* 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, February 1, 2016

October through December 18

Dec 18 2015

After being on the road for 4 days the boys and I are finally back home. Before reaching home we did stop off at a few places to visit with some of our favorite friends. Our first stop was at the home of Sebastian and his family. Another Godincident. Sebastian's power wheelchair battery charger had just quit working. Fortunely I had some battery chargers with me. It was a good thing because this was a second battery charger that we gave out today. We also gave some vitamins and some dried food to Sebastian's grandmother who will use some for her family and distribute the rest to some needy families in her area.
Our final stop of the day wish to see Doctor Will and his wife. They have a wonderful multifaceted ministry. One of their newest undertakings is a school that they built to provide over 40 children who are too poor to attend regular school with a wonderful education. Got incident number 2. I just happen to have enough vitamins left to provide all of the students, half of whom are malnourished with vitamins for several months. Please be in prayer that we will continue to receive vitamins as a few hurdles have come into play in the past few weeks. Praise God our supplier is doing everything possible to see that we can continue to get these much needed vitamins.

Dec 17 2015
We're still on the road. Today was a wheelchair day. We gave a few new ones out and repaired a few more. We got back to the hotel on time to watch a Guatemala soccer tournament. David was the only one that did not fall asleep during the game. And believe it or not I actually got my 3 boys to pose for a picture. (They like ice cream that much.)

Dec 16 2015
The brother and sister in the first picture (seems they somehow got moved to the 4th picture) along with their little brother and widowed mother received food, vitamins, solar lights and prayer and encouragement today. Three of my boys installed the biggest part of the lighting syatem but none of them are all that Keen on having their pictures taken.
We actually finished early enough that we were able to return to the motell that we stayed at last night and go for a swim before heading to San Pedro where we are spending the night.

Dec 15 2015

Yesterday Marcos Ovalle, Daviid Eber, went with my friend Mario and his daughter Mary Ann to see a family that they know. This family is very poor and they can not afford electrically. Marcos and David proved to be fast learners and in just over 2 hours the family had solar lighting in their homes. 
Today 3 of my other boys I are on the road and tomorrow we will be installing a solar system in the home of a widow and her 2 children. Then we plan on spending the next few days preparing and giving out wheelchairs before returning home. Not only is God allowing us to bless those that we serve bou it is such a blessing watching my boys (young men) take such an interest in sharing God's love with their fellow Guatemalns. I don't think that I have to look to far into the future to see the day that they will be able to go out on their own but I sure hope that they let me tage along some on some of their trips. "Hay guys, I promise to stay out of your way and let you do all of the work.".
I am truly blessed!
Dec 12 2015
A few weeks ago my Nephew Greg Fransen and his daughter Sophie were down to work at a camp in in San Lucas. Fortunately they arrived a few days early so I was able to take them around for 2 days. As you can see Greg's camera does a far better job that the one on my phone. Thanks Greg and Sophie for not only sharing your photos but also for sharing your love wand the love of Jesus with the families that we visited.

Dec 10 2015
After six days on the road we are back from Playa Grandi. Fact is Calin and Moises got home a day ahead of David Marcos and myself. They caught a buss home from Cobon because they were leaving on a mission trip to Honduras in a few days. We cut cross country on a shorter but much slower rout. The reason for this was that we wanted to stop and pick Ludwig's Manual wheelchair and his power chair. 16 Year old Ludwig passed away a few months ago and when Patricia Duff and I attended his funeral his mom asked if we could wait a few months and then come and pick up his wheelchairs.
A true Godincidence happened just before we reached their home. I received a phone call from Ilse Caballeros. She asked me if I was in town. I told her that I was on the road. She went on to explain that the mother of a boy in Robinal that I had built a power chair for about a year and a half ago had called her saying that the power chair had quit running and that her son was devastated with out it. llse said that she knew that Robinal was 4 to 5 hours from my home but she was wondering if I had any trips scheduled up that way and if so when that would be. I said "Yes" and asked her if an hour would be to long. I went on to explain that we were only a half hour from Robinel and that I would go there right after we stopped and visited Ludwig's family. When we left I promised Ludwig's family that we would make sure that ludwig's wheelchairs would go to some one that would really be helped by them.
After a picking up the 2 wheelchairs and having a nice visit with Ludwig's family we were on our way to look at the broken power chair. When we got there I explained to the family that I had not expected to work on any power chairs on this trip so I had no parts or test equipment with me so chances were that I would have to take the chair back to Chimeltenango with me and it would likely be a while before I could get it back to them. Mom was very understanding but explained that her son had cried for nearly a week when the wheelchair stopped running and that he was often awake all night long. We were told that this power wheelchair had given him a new lease on life. Not only was he able to go places with his friends but he was also able to go to and from school on his own. It was getting late so I told her that we would take a motel in Robinel and work on the wheelchair in the morning.
Our hotel experience is a whole other story but that will have to wait until another day. I will only say it is probably best not to eat at a restaurant that has only one menu or one where the hotel clerk has to phone the cook and tell him that he has 3 costumers so he better come to work. I also found out that a widow Maker shower head can also make a believer out of a bachelor.
Next morning we showed up to work on the power wheelchair. It ended up that the batteries were bad and that the charger had burned out. As I said I had brought almost nothing to fix power wheelchairs but (Godincident #2) Little did I know that the promise that I had made to Ludwig's family would happen in less than 24 hours. Ludwig's power chair had good batteries and a good charger. What a great way to end a great trip. God is so Good.

Dec 7 2015
Marcos, Moises, Calin, David and I stopped off at Samuc Champey for a little R&R after spending the past few days visiting students in Plya Grade. We are having a great time.

Nov 13 2015
Our first of three Camps ended today. What a great one!
Nov 13 2015
Congratulations to Elder Gomez. No one went home early when his soccer game went into 2 overtimes and a final kick penalty shot desusion but they made number one in their league. Elder also received a pare of soccer shoes for making more goals than anyone else in his league.

Nov 10 2015
Congratulations to Elder Gomez. No one went home early when his soccer game went into 2 overtimes and a final kick penalty shot desusion but they made number one in their league. Elder also received a pare of soccer shoes for making more goals than anyone else in his league.

Oct 22 2015
Don't quite understand why he received a depluma when he still has a year to go before university but it still gave us an excuse to celebrate. I'M VERRY PROUD OF YOU FERNANDO.

Oct 21 2015

Our first stop today was at a home of a family that we had never met before. Donya Maria, a friend of mine notified this single mom that we were coming so she and her 3 kids met us on a road that was a short hike from their home. We had been told that this young widow and her children were very poor so we were quite surprised to see them nicely dressed in modest but cleen clothes. Mom told us though that they had very little food and no money. After visiting a while we gave mom and her kids a 6 month supply of vitamins and several bags of dried food. They than said goodbye turned and headed up the trail. I all of a sudden thought of asking them if they had electricity in their home so Mario called out to them. Mother told him that they did not have electricity and they were always very frightened once it got dark. Fact is we had noticed continual involuntary shaking of mom's head when we met her and had wondered if she had Parkinsons or some type of nerve damage. She shared with us that after her husband died she had experienced several frightening experances during the nights and had developed this uncontrollable shaking that would worson after dark. She told us that tried to keep candles lit at night but it was costing her nearly one dollar a day to do so. For many of the poorer families here in Guatemala this is a half days wage. You should have seen her eyes light up when we told her that we could possibly install a solar panel and some lights. We walked back to her home with her and her kids and were even more anauzed at how neetly dressed and how cleen they were. The inside of the shed that the 4 of them lived in had a dirt floor and one bed that they all shared. Nothing more. Not even a charge to sit on. A second smaller shed served as their kitchen. It had nothing in it other than a fire pit and a few pots and pans. We plan on returning and installing the solar lighting system in a few weeks.

The little boy has a new wheelchair, we all have new friends and grandmother gave a prayer of thanksgiving that was straight from her hart. It doesn't get much better than this. Thank you Jesus for an awesome day.

Dick Rutgers
 added 4 new photos — with Daviid Eber.
h alone I would have spent at least 75% of my time locked in my house if I had headed every warning that came along. Along with warnings about floods and mud slides there have been valcano warnings, gang warnings, earthquake warnings, mosquito warnings, and almost any other type of warning imaginable. Now before you lable me careless or foolhardy I try not to be but let's face it this is Guatemala and things are not 100% safe here or in any other part of the world for that matter. Although I must admit that most places are a bit safer than here, and that is exactly why I covet your prayers. Prayers for safty, prayers for wisdom, wisdom to know when God wants us to go or to stay. Today He told us to go. True it raind all the way and the roads were not all that great but no floods and no major mud slides. The rain even quit for an hour and another "Godincidentes. It was the exact hour that we arrived after our 4 hour drive and it gave us just enough time to install the solar panel on the roof of the house and get all of the outside wireing done. As soon as we got back into the house to do the inside wireing and install the lights it started to rain again. The lights are working great. Mario and Mary Ann are staying with Mary Ann's realities and Davieand I are safely in a comfortable motell room. Tomorrow, good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise we plan on going back to this family and giving them some food, vitamins, and a new wheelchair. Unless of course God says stay. A few years ago we brought this family a water filter and shared with them about the Living Water. Pray that tomorow we will be given the opertunity to share with them about "The Light Of The World."

Congratulations Fernando Velasquez! I figured that this school year would be a hard one since you decided to study to be a doctor, but I knew that you could do it if you put your mind to it. I am very proud of you.


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