Helping hands: Attorneys help poverty-stricken communities in Guatemala

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Attorneys Kyle and MaryRachel Dysarz went on a mission trip in December with Forever Changed International to help orphans and impoverished communities in Guatemala.

Photos courtesy of Kyle and MaryRachel Dysarz

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A recent mission trip to Guatemala was an eye-opening experience for Kyle & MaryRachel Dysarz, attorneys with Collins Einhorn Farrell PC in Southfield. The two were part  of a mission group from Forever Changed International, whose aim is “to serve the world’s forgotten children.”

“There were many moments of joy, laughter, and fun. But, as expected there were also many experiences that pulled at our heartstrings,” MaryRachel says. “The extreme amount of poverty throughout the country is overwhelming.”
Their most heart-wrenching experience was at a poverty-stricken community next to Guatemala City’s landfill, where families scavenge for scraps of food and supplies. “Pictures and words cannot fully describe what we observed,”’ Kyle says. “It was difficult realizing these families have never known what it is like to breathe fresh air.”

Thanks to financial donations, the group was able to feed 500 children—who waited at a community feeding center in a line that wrapped around the building. “It was heartbreaking to watch them barely wait to sit down to eat because they were so hungry and thirsty,” MaryRachel says.

The couple received a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues, with donations of toiletries, stuffed animals, hats, t-shirts, or money.

In addition to feeding children at the community center, the mission group was able to spend time with the children living at the orphanage Dorie’s Promise. “It was amazing to experience the kids’ love upon our arrival at the orphanage,” MaryRachel says. “They always wanted to hold our hands, give us hugs, and tell everyone that we were their ‘amigos.’ Our smallest acts of kindness brought them the greatest joy.”

 Donations also provided several impoverished communities with 91 food baskets, 37 water filters, and over 200 relief bags; and paid for the group to build two stoves and enclose a home with tin siding for three very poor families who lived in the mountains.

“It was rewarding to recognize what an honor and privilege it was to directly serve others in the midst of such poverty,” Kyle says. “Being an attorney is about more than just serving clients in the courtroom, it’s also about serving our community. We wholeheartedly encourage other attorneys to take a break from their busy lives and take a mission trip with their friends and families.”

The couple got involved in Forever Changed International after family friends were actively involved in the organization and frequently took trips to Guatemala. “When we learned they would be taking a trip this past December, we decided it was the right time to make a trip ourselves,” MaryRachel says. “This was our first mission trip together as a couple. It’s not a matter of if we go on another mission trip, it’s only a matter of when.”

MaryRachel, who focuses her practice on general liability and first- and third-party automotive defense, is a native of Grand Blanc, near Flint; and Kyle, who focuses his practice on insurance coverage, general liability and automotive liability, hails from Shelby Township in Macomb County.

The couple originally met as students at Michigan State University College of Law where they competed together in a national trial moot court competition reaching the regional finals. “We both knew we would always use our talents and legal knowledge to help those who cannot help themselves,” Kyle says.

The two now make their home in Royal Oak in Oakland County, where they enjoy playing tennis and serving in their church communities.

“We look forward to one day expanding our family and sharing these types of service opportunities with our future children,” MaryRachel says.
 

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