* 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, November 9, 2012

Water Filters and Living Water

You are not going to believe this but I came home early this evening with full intentions of writing my own Journal but lo and behold Daryl Fulp beat me to it.  I know that writing my own account of what actually took place during the 2 days that Daryl and 2 of his daughters were with me would be much faster and easier than correcting Daryl's Delusions about what actually took place but since he is still off from his meds I will try to hummer him by granting his plea to publish one of his journals.

The following was written by Daryl Fulp.


Disclaimer: Knowing that the world famous blog thief, Dick Rutgers, will likely copy and paste this entry into his own and add his own distortions of the truth, the author of this blog wishes you to know that he is not responsible for Dick’s added fictional addendums and fantasies.

Daryl Fulp 

Here is the disclamer above after being corrected by Dick.

Disclaimer: Knowing that after begging him to do so, the world famous blog writer, Dick Rutgers, will likely copy and paste this entry into his own and add the truth to my distortions , the author of this blog wishes you to know that he is thankful for Dick’s added truthful addendums to my fantasies.

Daryl is Fulpl of baloney.

Now back to Daryl's follies.

I just returned last night from an overnight road trip with Dick Rutgers to Rabinal, Guatemala. My daughters, Brittney and Krishauna, and two of Dicks boys, Alex and Brayan, came along as we headed up Tuesday morning to do a water filter distribution to about 25 families. When I travel with Dick it is always an adventure, and this time was no exception.

You see, most people think Dick is a level-headed missionary with maturity and restraint. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is especially bad when he is off his meds, as was apparently the case and demonstrated quite clearly by the accompanying picture. Imagine an 11 hour round trip with him as both navigator and driver and you can picture the terror.

(Click on any picture to enlarge.)
(But only if you really want to.)

I have come to realize that Dick is an evangelistic driver. If someone doesn’t know Jesus before they leave on a trip with him driving, they will by the time they return.  (Assuming they don’t see Him face-to-face.) Nothing will bring you closer to God than riding in a car on a single lane dirt road around blind curves doing 40 miles an hour. My prayer life bumped into high gear.

Here are the two paragraphs above after being corrected by Dick.

You see, everyone knows Dick is a level-headed missionary with maturity and restraint. However those that know me say that nothing could be farther from the truth. It is especially bad when I am off from my meds, as was the case and demonstrated quite clearly by the accompanying picture. Imagine an 11 hour round trip with him as navigator, driver and psychotherapist. You can picture the terror that he went through having to put up with me. 
 Daryl lashing out at my kids.

When ever I had one of my many episodes Dick would try to cheer me up
 by acting almost as foolish as I always am but nothing seemed to work. 

What was even harder on him and his boys was that my 2 daughters have inherited many of my strange behavior patterns so he had to enlist the help of his level headed boys to try and cheer them up but that didn't help either.

I have come to realize that Dick is an evangelistic driver. If someone doesn’t know Jesus before they leave on a trip with him driving, they will by the time they return. (Assuming they don’t see Him face-to-face.) Nothing will bring you closer to God than riding in a car on a single lane wide dirt road around blind meandering curves doing 40 miles an hour. 4 miles an hour.  My prayer life bumped into high gear. is bumpy to say the least.

I think that Daryl may have fond a few of his meds because the rest of this journal is relatively true.

IMG00065-20121106-1658 We arrived in Rabinal and checked into our motel. Motel is a kind description unless you put the word “roach” in front of it. Our first priority upon entering our rooms was to clean the mouse turds and cockroaches off our beds. Some of the rooms had water and one even had hot water. Mine had neither, but it was just as well since the shower was dirtier than I was. Motels in Guatemala have become a source for much laughter and amusement in our home and ministry as you never know just what you are going to get. On the bright side, we only had to pay Q. 60 a person (about $7.70), so it is worth the occasional bug and mouse dropping.

We were told upon check-in that we could not have keys to our room. Apparently they only had one key to each room and did not want to risk losing them. But they assured us that an elderly caretaker would be available to open our doors when we returned from supper.  He also assured us that he would sit in a chair outside our rooms and make sure our rooms were well protected. So, we packed up our computers and took them with us as we headed for supper.

We actually found a decent place to eat supper and had a good meal. Then we returned to our motel to discover that the caretaker was nowhere to be found and neither was the wireless modem that Dick had left sitting on his window ledge. stupid-criminals1We knew it was an inside job as his window that had been open (with a wire leading through it from the room to the modem) was now closed and latched from the inside. (We found all this after another lady from the hotel opened our doors for us.) After some frustrating moments Dick was struck by an idea. The modem has a battery back-up and we could trace it by its signal if they had just unplugged it without turning it off. Sure enough, he still had a signal that got very strong right outside the caretaker’s door. So, we called Julia, a wonderful lady in the area who had helped us arrange the distribution, and she and her husband, Luis, came over.

We all gathered around the caretakers room (Actually Daryl was still hiding under the bed.) while they pounded on his door until he got out of bed and opened it. She explained that there was a chip inside the modem that allowed us (and the police) to track the modem and it showed that it was in his room. He mumbled that he didn’t take it but that his kids had brought something into his room earlier. He brought it to us wrapped in a plastic bag with the modem lights still shining through the plastic.

We saw him again the next morning as we headed out, but he would not speak to us or make eye contact. Interestingly, he was outside sweeping the dirt parking lot as we left. I considered telling him that he might want to think about doing some cleaning INSIDE the rooms, but decided to leave well enough alone.

We had a decent breakfast and met with Julia to head out for the first of two stops where distributions were planned. Most of the filters we gave out were provided by Living Waters Church in Hastings, MI. They provided 50 of these wonderful filters to Hope for Home almost a year and a half ago, and I have been giving them out sparingly, knowing that this area needed them so badly. Finally, after working for months to coordinate Dick’s, Julia’s and my schedule we were able to make it work. Dick also brought along five or six filters that were donated by a Rotary Club from Washington. 

DSCF9882We did two distributions in the area and gave out 28 filters. At each location Dick demonstrated how to use and clean the filters and then set me up to share the Gospel. I then proceeded to explain that we were happy to give them the gift of clean water, but after drinking it they would become thirsty again. Then I shared the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well and invited them to receive the gift of Living Water that He offers after which they would never know spiritual thirst again. We then passed out Spanish Bibles along with the water filters.

I was truly blessed by the way we worked together as a team. Dick demonstrating the filters, me sharing the gospel, Alex, Brittney and Krishauna assembling filters and passing them out with the Bibles, and Brayan translating made everything flow smoothly. It was an incredible day of ministry.


I don’t know if anyone made a decision to follow Jesus that day. We do not do an invitation because we don’t want anyone to feel obligated to respond in return for the water filters. We did give them an opportunity to pray, but did not ask for them to indicate to us if they did so. However, there were three moments that touched my heart:

1) At one site, after distributing the filters and Bibles, I spotted a group of three ladies standing together reading and pointing out different things to one another in the Scriptures. I could not hear everything they were saying, but distinctly heard one woman excitedly say, “I’ve heard this story before!”

2) An elderly lady approached us and told us that she could not read but wanted to know if she could have a Bible anyway. She told us that her children could read it to her. Of course, we were more than thrilled to give it to her knowing that both she and her children would be exposed to God’s Word.

3) In another instance, we were driving out after the last distribution and passed a lady walking back to her home. She had her baby strapped on her back and her filter under one of her arms, and as she was walking she was reading her new Bible. That hunger for scripture stirred and humbled me.

I joke a lot and tease about Dick’s driving and bad motels, but I just want to get serious for a moment. I love what we do. I would gladly and joyfully stay in a thousand dumpy hotels and bounce a million miles of rutted roads to do this ministry. I am humbled and honored to work alongside people such as Dick, Brayan, Alex and two of my incredible daughters, Brittney and Krishauna. And I continue to be amazed that God gives me the privilege of sharing Him, as inadequately as I do. A flea ridden motel becomes a luxurious hotel when you are staying there for Him. Shoot, even Dick’s driving isn’t so bad as long as my Jesus rides with us!

Actually, even as I joke about Dicks driving, I should let you know how difficult it is to drive here. Lousy roads, narrow streets, buses, trucks, tuk tuks, and all kinds of traffic. And sometimes the traffic isn’t cars as demonstrated by this picture:

Here is a video of that traffic jam.   
Contrary to what Daryl wrote even the cows were passing us.


Blessings from Guatemala!
Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Thank you Daryl,  It was a great trip.  

Yours in Christ: Dick

Friday, November 2, 2012

An Average Day (If there is such a thing)

(Click on any picture to enlarge.)

I have never been good at taking notes so I take lots pictures and then at the end of each day I do my best to match them up with what ever I scribbled down during the day.   Last week's journal was easy because Pat not only took the notes but she did the journaling, so all I had to do was the fancy pictures.   

Last Wednesday I headed out to the coast with 3 of my boys with full intentions of returning home the same day, but ended up staying an extra day.  Seems that the doctor at clinic that we stopped off at at the end of our first day had a few people that he wanted us to see.  The following are my notes from Thursday, November 1, 2012.  

Sorry no fancy pictures this week. 

Marcos Otonel, needs a specalty chiar, Hydrosofolic, brother of Jonathan Rofael below.

Jonathan Rofael who sufferes from spinal meningitis was given a wheelchair today.
Both Jonathan and Marcos are really loved by their siblings.

This lady who has elephantiasis needs walker, special shoes and a 24 to 28  inch wheelchair.  This lady really got to me because there is really nothing that can be done for her condition.   She has already undergone 4 operations in Guatemala City but the tumor keeps coming back.  We had a wonderful time of prayer with her an her family.

Lesly, needs chair.  This is her aunt.  Her mother has abandon her.  Her father is very dedicated to her.

Genesis Milagros, needs a walker, feeding tube food and an operation.  She can not swallow.  She weighed about 20 pounds when she was 2 1/2 years but is doing much better now that she has a feeding tube.

Catalina Pineda, in the new wheelchair that I got from HopeHaven.  She is diabetic but has no money for insulin.

Eve Aidee Recinos who broke her hip now has a wheelchair.  It is doubtful that she will ever walk again.

DSC03877 Marco Tolio Poiras needs a wheelchair he has a crushed vertebra and can only take a few steps using his crutches.

 Thanks to a sponsor Bethel Ministries has been helping this family out with added food each month and although they are still struggling they are now doing much better.

The boys and I came home dirty and tired but it was a good 2 days.   Next time we will try to take a set of clean clothes along though.   Wearing the same clothes for 2 days is not good especially when the temperatures are nearly 100.   I think that I will go and take a shower and then head off to bed.

Yours in Christ: Dick