* 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)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hurrah! Jessica goes home.

September 14, 2010
........................... September 3, 2011

When I posted my Journal a few days ago I promised that now that Pat was back from the USA that she would soon start writing again. Tonight she sent me the following. Thank you Pat for an outstanding journal.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Pat writes

Today I got to be a part of one of the happiest times we have here in Guatemala. Jessica Vanessa was released from the malnutrition project at Hermano Pedro. In the past year we have become very close not only to her but her whole family as well.

A year ago I wrote:

Tonight I met Jessica Vanessa and her mom. I am always shocked when I actually hold these little ones. . .there was literally nothing to this child. Our guess is she is somewhere between 15 and 19 lbs. at age six. And she's beautiful. And she has more energy that anyone in her condition should have, and she has the sweetest smile. (to read the rest of the journal from Sept. 14, 2010, click here.)


Dick had encountered Jessica when her mom brought her to a Hope Haven distribution in Mazatenango to get a wheelchair. One look at her and he knew that if she didn’t get help she would not live to use a wheelchair.

It just so happened that there was a news team from Missouri covering this distribution. They felt compelled to tell her story:

We spent a day in the clinics, before Jessica was admitted to the malnutrition project. Since that time, Mom has called me Jessica's "abuelita" or grandma. Not only Jessica, but her entire family has become part of our family.

This trip was the first of many we have made back to visit the family. In January, 2011, Dick returned with a few friends and built a new house to replace the make-shift shack the family lived in (shown above).

Virginia, a widow herself with six children to care for, has become an advocate for other families in her area who have special needs children. It seems that whenever we visit, she has found another family to take us to who is in need of help for their disabled child.

It’s hard to describe the transformation that has taken place as Jessica grew stronger and healthier, and even a little bit chubby. The pictures say more than my inadequate words ever could.

Jessica upon admission, September 14, 2010

October 7, 2010

November 24. 2010

December 8, 2010

January 20, 2011
February 20. 2011

August 6, 2011

Jessica on her way home, September 3, 2011!

Were her brothers and sisters happy to have Jessica home? You decided. . .

So it was a real treat to go with Dick as Jessica returned to her community of “La Benedicion” (the Blessing) after a year of her being away. When I first came to this aldea, I was struck by the irony of a place of such desperate poverty being called a blessing. A year later, I finally understand. . .those who live here are the blessing and they have surely blessed our lives.


Thank you Pat, and welcome home.

Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel !

Yours in Christ: Dick


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