13 Nov Thriving Today Thanks to a Little Help from Our Friends
Many years ago before we transitioned to long-term orphan care and started a short-term missions program, our story of hope was written with a little help from our friends. Our dedicated staff simply shared their stories and those of our children with their family and friends. Before long, a faithful network of friends formed around our home.
Long-time friend, Omar David, found us as a result of his friendship with Doc Castro.
A Friendship Born From Tennis
Although you may not be aware, Doc is an avid tennis player. Fifteen years ago, he and Omar David connected at their tennis club and began twice-weekly matches.
Quickly, their weekly conversations extended beyond tennis. Omar David, a local businessman who also happens to own one of Doc’s favorite tennis shops, was intrigued by Doc’s work at Dorie’s Promise. Quite often, their conversations included updates about our children and the new medical program being created in our home.
Remember, their friendship coincided with Doc’s start at our home. During those early years, Doc’s stories often included the heartbreak of caring for abused and abandoned children. Children weren’t in our care long-term, but we wanted to give them the best care possible while they were with us. The preventive medical program we take for granted today was in its infancy then.
More than heartbreak though, Doc also shared the stories of resilience and hope he witnessed as our children found physical, psychological, and spiritual healing. Omar David witnessed the creation of the medical program we know today.
An Organization He Could Trust
Throughout the years, Omar David has watched Doc and our staff closely. Through Doc’s early stories, he gained an appreciation for the integrity built into everything we do. As we struggled through the transition from adoption facilitator to orphan care home, he saw our dedication to serving Guatemala’s children.
Unfortunately, Omar David was wary of non-profit organizations working in Guatemala when he first met Doc. He had worked with other organizations in the past, only to be disappointed by their repeated corruption. Going forward, he was only interested in working with serious organizations that were committed to long-term solutions and operated with the utmost integrity.
Doc was a friend he trusted. Forever Changed International was an organization he could trust.
After volunteering at Dorie’s Promise with his niece, Omar David was committed. The kids love him. He admires the work of our staff. Essentially, he fit right in with our family.
Thriving with a Little Help from Our Friends
Those twice-weekly tennis matches grew into a very special friendship. Over the years, Omar David invited even more friends to support our children at Dorie’s Promise. Just as we did in the beginning, he shares his story and those of our children.
Having local friends support our children is life-changing.
People like Omar David offer a strong, positive influence on our kids. He is yet another successful male mentor for our boys to model. Not only does he understand the hardships in Guatemala, he also inspires our boys to overcome those same obstacles.
As part of our local family, Omar David enjoys sharing life’s meaningful moments with the kids. Someone wants tennis lessons—he arranges them. He hears about a local musical performance happening—he makes sure our kids can attend. Christmas, Thanksgiving—all of our holidays are special with his help.
And because of Doc Castro, he is especially faithful in supporting our medical program.
This year, his help has been more important than ever. Although he hasn’t been able to visit Dorie’s Promise during the pandemic, he and his church raised funds to boost of medical budget. They have never forgotten about our kids, even when facing needs of their own.
The Real Gift of Friendship
We’re thankful for those tennis matches so many years ago because they lead to our friendship with Omar David.
He gives our children the gift of friendship and mentorship. Our staff is encouraged by his support. Despite our gratitude, he claims that our children are really the ones helping him. Throughout the years, they’ve helped him grow emotionally and challenged him to be live out his Christian principles and values. We can’t wait for Omar David to visit us again