* 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)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Journal, June 26, 2010

Last Week I wrote about the trip that a few of us took into one of the remote ares near Huehuetenango. Dennis McCutcheon of Vine international was one of the people that accompanied me on this trip. The following is part of Dennis account of one of the days that we spent in the back country.

Dennis wrote-

..........Dick Rutgers and Roland our interpreter have a knack for finding handicapped children in the hinter lands of Guatemala. Here some of these children when born in rural villages are either killed at birth as local village leadership encourage the fathers to take the child into the jungle and bludgeon it to death with a stick. If they survive birth – praise God not all fathers do what the witch doctor prescribes - they are kept hidden away in dark corners. There are very little in resources for them. Dick has written about a desire to take doctor’s into homes, because these kids are often not brought out to the big medical teams. Woody Woodson the president of Vine International got together a small team that explored doing what Dick envisioned. Dick told of the audible sigh and visible relief in one dad when Dick told him his cerebral palsy son is not a curse for his sins.

We left the valley floor at about 3,000 feet and climbed dirt track, sometimes concreted roads at 30 to 40% percent grade in ‘GRANNY’ gear. We parked at the top at over 8,000 feet and walked about a mile and a half to a school where we found a small empty room and saw a few patients. I saw a woman that has stepped up to the plate and adopted two special needs children in this highland village, This is so rare. She struggles each week to put tortillas rice and beans on the table a couple of times a day. But two kids are alive…

(Click on any picture to enlarge)
But more moving than that on this awesome Thursday – Guatemalan Father’s Day was going to Ileni’s home. We were literally in the clouds. This dirt floor two room house has the floors and porch neatly swept (yes you can keep a dirt floor home neat and clean). Flowers decorated the yard, hung from porch and walls. Sheep, pigs, and chickens that wanted to roost on my back pack were everywhere. This dear child had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and has been on steroids for two years. Dr. Bruce Allsop examined her. What impressed me most was this child’s dad. He stayed so close that he was always between the child and the mother in fact. Unusual in these villages. When Dr. Bruce explained changing medicine regimen, he asked questions and went over the instruction on more than one occasion. I was ‘moved with compassion’ to see this dad engaged in the care of his daughter.

I asked if I could bless the house and while praying for this family told the father that he had a most difficult job. That God gave father’s to children to represent in a small way Who God is and that God gave him his wife that he may be a picture of Christ to her. When I raised my head the wife had her arms around her husbands neck (gently) and tears streaming down her face. That kind of relationship does not exist in every home we were in this week and it was so good to see.....

First stop in the climb from 3,000 feet to 8,300. You can see in these photos why a mountain man from West Virginia loves the land and the roads.

Mountain vistas on the other side of the mountain we are standing on we could have seen Mexico if the clouds had not been so dense.

Switch back - (sister kisser in West Virginia - because when your daddy took the curve you slid across the bench seat and hit your brother or sister. Why our parents let us live after some of those arguments I will always wonder! HA!)

A family died here when their car left the road five switchbacks up the hill. Praise God for manual transmissions, low range 4 wheel drive and Granny gears.

These young men got to cut class to meet the gringos. They would have carried our stuff if we asked. They could run the road and made it in less than half the time. But being sort of like me, any excuse to cut class is a good excuse. For me the walking at over 8,000 ft. elevation was exercise enough. Dick Rutgers is on the left. He and Roland our translator were the first gringos many of these children had ever seen. Dr. Bruce is in the middle - his usual position always in the thick of things!

Those gringos are quite a show!

More of the "gettin' there."

You will notice that many (gasp for air) of my photos are from behind (gasp for air) that was just for the photography effect, (gasp for air) no seriously.

(Another gasp for air)

Still "gettin there"

It is the "Rainy Season"

Woody talking about Jesus

When Dick first came with 5 wheelchairs a few years ago, these kids would not come onto the same soccer field where he parked his vehicle. By the way he is doing one of my favorite things - sharing the digital photo with the kids he just snapped.

Now these kids flock to him
Our team is against the wall on chairs. We are an attraction that is for sure.

Dennis McCutcheon

Thanks Dennis:

It was a pleasure having Woody, Bruce, and you meet these wonderful people that I have such a burden for. Ever since my first trip up into this village less than 2 years ago I have been praying that I could somehow get a doctor up into this area. The 3 of you were an answer to those prayers.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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