* 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)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Needed - A place for a dozen teen age boys to hang out
for a few days
or until they turn 21.
Preferably the latter.

Ever try spending time locked up in a 3 room house with around a dozen teen age boys? My advice to you is don't. Actually I guess I could leave but it is my house but it isn't easy to ask them to leave especially since they sort of came with the place when I moved in about 8 years ago. Of course they were much smaller and easier to keep under control back then and I sort of figured as they grew up, that instead of hanging out here half of the time that I would see them less often. Wrong! Don't take me wrong I love these kids and most of the time I enjoy having them around but every now and then I feel a bit on overload. (Polite way of saying ready to go insane) This week end was one of those times. Well lets just say that most of my weekend felt like that. One of my favorite philosophers (Erma Bombeck) once said that the best way to raise a teenager is to lock them in a wooden barrel and feed them through a knothole with a straw. By Saturday afternoon I was looking for a cork so that I could plug the knothole.

It all started out Thursday evening (I know Thursday is not considered the weekend but things were starting up a bit early). I figured that I would take a quick shower before we (I had intentionally used the word we so that they would have some indication that I expected them to help) started dinner. I instructed the 2 kids that were already in the house to let any other kids that were still in school into the house when they arrived. Some times they have to be reminded of this because they are afraid that they will lose their turn at the computer if they go to the gate. After just a few minutes I heard a loud pounding on my gate. I know that it was loud because this time I had remembered to take my hearing aids out before taking my shower. (I will tell you that story another time) Anyway after about 5 minutes of pounding and hollering (I think that the kids out side of the gate may have been hollering as well) one of the kids that was in the house finally opened the gate. By the time that I got out of the shower (Which is located in a small room that is not connected to the house) all of the kids were in the house playing rap music (I use the word Music very loosely) on the TV, both of my computers and my cell phone. How do I know that they were all in the house? Because they had left the gate wide open and it is clearly visible when you walk from the bathroom to the house. Unfortunately so was I. How do I know that? Because my neighbor lady hollered over and asked me if I wanted her to do any mending for me. Seems my bath towel had a hole in it. After getting dressed I ran back to the bathroom and hammered a few nails in the wall so that the next time that I take a shower I can take my clean clothing in there with me.

Next I went back into the house and did a pantomime indicating that I wanted the music turned down and no more than 2 rap songs (Again the word songs is being used loosely) being played at once. For a few minutes there it actually got quiet enough that I almost put my hearing aids back in but some how the volume mysteriously got louder when I turned my back to go and see what we (still using the word we) would make for supper. I asked the kids if they were hungry. (I know, Stupid question) and what they wanted for supper and all but a few of them voted on spaghetti. Since we had not had spaghetti since night before last I thought it was a good choice, besides that we were running low on corn flakes. Funny thing happened next, It may have been from all of the yelling and pounding or perhaps from the loud music but I still can't figure out why they all heard me perfectly when I asked them if they were hungry and when I asked what they wanted to eat but some how they all went deaf when I asked them to help me make supper. I did manage to get the attention of some of them though when I shut off their music by disconnecting the router to the internet, and after some not so gentle coaxing 5 out of 10 of them got up to help me. I said something about wanting the other 5 to help but I must have been mumbling because they did not move. I then cleared my throat and this time I was clearly understood. Then after putting half of the spaghetti back into the cupboard the 6 of us that were still in the house went to work on making supper.

When your children are little,
they step on your toes....
When they grow up,
they step on your heart.

On Friday evening I got home just in time to take my kids to youth group which is held every Friday evening at the church that we attend in Antigua. While the kids were at youth group I went over to Camperos to visit with some friends and after youth group the kids all walked over to Camperos to meet me for supper. When they arrived I asked them what they had done at youth group and most of them responded. However 2 of my boys Susan and Maria (The names have been changed to protect the guilty) sat there like they did not have a clew. I did not think much of it at the time because these were 2 of the same boys that had spaced out when I asked them to help with supper the night before. However I did a lot more thinking about it when I received an anonymous (Actually I know who it was that called but I know that he would not like me making up a name for him so he will remain anonymous) phone call a few minutes later. Seems that anonymous had proof that 2 of my boys, Susan and Maria (not their real names) had skipped out of youth group and gone to the park. I did not say anything until I got home but then questioned each of them separately. J...., I mean Susan came clean but K...., (allies Maria) stuck to a poorly fabricated story until I re questioned him the following day. I let him know that I was never going to force him to go to youth group but did expect him that go if he came along with me to Antigua for that purpose, and as far as the lying goes I told him that there would be consequences.

When we got home I went straight to bed but I told the 3 kids that stayed over that they could stay up for a while. They asked me if they could move the furniture a bit and do some break dancing. I told them that it would be all right as long as they did not make any noise (Silly me).

On Saturday morning we stuck around home and by 10 there were at least 10 kids in the house. All went well until I tried to find my Camera so that I could down load some pictures to put into my Journal.

Rule # 303 New cars no matter how strong, will get dents and scratches if you use them as a break dancing platform.

Rule # 304
(This one is directed at my boys) Do not lye about not using some one's car as a break dance platform until you delete the pictures from their camera.

Today is Sunday and things have gone much better. Oh yes I still woke up thinking about trying to find some one who wanted a few kids until they grew up. Fact is I was going to offer to pay some one dearly to do so but after church the boys and I went to Hermano Pedro (At their request) to love on the kids that are there. All I can say is wow. My boys have a way of showing Christ's love to the kids that are at the orphanage that I have not seen in many people.

Fact is today Su..., I mean Jason told me that he would love to get into some type of Christian ministry that involves working with children in an orphanage.

Children don't make life easier....just better...

Yours in Christ: Dick


Blogger Trisha said...


I was sharing some of this blog post with my husband, Brant, and he said to tell you "hang in there Dick, Jesus is coming." I am so inspired by your ministry to these boys and the kids at hermano pedro- you truly are a father to the fatherless in many ways. We're praying for you.
~Trisha Baron

Sunday, October 02, 2011  

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