* 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)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

This one is being written by Pat. The following took place over a week ago, but with Pat's help and the help of some friends that are here from Washington State. I may actually get caught up on my journaling this week. Who knows I may even find the time to write one of my own.

We had been promising Rony’s sisters that we would take them out to celebrate their good grades since school ended last October. Today, we finally made good on our promise. It was a bit difficult, since their brother, Herlindo, didn’t earn the reward and would not be able to go with us. Leaving him behind would be hard, especially for Dick, but we’re hoping it will be the incentive he needs to work harder. He’s a bright kid, who would rather sleep in school than work. . .and we have to get him going again!

We stopped on the way to visit the Marvin’s family, and take them to buy school supplies. (Marvin is a shy little guy who we had given a wheelchair to a few months back. At that time the family had been living in not more than a shack. Now the house they lived in was even worse.) Yesterday, as Dick had driven by their house, their mother had flagged him down, asking if he could help pay for the books and materials her three boys needed to go to school. We had picked up some materials on our way down this morning, but there were still a few things needed, and Carlos, the older boy, also had a list of more things that he needed for school. He directed us to the local “liberia” or bookstore, which was in a home which also doubled as a beauty parlor. Carlos managed the purchases like a pro, coming to Dick periodically, to check if the price of something was okay. It was as if he couldn’t believe he was really willing to buy the things that his family needed for school.

When we returned to the house, Momma and the boys were so excited and grateful for the help. Mom said the boys needed new uniforms, but Dick suggested that maybe the family could get them since we had help with the rest of what was needed. We will be back in a few weeks, though, to check that the boys have what they need. There is a working father in this family, though we have been told by neighbors that he drinks up most of what he earns. We don’t want the boys to not have what they need for school, but we also want to challenge papa to step up to his responsibilities. We’ll see when we return.

We headed on to Rony’s home and visited with the family a short time before we left with the girls to go to Pollo Campero in Santa Lucia. The girls were so excited, and quickly changed into their best clothes—their school uniforms—to go out to eat. All of them did, except Jessica who is not in school this year. She is staying home to watch the two youngest boys while Momma goes to town and sell lemons. We had tried our hardest to keep her in school, and it hurts to see her losing an opportunity to continue her education, but this really is a family decision. We continue to pray, though, that she will return next year. I was so proud, and frankly amazed, that while we were eating lunch she started to tell me about how each day, she works with the little ones on “school,” teaching them to count and write their name! She has said for years she’d like to be a teacher. . .and she is teaching where she can. I was proud of her, though it was hard to find enough words to tell her just how much so.

It was great fun watching the four girls, along with Mariana, who had come along with us from Antigua, run and play and just enjoy life. This is a rare treat for all of them, and I had forgotten how much fun it was to spend time with just girls. Most of the time I’m with Dick and the boys, and their outings have a different spirit than today’s excursion. I can’t remember when I’ve heard so much screaming and giggling! And I’m proud, too, of Dick, who managed to handle all the estrogen in is car with grace and perseverance. He enjoyed, too, driving in a way to make the girls scream in delight.

On our way back to Antigua, we stopped to see Angela and her family. Dick had driven the family home from Hermano Pedro yesterday, after the car of their driver had been stolen outside the hospital. They had come to town with 8 people, most of them little children, and Angela, who cannot walk. It would have been difficult for then to travel home on the bus, so Dick willingly made the four hour plus round trip just to take them home, even though he would be driving the same route again today. They were more than grateful, and even more so today when we brought some backpacks and school supplies for the children, and a new wheelchair for Angela. We love to visit this family, and once again today, they greeted us to Cokes to show their gratitude. What a great way to end our day.

Dick dropped Mariana and me off in Antigua on his way back to Chimal. After supper at Mari’s, Kara joined Mariana and me for another girls’ movie night. We were all tired, but content with the experiences of the day.


Thanks Pat.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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