* GUATEMALA * * * * * * * * Dick Rutgers *

An ongoing journal of life as a Missionary in Guatemala. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

My Photo
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)

Saturday, December 14, 2013


 More of what Pat wrote on our last road trip.  

(You can see why I enjoy so much having Pat come along on road trips.)
(Now if only I could get her to frame these pictures.)


Since we were going to Huehuetenango to visit Maria Garcia, Dick wanted to take care of a few power chair issues in the area.  We had said this would be a leisurely trip, and I feared that adding the extra stops would turn it into a regular work trip.  I was wrong, though.  We paced ourselves, only visited one family a day, and had plenty of time to enjoy visiting with them without having to rush off to the next stop.



Our first stop on the way up to Huehue was to drop off batteries with Oscar.  He is in his mid-twenties, but still is attending school, having finished sixth grade this year.  While school is not currently in session (“summer” vacation until mid-January), we didn’t know when we would be back in the area, and wanted to make sure he was ready to go when classes resumed.
I first met Oscar a little over a year ago.  Dick had just given him a power chair, and it needed adjustment.  Oscar was very used to having his own way as to how he was seated, regardless of the damage it might do to his body.  Dick was almost dreading our visit today.  All we were going to do was drop off batteries.

We were so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the house.  The family had paved the driveway, and had cleaned up the open center of their house, and covered it with cement and grass.  It was beautiful.  And they had done this primarily so Oscar could move about more freely.  We were blessed to see a family taking such interest in providing mobility for one of their members.

We were even more encouraged when we saw how well kept the power chair was, even tough the batteries had been dead for some time.  It was a bit of a challenge getting the new batteries in (I won’t repeat what Dick said about the design of this particular chair!), but the chair worked well with the new batteries.  We figured out that Oscar’s batteries had lasted about as long as any we’ve seen here, partly due to the care the family has taken of the chair.

We were surprised again, when it came time to put Oscar in his chair.  Both of his brothers were there, and they proceeded to seat him quite properly.  Since they spoke Quiche to him, I couldn’t understand exactly what was being said, but from the tone of voice I figured out that he was protesting how they were positioning him, and they told him pretty firmly that he needed to sit correctly.  He gave in pretty quickly and Dick was happy to see him sitting better than he had in the past.

You can see the difference a properly fitted chair makes!

After a glass of coke, and a cup of atole, we left with two large bunches of broccoli to take with us to our hotel in Quetzeltenango!



The second day into our trip we were both anxious to see Gema, one of our favorite little girls.  Since she can’t propel a manual chair, her power chair gives her the freedom to go to school, church, and move about her home.  It had been broken for a while, and we were bringing it back after it was repaired in the Bethel Ministries shop.  We knew she couldn’t wait to have it.

It was quite a challenge for Marcos and David to get the power chair down to Gema’s house—at the bottom of this steep hill.  During the school year she will keep it at another house where she can more easily drive to school.

We met Gema a few years ago at a Hope Haven distribution, and were immediately struck by her out-going personality and self-confidence. 

This is more remarkable, considering she only has one short leg and foot.  If there ever was a person deserving of the title “handicapable” it is Gema.  We have seen her bounce around on her bottom chasing her pet rabbit, watched her feed herself, and enjoyed playing ball with her.

Her family, too, is remarkable.  They have completely focused on what she can do, and figured out, without the help of “professionals,” how to adapt things so she can be as independent as possible.  They love to brag on her, and have her show us what new things she has learned since our last visit.
 Here Gema is showing us how she can 
play games on her dad’s cell phone!

Today we were treated to her singing the sweetest songs as we drank our soda.  She then told us she had passed first grade with flying colors and would be starting second grade in January.  She is a good student who received no “rojos” (failing grades) this year.  We celebrated  her success with her!

As we were about to leave, Gema’s mom showed us the Mother’s Day present Gema had made her in school—a cross-stitched cloth to use in her bread basket.  Her needlework was as good as mine (not saying much, though) and I was amazed at how well she could sew with only her foot.

Too soon it was time to head off for Huehuetenango, but not before we were reminded that the family owed us a chicken dinner.  We promised to let the know ahead of time when we would be back through their area.  It was hard to leave such good friends.

Here Gema had just whispered in my ear that she wanted a Barbie for Christmas.  Oh, how I wish I’d known that earlier and could have brought her one!


Once again, Thanks Pat.

Yours in Christ.  Dick


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home