* GUATEMALA * * * * * * * * Dick Rutgers *

An ongoing journal of life as a Missionary in Guatemala. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

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Name:
Location: Chimaltenango, Guatemala

I work in Guatemala with Hope Haven international and Bethel Ministries. Along with my friends Chris and Donna Mooney and their family, we share the love of Jesus in various ways. Although giving out and maintaining wheelchairs is our primary ministry, we are involved in many other things as well. Building houses, feeding the hungry, providing education to handicapped children in orphanages and villages, and hosting a camp for the handicapped are just a small part of the things that God has given us the privilege of getting involved in. For several years now I have been keeping daily journals. Once a week I try to post new journals and pictures. My e-mail is dick@dickrutgers.com Guatemala Cell Phone # 502 5379 9451 USA Phone # 360 312 7720(Relays free to Guatemala)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Journal January 9-13

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Friday, January 9, 2008

Today was a Hermano Pedro day. Fidel's power wheelchair was completely dead and he was really bummed out, so I decided to make getting his chair running a priority. Abner and Marcos came along with me and once I got them on track they did a fairly good job of helping out. It appears that the horn that Fidel had talked some one into installing on his power chair has shorted out the entire system so we found ourselves having to install a new computer and controller. Fortunately we located used ones that worked so his chair is once again up and running. It no longer has a horn though and the workers at Hermano Pedro have been notified not to install any electrical items on any of the power wheelchairs.




Even though most of my day was spent playing electrician I still managed to spend time with some of the kids. Alex is still up in the malnutrition ward but seems to be a doing a lot better. Lionel is continuing to gain weight but he had another small seizure as I was holding him today. I pray that they can find a medication that works for him with out half knocking him out. Some of the kids at the orphanage are on such heavy medications that they seem like zombies a good part of the time.






Saturday, January 10, 2009


After about two hours at the telephone company, (I won't even go there other than to say that if the gave me a nickel for every needles hour that I spend there I would be rich.) I headed to Antigua and picked up Megan and Toby. We then headed back to my house. Fernando, Abner, and Cesar had spent the night and had breakfast cooking by the time that I got back home. Megan and Toby were quit impressed.

After breakfast we headed to town and bought some groceries for Maria and her family. Maria and her four kids are doing quite well but they were feeling bad that one of the two pigs that we had bought for them had died. After giving birth to six piglets the mother pig decided that she was hungry so she ate them. Shortly after that she got a severe case of indigestion and died. I know that there has to be a lesson there somewhere but am not sure just what it is. Not only did we hand out some groceries but we also had some shoes and backpacks for several children that did not receive any on our last visit.
We were quite surprised when we saw the sister and the brother of the blind girl that we often visit in Chimaltenango. They told us that they had take their mother here because she was sick and there were no doctors that were willing to see her for free in Chimaltenango. Unfortunately once they got to Maria's village they quickly discovered that the doctor that lived there wanted money as well. Perhaps that is for the best though because many of these so called doctors that live in the villages are quacks. After visiting a bit longer with Maria and her family we walked to the home where the mother of the blind girl was staying. She told us that her constant headaches are getting worse and that see can seldom get out of bed without getting so dizzy that she can not stand up. Tuesday we plan to get her in to Hermano Pedro to see a real doctor. We also promise that tomorrow we would go and see her two daughters that have been staying alone in Chimaltenango for the past few days.



When I got home I discovered that Calin's mom had done my laundry twice. As she was hanging up the last few articles of clothing to dry my close line broke and everything fell onto the dirt so she had to start all over again. I did not have any trustworthy rope to use for a new close line but remembered an unused coated wire that ran from a telephone pole in the alley to my house.







Fact # 195
All black wires look the same in the dark.


Fact # 196
Telephone’s and internet do not work when you cut your phone line and use it for a close line.


Fact # 197 It is a lot harder to splice telephone lines then it is to cut them.

Fact # 198 There is always something to be thankful for even in what seems like a bad situation, especially considering electrical wires and telephone wires look quite a bit alike but react differently when you touch them.

I received a phone call from Mary's daughter this evening. Yesterday they transported Mary to a hospital in Guatemala City. They thought that they were going to operate on her there but then discovered that they did not have any of her type of blood so the insurance company has decided to medivack her to the States in the morning. This is perhaps a blessing because that is what Mary and her family wanted in the first place. In this case the $50 flight insurance really paid off.

Well it has been a long nigh so as soon as the kids get finished laughing at me I will send them home and go to bed.

Goodnight,
Yours in Christ: Dick


Sunday, January 11, 2009Well my Internet is still working and the house has not burned down over night so I guess it was indeed the phone line and not the electrical line and it looks like I didn't get my wires crossed.

Only 10 kids came along to church today so we actually had room to take Megan and Toby back to Chimaltenango with us. After the 13 of us stopped off at Martha's for lunch we dropped of all but two of the kids and headed out to see some Mayan ruins that are located about an hour from here. I am not exactly a history buff but at my age it does my hart good to see that there are still things around that are older than I am. After hiking around for about an hour I realized that the kids still had way to much energy but fortunately there was a large field near where we had parked my car so Toby and the boys had a great time playing soccer. I joined in as well by being one of the goal posts. After a while they saw that I was getting tired so they replaced me with a rock. Seriously I have taken it fairly easy this weekend and feel quite rested so I think that I am ready for another week.






On our way home we stopped off and bought some more groceries and brought them to the two girls who are in Chimaltenango. They are doing OK but told me that they really miss their mom. It has to be scary staying in there one little room in an otherwise abandon building. I gave them money for a phone card and told them to call me if they needed anything and also promised that I would stop off with their mom when I picked her up to take her to the doctor on Tuesday. Hopefully she can be back with them by Wednesday night but she does not want them to come to the village where she has been staying for the past few days until she knows weather or not she will be able to return to her home.

Goodnight,
Yours in Christ: Dick



Monday, January 12, 2009
This morning Calin and Jason came along with me to Hermano Pedro where we spend a few hours with the kids and then we headed out towards that Esquetla area. Toby and Megan joined us as well. It would take me far to long if I went into detail about all of the people that we visited today and even longer to describe our feelings when we visited children like Julio, who’s health is going down hill ever since he returned to his home after spending several months in the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro. Even though the family now has a new house, filtered water, and a sponsor for Julio they seem so defeated. Why is it that families like those of Maria’s who we visited only two days ago seem so much happier even though they have even less. Could it be because they have a hope that that is eternal and know that there is something better in store for them? In the midst of all of their suffering and poverty I see an inner peace that only Jesus can give. Sure life can still have its rough spots but without faith there is nothing. That is why even though today was a hard day for me it was also a good one. It is never easy to hold a child knowing that he or she will perhaps not be there to hold the next time that you come into their village, but praise God we were able to hold them today. Enough said, here are some pictures.







































































































































Luke 18:16

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these".


Goodnight:
Yours in Christ, Dick

1 Comments:

Anonymous Expat Mom said...

I met you the other day at the hospital (the woman who brought her two small sons in to visit the kids) and I have to say that reading your journal entries makes me laugh. I live up the volcano and the whole clothesline incident sounds entirely too familiar. Fortunately, I`m able to laugh when it happens to someone else. ;) Thanks for that!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009  

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