* 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)

Monday, September 26, 2011

This weeks Journal has been written by Daryl Fulp and his Daughter Teisha. Teisha takes after her mother, Wanda, so you will find all of what she writes to be true. Daryl however takes after no one else that I know and although he can be truthful most of the time you will soon see that at times he simply makes things up. This is especially true when it comes to him writing about my highly talented professional driving skills. I personally thought that he retract what he wrote about my driving especially after he backed into the guide wire that runs to the light post by my house 2 minutes after getting out of my car after a 5 day accident free trip. Oh well I guess not all missionaries can be 100% truthful and close to 100% humble like me.


Monday, September 19

This entry was written by my daughter, Teisha, who accompanied Dick Rutgers, Gerardo, Taryn, and me on a trip to Las Palmas and La Gomera. Comments in red were added by me.

Today, I had the wonderful opportunity of accompanying Dick, Daryl (my Dad), Taryn, and Gerardo (our translator) to visit Escuintla and Las Palmas. We visted and were able to help more people than I imagined we would! Our day went a little something like this... After departing at roughly 9:30 this morning, we headed off for Walter's house (a six year-old boy who is just about as cute as they get!) He has an appointment at Hermano Pedro Hospital in Antigua tomorrow, and we went to talk to his mother about all that would mean as far as what time to get there and what to expect. We also provided her with the money to take the chicken bus into Antigua along with money for the appointment itself. Please pray that all will go well with his appointment tomorrow and they will be able to take care of all that is needed!

(Actually, we went planning to arrange for their appointment for casting of his legs for new braces. After talking to his mother, we realized that he is also having hearing problems, so we arranged for her to come in early the next morning to see a doctor for that as well.)


Second stop was David's house.. We went there to invite him to camp and also to see when his graduation will take place... which is a pretty big deal! It was a privilege to get to meet his family! :) Third stop was down the road to visit an elderly woman, Pilar, who is 85 years old and who is struggling from malnutrition. I can honestly say that I've never seen a person that skinny in person before... We checked in to make sure she was drinking the Insure we provided her a little while ago and to make sure she was drinking plenty of water. We found out that she was only taking about half the Insure she should be taking and that she hardly drinks water... She prefers coffee. But Dad (Daryl) explained to her (with the help of Gerardo) that she needs to be taking more Insure and she needs to be drinking lots more water for 2 reasons. First that she will start to feel better physically and gain some weight and be healthier altogether. And Secondly, she'll gain the energy she'll need to meet some new, cute men. ;)

While we were there with Pilar, we met a little boy who is 4 years old and who has struggled with fevers, breathing, and just lack of energy his whole life. His big brown eyes and his sad little face broke my heart! But we were able to set up a time for them to go to Antigua to Hermano Pedro next week to get him checked out. Prayer would also be greatly appreciated that all will go well with his appointment!

On our fourth visit, we saw a man named Ponsiano. We were pleased to see that his father had built him some parallel bars.. that he can hold on to to hopefully Work on his walking! It was very encouraging to see his famly step up and try to help him in his need! It was kind of rough for him to stand and walk, but it didn't matter because the excitement in his eyes and the smile on his face made up for it! Hopefully with time and more practice, he'll get much better at it.

The fifth place was across the street from Ponsiano's house, where we visited an elderly couple, Pedro and Victoria. Being as old as they are, they were previously advised to drink about 6 cups of water a day because they were dehydrated... and they could use all the energy the could get. They're now up to drinking 3 cups of water a day... that's progress, right? Sixth stop was a few doors down to Reyna's house, an elderly woman who was also having dehydration issues. We stopped there for just a few minutes to make sure she was drinking all that was suggested to her (and of course she wasn't... but she's drinking more water than she was before..) But even though we couldn't stay for long, the smile on her face when we walked in told me that it was worth it anyway.

After Reyna's, we went to Carlos' house to drop off a few camp forms... one for himself and two others that he would give to his friends... And after Carlos, we went to Maria's house to also drop off a camp form. She's 23 and has severe spastic Cerebral Palsy. She lights up the whole room with her beautiful smile!

(At this point, God redirected our trip and we ended up visiting a family that we hadn’t intended to visit. It was a God orchestrated change, as we realized that we needed to confront a family with some concerns. We praise God that both Dick and I were there for this and that Gerardo did an amazing job of communicating and confronting in love. Due to confidentiality and my respect for the family, I have chosen to omit these details.)

I am so thankful that I could be a part of the ministry of Dick and Dad (Daryl) And I am thankful that I can learn how to better serve my Jesus with them. I would be very blessed if someday I could have half as much wisdom as they do... So today was a long, but great day and I learned a lot! ..but most of all, God was glorified! And that's all that matters. :)

Tuesday, September 20

On Tuesday I had to run some errands and pick up some things for our upcoming trip so Daryl met up at Hermano Pedro with Walter and his parents. Don't worry they took the buss, they did not ride with Daryl.

. Dick

Here are a few pictures of Walter getting casted for his braces. He had a good time smearing plaster on my arms and face!

Wednesday, September 21

This morning Gerardo, Scott, John and I loaded up and headed to Chimaltenango to meet with Dick and head out for a three day trip to recruit for the annual camps for children, teens, and adults with special needs. Of course, this means three days of dealing with Dick’s driving and the ensuing bruises.


Although Dick insisted that we arrive at his place early so that we could get an early start, we didn’t leave Chimal until almost 11:00 am. Dick lost his cell phone, and after looking for some time, decided that it must be stolen or destroyed because it was off when we tried to call it. So, off we went to the Tigo store so that he could report it missing and arrange to have his number transferred to another phone. Nothing is easy in Guatemala, so an hour and 15 minutes later, we left the store with the process not yet complete. We all took a vote and decided we should tie Dick’s new phone around his neck.
First one that I lost in 11 years and I am still wondering if Daryl took it.

Since we got such a late start we were not able to accomplish a lot today. We made the trip to the town of Nebaj and had a brief visit with an elderly lady named Juana to invite her to camp. She speaks Ketchequal, so the conversation went from English through Gerardo in Spanish and then through Juana’s daughter to Ketchequal. Then the process was reversed.

After leaving her home, we checked into a nice clean motel. We had the choice of rooms that shared a public bathroom and had hot water and rooms that had a private bathroom with no hot water. Dick, Gerardo, and I chose the latter while Scott and John chose the hot water. That was a good thing since John had been complaining about how cold he was all day. When I came to there room to get them for supper, I found John trying to stay warm and looking like the Virgin Mary.

After getting settled, we headed to a local restaurant run my an American named Don. The food was good and cheap, but I think we were his only customers all night. So it took a while for them to heat up the stoves, find the food, and kill the necessary animals they needed to cook. But we had a nice visit as we waited and left after 1 1/2 hours.

Epilogue from the following morning:

We returned to the motel and had a good night’s sleep. I did, however, wake up once to Dick talking in his sleep. I think he said something about hitting potholes and killing Daryl, but he was mumbling so I’m not sure.

What I actually said was "Daryl, although I have never in my life hit a pot hole, do you actually think that it would kill you if we did." By the way I was not mumbling. Daryl simply refuses to have his ears tested.
Thursday, September 22

We met this morning at 7:15 to head out for an early breakfast. We wanted to eat quickly and hit the road because we had a lot on the agenda for the day. We quickly realized, however, that those plans might be in jeopardy when we arrived at Don’s restaurant, placed our orders, and Dick and I had to walk up the street to buy eggs for our meals. As Don ambled casually about the kitchen making our breakfast, we had still more time to visit.

We finally got our food, ate, paid and left the restaurant at 9:00 am. So much for an early start. But we have all learned that it is just a part of life here.

We left the motel and made another stop to invite a camper to camp. This was at Maria’s house, a young mother with a bad leg who walks with crutches. It is always a treat to see the previous year’s campers light up when they see Dick at the door. They know that means that camp is almost here again.

From there we headed through some of the most beautiful countryside you have ever seen. Winding and rough roads take you over mountains and through valleys surrounded by God’s creation that takes your breath away. Even Dick’s attempts to hit every hole and bump couldn’t detract from our wonder (although I still need to take time to count my bruises and check for internal hemorrhaging).


By this time Daryl's phobia about the possibility of us hitting a pot hole was getting worse. I was beginning to think that we were going to have to restrain him becasue there were a few times that he tried to grab the steering wheel out of my hands had try to head my car over the cliff in fear of hitting shadows that he feared where potholes.

We arrived at Victor’s house late morning. He is a charming 19 year old who suffers from cerebral palsy, but is a very motivated and driven young man. He and his family managed to get him into school years ago, before most children with special needs were admitted into public schools. He has thrived. Today we delivered some crutches and a PET chair to him. A Pet chair is a wagon that is propelled by hand pedals. These chairs have worked well for Victor in the past, so Dick had found another one that was for adults to deliver to him.

While we assembled the chair, we attracted a growing crowd of locals who came out to see what was happening. Before we were done, there must have been 15 or 20 people gathered around. Once we were done and Victor had a chance to demonstrate his skills in it, we all had prayer together. A church service broke out as many of the Guatemalan’s prayed out loud together. This was a special time of connecting and sharing the love of Jesus, but I am not sure who received more of the love, the people of the town or our team.

From there, we headed to the nearest decent hotel (about 2 hours away) and checked in for the night. We put our bags in the room and headed out for one more visit with a wonderful lady named Maria. She and her husband, who is disabled, have been regular attenders at the camp for some time, and Dick wanted to make sure they received their invitation. We arrived to discover that her husband is in Guatemala City for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his throat. We knelt together and prayed for both of them. In spite of her sadness and fear, Maria radiated the joy of the Lord. Please pray for this couple.

Near the end of the day, we found out that Dick has been struggling with his new GPS unit. It has a feature which allows you to take a photo with it and it places it on the map to help people see the destination for which you are looking. Dick keeps turning it around with the lens pointing toward him and trying to take the picture. Scott observed that we probably have a lot of nice photos that show us what Dick looks like at Maria’s house, at Victor’s house, at Don’s restaurant, etc. Remind me not to borrow Dick’s GPS!

No Comment, but if anyone wants an autographed photo let me know.

Tonight we enjoyed a nice meal in a local restaurant that did not take hours to prepare. Plus, it was extremely cheap. But we still sat and visited for over an hour as we shared our testimonies with one another. During that time, I was both humbled and touched to realize what a privilege it is to work alongside these men.

Now I am settled into my room that has BOTH a private bath AND hot water. I cannot tell you how pampered and spoiled I feel!

Blessings from some little town, somewhere in Guatemala! (I can’t remember the name and I am too tired to figure it out.)


Thanks Daryl, Gerardo, Scot and John

All kidding aside this was a wonderful trip and I totally enjoyed the fun and Christian fellowship that the five of us had while we were on the road together and I hope that we can do it again soon, as long as I can do all of the Driving!

I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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