* 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)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 2010 (In a nut shale.)

A lot of exciting things have been taking place this month. Earlier in the month Naneth, our teacher at Hermano Pedro invited us to a graduation ceremony that she had for the seven kids that attend our school at Hermano Pedro.  Unfortunately this took place at the same time that Pastor Juan, his son David, Cesar and myself were down near the coast putting in the foundations to Jessica's house so I was not able to attend.  Pat Duff was there though and has once again graciously allowed me to copy this from her Journal.  (Actually I didn't even ask her permission but from time to time she prints some of my stuff so I am reasonably sure that she won't mind.)

Yours in Christ: Dick

Pat wrote,

The kids had been looking forward to this for weeks—the day they would be promoted to the next grade! Unlike in the US, this calls for a special ceremony and celebration, and each of the four students in the Bethel classroom, as well as three who attend school in the community, could not have been more excited. Nineth, the teacher, and Chris and Donna Mooney who head Bethel, had been gracious enough to invite me to the celebration.

Each child was acknowledged and affirmed by the adult presenting them with their certificate or grade card. I don’t know who was “beaming” more, the kids, or the adults doing the presenting. I was privileged to present Veronica with hers, and it was a pretty humbling experience, since I really have not done much for the classroom.
Donna Moony and Sonia
Chris Moony and Henry

Next we were treated to a “dance” presented by the kids. You may be wondering how kids in wheelchairs can dance. Let me tell you, they did an amazing job, and I couldn’t help but tear up at their pride in their presentation.
Pat has a video posted here but for some reason I was unable to transfer it onto my blog but you can find it on hers by clicking  Here .

Each invited adult was thanked for their support of the school program, and we were presented with photos of the entire class. Believe me, a pop-cycle stick frame has never been so precious, especially knowing the struggle the kids went through to make it. Mine proudly hangs on my bedroom wall.

One of the most tender moments of the day was when Fidel presented Chris and Donna with a picture he’d drawn for them. This may not seem like a lot coming from a twenty-something year old, until you realize that Fidel can only write, draw and operate his computer by using his foot. This simple drawing was a work of love as well as a beautiful present.

As with all Guatemalan celebrations, graduation would not be complete without food—and we had plenty. 

Again I teared up as I watched each adult tenderly helping the children eat their treats. These staff members are amazingly dedicated to the welfare of the kids, and know each of them and their stories. These folks make it a joy to go to the orphanage each day.

This may have been the first time I was able to participate in this ceremony, but I surely hope it will not be the last! Thanks, Nineth, Chris, Donna, Fidel, Sonya, Veronica, Moises, Byron, Henry and Maynor for including me. I love each of you! 

Dick wrote,

About a week after graduation Chris, Donna, a few of the members of the Bethel Ministries crew and myself once again headed down towards the coast and did 2 wheelchair distributions.


Not only did nearly 90 people see God's love in action when we fitted them into their new wheelchairs but  each family was told that God loved them and prayed with.

After the distributions we found some time to hang out at the beach.

A lot of my Saturday mornings are spent watching several of my boys playing soccer.  Quite often my boys and I go and visit the orphanage kids after the game.  On this particular Saturday the boy's coach and the entire teem asked if they could join us so 15 of us piled into my Land Cruiser and headed for Antigua. (Yes!! After two and a half months imy car is finally out of the shop and running well.)

After hanging out with the orphanage kids for a few hours a few of friends from the States took all of the teem and myself out to Camperos for lunch.

I managed to drive down and see Ronny twice this month and he is doing well.  It is hard to believe that he was so ill only a few weeks ago.

Now for the biggie.  

Camp has started!  Other than an outing at a theme park that was anything but tickled to have people with disabilities on their premises camp has been going great.  Fact is today is the second day of our second camp and I have to get back there so I will have to fill you in on what has been going on  at camp at a later time.

One of our campers attempting to go on a train ride.

Two of many not so friendly theme park attendants saying, "No way!"

Yours in Christ: Dick


Blogger Mel~Bulldog said...

One again, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and seeing photos and that video Pat has....! And of course, now that I know at least some of you, even if it IS only a little bit, it brings me back there every time. So, thank you! I pray you're having a blessed day/week!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010  
Anonymous Liz said...

the video was great !!
The pictures of Camp were great too !!


Sunday, December 12, 2010  

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