* 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)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rudy's Reflections

This past month I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time on the the road with some of my boys and Rudy Van Ry.   I asked Rudy if he would be willing to write some of his thoughts in my journal and the following is what he came up with.

My name is Rudy Van Ry, and I've been on the road with Dick here in Guatemala for approx. 10 days. I remembered hearing Dick talk about this place at my church, Nooksack Valley Reformed, about 2 years ago and it stuck with me. I was able to get his email and I just sent him a random email asking if he could use a hand down in Guatemala. Well, one email led to another which led to another, tell finally I was in contact with him and many others who could use a hand.

I came here with my wife, Anna Van Ry. She would come for 10 days and I would stay for the remainder of the month. We didn't really know what to expect coming down here. All we knew was that we would keep an open mind and trust in the path that God has set for us.

If I could describe my experience here in one word, I would use: Heavy. I've traveled throughout some third world countries before and “seen” poverty, but never really close up and certainly not interacted with it. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive at first, and a little uncomfortable. I've never done anything like this before. I've always just been a tourist and a simple bystander. I have to hand it to Dick here. The relationships that he has been able to build here, especially as a non spanish speaking gringo, is an absolute wonder to behold.

While on the road, Dick and I got into a conversation about his ministry here. He told me that he often asks himself the question, “what is my ministry here?” I couldn't really give him and answer at first. I had only been here about three weeks to his thirteen years. I was a noob with no real input and insight. However, it only took a few house visits for me to revisit this topic with him. I told him, which he agreed with, was, for a person like him to go out into this country, where many Guatemalans are skeptical of gringos, and deliver help, compassion, and the good word is priceless to the God's work.

The wheelchair distributions are wonderful, and heavily needed. But there are so many families and people out here without the means to leave their house to get a chair. They have no money, barley any food, and are struggling just to survive the day. I've been blown away by all of the many relationships that have been built between Dick and the people of Guatemala. Showing them that someone actually cares about them has given hope to many.

I didn't want to talk about each and every family or child that we visited together. I could write pages and pages of sad stories, each one more sad than the previous. All I can say is that the children we visited are beautiful. But they hurt, their families hurt, and life is hard. Yet the look on their faces when Dick arrives is that of hope, excitement, and benevolence. The humanity of it all has been imbedded in my mind. The simple gesture of giving food, vitamins, and fixing chairs means the world to these people.

Again, my experience with Dick has been heavy. My personal output on life, humanity, charity, and spirituality have been renewed. The work that Dick and accompanying organizations have been doing here has been crucial to the survival of many people. Its been an experience I wont soon forget.

Rudy Van Ry

Thank you Rudy,  I hope that we will see both you and Anna back here soon.  May God continue to use you in ways that glorifies Him.  My prayer is that you will continue to let Him have full control of your life.  "A life in Him is a life fulfilled." 

<>< Yours in Christ: Dick ><>


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