* 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, November 9, 2011

Marcos is 14 years old and weighs only 23 pound

Today Pat and I met Marcos. Unlike many of the children that have been admitted into the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro Marcos was not brought in from any remote village. Fact is his family lives only a few miles from the hospital. Just a few years ago most of the starving kids that were brought into the hospital were kids that had disabilities like cerebral palsy that made it more difficult for them to gain weight but more and more we are finding or seeing kids come in to the hospital that have nothing wrong with them other than that they are starving. Granted Marvin has C.P. but his appetite is good and it is obvious that he has simply not been given enough to eat and that what little food he has been given was likely nothing more than corn tortillas and water or at best coffee. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for a father or mother to watch their child go to bed hungry each night. It has to be even more difficult to deny food to your unhealthy child so that the more healthy one gets a bit more to eat. "Not happening!" you say. Thankfully not as much as it was a few years ago but it is still happening. If you don't believe it come and spend a week on the road with me. When I first came to Guatemala 11 years ago I soon became aware that a child that was disabled was in many cases looked on as a curse from God and was not treated in the same manor as a so called normal child but I have seen some changes over the years. Now many of the families seem to love and value their disabled child as much as their other children. Unfortunately with many families there is simply not enough food to go around and it becomes survival of the fittest and it even seems that over the past few years even more children that have nothing physically wrong with them are going hungry. At least the families that do not have enough to feed any of there children do not have to make a decision on which one starves and which one gets to eat. Last month 3 children all from the same family that had been admitted into the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro went back home. While in the hospital they all gained weight fast because there was nothing wrong with them other than that they did not have enough food in there home to keep them alive. When they left the hospital they were all looking good. Are they still that way? I pray that they are but I have seen many children return within a few months. Many do well when they return home but there are others that should have returned to the malnutrition ward but they have died instead.
Just this morning I was shown this picture of 9 year old Jose.

We gave a wheelchair to Jose a year or 2 ago. I can remember giving Jose a wheelchair that fit him perfectly but now it looks like you could place another child his size in the same wheelchiar next to him. His grandmother and him are very close and she fears if she brings him in to the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro that he will die of loneliness. I wish that we could tell her that she is wrong but I see that happening with others like 13 year old Lionel. What is the answer then? I don't know, but I was told by the social worker that showed me Jose's picture that without help she doubts that he will live to see the end of this month. We are dipping into our emergency fund and making sure that he gets enough food to keep him alive this month but there are more months and many more starving kids.

( Lionel ),), ..........,,...,,,,,,,

I am sorry. This journal entry was suppose to catch you up on what took place these past 2 weeks (Perhaps another day). Instead I covered little more then what I witnessed today. Those of you who reed my journals on a regular bases know that I seldom ask for help. That is why there is no button to click on if you wish to help. Not even a mailing address where you can send donations. I know that there are starving kids all over the world and many good organizations that are trying to help them. My question is are you doing any thing to help any of them? If not please reach out and help one of them in any way that you can. If it so happens that God is laying it on your hart to help one of the little ones that I just wrote about please contact me at dick@dickrutgers.com.
"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows Poverty, Famine and Injustice in this world, when He Could do something about it.....but I'm afraid that He might ask me the same question."

Yours in Christ: Dick


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