* 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, January 16, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

For the past several days Bethel Ministries has had a group of men from the USA here building some homes for needy families here in Guatemala. This morning they took a break from house building and I had the privilege of joining them in a wheelchiar distribution that we had here in Chimaltenango. This was a first time experience for most of the men that were here from the USA but they were eager to share God's love and caught on quickly and within a few hours close to 50 people were properly fitted into their new wheelchairs.

As exciting as this was what was even more exciting is that several of these people accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, January 13, 2012

Written by Dave:

Dick has invited me to go along with him, Cesar,and Elder to deliver a motorized wheelchair to 11 year old Juan in Santiago Atitlan. (I will keep inviting him along with us long as Dave keeps offering to do the journals when he goes along with me, even if he is hard to understand since all he speaks is Canadian. Dick) He is the boy we met a couple of weeks ago whose legs are bent underneath him, and whose parents say they will build a ramp up a slope to get to the street.

On our way there, we visit Jessica, a little girl Dick met a distribution a year and a half ago. She had come for a chair, but as soon as Dick saw her, he left the distribution and brought her to the malnutrition ward of Hermano Pedro. She was severely thin. Today she looks very good, and has is now back with her family and is being well looked after by them. She has 2 sisters, Blanca and Enma, and 3 brothers, Danny, Angle and Hector. Enma and Hector are in primary school and had already registered for school which is scheduled to start in a few days. Danny , Angle and Blanca wish to go to Basico ( gr.7,8,9), but mom cannot afford to send them. Dad passed away about a year before Dick met them, and Mom's (Virginia's) only income is from selling the few Bananas that she is able to find growing near her home. She says it would be hard for her with the older ones in school, but says she could manage and it would be worth it if her kids could get an education. After figuring out costs, Dick called Chris to see what he thought about them sponsoring these kids even though they did not have someone to sponsor them. I was praying as Dick called Chris, as this family really touched my heart. Chris told Dick that just yesterday he had found five kids that needed sponsors and he said yes to them Trusting that God would supply a sponsor. Chris then said to go ahead and that they would just have to have faith that a sponsor would be found.

Hector, Jessica,s youngest brother, is a real fireball, who actually RAN up trees, and swung like a monkey! He was a hoot. Dick was telling me about when they built this family a home, and how he made 10 or 11 trips = back and forth for cement, sand, and water, etc. It is quite the 4x4 drive, even crossing the river where Dick says they got their water from. Dick says he had been debating whether to make the trip up here today, but now realizes it is ANOTHER Godincidence. Had he postponed the trip until next week it is unlikely that the 3 oldest children could have been registered for school.

Due to a full hotel in Santiago we end up in San Pedro La Laguna, and manana will travel back to Santiago, to deliver Juan,s power chair.Every time I travel with Dick, he manages to take me up a road, which I think is the worst I have been on, and on the next trip, he shows me one worse!

(Dave ain't seen nothing yet. I am trying to break him in slowly. I can't wait until he goes with me to a village near Huehuetenango where we climb from 3 700 feet above sea level to 8200 feet on a dirt road that would make most mountain goats tremble. Dick)
Thanks, Dick and Cesar and Elder, tambien
And thank you,

Saturday, January, 14, 2012

After spending the night at my favorite hotel in San Pedro, Dick and I take Cesar and Elder on a boat ride to San Marcos, as both have never been on a boat before. It was quite wavy, and both boys enjoyed getting splashed, sitting at the front of the boat. On the way back, we sat at the back near the driver,and this turned out to be a wetter ride than the first trip. Elder's shirt was completely soaked,and Cesar was not far behind. This was a better ride than at an amusement park, and only Q10!

We then drove to Santiago and met Argentina, who took us to little Juan's home to deliver his electric chair. Dick was a little worried about him using his controller with his hand, but after some adjustments, Juan totally had control, and loved it! He was going back and forth, doing 360's, and laughed when he banged into the dresser a couple of times. To see the smile on his face was indescribable. Mom and dad also were pretty happy, and had even carried the chair down a fairly steep set of stairs, which I believe they will do every day for Juan to go to school. Cesar did a great job interpreting, and Elder helped make the adjustments, and took pictures.

Just as we were leaving Argentina received a call from Steven's mom in ChukMuk about his batteries heating up and not lasting long. Stephen and his older brother Sebastian both suffer from muscular dystrophy and without their power wheelchairs they can not go to school, or even leave their home. SOMEHOW Dick had brought along 2 extra batteries, so we stopped at the school where he was to check his chair. We replaced his batteries, and hopefully after a full charge, his chair will be okay.

We opt to return home via Escintla, with a stop at Saritas restaurant, maybe swaying our vote a little. We even got a police escort for about one mile, after they stopped us and asked if they could follow us hoping to lure out some bandidos that had been robing cars on that stretch of road. Dick said we might as well tell them yes and have them behind us rather than run into the bandits without the police with us. Fortunately no bandits showed up. We figured that the flashing lights on one of the 3 police pick-ups that followed us might have scared them away.

As I told Dick after giving Juan his chair, "I will have to stop coming along on these road trips, if all we can do is change one little boy's life and make him laugh and smile."

Just another cruddy day in Guatemala!
Thank you, Lord


Here is why both Dave and I had tears in our eyes when we left Juan's home. Weather it is a 50 wheelchair day or a 1 wheelchair day it is still exciting to be able to share the love of Jesus with those that God puts in our path.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

Yours in Christ: Dick


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