* 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)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Journal, Sunday, November 15, 2009, 3:35 AM

Not Enough Unfolded Hands.

I cannot sleep so I thought I would get up and do some writing.

(Be careful because often times when I get up in the middle of the night to do my journaling I say what I think.)

A few days ago I received a letter from a friend who visited Guatemala awhile back. While she was here I took her and the group that she was with through Hermano Pedro orphanage. Over the years most groups that I have taken through the orphanage do quite well with the kids. There have been a few that view the kids as nothing more than a disfigured person from whom they may catch what ever it is that has caused this less than human looking creature to become this way, but most see beyond the disfigurement or illness and recognize the child for what he or she is, a living breathing, human being, a real person with a real hart and soul, someone just like ourselves who craves to be acknowledged, to be held, to be loved, someone who was created in the image of God. During her visit to the orphanage my friend Christie did exactly that. She saw the children as the precious human beings that God had created them to be. She fell in love with them all but one particular little girl grabbed onto her hart strings. Physically Perla is not the most beautiful girl in the world but God allowed my friend to see Perla for what she was and took away any blindness that some of us who look only at the outward appearance of a human being often see. Christie was able to see the real beauty of this precious child and was able to look into the eyes of an angel. She knew that she was having the privilege of holding and loving on one of God's children. A child that had been created in His image.

Here is part of the letter that I received from Christie after she returned home from her trip.

Hi, Dick, I was with the Joni and Friends group that left last week. I saw on your blog the picture of me with Perla Garcia in the middle of the heart. Wow! That really meant a lot to me..... This email is to ask the biggest, hugest favor of you... Because of what Perla meant to me, and because I was able to make her smile, laugh, and giggle... I would like to ask you to spend at least 5 minutes with her any time you go to the orphanage. She has changed my life and I'll never forget her and the children of the orphanage! If you put your face right next to her face or her arms and legs and blow all over her and then gently tickle her legs, under her chin, under her arms and the bottom of her feet...I'm sure that you will be given the immeasurable gift of her laughter ... and knowing that Jesus is dwelling in her.


I thought about ending today's journal here leaving you with a nice warm feeling but I just cannot do that. I would love to have been able to write Christie back and tell her that ever since I received her letter I have made sure that every time I got into Hermano Pedro I rushed over to Perla's crib, scooped her up in my arms and reminded her that she was loved, but the truth is I have been so busy lately that I have not been able to spend nearly as much time there as I would like. I had to tell my friend Christie that I could try to make her feel good by saying that I would do that, but I could not make a promise that I can not keep. There are over 240 residence at Hermano Pedro. Spending only 5 minutes a day letting each one of God's children that live there know that they are loved would take 20 hours. So most days Perla and over 200 children like her have to spend their day lying in a crib staring at the ceiling hoping and praying that just perhaps another Christie will walk by, pick them up and remind them that they are loved.

Undoubtedly many of you who reed this will be praying for these children and others like them. I thank you for that, but these children need more than just folded hands they need loving arms. Could it be that God is telling you that it is now time to get up off from your knees or what ever part of your anatomy you are presently on, so that you can be His hands and His feet?

Yours in Christ:

Camp will be starting tomorrow. It is likely that during the next 3 weeks of camp I will not be able to make journal entries every day. I am working on getting some of our volunteers to do a bit of journaling and will post their entries or mine when ever I find the time.


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