* 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, July 31, 2012

Huehuetenango Trip

I have no good excuses for not doing any journaling in over 3 weeks but that is what has happened. I do not know where to start becasue I know that Pat is planning on doing some journaling in the next day or 2 and if we both write about the same thing I fear that our accounts of what took place will be so different that you will not know who to believe. We discussed this yesterday and decided that her friends will likely believe what I write and My friends will no doubt believe Pat's version. Those of you that know both of us will undoubtedly believe neither of us. Truth is we both do our best to tell the truth but old age seems to have a way of making one remember what took place a few weeks ago a bit foggy. Of course I am only talking about myself. After all Pat is still only in her fifties. (Note to self) [If I do not get this journal published by Sunday change the previous sentence to - After all Pat is only in her early sixties.] Boy now I probably won't get invited to Pat's birthday party. (If she remembers).

I have been on the road quite a bit lately, both with Pat and with some of my boys. Last week Pat, her two friends, Joice and Joice's daughter Abby and I took Mariam and her daughter back to Huehuetenango.

Mariam will have to go back to Guatemala City later in August for more surgery but the neurosurgeon finally allowed her to go home for a few weeks. She had mixed emotions about going home because shortly after her last surgery her husband called her saying that he had hoped that she would die on the operating table because he had found another woman. Fortunately she has relatives in Huehuetenango that welcomed her into their home with open arms. The person who was the most delighted to see her was Mariam's 10 year old daughter. The reunion was an emotional one.

During the next few days we visited a number of families in and near Huehuetenango that we have come to know and love over the years. Freddy is a little boy who has been sponsored through Bethel ministries for several years now. If Freddy were to go off from the medicine that a sponsor in the USA pays for Freddy would have several seizures a day, but thanks to this sponsor Freddy is now nearly seizure free. Today we delivered a three month supply of medicine to his home.

Pat also brought along some flannel diapers that some ladies from her church had made and Freddy seemed to be delighted with them.

The kids really enjoyed the beanie babies that
Joice and Abby brought along from the States,

But Freddy's Grandmother

brought tears to everyone's eyes

when she was given one.

Jose drives his power char to school and back every day and if you saw where he has to go and how far away it is you would understand why. Today we traded his old one for a newer one. Neat thing is we will take the old one back to Bethel's shop where it will be refurbished to like new condition and soon be given to some one else. One prayer request though, Because of maintenance and the cost of batteries we do our best to give out power chairs only when they are absolutely needed and the person that receives them can not use a manual chair to get around. Unfortunately we are presently out of batteries so we can not give out any power chairs or even keep all of those those that have been given out running. If anyone wants to help out in some way with batteries Please let me know by clicking here.

This is a picture of Maria Garcia and two of her grandchildren. Thanks to a sponsor who lives in Canada we are able to keep three of Maria's grandchildren in school. Maria has been a real blessing to us. She has been instrumental in helping us reach many families in her community that are in need of food, schooling, medical help or wheelchairs.

One of the families that Maria put us in contact with a few years ago is Wanna and her family. Wanna is a poor widow who had three children who we gave wheelchairs to a few years ago, plus a few more kids that she took in simply because they had no place to live. One of her daughters died a year or two ago and a few months ago her disabled son who is pictured here was brutally assaulted only a hundred feet from their home. I am reasonably sure that had he not been disabled the villagers would have done something to the man that did this but since this boy is disabled nothing was done and the man still lives in the village.

A quick hike in to see Ruddy and make a few adjustments to his artificial leg.

Only Lionel's mom and the two youngest girls were at home when stopped of at their place. Father and the older kids were out working the fields and the two younger boys were in school.

Lionel's family misses him greatly but they know that he is not strong enough to survive at home. Fact is I was just at the orphanage yesterday and he is not doing well at all. He is back on a feeding tube and is nothing but skin and bones.

Mom said that they are grateful for the addition that we put on their home a few years ago. The six children that are at home still live in the old adobe section but it is very unsafe. It and the 8 foot retaining wall that it stands on have a large crack in them and I fear that the next heavy rain will take down the entire older section of the house.

We were also given the opportunity to give out vitamins to a few families and to a Christian group of ladies that have a small center in Huehuetenango, that we have given water filters and some vitamins to in the past. People who are in need of clean water and vitamins for their children come into their center and receive a weekly supply of both. This group keeps excellent record of those that faithfully come in and those people are then put on a list to so that they can can continue to receive more vitamins or water filters and are encouraged to share the clean water with their neighbors, and to also keep record of those that use the clean water so that they may some day receive filters them selves.

On our way to Huehuetenango we had made an unscheduled stop at the home of Gema, A little girl that some of my boys and I gave a power chair to last April. There was really no need to stop but I really wanted to visit this family. Pat had met them at a Hope Haven distribution but had not been able to come along when the boys and I brought Gema the foot controlled power chair in April.

Gema drawing with her foot.. . . . . . . . .

Joice and Abbie had never met this family before but were instantly made to feel like part of the family. Fact is we were all invited to come back for dinner when we came through on our way back form Huehuetenango. When we arrived Gemi climbed up on my lap and when dinner was served I asked her if she wanted me to feed her. She thanked me but told me that she could feed herself. One of the other children picked her up and set her on the table. There she confidently fed her self with her foot.

Once again Gema proved to us that you are not disabled unless you think that you are. For her having no arms and only one leg simply means figuring out another way of doing things.

Gema's family is truly blessed to have such a precious little girl.

Gema is truly blessed to have a family that recognizes that God has truly blessed them by giving them such a special child.

We visited with many more families this month but I do not want to rob Pat of the opportunity of writing about some of them so I will post this for now and perhaps add more later.

Luke 14:13,14

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

Yours in Christ: Dick


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