* 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, December 27, 2009

Journal, December 26 & 27

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's like Deja-vu, all over again.
I know that we celebrated Christmas yesterday but
for Fernando and Etiline it came the day after Christmas.

Neither Fernando or his sister Etiline have seen their mother since she left to find work in the States ten years ago. Tonight we arranged for their mother to go to the home of a friend who has a computer, and thanks to modern technology, the marvels of internet and 2 small cameras, for nearly an hour Fernando and Etiline got to visit with their mother face to face. Can you imagine finally being able to see your 11 and 12 year old children who were 1 and 2 years old that last time that you saw them, or seeing your mother who you have not seen since you were a baby? Needless to say a lot of tears were shed but the visit was a healthy one for both mother and children. I am going to do my best to see to it that these visits take place on a regular bases.

I am hoping to give some of my other kids the same opportunity but needless to say some of them are bitter that their parents left them in an attempt to make a better life for them, and are not sure that they want to make contact with them. Fernando, Etiline and their mother were ready for this reunion. I think that a few more of my kids would like to do this as well but we are taking it one step at a time.
Christmas also came a day later than usual for this widow
her 5 children that we visited earlier today.

A few weeks ago while visiting 2 other widows that Bethel Ministries have given homes to I was told of this lady, her 5 children and her elderly mother who lived in a shack that was made out of corn stalks and mud. When the boys that were with me and myself visited her house we could not help but wonder if it would fall down before anyone could get anything done about getting a new one built for them. On Christmas day I told Chris about this family and he told me that we could make this family a priority so today I went back to see them.

This is the inside of their home. . ..........

Before going there the boys and I went and picked up Pastor Juan and his family. Pastor Juan who lives in Tecpan which is less than a half hour drive from where this lady lives helps Bethel with the construction of a lot of the homes that they build. With in a half hour after introducing him to this lady and her 5 children (None of whom she can afford to send to school) we had everything discussed and thanks to some short term mission teems that will be coming in to help us build some homes, we were able to promise her and her family a new home within the next month or two.

While we were were there Juan, his family, the 2 boys that came along from my neighborhood and I challenged the village kids to a game of soccer. Had we seen the village soccer field before we asked about playing we may have changed our minds. The field (if you can call it that) has to be on a good 15 degree incline. Saying it was a bit rocky is deffinatly an understatement. Some of the rocks were boulders that the opposing players often hid behind. Two sticks that were stuck into the ground at the high end of the field served as the up hill goal.

I usually like to play goalie but we had the low end of the field and and a 10 foot deep pit served as the down hill goal. Step back to far while protecting this goal and you were a goner. Never the less we all had a good time and good number of spectators had gathered by the time we finished the game.

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After the game we visited for a while with the families of Maria and Rosa. These area the 2 widows in this area who we have already built houses for.

When I got home this evening my kids and I rented a soccer field and about 15 of us had a game on a field that was level and had no boulders. Granted the surface was cement and not grass but that is kids stuff compared to what I played on earlier today.

Goodnight and Merry Christmas all over again.
Yours in Christ: Dick

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I know it is Sunday and I know that I said that I was going to take some time off from writing in my journal but how can I brag about my kids if I can't write about them. No, mind you they are far from angels. They just proved that to me tonight when I rented a soccer field for $3 after all 15 kids promised that they would help clean up my yard after the game. Some how 15 kids dwindled down to 9 by the time we reached my yard, and some how only 6 of the 9 that made it to my house remembered that they had promised to work. I must admit though that it was almost worth seeing the expressions on the faces of the kids that I left behind when 7 of us drove off to Burger King after the yard was cleaned up.

Any way where was I? Oh ya, I wanted to do a bit of bragging about the kids that came along with me to church this morning. After Church I told the kids that I wanted to stop off at the orphanage for just a few minutes to see if some friends of mine happened to be there. As it turned out my friends were not there but a few minutes turned into something like a few hours. Not that I minded but every time that I mentioned that we should be heading for home all of my kids begged me to stay longer. None of them wanted to put the child that they were holding back into his or her crib. It did not seem to matter to them that most of the children that they were holding had severe deformities. Some had heads the size of basketballs, others had feeding tubes inserted int their noses and many of them were wearing diapers that needed to be changed. Some how my kids didn't seem to care. They saw a beauty in each of these children that I have seen many a visitor to the orphanage fail to recognize. I can honestly say that my kids are more and more seeing the orphanage kids and others that we visit in the villages as Christ meant for them to be seen, His children that He created in his image.

Why is it then that some of these same kids that I was so proud of only a few short hours ago are the one's that did not get to go along to Burger King tonight? Like I said they are far from perfect, but we are working on that. Meanwhile I still let them know that I love them.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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