* 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)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Journal, Janurary 1, 2009

I am frequently asked what I would do if I were held up at gun point here in Guatemala. Knowing that it was likely to happen to me some day I have done a lot of praying about it. I know that statistics here in Guatemala show that you are less likely to get shot if you hand over everything that the robber or robbers ask for, but they also show that even though this improves your chances of survival it is no guarantee that you will walk away in one peace. Now before any of you that are considering coming here cancel your plans and put your tickets up for bid on e-bay let me remind you that I spend a good deal of time in the back country and this is where most of these robberies and ambushes take place. Never the less even the best parts of Guatemala are far from being Disney World so if you are not prayed up and are simply thinking of coming here for a holiday there are safer places to be. I may also remind you that I have been here for 10 years now and although I have run into a few tense situations this is the first time that I have rounded a corner on a dirt road and been greeted by 3 masked men with guns. Anyway in praying abut what to do if, and in all likelihood, when that situation happened God seemed to tell me that He would give me the wisdom to know what to do when it did happen. As I sit here looking back on Tuesday's experience I realize that there was not much wisdom involved on my part. It all happened so fast that I really never had time to think about anything. I think that my approaching car startled the robbers as much as they startled me. At any rate they jumped out of the way and simply stood there looking at me as I drove by. As I looked back through my rear view mirror I saw them step back out on to the road but none of them shot at me or even aimed their guns at me. They just stood there watching me drive off down the road. I guess that I can thank the Lord that I did not have to think about what to do. I think that He had it all figured out and that it was a good thing that I did not try to use my wisdom in trying to handle what could have been a bad situation.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the bandits because some Guatemalans
don't like to have their pictures taken while they are working.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Was my trip to Ronny's house worth it? You bet it was. I had promised Ronny who's physical condition prevented him from attending this year's cam that he and his little Brother Arlindo could spend a few days at my house and they have been looking forward to that for over a month now. Ronny has muscular dystrophy and it is doubtful that he will have many more opportunities to do something like this. For 2 days Ronny and Arlindo, have been having the time of their lives. Ronny is getting so week that he can scarcely sit up in his wheelchair any more and every hour or 2 someone has to get up and reposition him when he is sleeping but my kids have been helping out with this, with feeding and even toileting him so I am actually not having to do all of the work. I know that I do a lot of bragging about the kids that hang out at my place but it is hard not to brag when they are so incredible. It never ceases to amaze me how kids like Esben who's own mother will have nothing to do with him can show so much love and compassion to some one like Ronny.It is now Thursday and we just brought Ronny and Arlindo back to their home. I took a different road this time. On the way home I stopped off and visited another family. They asked me why I was taking this way home. "Didn't I know that there were sometimes thieves on this road?" I guess I could stay locked up in my house. I am sure that nothing bad ever happens to people who stay at home.

I do covet your prayers as I continue to serve here in Guatemala, but please don't send letters telling me to be careful. I have already made a new year's resolution to be more careful, careful that I continue to be exactly where I know God wants me to be.

1 Peter 4:19

So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Goodnight and Happy New Year,
Yours in Christ: Dick


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