letter on September 14, 2009:
I’m so excited to share with you today what the Lord has been doing in my life over the past several months.
More than 18 years ago, I was just a teenager who traveled to Romania on a simple mission trip when God captured my heart by giving me a vision to serve orphans, challenged me to step out in faith, and started me on one of the most exciting journeys you could ever imagine.
That journey led me to start All God’s Children with my parents in the basement of our home in Portland, Oregon.
I had no idea so many years ago where that single step in faith might take me. With God’s leading and the help of my parents, we’ve seen the adoptions of more than 2,000 children over the years – the first of those children being my little sister Hannah…
So it is with great joy and excitement that I’m announcing the launch of our new ministry together:
FOREVER CHANGED INTERNATIONAL
Passionately Serving the World’s Forgotten Children by creating hope through life- changing ministries!
We became an official 501 (c)(3) on August 31, 2009…
You might ask, “Why the name Forever Changed?” That’s a great question! You see, this ministry is all about God’s call on our lives – not only to FOREVER CHANGE the lives of children living without hope around the world, but also to see our own hearts forever changed in the process.
I believe through our commitment to serve that we are ALL blessed in ways that leave us FOREVER CHANGED as well.
Forever Changed International is and always will be a grassroots movement. Right now, this movement is me working out of my house with a host of friends and volunteers who have helped with all the work needed to make Forever Changed become a reality…
God has called me to be a voice that unites like- hearted people to serve. But it is impossible to do this work alone. I need your commitment to be a part of this ministry.
We need to excite and ignite those around us to serve.
I am asking that you partner with me over the next year as we work together to build a ministry that is going to reach out across the world and leave the lives of children – children who need us – forever changed.”
10 years later
What a wonderful journey we’ve had these last 10 years!
God has faithfully supported our work, even during the hardest moments. Heather’s vision is coming true.
Dorie’s Promise has become a loving home for forty children. We’re experiencing the excitement of watching our children become young adults. Many of our dedicated staff members who helped carry us through the transition from an adoption home to an orphan care home are still with us today. We welcome hundreds of visitors each year through our missions program and are helping Guatemalan families. Our community is stronger than ever before.
As we celebrate 10 years of orphan care in Guatemala, we thank our staff and donors for their unwavering support. Together, we can do even greater things for the children of Guatemala in the next 10 years.