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

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

My Photo
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, December 8, 2009

Journal November 29 - December 5

Here is a quick review of some of the things that took place this past week.

Many of you are perhaps wondering why nothing
was mentioned about adult camp in my last journal entry.
(Click on any picture to enlarge.)

The fact is I was so busy doing other things that I spent almost none of my time at our last camp. Thanks to a marvelous group of volunteers from both the USA and Guatemala I was able to do other things with out feeling too guilty. That is not to say that Chris, Bill and others who were there for all 3 camps are not tired but everyone certainly did their part to make these 3 weeks of camp a big success.

Even though I bowed out of the last camp I still managed to stay busy and like the others I am tired. Trying to remember exactly what I did each day is sort of a blur but then again at my age everything that I do is often a blur. Thankfully my camera has a better memory than I do so I am going to let last week's pictures do most of the talking.

My Boys and I managed to spend a bit of time at the Orphanage.

Fernando and Bryan are not old enough to be allowed into the malnutrition ward but they do have a knack for coaxing some of the kids to come out to where they are.

It is still my wish that they someday come to their senses and put 12 year old Fernando in charge of this place.

Later that day we visited with a beggar girl who was in need of a wheelchair.

She and her grandmother live in an 8 foot by 8 foot room that they rent for $50 per month.

Several of my days were spent visiting people
who were in need of food or medicine.
Later this week we plan on moving Rosa and her family out
of this vacant building and into the new home that we built for them.

Some of the people that came to volunteer at camp were able to visit several families with me.

Maria's 2 sons and their friends were thrilled to see that a soccer ball
was included with he food that we brought in for their family.

Maria who's husband died a few years ago, tries hard to support herself and her 4 children. It will take her 3 months to complete this weaving. She will receive less than a dollar a day for her efforts.

As we were about to leave Maria's place a neighbor came over
and asked us if we would take a look at her home.

She and her 5 children live in a one room shack that is made out of dried mud and corn stalks. Just like Maria, this lady also lost her husband a few years ago. I plan on handing her name in to Bethel Ministries but the waiting list for people that are in need of homes is staggering.

A few days later we headed to the coast and visited with another family that we hope to build a home for in a few months.

Unlike Maria and the other lady that we visited a few days earlier this lady's husband is still alive. Unfortunately a few months ago he walked out on her and his 8 children. The 2 girls that are pictured here have brittle bone disease. A third girl who was admitted to a hospital that is several hours away has the same disease. Mother has not seen her in several months and is not sure weather or not she is still alive. She does not have the money to go and see her. Even if she had the money she would not dare to leave her other children home alone.

More stops were made at homes of families
who have children that are on the verge of starvation.

I brought Julio in to the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro a few years ago. After a few months Julio gained enough weight that he was able to return home. In spite of the monthly supply of groceries that we are providing, Julio continues to loose weight. If he looses a few more pounds I will have to try to persuade his parents into placing him back into the malnutrition ward.

When we reached the home of Carlos and his mother we discovered that he was almost out of seizure medication. Thanks to a sponsor we see to it that Carlos does not have to go without this much needed medication.

Our last stop of the day was at the home of Ronny's family.

This is always one of my favorite families to visit because over the years we have become really good friends. It does not seem like it was all that long ago that some of these same children would run and hide when ever I came on their yard. Now the littler ones almost get in a fight to see who gets to sit on my lap.

As you can see by the picture Calin accompanied us on this trip. I am slowly starting to let him do things with me again but he knows that he is being watched and that it is going ot be quite some time before I will fully trust him again. He has such a hart for the ministry and I love the kid, but I have seen little remorse and I am not sure that he will not steal from me again if given the opportunity. Please pray for Calin. Pray also that God gives me wisdom in how to deal with him.

Now that the school's are out for a few months my own house closely resembles camp. In the picture to the right several of my kids are calling relatives in the States. Thanks to a fairly stable internet provider and a program called Skype I can let them talk with family members in the states for only $3 per month. Some of these kids have not seen their parents since they were babies but at least now they are able to talk with them.

A few of my kids did me proud a few nights ago.

Alex, his sister Gladis and a few of the other kids brought 4 kids over to my house to see if I had shoes for them. Even though they know that the amount of kids shoes that I have is limited and not all of them will be receiving new ones this Christmas, my kids felt that it was more important that these 4 kids who are extremely poor, be given shoes. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched my kids kneel at the feet of these kids giving them what they knew they needed themselves.

During the week I managed to get into the wheelchair shop and got
the finishing touches done on Gustavo's head controlled wheelchair.

On Saturday a few of the kids and I brought it to the orphanage where he lives in Guatemala City. He has impatiently been waiting for it ever since he was able to try it out at teen camp. I am praying that he does not run into anything or any one with it because the mother superior that runs the orphanage is still not thoroughly convinced that he should have it.

On Saturday evening the kid and I rented a soccer field.
I played for a while but for some strange reason
I was tired so I sat out for the last part of the game.

On Sunday December 6 Fernando, Esbin
and myself headed to Huehuetinango.

We have spent the past few days here visiting people in various remote villages. A lot of really neat things have happened but I am still 3 days behind on my journaling so it will likely be a few days before I get those days published.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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