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26 Reviews
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August 9, 2014

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August 9, 2014

My time spent on the farm working was incredible. I was there for five weeks and I helped out on the farm completing tasks in the fields with the workers; cutting down trees, prepping holes for avocado trees, or just mowing the lawn I was able to experience unlike many. I was fortunate enough to befriend the workers on the farm and I enjoyed spending time working and playing soccer with them. It was such an amazing time and my love for photography and documenting really played out well in capturing my story in first person of my daily actions. I would hope that one day I return to this beautiful place.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing, this organization is being run the exact way it should be.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2004

July 7, 2014

The most obvious evaluation of people, and 501c3's for that matter, is their fruit. After visiting Opal House twice in the last 5 years, I can tell you with certainty that this organization is truly producing fruit in the world (and I'm not talking about the avocados and coffee grown on their farm).
On our most recent visit (May 2014), I brought my mother, sister, brother-in-law, wife, and two small kids and we were amazed at the progress in the last five years. Not only is it a place of peace and a refuge for many of the children and families in the area, but it's a great place to visit to see the way God is working among people who allow themselves to be "fruitful".
We will always support Opal House and return to be reminded that Opal House is built on hallowed ground by humble, loving people (Will and Diane).
Wayland Cossey

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 9, 2014

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June 9, 2014

To be invited to spend time at Opal House is to be welcomed into a vision made real. From the escuelita serving local Mayan children, to the healthy fields of coffee and avocados, to the awe-inspiring chapel and finally, to the warmth and hospitality of the Will and Diane's home, our visit to Opal House was truly life-changing. It was my first encounter with people who followed God's call and, selflessly, and with great effort, are making a difference for the people in the community and those that have the opportunity to visit. We will not ever forget our visit to a Mayan home where Dr. Will checked on a patient. My four year old granddaughter will never forget riding in the tuc-tuc to pick up the children for school and my one year granddaughter will not forget the parrots' morning wakeup call "BUENO! HOLA!"

As Jacob said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." But I know it now and hope to share the vision with others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help Will and Diane create time and space for themselves so that they can continue to create the safe and loving place that Opal House has become.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

June 8, 2014

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June 8, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Opal House only a couple months after their formation, and we volunteered by helping with painting, yardwork, etc. We were so encouraged and inspired by Will and Diane's faith and approach to international development work that we have continued to support them since 2009 and just last week went down for the second time, this time with our children and extended family, to volunteer more and fellowship with them. Their work for the local Guatemalan people is inspiring and so loving. They are filling crucial gaps that exist in their local community in a sustainable way. We couldn't recommend this organization more highly!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

May 1, 2014

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May 1, 2014

I met Will and Diane in honduras while they were staying with the organization i work with and i was compelled and amazed by their story of what brought them to create opal house. I decided during my vacation time to visit Opal house and see for myself all of the work they do for their community. Their grounds are not only stunning but they provide a home away from home for children and families of their community. Not only do they help their community medically and educationally, they share everything they have to help serve others. I am very grateful to have met them and to have seen a glimpse of the beautiful work they do in guatemala.
March 28, 2014

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Review from Guidestar
March 28, 2014

Opal house to me means Holy Ground. This space is truly God centered. Will and Diane are an amazing couple. Their faith and trust in The Lord is unbelievable. I have never experienced anything like Opal House in my life. The children are angelic and so full of love and kindness. Opal House will forever hold a place in my heart.

I came here to visit my 22 year old daughter Maren, who has been living and teaching at Opal House for three months. Her experience here has changed her life forever. I am forever grateful to Will & Diane for making this possible for Maren. Today I experience great love between the children and Maren as she said good bye to each of them. What is happening here at Opal House is truly God's work, and I am so very blessed to have been a part of it. Pam Talcott (Seattle, WA)

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not do a thing. God has everything under control!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 28, 2014

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Review from Guidestar
March 28, 2014

For three months I lived at Opal House. Jan.-Mar. 2014. I was a volunteer/intern at the school. I came to Opal House to improve my spanish, appreciate the culture, and help teach the children. I wanted an experience that was going to push me out of my comfort zone, and challenge me to try new things. I have never been out of the United States before, and coming to Guatemala was quite scary for me. The fear of the unknown took over. Needless to say, arriving at Opal House...my expectations were exceeded. At the beginning, I was blown away by the beauty of this place. Then, I was blown away by the beauty of the people and the culture. Opal House became like a second home to me. I was part of the Opal House family. Living at Opal house was not much different from my home in Washington. Warm water, clean houses, comfy bed, amazing food. But the people and the culture was definitely different. I quickly grew to appreciate the culture, and love the language.

I would come back to Opal House in an instant. I want to return as often as I can. There is something so very special about Opal House. Will and Diane became like second parents to me. And Jackeline was like a sister. The children impacted my heart more than anything ever has. I changed as a person, and I discovered my relationship with God. My time here in Guatemala flew by quickly, but I embraced every day. There is so much beauty in Guatemala, but especially at Opal House. God is shining his light here, and Will and Diane are following. The Montessori school is educating children ages 3-6 years old, and using the beautiful montessori method. And in the afternoons I was also part of the religious education classes, and preteen growth classes. This was the most life changing and rewarding experience of my life. I would recommend an experience like this to anyone. Especially Opal House. I never truly understood until I lived it and experienced it myself.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I only hope this mission has the opportunity to grow. Everything that is currently happening at Opal House is amazing, and truly being ran as best as it can be. In the future, I only hope more people donate and volunteer there time at Opal House so it has the chance to grow and impact more lives in Guatemala.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 28, 2014

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March 28, 2014

Although I was not involved in the actual founding of Opal House I became aware of it during its formation when I was with Dr. Will Boegel on a Healing the Children surgical mission team to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2007 with both Will and my youngest son, Ryan. The idea sounded both lofty and ethereal at the same time. It seemed so radical for two people to give up their comfortable American life-style, exit their “comfort zone” and pour their lives and their souls into the hands of God, trusting in his/her design and providence.

A few years later, I volunteered to participate in a Rotary project in Guatemala with members of the LaConner Rotary Club close to my home. We had partnered with “Child Aid”, an NGO out of Portland, Oregon dedicated to promoting literacy, to ship a container of 23,000 Spanish language educational books to be distributed to schools and libraries in many towns throughout southwestern Guatemala, including a Rotary-sponsored traveling library bus. Our team of Rotary volunteers ended our project by helping to catalogue some of these donated books at a school library in Yepocapa. This was only a couple of hours drive from Lake Atitlan, so after the project, I decided to visit Opal House.

By then Will and Diane and a handful of temporary volunteers had done an enormous amount of building renovation and farm restoration. I was pleasantly surprised to find a working avocado farm high above Lake Atitlan (5,400’ ASL) facing NW where every day hidden coffee plants were being uncovered from the bushes in the shade of the avocado trees. Local people were being employed and paid more than the average local wages. The potential seemed endless.

Diane was helping take the children of very poor local single mothers into her free day care so they could be safe and get improved nutrition while their mothers could work. They taught health and sanitation to the neighbors in Agua Escondida and worked at finding a way to clean their water supply or share theirs from Opal House. Will was volunteering two half days a week at a free clinic in the Hospital Parroquia de San Lucas in the town of San Lucas Toliman, 20 km away. (The hospital has since been named in honor of the recently-deceased local parish priest: Hospital Obras Sociales de Monsignor Gregorio Schaffer.)

Probably the most impressive thing about Opal House is the beautiful chapel built on the edge of the vista of the lake. Through its panorama windows, one is exposed to an almost surreal scene of water surrounded by volcanoes with villages sprinkling the shoreline. Lights and stars twinkle at night.

Will and Diane quietly work their service to the local people, from micro-financing and donating useful equipment such as sewing machines to simply helping as needs arise for the local Mayan people. They have since built a two-story school and have a Montessori program for pre-schoolers, with plans to get certified to teach elementary grades. This is Diane’s pre-occupation.

My involvement expanded when Will asked if I would bring surgery teams for foot and ankle deformities and problems, relative to our specialty. This year marks the third year in a row that I have brought a team to San Lucas Toliman to deliver free surgical care to those in need. We come for a little more than a week at a time and have operated on 23-35 patients each visit, mostly children with clubfoot and neurological or post-traumatic deformities. Without Will accumulating these patients through his free clinics and contacts, these children would never get the care that changes their lives and opens up opportunities. Will does a tremendous amount of work before abnd after each of these surgical missions.

I have personally seen many good works done through this Opal House charity. The doors to Opal House are always open – to the curious and to those seeking a chance to provide humanitarian care to improve the lives of others less fortunate. For some, the experience is live-changing in and of itself. It has a tremendous impact on my own life.

Steve Miller

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to widen the message of their work. They definitely could do a lot more with a broader base of financial support.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 9, 2014

more

March 9, 2014

I became involved with Opal House in it's first two years of existence with fundraising help. Then in 2009, I joined the board and now serve as Treasurer. I greatly stepped up my commitment to this transparent and very lean charitable Mission when I donated my large truck filled with machines for the farm and drove to Opal House from Seattle in May 2009. None of the board members nor DR Will and Diane Boegel receive salaries for this special children's mission with a super low overhead.
I have since spent nearly two months a year volunteering at Opal House each year, spearheading development of a large farm and also cooking and serving the many podiatric and orthopedic surgeons who spend an intense week every February reconstructing the bones of impoverished children in this country without a Children's hospital. Dr Will, Diane and all of the surgical volunteers make a real difference in the lives of countless children every year, both with medical and surgical care, but also with their religious and educational Montessori schools.
I am privileged to serve this Christian Mission serving the poor of Guatemala.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more hard working volunteers

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 9, 2014

more

Review from Guidestar
March 9, 2014

I have just returned from my third surgical mission to Opal House in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala.
Once again we were able to perform safe, state of the art and life changing orthopedic surgery in what must be the smallest hospital in one of the smallest cities in Guatemala.
Opal
House Administrators Will and Diane Boegel find time in their never ending days to also function as surgeon and surgery technician. They find Guatemala's broken children, born disabled or injured
and offer them life changing surgery. I don't think one can put a value on helping a young person out of a wheelchair to where he can communicate eye to eye, or straightening the club foot of a teenage girl where she might begin to imagine herself as being like the other girls in the village. Yet in my thirty years of medical practice the work of Opal House is the most meaningful of my career.

Dan Baldini, Seattle



More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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