* 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)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Journal, July 1-4, 2010

Above one of the caregivers at Hermano Pedro
takes time from her 12 hour work day to love on one of the kids.

(Today she will earn about $12.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I know that over the years people, myself included, have written a about many of the things that we do not like about Hermano Pedro orphanage and changes that we would like to see made there. Granted there are still a lot of changes that I would like to see but I have to say that I am very grateful that Hermano Pedro exists. I know that many of the children that live there would not be alive were it not for the care that they receive there. Would I rather see each and every child that lives there living in a loving home environment? Of coarse I would, but the same could be said for any child that lives in even the best group home or institution in the USA or any other country. I hope that I never fall to speak up on behalf of the children when I see room for improvement, but I am finding that a lot more gets accomplished when I work along side of some one than when I work against them, especially when I am there as their guest. No it is not a perfect place but I have seen and held far to many disabled and starving kids that had no Hermano Pedro to go to, and like the 5 children pictured here, most of the other little ones are no longer alive either.

. .

My good friend Pat Duff sent the following to me a few weeks ago just before she moved full time to Guatemala.

Pat writes,

I'm reading the book Gracias! written by one of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen. The book is his journal of six months he spent in Latin America, discerning God's will for his life.

In it he quotes an unidentified Latin American Catholic Bishop who has a message for all of us who go to Latin America as missionaries. I think it's worth sharing since many of my friends are interested in and/or support missions. Here are the Bishop's words to us:

Walk with Us in Our Search.

Help us discover our own riches; don't judge us poor because we lack what you have.

Help us discover our chains; don't judge us slaves by the type of shackles you wear.

Be patient with us as a people; don't judge us backward simply because we don't follow your stride.

Be patient with our pace; don't judge us lazy simply because we can't follow your tempo.

Be patient with our symbols; don't judge us ignorant because we can't read your signs.

Be with us and proclaim the richness of your life which you can share with us.

Be with us and be open to what we can give.

Be with us as a companion who walks with us--neither behind nor in front--in our search for life, and ultimately for God.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, July 2, 2010

Today I took another volunteer teem to Hermano Pedro Orphanage.

Some had special needs children of there own
and loving on these kids was not difficult for them.

Some instantly feel in love with the kids.

Others were a bit more apprehensive at first,

But it didn't take long before each and every member of this teem forgot about themselves and let the love of Jesus shine through.

Thanks teem!
Each and every one of you
were true reflections of
Jesus Christ.

Goodnight, .. . . . . . . .
Yours in Christ: Dick

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It was a bit wet today so rather than rent a soccer field as planned some of the kids and I decided to take in a movie.

Before going to the movie we drove to Antigua and picked up Pat Duff who joined us for the movie and then for a late lunch. Or was it an early supper?

The 4th of July came a few hours early at my place. Tonight I was home alone for a change. (My choice not theirs) The vote on whether or not the kids would stay longer was actually 11 to 1 in favor of the kids staying but since I was tired and in need of a kid break, I decided that my 1 vote would equal 12). Why some of the most interesting things that happen around here take place in my shower is beyond me but tonight I had a private fireworks show. I am not sure what came first, the power serge that caused my widow maker shower head to short out and resemble an exploding sky rocket or an exploding shower head that caused a power surge that melted the electrical line that runs from the light pole across the alley to my house but it put on quite a fireworks show both in my bathroom and outside in the alley. While I got to witness the one in the bathroom at a not at all safe distance of about 6 inches I only heard about the fireworks display out side of my house from my neighbors. I would have run out side to see it my self but I was not properly dressed for the occasion. Had it been a birthday celebration I would have fit right in as I was already wearing the proper suit. Thankfully the water that was running through the burning shower head quickly put the fire out and I was not burned or electrocuted. I was also glad that none of the other wires that run from the same light pool were effected because if my wire count is correct I think that this one light pool must supply half of Chimaltenango with power.

Any way it will likely be several days before I have lights or before I will be able to take a hot shower. I am trying to look at it optimistically though. I figure that with out lights no one is going to see me so why do I have to look clean.

Well the battery of my computer is running low and I still have to figure out where I put my can of deodorant so I better say, "Goodnight".

Yours in Christ: Dick

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The kids and I thought that we would start off the day by playing a little soccer. Not that I enjoy getting up at 6 AM on the weekend all that much but I am Dutch and the soccer field is only 10Q ($1.25) if you rent it before 8 AM.

After the game most of the crew came to my house for breakfast then the kids and I headed off to church. That was followed by more food. an hour at the orphanage and then a hike up to the cross that is on the hill that overlooks Antigua. My crew has now dwindled down to about 3 kids and I think that is as low as the count will get because it looks like they are settling in for the night.

Well I think that I will go take a cold shower and then head off to bed.

Oh by the way I do have lights in the house, not to many though. I don't want to fry the extension cord that is plugged into an outlet over at my neighbor's house.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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