31 Jul Hands of Hope Orphan Ministry
By Arwen McGilvra-
A new ministry (Hands of Hope Orphan Ministry) at Northwest Christian Community Church, a congregation of about 75 in Mundelein, IL, is helping their members see a wider world through sponsorship and missions. Hands of Hope ministry director Gerianne Cygan chose Forever Changed International to partner with because of her experiences with Dorie’s Promise when she and her husband adopted* their son Matthew.
For the first year of this new ministry, the church chose to sponsor Angel. Next March, a group from the church will make the trip to visit us in Guatemala. They hope to make a personal connection with Angel, to bring donations of items for the home, and to open the eyes of members who have never experienced a short-term mission trip.
“We want them to see the blessings that they will ‘be’ and ‘receive’ through the experience,” says Gerianne.
For now, they made this video to welcome him into their family.
They picked Angel for two reasons: 1. they wanted a younger child whom they could grow with; and 2. “He had the perfect name.”
The Cygans, who adopted Matthew in 2006, made two trips to Guatemala during the adoption process. At that time, Dorie’s Promise was running a trial program where they housed mothers and helped give them basic education and simple career training. Ultimately, the program had to be closed for lack of funding. But while it was running, the Cygans were able to meet the birth mother of their son. They felt very fortunate to meet her and to know their son’s story. His mother had another son who was five and she couldn’t financially support another child. “She made a very loving, giving decision.”
“Guatemala City is so beautiful, and it’s so sad to see how many families and children are living in the sort of poverty you see at the ghettos and dumps,” says Gerianne.
“When we were in Guatemala we were thrilled to see how the special mothers cared for these kids and just loved on them.” It helped create her passion for service and orphans.
“It really opens your eyes when you do these sorts of things to how God is working even in places of poverty. My goal as director for Hands of Hope is to help our congregation fall in love with Dorie’s Promise, the kids, the special mothers, and the home.”
Most sponsorship programs give you the opportunity to sponsor a child living a subsistent lifestyle, living in a poorly run private or government orphanage, or living in a community. Sponsoring a child at Dorie’s Promise is a very different kind of sponsorship. Our sponsors are investing in the whole life of a child. This comes through more than just a check every month. It’s through praying for the child, keeping up with their lives, and personally getting involved.
If you’re a sponsor and you’re ready to take the next step and visit Dorie’s Promise to meet your forever friend, contact us now. We have different trips throughout the year, and you don’t have to bring a large group with you. Individuals, families, and groups of many sizes have all been to our home to serve with us.
Come and visit. There is no better way to bond with your sponsored child!
*International adoptions for Guatemala closed in 2008