* 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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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)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Journal July 25-31

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

After all that has been going on this past week I decided that I needed a brake. Knowing that Alex’s family had been through a lot with having nearly every member of their family in and out of the hospital the past few months I figured that they needed a day of relaxation as well. Since their family and a large cooler of food did not entirely fill up my car I decided that not taking Abner and Fernando along to the beach with us would be just be a waist of empty space. This was the first time seeing the ocean for several members of Alex’s family. Mom had been there before but that was 20 years ago.

Hard to believe since it is only an hour and a half drive to the Ocean from Chimaltenango. It was good for me to get my mind off from what has been going on here and judging by the faces of Alex’s family it was just what the doctor ordered. Tomorrow I will try to deal with reality but it felt good to get away even if it was for only a day.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 9:53 PM

This is a picture of some of the kids that attend the church that I go to. None of my kids are in the picture. I guess they don’t qualify as angles. During the past few days I had to kick Calin out of my house for stealing. I also had to talk to Abner about why he suddenly ran away from the home of his uncle and aunt who he has been living with for all of his life. He is also talking about trying to sneak into the Sates with Daniel. Later today I sat down and let the entire group know that I am able to track wherever they go on the Internet even when I am not in the room. I didn’t point any one out but Cesar was certainly looking uncomfortable. All of them are aware that if what has happened happens again there will be no more Internet.

On a positive note this morning my car was jammed full of kids that wanted to attend church and even if none of them were nominated for the Halos that the kids in the picture above are wearing I would not trade them for the world. Yes some of them break my hart at times by some of the things that they do but God has given me an unconditional love for them.

This morning they made an announcement that there was going to be a Christian concert in our church this evening. When they announced that it was going to be free I figured that I could afford to take some of my kids to it. However tonight it did not take long to figure out that even if it were free, we had been overcharged. I have stated before that here in Guatemala the worse the band is the louder they play or sing. This evening certainly confirmed that. It also confirmed that I am not totally deaf to high pitch Screechy sounds. All this just one night after a rock band had a concert just across the street from my place. Now all of my kids are as deaf as I am and they no longer believe that I am the worst singer in the world.

Well things have finally quieted down around here, at least to the best of my knowledge they have, so I am going to head off to bed.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Monday, July 27, 2009, 9:28 PM

No school again today. Why? Who knows? Cesar and Esben came along with me to Hermano Pedro today and they were thrilled when they found out that the kids were going to swim today. Why they only put 6 to 8 kids into the pool on the rare Mondays that they do swim is beyond me but at least that hand full of kids had a good time. We were going to take a few of the kids out to lunch after swimming but since there were a few volunteers there that offered to help us work on wheelchairs I figured that I would take advantage of it and work on chairs instead. We worked mostly with the kids from the malnutrition ward today and even though only one of them received a new wheelchair several of the kids got modifications to their wheelchairs that made a world of difference.

At around 3 PM I took the 2 men that had been helping us over to Hope Haven’s wheelchair factory and showed tem around. While I was there Mark gave me 2 wheelchairs that I planned on taking to El Salvador on Wednesday.

The boys and I then headed for home and after grabbing a hamburger we met up with most of the other kids in the neighborhood and then we rented a soccer field for an hour. Even though the game was played on cement no one got hurt but due to an extra hard kick the new soccer ball that I had just been given is now due for a hernia operation.

Only 2 showers were taken at my house tonight I took the first one then about 5 of my kids took the second one. Judging by the laughter and the amount of water that was running out of the door of my bathroom I think that the kids had a good time. Later tonight I will try to build up the courage to go and see what my bathroom looks like. It is times like these that I am glad that it is not connected to my house, but I am also thankful for high walls because the bathroom was evidently too crowded for all of the kids when it was time to get dressed.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today I had planned on getting ready for a 2 day trip to El Salvador. Dennis Matter, a friend from the States who spends a good deal of time in El Salvador asked me if I could bring some wheelchairs there for 2 kids that needed them. Carlos a friend from El Salvador who volunteers at Hermano Pedro had planned on going with me as well. Since I had not been out of country in nearly 2 and a half years I had to locate my passport. When I did I discovered that it had expired 4 months ago so there was no way that I could leave the country. Thus my plans to go to El Salvador have been delayed for a few weeks and today I had to go to the embassy in Guatemala City and apply for a new passport.

While I was in the City I stopped off and visited with a man who had been shot and paralyzed by bandits about 2 years ago. I am hoping that I can get a power wheelchair that some one sent in from the States, set up with a head control unit.

My friend Daryl Flup and his teem are now back in the States. Daryl plans on bringing other teems into the orphanage in the not to distant future. I don’t know what he does to prepare his teems but I am looking forward to Daryl’s return. Here is what Daryl wrote after getting back to the USA.

(On Tuesday July 28 Daryl wrote)

Faces that Follow

Well, we are home again. The last two days have been filled with unpacking and catching up with my other life here in the States. But as I settle back in I find that there are some faces that follow me and come to mind often. I want to take a moment to introduce them to you and ask you to pray for them in the days ahead.

Delmi is one of the most ignored children in Hermano Pedro. From a human standard she is homely. Her large ears and bulbous nose are not exactly cover girl material for today’s magazines. Yet she is beautiful. She and I spent a large part of the day together on Monday of our trip. She went with us to the park and enjoyed a break from the prison of Hermano Pedro. At one point, I took off her socks and placed her twisted feet into the fountain and helped her splash the water. Her face lit up with a beautiful smile and she laid her head over against my chest. Delmi is precious and wonderful and she needs someone to show her that truth.

Byron is an incredibly sharp young man with a wonderful sense of humor and a joy for life. This joy radiates from him despite the situation in which he lives. Dick Rutgers has fitted him with an electric wheelchair that he steers with his head because his arm control is not sufficient, and he spends every moment that he is out of his crib speeding around the facilities of Hermano Pedro. It is so easy to see the twisted, disabled body on the outside and miss what wonderful intelligence and wit lies inside. He is such a fun person for those who take the time to know him. He needs someone to talk to him as a young man and see the sharp mind and humor that lies inside.

Louis is a little guy who capture the heart of my daughter, Krishauna, on our last Guatemala trip. He has also captured the hearts of Wanda and I. After long periods with little interaction he is slow to respond and even slower to smile. But with a few hours of attention from someone who loves him he will make noises attempting to talk, connect through strong eye contact, and is quick to smile and laugh. He has become our son and we love him deeply. Simply put, Louis needs a family (just as all the children do) to love him, encourage him, talk to him, and hold him.

Gloria is a beautiful eight year old girl whose smile can light up a room. Until this trip we believed, due to the staff and some volunteers, that she was deaf. However, during the time we spent with her we realized that she was startled by loud noises. She practices self stimulation by brushing her hand across her lips in a rapid manner. She too has become our child and we are head over heals in love with her. She needs a family who believes in her, advocates for her, and loves her with passion. Our arms feel especially empty without her in them.

I have highlighted four of the wonderful children from Hermano Pedro, but they are just a sampling of the hundreds of beautiful and incredible children, teens, and adults who fill their wards. I have grown to love and respect every one of them. That is why I struggle so much each time I leave them behind. When I am there I feel like a father to each of them, and when I am away I feel as if a part of me is missing.


Perhaps you would like to join Daryl on one of his trips to Guatemala where you can get to know these gifts from God as he has. To find more info or to sign-up to go along with Daryl, go to


You’ll change lives…including your own.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today most of my day was spent at Hermano Pedro orphanage seating kids in wheelchair. Getting the kids seated properly is not always an easy task but it is a rewarding one.

This evening I went over to the Elmer’s home to celebrate his birthday. Sunday is Calin’s birthday I am still trying to figure out what to do about that. In the past I have always had a party for him but after I caught him stealing from me it make things a bit harder.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Once again a good part of my day was spent fixing wheelchairs at Hermano Pedro. Two men from the USA have been helping me the past few days and we are making a bit dent in what has to be done. All work and no play makes Dick a dull boy though so we did talke time out to take 2 of the kids out to lunch. I had fully intended on heading for home at around 3:00 Pm but then I made the mistake of going up into the malnutrition ward to say goodbe to a few of the kids.

"It is never easy to say goodbye to the kids at the orphanage but for some reason this evening it was especially hard."

"What I thought was goint to be a quick goodbye ended up taking well over an hour."

"It's pretty hard to just smile and wave goodbye when the children cry out with their eyes, to be held."

"I usually hate long goodbyes but were it not for a bunch of kids waiting for me at home I could have stayed a lot longer."

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, July 31, 2009

Today Fernando, Cesar, Scott and myself brought food and medical supplies to some families that were in need. Our first stop was at one of my favorites, the home of Maria and her 4 children. Although her 2 sons were still in school we received a warm welcome from Maria and her other 2 children. Although she had never seen Scott before maria's little girl ran streight to him when he held out his arms. I was hard to believe that this same little girl use to run and hide when ever an American came on the yard. Maria's youngest son and her sister in laws son were both a bit sick so we left some medicine with Maria. We left a few toys for Maria's 2 boys who were still at school and alos gave some food and toys to a few neighborhood children who evidently did not attend school.

From there we headed to where another Maria lives this Maria who is in her late twenties use to come to camp with her brother and sister who like Maria were also in wheelchairs. About 2 years ago maria's sister died and a year ago her brother Fidel passed away. Up until a few months ago Maria could still walk a bit with the use of a walker but she is now confined to her wheelchair. After visiting a while and giving this family some vitamins, medicine and food, I brought out my portable printer and printed some pictures that I had taken. Talk about a hit, the family loved the pictures.

Alex and his mom had spent the night in San Marteen so I figured that since we were close I would call them and see if they wanted a ride back to Chimaltneango. They immediately said yes as the curvy mountain roads are bad enough in a car but down right scary in an old school buss.

After getting back to Chemaltenango Scot and I took the boys out for supper and then we brought Scott back to Antigua.

Before I send this out I will give a quick update on a few of the kids.

Alex- is still not back in school but seems to be doing a lot better. as far as I know he has not had any panic attacks for quite some time now.

Calin- is still barred form my house for stealing. Sunday is his birthday but I will not have a party for him this year. I am still not 100% sure weather or not a neighborhood gang was making him pay protection money but either way he has to realize that he can not steal. last night I talked with him over the phone and told him that I would pay him a visit on Sunday. Please pray that God gives me wisdom in how to deal with Calin.

Abner- is still living with his grandmother. He refuses to go back and live with his aunt and uncle. Since they live right next to me he is staying away form my house as well. I have heard that he may be getting ready to try to sneak into the states with Daniel. I will miss him.

The other kids that hang out here are all doing quite well but Fernando really misses Abner. Even though they are uncle and nephew there is only 2 years difference in their ages and those 2 are like brothers.

Florinda- The 3 year old that we brought into the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro a few weeks ago is gaining weight but her muscles continue to spasm and at times she appears to be in a lot of pain.

Edwin- The 21 pound 9 year old that we brought in to malnutrition a few weeks ago is g doing well. Now that he is getting something more nourishing than tortillas and sugar water he is gaining weight.

Jose- Little 11 pound 3 year old Jose is doing quite well. He still has problems eating a large variety of foods so it will be difficult for his family to feed him when he goes back home. He is a feisty one and a survivor though. It still amazes me to see some one who is not much larger than a new born baby walking around.

-Although Lionel's health and weight have greatly improve since he first arrived at Herman Pedro he still misses his family and cries a lot when he is not being held.

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."

Mother Teresa

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, July 24, 2009

Journal July 18-24, 2009

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Since the team from Faith Community church will be leaving us tomorrow I am going to take advantage of Blake Witmans daily Journals and post this one in place of mine. I guess that I wlil have to start doing my own journaling again on Sunday or Monday but I sure enjoyed the break. Thanks Blake.


Trip Winding Down

By Blake

I honestly cannot believe that Monday we are jumping on a plane and heading back to the great northwest. The other thing I can’t believe is how much we have gotten done in the time that we have been here. I was chatting with Chris Mooney when we were at Dick’s house, and he said to me that he is AMAZED by how much we have accomplished this week … PRAISE GOD! So today, we worked our fingers to the bone … literally!! I think we had three hand injuries (dont' worry, nothing serious) and I ended the day with a HUGE blister on my thumb.

A majority of the day was spent cleaning out another warehouse and then putting up shelving racks in order to store more wheelchairs. There was a lot of wood cutting, a lot of measuring, and a lot of nailing with really bad nails. We did get a majority of it done however …

Around 4 o’clock we all headed towards Dick’s house. Just around the corner are some soccer fields that we rented for a couple of hours and we got a chance to play some soccer with a lot of Dick’s “kids”. It was a ton of fun, and I think Dick’s boys all enjoyed it as well. One thing though, Guatemalans know how to play soccer, and I think only about 3 or four kids were any good … the rest of us pretty much had a hard time. I remember multiple times where people watching from the stands just laughed at me in my attempt to play the game!! GOOD TIMES!
After soccer we all headed back and had some pizza with all of Dick’s boys over at Dick’s house. What a blessing it was to hang out with these kids for the afternoon and evening. Please continue to be in prayer for Dick and all of these guys as the Lord continues to draw each of them closer and closer to Himself.

Blake failed to mention that he was the highlight of the day and will be the main topic of conversation around my dinner table for the next few months. The kids realy enjoyed what he showed them but I wish that he had explained to them that not every American can remove one of their eyes. Several of my younger kids are still pestering me to do what Blake did.


To close off the night we all came home and did an “affirmation circle”. This is where we go around our entire group, and each person is affirmed by at least three different people. What a great night it was just growing even closer as a group, and enjoying each other’s company. Then it was off to bed …

Sunday, July 19, 2009

5:30am when the firecrackers went off right outside the house for Brycen (it is a Guatemalan tradition to set off firecrackers really early in the morning for birthdays) SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRYCEN! I have to tell you though, I turned on the light just as they started going off so we could sing to him, and Brycen told me his first thought was “Blake, why are you turning on the light, they are going to see us up in here!!!” Evidently he thought we were being attacked! HAHAHAHA

So the game plan today … we are headed to church with the Mooney’s this morning, then coming back home to finish packing up and then we are going to head to the Mayan Ruins about half an hour away. That should be really interesting as it sounds like they still do blood sacrifices there. Then this afternoon we are headed down to Guatemala City to hook up with Joel VanDyk eand going to attend church with him this evening. We are staying in Guatemala City tonight, and then going to do some wrap up with Joel tomorrow before heading to the airport.

In closing, this trip has been nothing short of amazing. God has revealed Himself in some pretty incredible ways … and each of us in our group have been pushed outside of our comfort zone in many ways. The one song that has continually been in my head this week (almost daily) is the song that says “if we are the body, why aren’t his arms reaching, why aren’t his hands teaching, why aren’t his feet moving … “ I believe we have done that this week. I know God has touched some lives through our group, and we all want to give praise to Him for that. At the same time, I know the people of this country have touched our lives as well. Its always incredible to see that, how those who are being ministered to, end up ministering to us as well. From the orphanage, to the housing project, food distributions, clean up crews, wheel chair distributions, and soccer teams … God’s name has been glorified, and word of Jesus Christ has been spread. We are so blessed to serve a God that is so interested in being intimately involved in our lives. As I was telling Chris yesterday, how incredible is it that a perfect and Holy God chooses to use sinful, wayward, broken, and ugly people in order to bring praise and glory to a God that is sooo Holy, sooo sovereign, and sooo perfect.

In the words of Pastor Tino, “Praise God, Hallelujah, PRAISE GOD!”


Your Fearless Y.P. Blake

Thank you Blake and thank you group.

This morning I had the privilege of seeing Alex get baptized. 11 of my other kids came along and I have a feeling that some of them will soon be following Alex's example.

It looks like I will have to start doing my own journaling again now that Blake is leaving but it was nice to have a bit of a break.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow! I just ran into Daryl Flup, a friend that brought a teem in to Hermano Pedro about 6 months ago. I offered to spend a few days showing him and the teem that he brought in this week around Hermano Pedoro and in return Daryl is allowing me to post his journal entries. I guess you are once again going to get to read some one eases perspectives of what God is doing here in Guatemala. I think that you will find Daryl's journals interesting.


Daryl wrote the following.

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post an update on this blog. We arrived in Guatemala on Saturday after an uneventful trip only to discover that my luggage, along with another team mate’s luggage did not. That meant that most of my clothes, toiletries, and basic needs were left in Houston, along with the cord for my computer. I finally received my suitcase this afternoon, so I am able to communicate at last!

Most of our time has been spent at Hermano Pedro, a special needs hospital for children with Cerebral Palsy. That is where my greatest passion lies. And, as always, I find it to be a place of great joy and great pain. Each child there is a treasure and it fills me with joy to be with them. At the same time, their needs are great and often neglected, so it is painful to see those needs firsthand.

We spent the entire day today at Hermano Pedro and were able to take a group of younger children to the park where we ate, splashed them with water from the fountains, and allowed them to experience fresh air and sunshine. It is such a wonderful experience to see their faces light up and hear their laughter as they dangle their bare feet in the fountains. After spending 20 hours a day in a stainless steel crib a simple walk to the park can seem like heaven.

Our team of seven people are excellent with the children. They are working with children with very severe needs, but are not intimidated at all. They have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work loving the kids. It is hard to tell who is experiencing greater joy, the kids or our team!

Each afternoon at 5:00 pm we are forced to put the kids in their cribs and leave. They consider that bedtime. The kids are drugged to assure that they sleep, lights are turned out, and they wait for day to come again so the volunteers will be allowed to return. Tonight, I tucked-in several children, including Louis and Gloria who are very near to the hearts of Wanda and me. They are pictured here. Wanda and I choked up as we left these little ones behind for another long night. How we long to bring them back to the motel with us, or better yet, to take them home with us to the states and make them our own.

Please pray for the children of Hermano Pedro both now and in the future. As the church, we cannot allow these little ones to be forgotten. We must do something and we must do it now.

More will follow in the evenings ahead. Thank you for your prayers!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something to Consider

Each time I return to Guatemala I think that I will not be impacted as strongly as before, but after another day at Hermano Pedro I find myself broken once again. And it was a simple, little insight that did it.

As you read this blog you will likely shift your position numerous times without thinking about it. A limb stiffens, so you stretch it. You notice a point of uncomfortable pressure on your leg, so you move it. You feel an itch, so you scratch it. And you do these things without noticing.

Now, imagine that you could not do those simple movements. Due to a mind trapped within a disabled body even the simple movements you depend on has become impossible. You rely on others completely for those simple actions.

That is the case for many of the children with which we work at Hermano Pedro. We placed them in their beds for the evening at 5:00 pm and they will not move again until someone moves them, most likely tomorrow morning. Imagine the prison like existence that this creates for them. Such a simple fact of life for us is an impossible task for them.

In a loving home these children would be tenderly shifted, moved, and positioned regularly to assure comfort. In an institution they are left unmoved. This awareness troubles me greatly and has left me with three troubling question:

  • What is the church’s responsibility for these children?
  • What can I do to change the lives of these children?
  • What am I willing to do to change their lives? (The most troubling question.)

Today we took a group of eight children to Pollo Campero to eat lunch. They laughed, they played, and they reveled in the simple experience of a meal out with people who loved them. At the completion of the meal we took them to the park and splashed them with water from the fountains. Some of them returned to the hospital soaked, but still glowing from the experience. What a privilege it is to call these little ones my friends. They have taught me more about life than I could ever teach them.

We have had our week rearranged as we have made the decision to cancel our scheduled day at Casa Jackson tomorrow. It has been determined that we are more needed at Hermano Pedro, so the team will be working there again instead. Please pray for our time with them. Also pray for our team that is being deeply impacted by this experience. Pray that God will show each of them what He is calling them to do, and pray that they will have the courage to do it.

Thanks for your prayers!


Dick wrote.

I know that I often complain about how institutionalized Hermano Pedro is and about the amount of time that the kids have to spend in their beds, but I also have to remind myself from time to time that even though there are areas where I would love to see some improvements made this place is doing a wonderful job of helping people who would otherwise have no where else to turn. Each year thousands of people receive needed operations for next to no charge. Children are also regularly admitted into their malnutrition ward that would likely not survive if they did not have this option. Today after looking at some recent pictures of Lionel and Jose I went back through my files and found some pictures of them that were taken only a few months ago. I will let you be the judge as to weather or not this institution is making a difference in the lives of these children.

Jose a few months ago

Jose today


Lionel 8 months ago

Lionel today

Yours in Christ: Dick

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pastor Bill is in town for a few days so today Bill, Carlos, Scot and myself headed down towards the coast. No we did not go there to go swimming or sun baiting although the thought did cross my mind. However I could not talk pastor Bill into it because he had a hole in the elbow of his swimming suit.

Our main purpose of going was to visit with Ronny and his family. I had promised Ronny’s family that we would take them out some where if all of the kids got good marks on there report cards. Guess where we all ended up going. That’s right, I can’t seem to get away from going to Camperos no matter where I am. This one happened to be close to an hour from where they lived but I think that the entire family enjoyed tha car ride as much as the food.

Ronny seems healthier than he was the last time that I saw him and he seems much happier. His Mom told Carlos that just a few weeks ago he accepted Christ into his hart. I can see a big difference in his over all attitude. Ronny used to seem like he was angry with God and mad at the world but now his over all attitude has changed.

Today we also stopped in at the home of Carlos, a boy whom we supply medicine to, thanks to a sponsor. His mother told us that Carlos is no longer having grand mall seizures and is doing much better ever since he started taking the medicine. Today’s timing could not have been better because he was down to a 2 day supply.

Our last stop before heading for home was at the clinic that helps us get needed food and medicine to some other kids that we have sponsors for. Then we headed for home.

Tonight I once again have a house full of hungry kids so I am going to close for now and find them something to eat.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Wednesday, July 22

Worth Fighting For

Written by Daryl Flup

Today was another wonderful yet frustrating day at Hermano Pedro. Anytime we get to spend time with the children there it is wonderful. But often the mindset of the staff can be infuriating.

Those frustrations began shortly after we arrived and were playing with the children in the courtyard. We were approached by nurses and told that we needed to take the children back into the wards because it was too cold for them. (The temperature was in the low 70’s and the children were dressed in several layers and were using blankets.) We were forced to take the children back into the same prison cells which they spend most of their lives. Gradually we began to once again liberate the children into the courtyard after an hour had passed and they allowed us to stay outside that time.

Once again, I want you to understand the typical child’s day at Hermano Pedro. They are awakened at around 6:00 am for baths followed by breakfast followed by a few short hours in wheelchairs, hopefully in the courtyard if the weather is warm enough. Then, it is time for lunch at noon. When they are done eating, the staff will place the kids back in their beds for the rest of the day.

This is particularly frustrating when you are there to love the kids and give them an alternative to their normal existence. As we were there holding and playing with the children the nurses began to come and insist that we put them to bed for “naps.” This nap is in addition to the 13 hours of sleep they receive from 5:00 pm until 6:00 am and the additional hours they sleep because they are sedated during the day. Further, they insist that we put the children down for these naps even if they are sleeping peacefully in our arms.

So, our team quietly rebelled. The children were placed in their beds and, one by one, we would slip into their cribs, quietly remove them, place them in their wheelchairs, and break them out of their prison. While we are here, we have decided to fight for their freedom in every way possible. This afternoon we enjoyed another four hours of freedom with about 15 children whom we liberated from their cages.

There are a handful of faithful people who fight daily for these kids. Dick Rutgers, a man whom I am honored to now call my friend, fights constantly for the dignity of these precious children and their quality of life. The difference he makes is real and tangible and he needs your prayers. Please keep praying for the children of Hermano Pedro.

. . .. .Daryl's complete blog can be found at

http://www.hopeforhome.blogspot.com/ or better yet

. . . . .. Just click on this link.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I had planned on being at Hermano Pedro again today but my car had other plans. For the third time this year the steering of my car tried to go out on me. I am getting better at catching it before all 4 of the bolts break off from the stearing arm like they did the first time that it happened but finding that 2 out of 4 of hem have snapped is a bit nerve racking especially considering that just yesterday I made a 6000 foot curvy decent from here to the coast. Today I strongly recommended to my mechanic that we figure out a remedy for his ongoing problem. He claims that he has found a solution but I have chosen to spend the day at his shop looking over his shoulder. After all he is not the one that will be driving the car.

I did manage to get into town and pay my phone bill so that should be working again in another day or 2. It would be so nice if my bills actually came to me like thay are suppose to. That way I would remember to pay them before things get shut off. Last week I was with out water for 2 days. Come to think of it I have not been in to the electric company for over a month now. Oh well at least my laptop runs on batteries.

Well I just heard my mechanic say a discouraging word so I better go and see what happened.

I finally got my car out of the shop at around 1 PM. My bill for parts and 4 hours of work came to 200 Q ($25). My mechanic didn't have me over for lunch today but he did drive me to the far side of town so that I could pay my telephone bill at no additional charge.

I did spend a few hours in Antigua this afternoon and with Scot's help got a few wheelchairs refitted for the kids at the orphanage. Actually Scott did the majority of the work because I was a bit sluggish today. At around 4:00 PM I headed for home and when I got there I told the kids that I needed 2 hours of down time before opening my house up. It is amazing how fast 2 hours goes by but I do feel more rested and plan on opening the gate in a few minutes.

9:44 PM

The kids all pitched in with setting the table and making supper. I paid Cesar to do the dishes though becasue he needs money so that he can buy new handlebars for his bycicle.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, July 24, 2009, 7:27 AM

I write today’s journal with a heavy hart. Calin has always been like a son to me. This morning I caught him stealing money from my wallet. This has been going on for several months now and although I was 99% sure that he was the one that has been stealing money from me, up until today I could not prove it. At first he would not fess up to taking anything any of the other times that money was missing but after a lengthy conversation he admitted that he was the one that had been steeling from me for several months now.

As we talked more I became aware of just how serious things are becoming in this neighborhood and if he is telling the truth Calin’s steeling is just the tip of the ice burg. To my knowledge Calin has not spent any of the several hundred dollars on himself, Unless of course you call giving protection money to the Gangs so that they do not kill you, spending it on yourself. I do not have all of the details sorted out yet but if this is true it sounds like this gang is serious. Please Pray.

7:58 PM

At 4PM I took Calin over to the wheelchair shop where we met with Chris. At first Calin was hesitant to talk about things but he slowly opened up and told us what has been going on. Evidently several kids in my neighborhood have had there lives threatened but to my knowledge only Calin has been told that he has to bring large amounts of money to the gang leaders. Daniel who was threatened last week is laying low and plans on sneaking into the States within the next few weeks but Calin claims that he has been paying the gangs the protection money that they are demanding. Now his source (steeling from me) has dried up so if he is telling the truth it is uncertain what will happen. I was told that when the same gang robbed Abner a few days ago, one of the adult leaders of the gang told him that there were members in his gang that were Abner’s age that would gladly kill some one on command.

Ever since the gang members stole Daniel’s phone last week Calin and Daniel’s mom has been getting threats over the phone. I have to be careful as well because my phone number is on that phone. Then again perhaps I have already been getting threats but do not know it because of my lack of Spanish. I guess not being able to understand Spanish does have its advantages. There is also a chance that the gang knows where Calin has been getting his money from. It has been suggested to me that I close my house to any of the kids or that I even consider moving. I must admit I gave that some thought, about 20 seconds worth. I know for a fact that some of my kids that are sitting in my house right now would be members of the same gang that is doing all of this were it not for the fact that they have a safe place to go where they know that they are loved. Besides that I know I am right where God wants me. What could be better than that?

Yours in Christ: Dick

Saturday, July 25. 2009

I have done some more talking with both Calin and some of his relatives. All I know at this point is that Alex, Abner, and Daniel were threatened when they were robbed. The jury is still out on Calin. If his 2 aunts were the jurors he wold be guilty of lying. Mom says he is telling the truth but this is the same lady that he gave his stolen money to in his younger days. If he is not telling the truth about paying protection money to the gang leaders he is a really good at lying and a rich boy. Either way he did steal from me so even though I will stay in close contact and see him regularly he is not allowed into my house for a long long time.

Yours in Christ: Dick