* 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)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Journal, January 12-15, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Many of the kids here in Guatemala will soon be returning back to school. I wish that I could say that they were all going back but there are a lot of things keeping a lot of them from going to school. Just last week I shared about how happy I was that we had found school sponsors for 12 year old Samuel and his younger brother and sister. Today I went up to the village where Samuel and his family live. I needed to bring some money there so that a neighbor lady could register her 2 children for school. While I was there I decided to check in with Samual's mother Roselia, just to make sure that she had registered her 3 children into school with the money that we had given her. Roselia told us that she had registered Ana and Alvaro into school but not Samuel. She then went on to explain that Samuel works in the corn fields every day and that he is the only bread winner of the family, And that the 90Q ($11.25) per week that he makes is the only income that the family has to live on. Mother's eyes welled up with tears as she told us that if 12 year old Samuel quit working the fields the family would starve to death so as much as she wanted him to receive an education there was no way that he could quit his job. Before you all run off looking for your check books I want to tell you that the family that is sponsoring Samuel has already stepped forward and offered to pay the equivalent of what Samuel would be making so that he can go to school. We have a lot of other kids like Samuel who still need sponsors though. On Friday I plan on going back to Samuel's village and present mother with this offer. Please pray that Samuel get to receive and education.

When I got home this evening I got a phone call from Alex who has just moved to San Martin. He told me that his mother when in to register him into the public school there but was turned away. The only explanation that she got was that they were not accepting any more students. Alex mom is not one to give up though and by night fall she had found a private Christian school that is willing to enroll Alex. Believe it or not after all is said and done this private school that has about one third as many kids in each class is no more expensive than the over crowded public school would have been.

Seems like when it rains it pours. Many of you undoubtedly remember me writing about Cesar and the battle we had trying to keep him in the public school in El Tejar after he missed a week of school when he was sick last year. After several days of camping out in front of the door to his principals office we were finally told by the principal that Cesar would be allowed back into school if we got a signed letter from his doctor stating that he was indeed sick. We got the letter that day but is was another 2 weeks before the principal would meet with us and then 2 more weeks before she informed us that the doctor had used the wrong kind of stationary to write his letter on. More time passed and we had to finally let the principal known that she had won. Cesar was out of school for the year. We did manage to have one more meeting with her. We wanted to be sure that we had everything in line for getting him back into school this year. That meeting was a short one. The principal informed us that since Cesar was no longer in school he was considered a dropout. She said that her school had a reputation to maintain so they did not accept dropouts. Cesar would never be allowed back into this school.

For the past few months Cesar's dad has been stopping in at the public school here in Chimaltenango asking when he can register Cesar. Up until today he has been given the same answer. "We are not registering students yet please come back in a few days." Today, just one day later, He got a new answer, "Sorry we are full, You should have registered him a long time ago." Please pray that we can some how get Cesar into a school some where. He is a sharp kid and he wants and deserves an education.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today it was Jason's turn to come along with me. Usually I take 2 or 3 kids at a time with me when I go some where but there are a number of reasons that today it was only Jason.

Reason #1 - Keeping Jason in line can at times be more difficult than a hand full of any of the other kids.

Reason #2 - Jason is not always appreciated by my other kids. I have though about talking to them about learning how to be more accepting of Jason even though he can be rather annoying at times but I figured that I better learn to practice what I preach before doing this.

Reason #3 - My friends Dave and Lonna Black were also going along with us and since we were going to take Ronny and his family school shopping I figured that we could likely end up with a dozen people in my car. (I only missed it by 3. How was I to know that Ronny's grandmother and 2 cousins were going shopping with us.

Nevertheless the 15 or us had a great time and the Camperos in Santa Lucia was tickled to see us.

Six of the kids in Ronny's family will be attending school this year. Ronny's oldest sister had talked about dropping out of school but has finally decided to stick with it. Ronny is having a bit of a rough time in school. He is doing OK grade wise but a few school bullies have been giving him a rough time. From the sound of things one of these bullies is his teacher. The lady that use to teach him was wonderful but is now teaching in another town. Ronny's parents want shim to continue his schooling but are worried about bandits along the trail that leads from their house to the school. They are afraid that they may target Ronny because he can not fight back and his wheelchair is worth money.

Well 4 of the kids are spending the night so I better claim a bed while there is one left.

Oh by the way. Jason was awesome today. He did a great job of interpreting for us and was a down right pleasure to be with. I guess all that time I spent on my knees praying that I would not try to strangle him before the day ended payed off.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today Cesar and Bryan came along with me to Antigua. David had called me from Hope Haven a few days ago telling me that 4 kids would be coming in this morning for wheelchairs. We managed to seat all 4 of them into the wheelchairs that Hope Haven manufactures but a few of them were real challenges.

Last night while thinking about Cesar's situation with trying to find a school that would take him I started thinking about Alex's mom and the Christian school that she had found for Alex. I knew that it was a miracle that she found one because most private school have a waiting list that is several years long. Why not try though. After all does God have a limit on the amount of miracles that He can preform? I made a phone call to Mario, a friend of mine who's daughter attends a private school. It just so happens this school just moved to a larger location and is starting their new school year on Monday. Cesar will be one of 7 sixth graders attending this school. Quite a change from his old school that had nearly 50 kids in one class room.

Well about 10 kids are asking me if we are going to have supper tonight and chances are that another half dozen will show up before it is cooked so I better say, "Goodnight."

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, January 15, 2010

Great news! I just received word that Pastor Juan talked to Samuel's mom yesterday and Samuel will be starting school on Monday. Hopefully an education will mean that he will not have to spend the rest of his life working for $11 a week like he has been doing.

Since Pastor Juan went in and talked with Samuel's mom yesterday I decided to postpone my visit there until another day and went to Hermano Pedro instead. Miguel and Marcos accompanied me. After showing another group from Spring Arbor University around the orphanage the boys and I took 3 of the orphanage kids out to the park. The boys were a bit disappointed that we could not take Josey out of the malnutrition ward but there was a bit of a breeze so the doctor in charge told us that another day would be better. Josey is doing well though and is now up to 13 and a half pounds. Not much weight considering he is 3 years old but not bad considering the fact that he weighed exactly 5 pounds when he was admitted into the malnutrition ward less than a year ago.

^ Josey Now.............

Josey >
11 months ago.

After returning from the park the boys and I spent the rest of the afternoon repairing several of the orphanage wheelchairs.

Tonight I am fighting a cold so I sent all of the kids home at 8 PM. Surprisingly they were all pretty good about leaving. Then again it may have helped that I fed them before sending them out the door.

I think that I will actually take advantage of this rare quiet time and just relax so I am going to quit writing and just kick back for a while.

Yours in Christ: Dick


Anonymous Gemma said...

thankyou for your blog...I just wanted to say that I find your posts very inspirational, I love the work that you do, your amazing heart for these kids and families and the honesty you share with. I was living in guatemala for 8 months last year, I would love to meet you and hang out with all your kids for awhile when I come back one day. Bendiciones de australia :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home