* 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)

Friday, February 24, 2012

We have had a teem of 6 people here from the USA all week. Up until yesterday they have been building houses and giving out food to needy families and I have not been with them that much. However Yesterday I met up with them at at 5 AM and along with Chris and Donna, Some of their family and a few other members of the Bethel Ministries teem we all headed off to the coast.

Part of this trip was going to be for fun and relaxation, thanks to some of these generous friends who are here from the States but first we were going to do some thing that I like every bit as much as relaxing by the beech. Don't take me wrong. We are all having a great time hear at the ocean and it is a mini vacation that we have all been looking forward to, but some how in spite of the hard work involved and yesterday's extreme heat, wheelchiar distributions are still one of my favorite things. Perhaps the following which was written by Shannon Heath, who is a first timer to Guatemala and a first timer to wheelchair distributions will help explain why.

Shannon wrote the following.

Since arriving in Guatemala, I've experienced so many moments that I know I´ll never forget. This being my first time outside the United States, I was experiencing a bit of culture shock at first and the realization of how extremely blessed my life is was almost overwhelming. But of all the awesome things we as a team have done this week, I think the wheelchair distribution has had the strongest impact for me. We traveled about 2 hours from Chimaltenango to get to the town of Iztapa on Thursday, setting up our stations in a town center situated on the outskirts of a little village on the side of some farmland, which is also used as a sort of trash heap. With a team of about thirteen people, we were able to distribute over fifty wheelchairs and a few walkers that day to people who would otherwise never have access to this kind of medical equipment.
Most importantly, we were able to share the love of Christ with every person while meeting their tangible physical needs as well. Three people prayed the prayer of faith that day. God has provided an amazing voyeur through Bethel Ministries and Dick Rutgers.

They so compassionately meet the needs of these people while at the same time catering to an ever greater need. That is the need for God´s presence in their lives which can become so desolate at times.

One family told us they had traveled over seven hours with their fifteen year old daughter who desperately needed a new wheelchair, as she was outgrowing her current one. It is absolutely imperative that those who need wheelchairs are fitted properly because a chair that becomes too small can cause sores and rashes that are inevitably fatal for the people in the villages of Guatemala. It was later explained to me that this chair we had assembled for her essentially meant life or death.

For me, the most emotional part of the day was assembling a chair for an old woman who was äbuela¨ to about seven grandchildren who were closely circled around the station watching my brother and I put together her chair. The woman had unsightly sores on her feet from attempting to walk or be somewhat heaved and dragged by family. As we finished the chair, tears begun to stream down the woman´s face as she pulled me in for a tight hug and choked out the words ¨via con dios.¨ At that moment, I was the one who felt lucky for the blessing I had just received. That one woman´s gratitude spread contagiously through me and I know I´ll carry that blessing with me for a very long time.

Shannon Heath

Thank you Shannon.
Yours in Christ: Dick


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