By Heather Radu –
One of the most joyous occasions of this spring was honoring—and saying thanks to—all the employees who have been with Dorie’s Promise for 10 years or longer.
We couldn’t have done it without them. They have stayed with us through the years and even in the most difficult of times, have been there with a smile.
Their names are Lucia, Diana, Marleni, Ingrid, Mina, Mimi, Juanita, Noemi, Lucky, Ismelda, Oscar, Abel, Doc and Ale.
Showing what kind of caring spirit they have, on their night of recognition they also thanked me for the opportunity to be part of the organization. They gave a special thanks to God too because, here at Forever Changed International, they found their real calling for life.
It is difficult to over-estimate the value of our long-term employees to the stability of the ministry, the smooth operations at Dorie’s Promise, and the security our children sense from seeing many of the same faces day after day, year after year.
It was a big moment for me, too, as the occasion reminded me of how I hired some of them in 2000, when the home just opened.
Later, when we were living in Guatemala, some of them were part of our family. Literally, since they pitched in and helped us raise our own children. Though now grown, our kids retain many fond memories of their time at Dorie’s Promise.
After these many years, it is not just the hard work or a salary that keeps those people with FCI. It is because we have become a family and, by seeing them working every day, I can tell they are passionate about what they do. Our children are lucky to have people who really care about them and love them.
It is worth noting that their efforts often lack the “glamor” of a mission trip or the excitement that many people associate with “ministry.”
Every parent can understand the long hours, constant effort, training and worry that is part of raising a child. The same can be said of raising orphans, many whom come from backgrounds of poverty and abuse.
It requires diligence, patience of the highest order, and a willingness to devote your life outside of the spotlight, wondering whether you will ever see breakthroughs with children who struggle against enormous odds.
Why do they do it? In one word: love. Love of God and love for the children treated by many as outcasts.
Their rewards come in the form of caring smiles, words spoken for the first time, and children who achieve the kind of things once thought impossible. We can’t thank them enough for their devotion.