Inviting Women to Invest in Themselves while Serving

Ackerman Team 2019

Inviting Women to Invest in Themselves while Serving

Imagine someone stopping your car in the middle of a parking lot and offering to jump on a plane to Guatemala with you, trudge through the airport with 20 suitcases, and spend a week redecorating two homes.  Sound a little strange and far-fetched? Maybe, but that’s the short version of how Lisa came to Dorie’s Promise the first time.

Today, Lisa leads a women’s trip to Guatemala each winter and is one of our most dedicated supporters. She found her niche, inviting women to invest in themselves while serving. 

An Unexpected Trip

Lisa's first trip to Dorie's Promise

Eight years ago, Lisa met our founder when she became Heather’s personal trainer. As they worked out together each week, they chatted about their families and life. Having children of comparable ages, similar interests, and equally confident personalities, Heather’s workouts were more enjoyable with Lisa’s conversations.

One particular week, Heather shared about an upcoming trip she and her sister-in-law were planning. In short, they were preparing for Extreme Home Makeover-Dorie’s Promise. They had just over a week to completely redecorate two of the houses at the orphanage—paint, furniture, bedding, closets, everything. A pickup load of supplies were already waiting to be packed at Heather’s house. Everything else would be purchased in Guatemala.

How were two people going to manage all those suitcases?

The training session ended. Heather left the gym. But, Lisa couldn’t shake the idea that Heather needed more help on her trip. Something was pushing Lisa to go.

Before Heather could pull out of the parking lot, Lisa ran out and stopped her, offering to be the third person Heather needed to make the trip to Dorie’s Promise. Having only known each other from the gym, a short time later they were on a plane to Guatemala City for a trip that completely changed Lisa’s life.

One Trip Led to Much More

Newly decorated kid's rooms at Dorie's Promise

Lisa got the whirlwind tour of Guatemala City during her first trip. Heather and Naomi are notorious for searching out the exact right items hidden in the best little stores. Between clearing out the houses, lining up help, acquiring all the furniture, and decorating, these ladies did a month’s worth of work in just over a week.

Although the homes looked amazing when they finished, Lisa was much more impressed by the way Dorie’s Promise runs. She connected with our children and staff. Being there in person, she understood why Heather worked so hard to find supporters for our home.

Heather’s vision was being lived out right in front of her.

Lisa’s first trip soon led to another trip. The following year she returned to Dorie’s Promise again with Heather and Naomi. This time they brought 20 teenagers with them, including some of their children. Lisa wanted her daughter to experience Guatemala like she had the previous year.

Coming home afterward, Lisa started to envision a different kind of trip to Dorie’s Promise.

Within Lisa’s community, she knew a lot of women who wanted to help others and make a difference, but they weren’t sure what to do. A new kind of service trip could help Dorie’s Promise while also allowing these women to explore their gifts and ways they could make a difference.

Leading with Intention

A trip to Dorie's Promise

Under Lisa’s guidance, this trip is as much about personal reflection and transformation as it is about service. Given the refuge of a week away from their home responsibilities, these women have the unique opportunity to embrace their gifts and abilities individually while working together as a group. They are faced each day with needs they can fill and new realities that challenge their beliefs.

The ability to serve others in this capacity is life-changing. 

Being at Dorie’s Promise allows participants to immerse themselves in our mission. You meet our kids and for a week have the chance to experience the difference our work makes in their lives.

While visiting local communities, the women hear about the struggles of those living in poverty while they are working with them.

Lisa helps participants navigate what they are experiencing in Guatemala and who they want to be. She treasures the connections made during these trips.

“I lead nightly discussions on where each of us is at in life. Is it where we want to be? What can we do to change who we are for the better?  We laugh, we share, we cry. They are very raw, real, and honest discussions about life. This is an amazing blessing that I didn’t know I would get from leading these trips. There is something special about experiencing the very difficult things you see and help with during the day together that makes it really safe to open up at night.”

Inviting Women to Invest in Themselves While Serving

We believe in transforming lives. Lisa’s trips prove how powerful transformation is. Not only are the lives of our children at Dorie’s Promise blessed, but all the women who visit with Lisa go home having spent time investing in themselves while serving.

“Sharing this whole experience with these women is what keeps me doing it year after year.  Going on these missions encourages people to help in Guatemala and encourages people to get more involved with their communities back home as well. This has been such a blessing in my life.”