* 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)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jessica's New Home

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:
"If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
But ... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 
"If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

It has been a little over 6 weeks ago that I first met Jessica and her family.  A lot of positive things have taken place since that first meeting.  Six year old Jessica who weighed only 16 pounds when we brought her into the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro on that day has gained a lot of weight and is now much stronger and healthier.  

 Thanks to a number of people who stepped forward and offered to help, Jessica and her family are now getting  help with food, and soon the shack that mom and her 6 children live in will be nothing more than a memory.

On Tuesday Pastor Juan, his son David, Cesar and I went in and started work on the foundation and floor of the house that we plan on completing in December.  This new house will be a bit of a novelty in this  village because all of the other homes in this village have dirt floors.  This is an extremely poor area and not only can the people not afford such a luxury but due to the remoteness of the village getting cement and other building supplies in is a real challenge.  For the first 2 days Juan, David and Cesar worked out in the blazing sun, preparing the building site while I made 10 round trips with the Toyota pickup bringing in cement and supplies from the nearest town.  Each round trip took at least 2 hours and due to the roughness of the only road (term road used loosely) that leads to this settlement I had to keep the size of each load a lot smaller than usual.  

We were hoping that we could hire a few of the locals to help us but it is coffee picking season and this is the only income for most of the people that live hear so the only person that we could hire was a man that appeared to be in his seventies.  Jessica's mom, brothers and sisters and a number of neighborhood kids pitched right in and helped though.

It brought tears to my eyes seeing these young girls and boys carrying 100 pound sacks of cement from the truck to the building site.  No child labor laws here.  Besides that these kids volunteered to help out for free.

A few of the kids take a quick break before going back to work.

All of the water that was used for mixing the cement had to be hulled in from a river that was about a half hour drive from the building site.  I used the truck for that but even in the rainy season the villagers have to walk about 15 minutes to a small polluted stream to get their drinking water.   About 6 months out of the year they have to walk twice that far for water.  

One morning I went along with a few of the kids when they went and got water.  After seeing the stream that their drinking water comes from I turned down the coffee that mom served with the breakfast that she made for us.  
It took 3 us days but the foundation and cement floor are now in and in December a few of us plan on returning and completing the house.

Because of the remoteness and the heat this project has been even more work than usual but the rewards are well worth it.  Not only will Jessica and her family have a new home to live in but hopefully they and the other villagers witnessed the love of Jesus in action.  It was a big responsibility knowing that we were the only Bible that some of these people may ever read.

I must admit being the only Gringo in the group made me quite an item of curiosity and even though most of the people were  rather shy at first I soon gained enough trust that I had a truck full of people that needed a ride to town to sell their coffee or take a sick kid to the doctor every trip that I made.  In order to have room for supplies I did have to limit my riders on my trips back from town to the one or two of Jessica's brother's and sisters who took turns riding to town and back with me each and every trip.  I must admit I have fallen in love with this entire family.  
I think that the hardest part of the past few days was driving by so many families each and every trip, that were hurting and perhaps even starving whom we were not helping.  Why had we chosen to help Jessica's family over all of these.  I guess all I can say is that  a month and a half ago God put Jessica smack dab in the middle of my path when her mother brought her to that wheelchair distribution.  I guess I could have looked the other way and walked past her or simply given her a wheelchiar, patted her on the head and said, "God bless you." but I know that God did not want me to do that.  It is my prayer that in the busyness of life I never turn my back or simply throw out bread crumbs to the Jessica's that God places in my path.  No we can't help them all but I can't help but wander if we are at times doing to little or even closing our eyes to the Jessica's that God places directly in our paths.

"I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’
“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’ 
 “He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’
Matthew 25:43-45 

yours in Christ, Dick 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home