* 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, June 28, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tonight I am once again in San Pablo Lagona. It was only 5 days ago that I posted my last journal entry from this same location. This time 3 of my boys are with me instead of Pat. You may wonder why I am back here after only 5 days. All I can say is most power wheelchairs can be cantankerous but Manuel's chin controlled power wheelchair seems to be at the top of my list for needing repairs. Fact is we hadn't even gotten back into Chimaltenango after repairing it last week than we received a phone call saying that it had quit running again. I told Manuel that it would likely be a few weeks before I could come and take a look at it because he lived several hours away. Besides that I had been told that there were still demonstrations going on in San Pablo Lagona and the only other way in to San Pedro was over the dirt road that was nearly washed out last week when we traveled it and since it had been raining hard for the past few days I doubted that even my new Land Cruiser could make it. The more I thought about it though the more I realized how important this wheelchair was to Manuel. Without it he would likely not be able to attend school and even if some one was willing to push him to school in his manual wheelchair he would have no way to move around once he got there. Yes returning to San Pedro would be an inconvenience but what would be a small inconvenience to me would mean the world to Manuel.

When I told Cesar, Jason, and Fernando (who have no school this week) that they could come along with me they were delighted. After making a few phone calls I was pretty much convinced that the tuk tuk drivers were no longer blockading the road at San Pablo so we decided to go that way. All I can say is that we did get through San Pablo but had to do a bit of zigzagging around a few not so friendly tuk tuk drivers and I have pretty much decided to take the dirt road out tomorrow. I am praying that it does not rain tonight.
Jason stands in the narrow alley way that Manuel
has to drive his power chair through to get to his home.

When we got to Manuel's house his mother told us that they had gotten his Power chair sort of running this morning and that he was at school with it. By the sound of things it was not running well though so we decided to drive to the school and have a look at it. Fortunately mom agreed to ride along with us because to my surprise Manuel was at a different school than I expected. Seems that he attend the special needs school that I have been to before in the mornings and a public high school in the after noon. After talking to the principal he agreed to let us use his office as a work shop. This time I took no chances and replaced the motor that had been acting up. Actually I did very little. Fernando did all of the interpreting while Jason and Cesar did the bulk of the mechanic work.

I know that I often feel overwhelmed by all of the kids that hang out at my house but let me tell you watching these 3 young men work together made me realize how blessed I am. There was Fernando a young man who never met his father and who's mother he has not seen since he was a year old, working along side of Jason whom we had assumed was dead after disappearing for over 2 months. Cesar has both parents but is from an extremely poor family and his dad is seldom home because he has to work 16 hours a day just to put food on the table. Thanks to some wonderful sponsors these 3 boys are now attending a Christian school and their self esteem is growing by leaps and bounds. Don't get me wrong they are still teen age boys and they still drive me crazy at times (That is why they are in a room on the first floor of the hotel that we are staying in tonight while I am on the second floor at the opposite end of the motel) but I could not be prouder of them and I love them like they were my own.

Tonight as we sat in the restaurant having dinner I once again thanked God for these 3 fine Christian young men. They didn't get the opportunity to talk to Manuel or his mother about Jesus today but judging by Manuel's thank you's and mom's tearful hugs I know that Jesus Christ was seen today not only by Manuel and his mother but also by the principal, the teachers and the rest of us who watched the boys work.

"Thank you Jesus for each and every teen that comes into my home, but please keep them from driving me crazy."

Yours in Christ: Dick


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