Time to catch up…. where we are….
Greetings everyone! Its been so long since I’ve written. I am sorry. Life in Canada sure gets full of noise very quickly doesn’t it. Firstly I want to thank everyone who came, helped with or was involved in any way with our 2nd Annual fundraising dinner on Saturday night for the Hospital Infantil. It was a great success, raising both money and awareness! It was so humbling to look out into the crowd and see so many people. It was amazing! We are already looking forward to the 3rd annual. I think that next year will be even better (minus the comedian) hahaha.
I wanted to take some time and fill everyone in on what is going on in Casa Doppenberg these days. Firstly, we have made a decision to keep our house off the market for 1 year. Honestly there are several reasons for this… some being financial… others being that we are unsure about our eldest son’s plans for his future. He graduates from grade 12 this year and we want to give him some more time to make his life changing decisions on his own without pressure. As far as financial reasons, we simply need to be very responsible with our money and make very solid decisions. Since our ministry is funded 100 % by donations and every penny of that goes into Guatemala, the kids, the hospital and the projects, we do not raise one dime for us personally. But doing ministry, we obviously only work so many months of the year, when we are here… we need to be very careful. We need to plan for our own survival, for our future and the future of our children. Make sense? So, for 1 more year we are going to hang on to our home here in Canada.
The biggest question I get is “When are you leaving for Guatemala and how long will you be there for?” What a loaded question. People (including me) are such planners… It has been very difficult for me these past months to let go of control so to speak. Being a Christian we believe that we need to “Let go & Let God”. That is so much easier said than done. But we are trying. We are trying to not plan too much. It is our hope to leave by the end of October and return to Canada in May. But we are leaving that very open. Financially there are many decisions to be made. We need to be “on the ground” in Guatemala for a large part of what we do, but not all of it. If it seems better for the people of Guatemala that we serve, to invest larger portions of our money and less of our time there then that is what we do. It’s just more responsible use of time and money. So we are leaving it open in order to do what is best!
In Canada, many people are struggling financially. It is a tough place to live. It is not tough in the same way as Guatemala…. in the way that we are not starving… but it is still hard to live a healthy lifestyle here. It just looks different… society tells us it must. While many of societies reasons are things we personally do not agree with, it is what it is. We have found that this year donation numbers are down. Not everything always moves “up and to the right”. With that being said, it has forced us to take long hard looks at how much actual time we will spend in Guatemala. What do the numbers tell us. We are still figuring all that out… and doing our best to make the best use of the money we are entrusted with… and put it exactly where it can do the most good. Decisions are being made…. prayerfully and slowly. This is not something we want to rush into just because WE want to be there!
We are entrusted with money that people give us to do specific things…. and we will do them. It just might take time. All successful projects have funding drives… and nothing is done until the money is raised. If all the money is not there yet then it sits in trust until the time comes when all of it is there and the time is right. For example, one project we have is a new hospital in El Salvador. But we will not be building it this year. We have not raised all the money yet…. nor do we have the existing hospital in Guatemala financially stable nor self sufficient yet. Does it make sense to build a new hospital when the one we have can’t run to its full potential? No… we would have 2 buildings that cannot function properly. Take my area in Niagara…. we need a new hospital… so we have had a building fund in place in my region for years to raise the money… but still no hospital…. It will come, when the money is there. Get my meaning…?
All I can tell you is that we have plans… solid business plans… solid funding initiatives…. and we are doing everything we can to move forward in a way that makes the most sense and will help the people the most. After all, that is what it is all about right?
Some child sponsorships are in place and some still need to be fulfilled… some education sponsorships for the Hermana’s are in place and some still need to be filled… the existing hospital budget still needs to be met… the farmland we wish to purchase to provide employment and self-sufficiency opportunities for the hospital is almost there and will be fulfilled this year! The new hospital building fund is ongoing and we hope to break ground in 2014. As you can see we are making progress and things are coming together. We are just learning lessons along the way, just like everyone else.
It is very hard to go to Guatemala, see what we have seen, experience what we have experienced and NOT go in guns blazing and try to fix everything all at once…. a type of feeling like a “save the world” complex. This is not the way to go about it. Everything of value happens in time… but it takes just that, time. And we are learning how to let go…. in order to move forward… to move up and to the right…. one step at a time….
Consider stepping with us… visit our website www.thedoppenbergs.com and see how you can partner with us to help others. Whether it be a financial contribution to sponsor a specific child or Hermana, a contribution to a project or a trip down to see for yourself… there are so many ways you can help. So visit our website, spend some time investigating what is right for you and contact us. Together we can make a difference!