Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Growing Pains, Midwives and New Life

Christmas came a little late for me this year, with one of the best gifts I have ever received. Early in the new year I received a call from my friend, Dennis McCutcheon, who is the Director of Vine International Guatemala. He had received a shipment of wheelchairs and was offering me first pick. So, on January 16 Dale, Michael, Gerardo, Jeremiah, Manuel, Christine and I took four vehicles to their warehouse in San Jose Pinula and loaded them full of wheelchairs.

For around six months we had been needing folding institutional chairs, but they were unavailable. Many shipments were held up at the ports due to worker strikes, so we were getting desperate. So I cannot tell you how much joy this shipment gave me. We were able to bring 70 chairs back to our bodega, where they were sorted and stored. And the deliveries began that same week. 

Praise God, Dale had done lots of work at our warehouse to create more storage for us. So, we were able to fit all the chairs in in a manner that we can easily find the chair we need.

However, around the same time we also learned that a wonderful man in Washington State was preparing a shipment of between 240 and 270 children specialty chairs for us and Dick Rutgers. These specialty chairs will not fold, so each chair will take about 2.5 to 3 times the storage space of a folding chair. We suddenly realized that we would need more space very quickly, as the chairs are slated to arrive on March 2nd.

We thought we had found the perfect solution to our storage space issue. The property behind our home is available for rent, and it would be close to perfect for us. It has sat vacant for 15 years, so it needs a lot of work. But it is big and cheap. In fact, it is large enough that we could house our bodega, the second group home that the Gross family will be opening, and house our teams. And the income from the teams that we would no longer be paying to the hotel would pay the rent on the property. Everything looked great, and Joel drew up plans for the work we wanted to do to have them approved by the owner before signing the lease.

And that is when we realized that we had a problem. It seems that the owner is a radical environmentalist. She insisted that we were not allowed to cut down any of the trees on the property. And, since there were a few trees located exactly where we needed to place structures, that killed the deal. We were disappointed, but we also trust God’s plans. That must mean that this property was not the best spot for us.

However, that does mean we are facing a time crunch, as we now have 23 days until the container is supposed to arrive, and we don’t have storage for the chairs. So today our staff was working hard looking for property that can be used to store all our medicine, medical equipment, diapers, wheelchairs and wheelchair parts. We also need parking for more vehicles and an adequate work area. I estimate that we need around 3500 square feet in the warehouse. Please pray that we will find the right spot soon.

But, in the midst of this search for property, we are also giving praise. What a wonderful problem to have! So many wheelchairs that will give mobility to so many people! Thank you, Father, for placing such a awesome challenge in front of us!

Another piece of great news is that we have a midwife who will be joining our ministry soon! You may not know this, but for years we have wanted to begin a midwife training program. So many of the special needs that we encounter here in Guatemala are preventable. And a large part of preventing them is having people who are equipped to provide prenatal care and supervise births. Our desire it to train midwives in rural communities and establish birthing centers that will be properly equipped. But that vision has been delayed due to not having a trained midwife to lead the program.

But God has answered our prayers and brought us Stephanie Konrad! Stephanie is a RN from Thornton, Ontario with extensive midwife training and experience. So, in addition to her midwife skills, she also brings nursing knowledge that will assist our medical work. She recently completed a six month program working in a birthing center here in Guatemala to develop her birthing skills in a developing country.

She will be joining our team in late summer or early fall, and we cannot wait to have her. She will get to work quickly, developing relationships in some key rural villages in which we hope to develop  midwife programs. Please pray for her as she raises support and makes this transition.

Last week we were blessed to have our dear friends, Sam and Deb Silvers visiting us. I had the privilege of being their pastor, and Sam served on my leadership team during our Crosspoint Church years. It was a real treat to have them come and share in our lives and ministry here.

Then, on their second night with us, we drove to the city to pick up a real surprise for the family…Carissa and Taryn! When they flew to Uganda six months ago they were required to have six month return tickets in order to be issued a visa. Our plans were to change them as the six months approached. But when Wanda went to make the changes she found out that it was going to cost $1150 to change each ticket. Since a round trip ticket to Uganda was only $850, and since Brittney’s baby was almost due, we decided to let them return on their original ticket and just book new tickets. In the process, we would end up saving over $300 each.

The great part was that we were able to keep this a secret from the family. So almost everyone was surprised. I wish you could have seen the looks, tears and excitement on all the faces. It did my battered and bruised heart lots of good.

The day after they arrived, we all loaded up and took a trip up to San Pablo La Laguna to help Brittney and Joel move to their new home. They just signed a lease on a property that is right on the lake. It has a lot more room, both inside and out, that will allow it to serve as a true ministry center. There is room for vehicle parking, a huge yard, and sufficient space to have medical and therapy clinics. We had a great day of helping them move together. And then, a few days later, Joel and Brittney came to join us for the birth of their baby. Since medical care is not good close to them, they decided to have the baby in a private hospital in Antigua. Not wanting to be three hours away from the hospital, they decided it was best to come here two weeks before the due date and sit tight, waiting for the birth.

And, it’s good that they did, because the baby came 10 days early! So Wanda and I have another grandchild! And, for the first time, we actually have a grandchild in the same country as us! On Friday, February 3, Brittney gave birth to an extremely handsome little guy. Christopher Caleb Caal Fulp weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz and is healthy and happy. For the first time, Wanda and I were able to visit a grandchild at the hospital and hold him when he was only 90 minutes old. (Our two other grandchildren, Tristan and Allison, were born in the States while we were here. So, we missed that honor with both of them.)

We experience so much sickness, suffering and death here. It has been such a joy to have a chance to experience new life for a change. When I held Christopher for the first time, I wept tears of joy. And as I prayed with Joel, Brittney and Christopher a few minutes later, I wept again. God’s creative power in bringing life into the world is awesome, beautiful and humbling!

Well, that is enough for now! Thanks for your prayers, support and encouragement! We appreciate you all!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Death, Hope and Christmas

In my last blog I wrote about our little Margareth (Maggy). And now I must write that she is with Jesus. 

We were able to bring her home from the hospital on the morning of Christmas Eve. I spoke with the doctor and explained the set-up of our home. I told him that we were well equipped to administer her meds through her IV port and that we had all the equipment we needed. So, he allowed her to come home for Christmas.

We arrived back home mid-morning and got her settled in our own hospital ward right next to the Christmas tree. We had the oxygen concentrator ready, along with a suction pump and nebulizer. She settled in and was breathing well, with her oxygen sats in the mid 90’s. She actually seemed stronger and better than we had seen her to that point.

Because of the extensive amount of care she required, we had to establish a printed schedule of feeding, oral meds, IV meds and nebulizations. I spent much of the afternoon making that schedule and administering meds.

Our normal Christmas Eve tradition is to eat snacks and watch the movie, The Nativity Story. We had just settled in and pressed play at around 8:55, when Wanda said, “Daryl, she’s not breathing!”

For the next 35 minutes, Katie Riley, our staff nurse, and I did CPR. Let me just say that I could not have had a better partner than Katie. She was professional, composed and very methodical and precise. We worked together well with me doing respirations while she did compressions until I was exhausted. Then we switched without missing a beat.

Twice Maggy began breathing again, but her breaths were shallow and did not continue for more than a few cycles before she stopped again. At times she had a heartbeat, so we stopped compressions. But her heart would gradually slow, get weaker and then stop, so we would resume compressions. 

But at 9:30 she had no heartbeat and we could not get her to breath. In my heart, I knew she was gone, so we stopped CPR.

I have found myself in similar situations to this numerous times in the last six years. When you are in the midst of the crisis, adrenaline carries you. You go into a machine like mode of breathing and compressions. You focus on what you have to do. And then, when it is over, you are suddenly overwhelmed as the emotions that were put on hold suddenly come flooding in all at once. And that is exactly what happened. 

We hugged and wept together. We all loved little Maggy, and we had hoped that she could survive until she got stronger and received heart surgery. So we grieved and grieved deeply. And, after a while, I slipped away to be alone.

I walked to the far side of our outside steps, sat on the floor and laid my head on one of the steps. And I sobbed. I cried so hard I could barely breath. Because, in addition to grieving the loss of a precious baby, I also had a huge weight of guilt. If I had not talked the doctor into sending her home for Christmas, Maggy might still be alive.

Wanda found me like that. And as she tried to comfort me, I unloaded all that guilt on her. And, at one point, I told her, “I don’t know if I can spring back from this. I don’t think I can keep doing this.” And I really was not sure that I could. 

The next few hours are a blur of visitors, telephone calls, a casket delivery and arrangements discussed. I called our social worker, who told us how to proceed. Maggy’s body was prepared and placed in the casket next to our Christmas tree. And, in the middle of it all, we comforted one another.

At about 1:00 am on Christmas morning I walked over to our doctor’s home with Maggy’s file that he needed to complete her death certificate. Dr. Augusto had never met or examined Maggy, because she came to us late in the evening and was hospitalized the next morning. And when she was discharged he was away visiting family for Christmas Eve. So this was his first chance to see her records.

He spent a few minutes reading her medical file and then looked at me. He told me, “Daryl, she was a very sick little girl who was not going to live. You know that don’t you? There was nothing you could do to save her.” When I began to cry he said, “It was good she died in your home with your family instead of in the hospital.”

As I walked back to our house, I felt that God had given me what I needed to make it until morning. I finally laid down to a fitful sleep at around 2:00 am.

The next morning at 7:00 am, Jeremiah, Joel, Andi, Stevie and I walked to the graveyard and dug her grave. Dale showed up and lent a hand as well. We then returned to the house, cleaned up and had a brief service for Maggy. I read of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2 and spoke about how the birth of one baby gave us hope during the death of another. In reality, the only reason that we have any hope at all is because of that one baby that was born in Bethlehem, and because if his death 33 years later. A couple of other spoke as well, then we said our goodbyes. 

We had a small procession of people who walked to the graveside, and some of our neighbors saw and joined us. I said a few words and prayed, and we lowered her tiny casket and filled in the grave. And then we returned home.

I knew that we needed to salvage what was left of Christmas for the kids, so when I arrived back home I loudly announced, “The funeral is over! It is time for Christmas!” We signed in with our daughters, Carissa and Taryn via Skype, and they participated from Uganda. I shared the story of Simeon with the kids, and we then opened presents.

In spite of our grief, we had a good time together. The children loved their presents, and there was laughter, photos, and hugs. We then enjoyed a huge lunch together. I believe that the children will have pleasant memories of the day, even in the midst of the painful goodbye.During this time, I have felt God’s presence, even during the darkest moments. I don’t know what to call it, except His smile. I know this is the life to which He has called us. I know that He loves these children, including Maddy, far more than we ever could. And I also know that He is pleased when we love them, as well. So, we keep moving forward.

I have struggled somewhat since Christmas Eve. Call it a general sadness. In addition, whenever someone speaks in a urgent voice my heart rate escalates quickly in a panic. When falling to sleep, I often jerk awake suddenly, thinking that Maggy is still with us but she has stopped breathing. And I struggle with paranoia regarding the children’s health. I guess you might call it a mild case of PTSD. 

Last night we made the decision to receive a three year old girl named Genesis into our home and family. She has severe cerebral palsy and cognitive delays that were caused, we believe, by meningitis.

I am truly proud of my family, which includes our interns, that is willing to step up again so soon after the very painful loss of little Maggy. Every one of them understands the importance of grieving, but they also understand it is important to keep serving and reaching in the midst of our pain. Each day they continue to humble and amaze me.

The courts will not be open to order the move until January 3rd. It will likely take a few days after that, due to the backlog of cases that will be waiting. She is currently in an orphanage that is not equipped to care for special needs, but, thankfully, I know it to be a safe place that cares well for its children. Please pray for little Genesis and for our family and team during the transition that lies ahead.

I wish I could tell you I have the answers to all our huge questions. I wish I could tell you that I am strong and stable. I wish I could say I do not continue to struggle with my own fears and pain. But I cannot. I am experiencing what I believe to be slight depression with lots of accompanying fatigue. I have not struggled like this since Thania’s very traumatic and sudden death in July 2013. 

But I can tell you this: God is good, and He is my Sustainer. In my weakness, He is strong. So, for now, I will be weak and allow Him to be strong. And, together, we will advance and not retreat.

Happy New Year from Guate!
Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Close Calls & Christmas

Let me describe our week with one word. WHEW!

It all started on Monday when we received a call from the courts in Guatemala City. They told us they had a three month old little girl with microcephaly and wondered if we would take her. Our home is full, but we also know that we specialize in brain damage cases. So, we agreed.

Little Margareth arrived on Monday evening at around 8:30, and the first thing I noticed was that she was not microcephalic. The second thing I noticed was that she was very malnourished. When I questioned the social worker who brought her, she told us that she, instead, suffered from a severe seizure disorder and had spent her entire life in the national hospital Roosevelt. She also told us that she was being treated for a cough and we simply needed to follow the treatment plan established by the hospital.

She showed signs of severe low-tone cerebral palsy. She was unable to support her head at all, and her arms hung limply at her sides. She was very unresponsive. The problem with this situation is that we have never seen her before this moment. We have no baseline against which we can measure her current status. Is this “normal” and a result of brain damage? Or is there a problem that needs to be addressed.

And this is where I made a nearly fatal mistake. I trusted the hospital. Roosevelt is the nation’s largest and best national hospital. They have the best doctors and equipment. And they usually provide semi-decent care. The hour was late by the time the paperwork was completed, and I decided that, since she had just been discharged a few hours earlier, she must be stable. So I decided to wait until the following morning to have our doctor come and check her. That decision nearly killed a precious little girl, and I have kicked myself repeatedly.

She slept in a porta-crib in our bedroom so that we could monitor her closely. She coughed during the night, and Wanda got up with her early to take her downstairs and hold her while she slept. I eventually got up and started getting ready for the day.

Suddenly Wanda burst into the bathroom where I was and said, “Something is wrong! Is she breathing? I don’t think she is breathing!” I grabbed her, took her to our bed, and checked her breathing and pulse. She had, indeed, stopped breathing, so I started CPR.

After a moment, I realized that she had phlegm that was blocking her airway, so I ran downstairs to our changing room where we keep a suction machine. I attempted to suction her, but the machine was malfunctioning (even though I inspect it regularly to assure that it is working well). I cleared her mouth and continued CPR while Stevie worked on the machine and got it working. 

This continued for around 5 to 7 minutes. I will be honest, I thought we had lost her. I would do several courses of compressions and breathing, and would then do an abdominal thrust to help clear phlegm. I could feel air flowing into her lungs and felt I was getting good compressions, so I kept going. 

After what seemed like an eternity, I blew air into her lungs and she coughed, bringing up a large wad of phlegm…and started breathing again! Shortly after, she began to cry, and what a beautiful sound that was!

Meanwhile, we had been trying to reach the rescue squad, but their phone was not on. (Yes, you read that right.) So I ran upstairs to finish getting dressed (I was wearing boxers and a t-shirt for this ordeal.) and we started grabbing items to take to the hospital. At the same time, Stevie had gotten the suction machine working and was able to suction out additional mucous. So Wanda and I headed to the hospital via a breath-taking ride in our new ambulance with Margareth. We were seen quickly and she was immediately admitted.

And this was when I collapsed in exhaustion. And, as more info came back to us, I moved from fatigue to anger. Little Margareth had a severe case of pneumonia, which means she had pneumonia 16 hours before when she was discharged from Roosevelt. And, as more info came to us, I got angrier. She also had severe anemia, which may require a transfusion. And a lung infection. And a heart defect. All of these were undiagnosed and untreated when she was discharged the day before, in spite of over three months in that hospital. And this negligence and incompetence nearly killed her.

And then I got angry with myself. I should have called the doctor and had him come the night before. I should know better than to ever trust any national hospital. I should always verify the health of a child immediately. And I did not. And I nearly killed her as a result.

Finally, I settled on something besides angry and guilt…gratitude. She was still alive. God had orchestrated details in such a way as to save her life. Katie, our nurse, was away in Guastatoya on a village trip. I had been scheduled to leave early that morning and head to the far side of Guatemala City, but at 5:30 am I received a message from my friend telling me that power lines were down across his driveway due to high winds, so we could not meet. As a result, I slept in a little longer and was home when the crisis hit. Praise God for His orchestration of power lines and schedules to save His children!

Our little girl has a huge battle ahead. I am typing this blog from her hospital room while this very sick little princess lies beside me for the night. We have to get her past this current crisis, help her gain weight and get stronger, and likely have heart surgery. Lots of work lies ahead as do lots of  expenses, because I guarantee you that the national hospital will not touch this little girl again if I have anything to say about it. Please pray for her.

After the immediate crisis passed, I realized some important plans we had made were in jeopardy. As a part of our Christmas present to our kids and interns, we had made arrangements to rent a home in Antigua for a night away as a retreat. All the Fulps and interns were to spend that time together while some of our nannies spend the night in the home to care for the other kids. We have faced some serious challenges and losses in the last year, and we really needed the time together. But, with Margareth’s hospitalization, I did not see how we could follow through. At least one of us would have to stay at the hospital with her at all times.

But the Beyer family came to the rescue! Dale, Anita, Kristin, Kathlyn and Alyssa took turns with shifts so we could all go away together! Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are for them!

So, yesterday morning we all headed out for a wonderful time together. We swam, played games, laughed and talked for hours. I have not felt so relaxed in a long time.

Then today we left the home and headed out highway CA-1 toward Lake Atitlan. Every year during the month of December children come out and stand by the highway and wave at passing cars. Some cars throw out candy and snacks as a part of the Christmas season. So our whole family, including interns, took candy, but that’s not all. We also took coats, shoes, warm hats, toothbrushes, toothpaste and small toys. Instead of tossing candy, we stopped and were swarmed by children and families as we passed out the items.

This is a poor region, and many of the kids were without decent shoes, coats or hats. The region is almost 9000 feet above sea level, so it is chilly most of the time and cold the rest of the time. Many of the children were dirty and poorly clothed. They lined up and we gave away almost everything we had.

One powerful moment came when a lady with special needs approached us. She was barefooted and needed shoes. But we only had shoes in children’s sizes, so I thought we would have to send her away with nothing. However, I watched as my wife gave her her own flip flops. And I fell in love with Wanda all over again.

I have struggled this year with finding my “Christmas Spirit.” Life is busy, and we have been dealing with some very sick children in our home. I have just been overwhelmed and a little nostalgic for an “old fashioned North Carolina or Ohio Christmas.” It just has not felt like Christmas.

But today I found what I was looking for. As we stood surrounded by a crush of children, I was reminded of what Christmas really is. It is not about family. It is not about cold weather. It is not about the smells and memories of my childhood holidays. It is not a feeling or emotion.

It is hope, joy, and love that we only have because Jesus came to be God with us. In the most astounding event in human history, God became one of us so that He could be with us in every moment. And through this, we have what the entire world longs for, even if they do not realize it. And due to this incredible event called Christmas, we have the incredible privilege of taking hope, joy and love to the world every day and in every interaction. Today, on the side of a highway, surrounded by a crowd of children, I found Christmas.

If you are struggling to find Christmas this year, it is because you are looking in the wrong place. You won’t find it in traditions, decorations, cookies, gifts or parties. You will find it among the hurt and the broken who are looking for what you have. Go find your Christmas today.

God bless you, and Merry Christmas!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Five Words A Christ-follower Should Never Utter

It appears we are losing another one…

Edy joined our home right after his second birthday, but you would never have guessed his age. Due to severe malnutrition, he was, and still is, tiny for his age. His mother abandoned him, and his grandmother did the best she could. But the coffee and tortillas that were all she could afford were just not sufficient for an infant.

It is unclear if his brain damage was due to the malnutrition, if it was from complications in  pregnancy or birth, or if both were contributing factors. But the results were devastating. Our neurologist informed us that 80% of his brain was damaged or dead, including his brainstem, which controls his autonomous functions such as heartbeat, breathing and body temperature. He also told us that he likely doesn’t have long to live.

He is blind and severely cognitively and physically impaired. Yet his smile and laugh can light up a room. His laugh is the most contagious I have ever encountered. You cannot hear it without laughing yourself.

Yet he seems to be slipping away. Due to the brain damage he suffers from apnea. He simply stops breathing. He exhales and doesn’t inhale again. And these instances are terrifying. 

We have different levels of intervention to get him breathing again, and until recently they have worked well. In some instances, a loud noise such as clapped hands will startle him and restart his breathing. At other times it requires a sudden pat on the back or chest. If these don’t work, we mist his face and chest with cold water, which has always worked.

But as time passes, the frequency and severity of these episodes are worsening. The loud noises and pats seldom work now. The cold water occasionally does. But we have recently had to resort to giving resuscitation breaths. We pinch his nose, seal our mouths around his, and forcibly blow air into his lungs, just like we would while performing CPR. And, to this point, this intervention has restarted his breathing. But it seems his time is running out, and I find myself wondering when this final step will stop working.

Last night, after a particularly scary episode in which I administered the resuscitation breath, I prayed a one sentence prayer that was more of a statement…

“God, I can’t do this again!”

In the last three years we have buried four of the children from our home. These were children that we loved like our own. Esperanza, Thania, Micah and Angelita all came into our home, captured our hearts, and then left us…taking a part of us with them. The grief has been deep, powerful and, at times, devastating. And the thought of facing that again terrifies me. So, maybe you can understand that prayer I prayed last night.

“God, I can’t do this again!”

Yet, even as I said the words, I know that I can and will. We will likely lose Edy, and we will grieve. Oh, how we will grieve. And it won’t be the last time. There will be more children, likely some who are currently in our home, who will begin to decline and slip away. They will leave our arms and go straight into the arms of Jesus. And there will likely be others whom we have not yet met.

The call will come. We will be told of a sick child that needs a home. We will be told that they are very severe. We will be told that they may not live long. And we will say “Yes,” against every piece of common sense that tells us to guard our hearts and our sanity. And we will do it all over again. Because if we don’t, who will?

Over my adult lifetime, I have often heard believers utter words that should never come out of a Christ-follower’s mouth. This sentence usually follows a conversation in which they hear of people serving in a way that sounds extreme to them. They open their mouths and the words come out…

“I could never do that!”

These words are quickly followed by their reasoning for why they should never be expected to do such a thing.

In response to foster parenting: “I could never do that! I would love the children too much!” (If you have ever uttered that to a foster family, please go find them and beg their forgiveness.)

In response to the mission field: “I could never do that! I wouldn’t want to uproot my children!”

In response to caring for dying children: “I could never do that! It would break my heart!”

In response to going to dangerous parts of the world to minister: “I could never do that! It would put my family at risk!”

As Jesus followers, the words “I could never do that” should be stricken from our vocabulary. They should be taboo in our household. I need to stop allowing it to pass my mind, even in the heat of crisis. These are spiritual profanity.

What’s the big deal? Why are these words so forbidden? Here’s why…

  1. If we cannot do it, who can? If we have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead living within us (Romans 8:11), how can we believe any work that would bring glory to Jesus Christ is beyond what we can do emotionally, physically or spiritually? If we, the church of Jesus, cannot do something, then who can?
  2. They deny God’s power and rely on our abilities. We speak to the world about the greatness and majesty of God, yet deny His ability to accomplish His work through us. It makes our faith appear foolish a weak, because it is, at least if we think this way.
  3. They place a limit on our level of obedience. Do we really want to tell our God who left His throne and hung on a cross that there are things we are unwilling and unable to do for Him? What can He ask of us that He is not worthy to receive?
  4. They slam the door on God’s calling in our lives. This is important! The things that most break our hearts are likely the things with which God wants us most involved. What most stirs your heart? What makes you shed the most tears? What injustice keeps you awake at night? These are the areas in which God is moving in your life. But if we shy away from these areas of brokenness because they are hard to face or contemplate, we will miss our calling.

This life we are living is both hard and wonderful. There are moments that the beauty and privilege of this ministry and calling take my breath away. There are other moments in which I am brought to my knees in brokenness and grief. And, through it all, I feel God’s smile.

Almost everyone we encounter loves the ministry we do. They love the IDEA of children with special needs being cared for and loved. They love the IDEA of children who are dying being surrounded by a loving family. They love the IDEA of ministering to the broken and poverty stricken. But very few love the idea of actually doing it.

I occasionally am told, “I would love to do what you do!” And my response is always the same. “Great! Then do it! I will help you!” And that is where the back-peddling begins. And that is where those five stinking, lousy, good-for-nothing words rear their ugly head.

What breaks your heart? What is the one thing to which you find yourself saying, “I could never do that”? I am begging you…please stop saying it. Instead, hit your knees before the Savior who went to the cross for us. And ask him...

 “Jesus, do you want me to do that?”

If you can find the courage to do so with an open and obedient heart, it will likely transform your life and take you to places you have never imagined. Who knows? You might even find yourself loving a dying child…and feeling God’s smile raining down on you. And He will give you what you need to do what you never thought you could.

Blessings from Guatemala!
Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Facebook Update from Guatemala November 17, 2016 at 03:38PM

Today we began working in a new village called El Zapote in Esquintla. My friend, Rolando Monteroso, took me there to measure four people for wheelchairs. We visited Berta, Carlos, Gregorio and Maria to determine the style and size of chairs needed.


We thought we were done when a lady from the local health center asked us to visit one more man. Alfonzo was run over by a tractor six years ago, and the national hospital did surgery to repair his right leg. But afterwards, his circulation to his lower leg and foot was greatly diminished. Then he received a small cut to his shin three years ago that will not heal. It has spread to encompass almost all of his shin and calf. We found it severely infected and oozing puss. (I cannot share a photo or Facebook would shut down my account.) We have begun treating the infection and hope to address the circulation issues when I return next week. Please pray for Alfonzo, as his condition is quite serious. This type of wound is difficult to heal and dangerous to the person.

Then, on the way home, we had to dodge cattle while driving through a stream. Just another typical day in Guatemala.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Facebook Update from Guatemala November 16, 2016 at 09:29AM

Hope for Home Ministries  We are now connecting the Hope for Home Facebook Page directly to the blog. Now you can see more regular updates posted here, so follow closely!