By Pablo Villigran-
With summer almost upon us, we were overjoyed to see phase one of our backyard reconstruction project completed in late April.
The work started last summer before a sinkhole interrupted progress and sent us back to square one—making this milestone that much more enjoyable.
Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and contributors, we now have new grass, new plants, and a beautiful covered patio with spacious seating for our children, staff and guests.
Three mission groups helped with different aspects of the project, including putting in the grass, painting walls and cleaning the whole area.
It was wonderful to see both children and adult volunteers working with so much enthusiasm, knowing that they were helping us to have a better, safer place where our children can play.
In addition to volunteering their time, these groups made monetary donations to pay for the grass, paint and various tools.
With phase one completed, we are embarking on phase two, which we hope to start this summer with the arrival of more mission groups.
It will include preparing the area with woodchips prior to setting a large play structure in place. The structure will contain swing sets, slides and other equipment. We also hope to plant more flowers and trees.
However, we still lack a crucial component for phase two—money. We haven’t raised the last portion of the $20,000 we needed to complete phase one, so we will proceed with phase two as God provides for various expenses.
Phase three is still on the drawing boards, but we are thinking about building a woodhouse, installing a sand box, and putting in more swings for infants and toddlers.
We have yet to meet with an architect to finalize plans, which have shifted as work has proceeded.
Even though we have had to proceed at a gradual pace, there is no doubt these upgrades have improved life for everyone at Dorie’s Promise.
Our children have enjoyed the yard and patio. Even though they aren’t able to play there every day yet, we are close to organizing various activities for them. The staff and mission team members will also enjoy these opportunities.
The covered patio is especially wonderful for staff members, who now have a more pleasant setting in which to enjoy meals and a comfortable place to rest after dinner.
Our hope is that work on phase two can be finished by the end of this summer, with the timetable for phase three depending on remaining fund raising efforts. This need represents a fantastic project for a mission team or other group that wants to play a significant role in the lives of Guatemala’s orphans.