* 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, December 11, 2010

Journal, December 4-10, 2010

 (Click on any picture to enlarge.)
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Today we brought the last of our volunteers from the States to the Airport.  Our final week of camp is over and just like the first 2 camps this one was a big success. 

This afternoon I made an extra trip to the airport but instead of bringing Americans there that were on their way back to the States I brought Alex's entire family there to greet their father who was finally returning home after being in the States for 7 years.  I can still remember the day that they all said goodbye to him knowing that they would not see him for at least 5 years.   Due to a broken leg and lack of work that 5 years stretched out to 7.  Please pray that this family that has been apart for so many years can once again start feeling like a family. 

Yours in Christ: Dick

Sunday, December 5, 2010

When we got up this morning the kids and I had full intentions of going to church but some where between leaving home and actually getting there we received word that an orphanage that is located near San Lucas had been evicted from the home that they had been renting and everyone and everything had to be off from the property by night fall.  I won't go into a lot of detail but for the next several hours my boys and I worked hard in helping take down and move everything from porches to play ground equipment.  It wasn't exactly the restful Sunday that I had been anticipating but we all agreed that we had not missed out on serving God and having fellowship with fellow believers.

Yours in Christ: Dick 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Today John Bosman and Luke Vandervliet, (2 friends from the States) Cesar and myself headed out on a  road trip.  During the next 5 to 6 days we plan on visiting a lot of Children and families that are being sponsored through Bethel Ministries. We also plan on building a house for Jessica and her family and will be giving away a few wheelchairs as well.  Fact is our first stop today was at the home of a little girl who had outgrown a wheel chair that we had given her a few years ago. 

It just so happened 
Big Godincidence
that John and Luke had taken a kids wheelchair that had been given to them along with them from the States that fit this little girl like a glove.  No adjustments necessary, not even the foot rests.  Sort of like God had his hand in this.

Next we went to see Ronny and his family.  This was a special treat because John and Luke had had both taken part in the building of Ronny's house a few years ago.

Tonight we are in a so, so, motel in a small town that is locate about an hours drive from where Jessica's family lives.  Tomorrow Jorge, Pastor Juan and Juan's son, David, plan on joining us and we will start building a new home for Jessaic's family.  Since we put in the foundation and floor a few weeks ago we hope to  be able to complete the rest of the house in one day.

Before heading out on the road Cesar, Bryan and I got together with Pat Duff and made a little Christmas video.  It may take a minute or two to download but I hope that you take the time to watch it.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We almost did it.  Juan and Jorge plan on returning for a few hours tomorrow morning to put on a few finishing touches but for the most part Jessica's family now has a new house that includes a wood burning cook stove, bunk beds, and a water filter.  It was a long day and a hot one but a very rewarding one.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
After spending a restful the night in a good motel in Mazatenango, John Luke,  Cesar and I headed up to Xela where we picked up Roland Elf and then the 5 of us drove up to San Fransisco Guatemala where we hiked some medicine in to Erica's home.  Erica has a rare skin disease and were it not for this medicine she would likely no longer be able to walk and would no longer have her eye sight.   Although the medicine is not a cure it has done much for most of Eric's body.  I can remember back a few years ago when her entire body looked much like her legs still do. 

Next we stopped off and visited Christopher and his family.  Christopher's brother took it upon his self to try and repair Christopher's broken power wheelchair.  It is my prayer that Christopher's brother chooses a vocation other than that of being a mechanic.  After gathering up what was left of Christopher's wheelchair we  promised that the workers at our shop would do their best to get it running as soon as possible.

From there we drove up to Huehuetenango.  We plan on spending the next few days here visiting a number of families that we work with.


Yours in Christ: Dick

Thursday,  December 9, 2010

During the past few days we have visited a number of people most of whom we are helping out with Schooling, food, or medicine.  Most of these are people that we already have sponsors for but some are still in need of sponsors. 

Three of Maria Garsia's grandchildren would not be in school were it not for a generous sponsor who sees to it that they are able to buy shoes and needed school supplies.  

 Maria's orphaned grand son Luis hopes to start school next year.

Up until recently Rolando had a teacher come to his house and teach him a few days a week, but Rolando's health has deteriorated due to a lack of food so for the time being the money that was used for his schooling is going to be redirected for food so that he can regain his strength and then resume his schooling.

Esmeralda age 12  is being taught 5 hours per week in her home.  Her teacher is an evangelical pastor that  comes to her village twice a week to preach in a church and to  teach   Esmeralda.  Esmeralda was healthy as a young child but has lost her ability to walk and is now slowly  loosing the use of her hands.  It has not been determined what her problem is but I fear that  she may have a brain tumor.  Roland and I are going to see if we can get her in to Guatemala City to see a neurologist some time next month.

Our final visit of the day was at the home of Ernesto.  Ernesto and his father live alone in a mud house. Ernesto's father is very poor and in poor health.  He can not leave Ernesto alone so even when he feels well enough to work he can not leave home to try and find work.  We recently found a sponsor for Ernesto so now he will have more than just tortillas and coffee to eat.

Yours in Christ: Dick 

 Friday, December 10, 2010

Today I made a  plaster mold of Roudy's amputated leg so that I could send along with John to the USA to have a new artificial leg made for him.  A generous person supplied one for him a few years ago but since that time 6 year old Rudy has outgrown it and has prety much worn it out since he has  been walking on it almost non stop ever since I brought it to him.  Today Rudy was very patient even though it took more than one attempt to make the plaster cast due to outdated materials.  Thanks to a some helpful Guatemalan's  we were able to get new materials and I was finally able to make a good cast that can be used as a mold for a new artificial leg. 

Our next stop was at Lionel's home.  On Monday Lionel's dad came and picked him up from Hermano Pedro to take him home for the Christmas holidays.  Although I am happy that Loinel's parents love their son enough that they wanted him home with them for a month or 2 I can not help but worry about his health when he is with them.  Last year he came back to Hermano Pedro weighing four pounds less then he did when he had gone home 6 weeks earlier.  Four pounds may not seem like much but considering how skinny he is it is a lot.  Although he no longer weighs 16 pounds like he did when we brought him in to Hermano Pedro 2 years ago this 11 year old is still very much underweight.  

Our final stop of the day was at the home of Jose.  I have known Jose for a number of years and this young man is an inspiration to me.  Jose refuses to let a little thing like being confined to a wheelchair with brittle bone disease get him down. Up until when we gave him a power wheelchair a few years ago Jose would propel himself nearly 2 miles to and from school every day in an old manual wheelchair.  This would be quite an accomplishment even on level ground.  Josey's home is on a steep hill far above the town where his school is located.  The distance that he has to travel and the  steepness of the roads and trails are even taxing on power wheelchairs but Josey is getting good at fixing his own power wheelchair and I am willing to help in any way that I can because this young man has a lot of potential. 

It has been a busy week and It will be good to get back home tomorrow but  I would not have traded it for the world.  John, Luke, Cesar and Roland were great to travel with and visiting people that have become true friends over the years made it a real blessing.  

Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Yours in Christ: Dick 


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