* 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)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

March 1998 to September 2, 2010

On August , 30, 2010 Pat wrote the following.

Yesterday I found Leonel was now on a feeding tube, because he was not eating enough on his own (He originally came in to the malnutrition unit 2 years ago, when he was 9 years old, weighing 14 pounds, so you can see why this is a concern). He looked so weak and frail lying in bed. When I picked him up to hold him though, we rediscovered his smile. He even drank about 2/3 of his bottle for me today, though it took about an hour to do so. I love this little guy like a grandson, and it is so hard to watch him struggle. I'm hoping prayer and time will bring him back to normal. I think Leonel is partly having a episode of "failure to thrive" as his dad had just visited last week, and I know Leonel gets homesick when he leaves. I think the hour or so I spent holding him was the best, and hardest, hour of my day.

Jojo, on the other hand, really has me worried. For a number of reasons, Jojo continually has breathing problems. Right now he is so congested he can hardly force the air in and out of his lungs. When I first saw him today, he was crying inconsolably, but, because he was receiving a breathing treatment and was on oxygen, I was hesitant to take him out of his chair and hold him. A while later, when he was in bed and Dick was visiting him, he really had a lot of respiratory distress. He also was burning up. At Dick's request, I asked the charge nurse about calling the doctor for him, and she explained to me, as if I was a bit dense and just didn't get it, that Jojo had congestion, and that they were treating it.

Now, I may not be a nurse, but I am a mom, and I know the difference between congestion and not being able to breathe. I had to walk away for a minute to "regroup" and keep from saying something spiteful. . . when I was back under control, I went back to the desk and said I understood they were treating him, but that Dick thought he was getting worse. Would she pleeeeaaaasssee call the doctor. And she did. I think this was as much to humor me as because she believed anything was wrong.

When the doctor arrived, however, things started happening quickly. An IV was started (after multiple attempts to find a vein and stabbing the poor kid a bunch of times), another breathing treatment started, the nursing supervisor came in to help, and Jojo was surrounded by people finally paying attention to his medical needs. Everyone, except Dick, seemed to forget, though, that this was not an unresponsive life-form being treated, but a scared little boy. The nurses, and even the doctor were so intent on helping him that no one spoke to him, no one told him what was going on or what they were going to do.

And then I looked up and saw Dick, stooped by Jojo's head, gently caressing him and gazing into his eyes. I thought my heart would break--seeing two guys I care for both in so much pain. But Dick didn't pull back from his pain, hide from it. It was almost as if he were "willing" that Jojo's pain become his own, to take some of the burden off this dear little one. And I know he did.

Eventually, Jojo was more stable, and we left. Walking out last night was hard, really hard. I was filled with pain and anger and frustration and confusion. I was angry at the casualness with which the nurses treated Jojo´s distress. I was frustrated wondering how long it would have taken them to notice that Jojo had a problem if Dick had not been there. And, for the first time in a long time, I was ticked at God for what I saw Him allowing one of His little ones to go through. I didn't even know how to pray for Jojo except to say, "Come, Lord Jesus."

As I write this a day later, I realize Jesus answered my prayer--this time through the hands and heart of Dick as he cared for Jojo. Okay, God, I get it. . .if we want to be Jesus, we have to embrace the suffering of the cross as He did. . .thanks, Dick, for another object lesson. . .

The above took place on Monday August 29. It is now Thursday September 2. JoJo hung on for a few more days but early this morning he went home to be with the Lord. Friends have been telling me that he will now have a new body and will no longer suffer. I am happy when I think about the no suffering thing but have a hard time picturing him looking any different than he did when he was here with us. Those of us who were fortunate enough to really get to know and love him know that he was already one of the most perfect little boys that God has ever created.


.......I know that you are now in a better place,

but I will miss you.

Yours in Christ: Dick


Anonymous Brittney Fulp said...

Dick, I cannot even imagine what this is like for you. I feel completely crushed just having bonded with him for one week in March. Our whole family was in tears during devotions tonight. And yet, we know that you were so much closer to him.

We are praying for you! Not only in this situation, but all of the other difficult ones that you face on a daily basis. Know that you are always in our hearts and prayers.

Thursday, September 02, 2010  

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