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21 Reviews
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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

more

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

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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

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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

March 2, 2014

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Review from Guidestar
March 2, 2014

I have just returned from a week at Opal House. What Will and Diane are doing for the children of their region (and by extension the families and community) is truly amazing. Their vision is to educate this community through the children to improve their health, their nutrition, their education and their infrastructure. My contribution was medical - but their full time work is so much more than that. This beautiful place is bringing so much to this community -- it is truly inspirational.

Ways to make it better...

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

More resources to help feed and clothe and educate more of the many needy kids living here.

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?

2014

February 13, 2014

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February 13, 2014

We stayed at Opal House for three nights and we appreciated Will and Diane's efforts to make our family's time there relaxing and enjoyable: they went out of their way to connect our children with some of the children that they serve. We were inspired by their story and their desire to serve the people of Guatemala.

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 24, 2014

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Review from Guidestar
January 24, 2014

Meeting Will and Diane and visiting Opal House has been a delight. We live two hours from them in Xela, and we met a couple of years ago, and were so impressed by their journey of faith, leaving everything in the States for a dream of mutual transformation in Guatemala. Many dreams like that are forgotten or ignored, or fear of the risk involved prevents people from stepping into them. Thankfully this dream came true, because Will and Diane never wavered in their faith, and their desire to bless the poor and create new possibilities for children who have few options in life. Opal House derives its name from how the opal forms from defects, signifying that the most beautiful things can spring forth from pain and suffering and limitations. Will and Diane have experienced that first hand, which gives them the moral authority and believability to engender such transformation amongst those they serve. Opal House is a beacon of hope, and the spirituality of unity that Will and Diane live out in a country that is divided in every possible way, allows them, even in their weakness as foreigners, to be incredible instruments of peace.

Ways to make it better...

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

Expand their tribe

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 22, 2014

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January 22, 2014

Last year I was able to spend a week with Will and Diane at Opal House. It was an amazing time of encouragement. I felt like a part of the family and a part of their vision. It was so refreshing to be around two people who feel so passionately about what they are doing and about following the call that the Lord has placed on their life. I helped out with a variety of projects--planting/re-foresting, helping with the after school program, cooking, serving breakfast to the children that come before school, cleaning, organizing, gardening.
During my stay, It was evident that to me that the Lord is using them to bring His light to 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?

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?

2012

January 22, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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January 22, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I have known Wil and Diane ever since they first stepped foot in Guatemala. In fact, I was their "guide" in their first few days in the country so many years ago. I have lived and served as a leadership developer and Non-profit Director with my family in Guatemala City for the past 10 years. Wil and Diane came to explore what was happening in Guatemala and eventually received a call to stay and live here.

We have visited Opal House on numerous occasions on personal visits as a family as well with short-term missions teams and have sent interns to work for much longer periods of time with Wil and Diane as well. The work they are doing there is a tremendous act of selfless and sacrificial love. They serve with the gifts the Lord has given to them and display incredible hospitality to all fortunate enough to come across their path.

My family and I "lived" the story of Opal House here in Guatemala and watched the miracle unfold page by page in front of our very eyes. It is awe inspiring what has occurred and we are thrilled to have the blessing to be associated both informally and formally with the work being carried out there.

In our trips to Opal House throughout the years, we have had personal encounters with dozens and dozens of residents in the surrounding community who testify to the incredible blessing that WIl and Diane and their work is to the Aguas Escondidas and San Lucas Tolimon communities. We have referred many people in need of surgical and medical procedures to Wil and all have received amazing care and have been blessed beyond measure for the chance to have had the opportunity to be cared for in such a loving, holistic manner.

I cannot say enough good things about the ministry at the Opal House and for the character, passion and service of WIl and Diane to the people that they have been called to serve here in Guatemala and who have, in turn, served them in countless ways.

Sincerely,

Joel Van Dyke, D.Min.
Executive Director
Center for Transforming Mission Guatemala
Guatemala City, Central America

More feedback...

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

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

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