* 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, March 5, 2011

Saturday, February 26-Saturday, March 5, 2011

 “If the size of the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, 
chances are it’s insulting to God.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fernando, Calin and I decided to drive down to the coast and visit Ronny's family.  Like myself and my boys Ronny's mother had not been able attend Ronny's funeral and I had promised her that I would take her to the cemetery when I had the time.  Not that I enjoy cemeteries all that much nor am I all that concerned  where the body is placed once a person has died.  I know where Ronny is right now and fortunately that has nothing to do with where his body was placed.  If I believed that once a person has taken his or her last breath here on earth life really ended Ronny's death and the death of so many other Children that I have held in my arms over the past few years would be far more than I could bear.  Oh yes I did my mourning and as those of you who read the journal that I wrote a few weeks ago are aware of I  questioned God and even questioned why I was here in Guatemala.  Neat thing is God is faithful and He began giving me answers to those questions.  Many of those answers came in the form of e-mails from a lot of you who wrote to say that you understood and that you were praying for me but the biggest answer came from God Himself who summed it all up by  saying "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10   Does this mean that I will never fret, worry or question God again? I doubt it.  I would like to think that I could go through life with out ever fretting, worrying or questioning God again but I am human.  The wonderful news is that God is not human. He is God and as much as we would like to be in charge or at least understand His reasons for doing everything that He does,  I am beginning to understand that we don't have to because we are in His hand even though we often try to fit Him into ours.  "Be still and know that He is God."

After visiting the grave site we went to Ronny's home.  For the past 2 years Ronny had been to week to attend our camp so each year, shortly after camp I would let Ronny and his brother Arlindo come and stay at my place for a few days.  Ronny's parents had told me that after Ronny died Arlindo had told them that he feared that now that Ronny was gone I would no longer have any reason to visit the family nor would I ever have Arlindo over to my house again. When we left Ronny's house we had one extra kid in the car with us.  Arlindo will be spending the week end here with us.

Yours in Christ, Dick

Sunday, February 26, 2011

Today 8 of my kids and my self went to church.  After church we joined up with Dave Black, Daryl and Wanda Fulp and their 9 kids and went to a park just outside of Antigua and had a pick-nick.  don't worry the park was big so we didn't crowd everyone else out.  I must admit though that finding a pick-nick table that was  big enough to accommodate 21 of us proved to be a bit of a challenge.  The pick-nick was a lot of fun but at about 2:30 Daryl's kids asked if they could go to Hermano Pedro to love on the kids there.  I told Daryl that I had spent a lot of time at the orphanage during the week so I thought that my kids and I would stay at the park a bit longer  and than head for home.  Daryl and his family had scarcely driven away and my kids were begging me to take them to the orphanage as well.  I know for a fact that some of my boys have crushes on some of Daryl's girls but they told me that the mane reason that they wanted to got to the orphanage was so that they could love on the orphanage kids.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and I think that this one will help explain why Daryl and Wanda are so proud of their kids and why I am so proud of mine.
Yours in Christ: Dick

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pat, Dave and I are on the road again.  This time Dave drew the short straw so for the next few days he will be doing the journaling.  Actually Dave has graciously offered to do the journaling for the next few days.  You will have to find your own interpreter though because I seem to have misplaced my Canadian to American translation book. 

Dave wrote,

Today, Dick, Pat, Orlindo ( Ronnie's 8 year old brother ), and I ( Dave ) headed to La Gomera, near the Pacific coast, to check on a family, and also some water filters given out last year .

Before leaving Antigua, Pat attempted to use her ATM card - to no avail.  After contacting her U.S. bank ( 3 or 4 times ), she found out it had been compromised , and the bank had blocked the use of it.  Her bank told her the block was removed, but after trying 3 or 4 different ATM's, it still did not work.  Then we ran into new bridge construction for another delay. Oh well, one thing I have learned here is patience !


We picked up 2 social workers, Luvia and Carla, in La Gomera, and went to visit a sponsored family near there. We delivered some food to them, and also checked their water filter. It was plugged, and they had lost the syringe to clean it. Dick had a syringe , so he cleaned it , and it worked, ......... .

We ended up checking about 4 or 5 more homes, and found only one filter that was being used.  Maintenance seems to  be one problem, but  knowing WHY they need to use them seems to be a bigger one.  The water table here is about 4 feet below the ground and the water is extremely polluted, so these filters are definitely needed, but even though there is a need for the filters, and even though we clearly explained how to use and maintain the filters to the families when they received them, I am not sure the families still see this need.  We talked afterward, and think maybe the filters should be given to community leaders first, and perhaps once they have used them for a period of time they can  convince the other people in there community why the filters are needed and how easy they are to use and maintain.

While going from house to house checking on these filters, we somehow lost Pat. We knew she did not have any money, so she could not be far.  Low and behold, we found the party girl at a house celebrating a young girl's something !  We DRAGGED her out of there, and after dropping off the social workers, headed to a nice hotel with a pool - it was quite hot down there. Orlindo loved the water, jumping  to Dick and I.   I found out he also likes wrestling on the bed. As Dick noted, he thinks this was a good trip for Orlindo to help get over his brother's passing.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today we took some food to Julio's mom and dad. Julio is in the malnutrition ward at Hermano Pedro, and Dick wanted to talk to mom and dad. Fortunately, dad was home from working in the sugar cane fields. This job has to be one the worst - about 90 F, and fields of cane on fire also. Dick says they make about Q 60 ($7.50) for a 12 hr. day., and the work only lasts for 3 or 4 months.

We then took Orlindo home, and found out he had missed only Monday for school. Apparently the teachers had a meeting of some sort. He was pretty happy to be home.

Off to San Lucas we drove, to meet with an American doctor there, William Boegel, who had found a little girl who needed a wheelchair. Mom and Dad bring this girl in for physical therapy treatment 3 X A week,, and you see how much they loved her. Quite a difference from the families we had met the day before.

Unfortunately, the chair we had brought was too big, so Dick is going to bring another soon. Dr. Will and his wife had moved down here from Seattle 4 years Ago, , and bought some land outside San Lucas Toliman, where they bring women and children to escape mostly abuse. Will also works 2 days a week at the local hospital, where he brought down most of everything for an operating room !

Then we drove to Santiago Atitlan, to drop off some walkers to Michelle, an American lady who is working with elderly people.

We then drove around Volcan San Pedro to visit Manuel, a young man in San Juan La Laguna, whose motorized wheelchair was not working properly. Dick changed the batteries, and said we would be back tomorrow to check on the new ones. We spent the night in San Pedro at a very clean and nice hotel for Q100 ($12.50) per room. Quite a bargain. Pat looked pretty comfortable in the hammock there.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back to San Juan we went, only to find Manuel's new batteries okay, but the brushes in his motor needing new springs. This ended up being a half day's work, as we visited I think 4 or 5 tiendas, electric shops, grocery stores etc! looking for a close resemblance to what we needed. After finding a couple of springs that would work, we then had to find someone to solder one of the brushes also. At least we discovered how to get around San Juan - actually a very nice town.

In the end, it was well worth all our efforts, as we heard from Bob, an American helping at a school for the disabled , how much this chair had changed Manuel's life. He is now in 1st year Basico, does paintings with his mouth, and gets around with his chin controlled motorized wheelchair. 

After visiting all these families, it struck me that we have the same kinds of parenting skills in Canada and the U.S. - SOME GOOD, AND SOME NOT SO GOOD.  I believe that we must have Jesus first in our own hearts, and then at the center of our families.

Thank you Dick and Pat.

Thank you Dave!  You did a great job of writing even if it was in Canadian.

Good night,
Yours in Christ:  Dick

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 3-5, 2011

On Thursday I received a telephone call telling me that my dear friend Pastor Bill Vandyken had been taken to the hospital with a brain aneurysm.  Details  are sketchy but on Wednesday he was going to be transferred to a different hospital where he was to undergo up to 8 hours of surgery.  Please pray for Bill, his wife Barbra and their family.

Most of the remainder of the week was spent at Hermano Pedro orphanage and taking kids out to Camperos.

Some of my kids had their first soccer game of the season today. (Saturday)  I know that this is a rather brief summery of the past 3 days but I do want to get this journal published and it is the week end.  Besides  that I couldn't fined any one who was willing to do my writing for me.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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