* 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, April 23, 2011

Journal, April 18-23 , 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last nigh Chris and I went to the airport and picked up 7 people from Washington State that will be joining us on various facets of our ministry throughout the week. Among them are my close friends John and Arlis Bosman. Today most of the group stayed in Chimaltenango and poured a new much needed floor in Bethel's wheelchair shop while Arlis and I headed for the orphanage in Antigua. For some strange reason the choice was not a hard one when I had to decide weather to stay and pour Cement or go and spend some time with the orphanage kids.

When we got to the orphanage we were joined by Pat Duff and the 3 of us took 3 of the kids out to lunch. We stayed around the orphanage and played with the kids until we were sure that the others had finished up on the cement work and then we headed back to Chimaltenango and joined the others for supper.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All of the members of the teem have offered to take turns journaling while they are here so even though Pat has gone to the States for a few weeks it looks like I have once again gotten out of writing at least some of the journal entries. Here then is what they wrote.

Arlis wrote

As the guys were pouring the cement foundation for a new home for a family in Chimaltenango Dick took John and I to see Erica and Christopher, (It looks like I missed another golden opportunity to pour cement. Dick)

When Dick called us and asked us if we would like to see Erica and bring her some more of the medical cream she needs for her scaly skin disease we were overjoyed! Yes, we would love to see Erica and her family again! She has become special to us, as we try to help her control her disease by providing the cream for her. We were able to drive part way up to her house, which was a blessing, because we had 2 suitcases and 2 backpacks full of medication for her. Dick and John took the suitcases and Cesar and I took the backpacks. Dick took the lead up the trail with Cesar, while John and I were slowly trailing behind huffing and puffing! Erica, her mom and some of her sisters and brothers met us with a warm welcome. I can't get over how happy Erica was! She had a huge smile on her face the whole time! We gave her big hugs then her mom invited us into their casa and Cesar interpreted for us. He did a great job! We explained how to use the medication again and left after praying for them.

We continued on to Christopher's, who lives a little way down the hill. He was so happy to see Dick because his wheelchair wasn't working right, so his mother was carrying him down the hill to church and different events. When Dick told him he would have to take it with him and bring it back in a couple of weeks Christopher got very emotional and had tears in is eyes. So Dick said he would try to fix it today. We had to walk down the hill where the wheelchair is stored at the neighbors. His mother packed him on her back and headed down the hill with us. Christopher is just about as big as his mother, it was hard to watch. The love and compassion she showed for her son was amazing! Dick was able to fix his chair and Christopher was a happy, smily boy! Dick brought them back as far as he could with the car and then she packed him on her back all the way back up the hill. I walked that hill with a 30 pound backpack and it was a challenge for me - she was carrying Christopher who is maybe around 100 pounds without complaining! I was amazed by the love they have for each other and what they will sacrifice to help their handicapped child. A reminder for me....this is what the Lord wants from me. To give not only out of abundance, but to give sacrificially as He has done for me.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chad wrote

Today we stood on holy ground. For me, the wheelchair distribution stands at the forefront of my most memorable experiences in Guatemala. Not because of our good works, but because it was as if Jesus himself was in the building today. He was working through us to change a world for him, even in the simple act of supplying a wheelchair. The entire distribution took around five hours and the process seemed seamless from my point of view. Adults were given a number that was announced in a sequential format as stations opened. Each station fitted either an adult or child into a chair.
I worked on the adults and was able to finally get the rhythm after a few chairs.
I wish I could remember all the details to convey on paper, but I don’t. But, what I can convey is the importance for Christians to actively engage their faith. Personally, I easily forget how static I have been until I give of my time and resources being the hands and feet. Bethel Ministries is a blessing and an incredible ministry that provides the greatest opportunities to engage your faith for a broken world and to experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, today we did stand on Holy Ground.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Loren wrote

Today was such an inspiring day!

When we went to Maria’s house and heard her story, how she was roughed up and yet she is determined to push on and help her people. The homes that we visited, and the look in the eyes of the children when we opened the suitcases of shoes, the smiles and the sparkle in their eyes was so wonderful to watch! It makes you feel like you have really made a difference in their lives. The countryside is so amazing, from urban to tropical, to arid in such a small area. Today makes me think of my favorite song,
“How Great Thou Art.”

Because after today it is truly evident!

Loren VanBeek

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today the crew packed up and headed for Chimaltenango. It has been great few days in Huehuetenango but it was good to see the kids again. This evening the USA crew brought Pizza over. (Lots of it. This is the first time that I can ever remember having left over pizza.) The kids loved it and the Americans loved my kids. Tomorrow the USA crew plans on putting up the 2 houses that they have already laid the foundations for. I plan on spending the day at home with my kids.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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