Monday, June 28, 2010


DSCF4776 I am writing this blog during the final leg of our journey from Guatemala. We are currently in mid-flight from Houston to Dayton, and there is a beautiful sunset outside my window to enjoy. I am almost home.

Home. It’s such a powerful word. It is so easy to take for granted and not consider how precious it is…until we live without it for a while. But when we go without it for a few days, we begin to realize how wonderful it really is. Home.

DSCF4760 This morning our team said goodbye to the kids at Hermano Pedro. That is always a difficult time. I kissed each child, told them “Te amo!” (I love you!) and choked back the tears as I left the wards. I believe each member of our team struggled with the emotions of leaving those children, teens, and adults behind. But we did, and we did so because home was waiting for us all.

DSCF4745 When we arrive at the airport late tonight, each of us will be greeted by family members who will embrace us, tell us they missed us, and take us home. We will be anxious to share about our trip and hear about their lives while we were away. We will enter our houses, lock the doors behind us, and find ourselves in a place of love, warmth, and security. We will be…home.

DSCF4778 I no longer take that concept for granted, because I am so frequently dealing with and working on behalf of those who have no idea what it is like to have a home. They only know of institutions. They experience a stainless steel crib, mass produced food that’s been pureed in a blender, a constantly changing parade of nurses or nannies, and long, lonely nights during which their cries are unanswered. For most of these precious people, trying to imagine a home would be like you and I trying to imagine a fourth dimension. It is nothing they have experienced before, so how could they put pictures and words to it.

DSCF4748 This week our team has worked hard to show these children small glimpses of home. We have held them, sang to them, hugged and kissed them, and loved them. But these tiny tastes are still so inadequate because they will still spend tonight in the same cold institutions instead of in the security of a family. And that bothers me deeply. And I hope it bothers you. But I don’t want it to plague either you or I to useless guilt or pointless tears. I want it to drive us both to action. Otherwise it is simply empty emotions.

DSCF4755 One of my challenges to the team this week was to consider the question, “What will I do about it?” In other words, now that they have seen the incredible needs of the children, having held them in their arms and looked them in the eyes, what will they do? If we go away having shed a few tears and loved a few kids, what’s the point? If we truly love the least of these, it will drive us to action. Emotion without action is not love.

I pray the day will soon arrive when my home will be in Guatemala. At that point, my goodbyes to these children will not be for near as long. At that point, we will become a real home for children who have never before envisioned what a home is. Meals patiently fed instead of dumped down throats. Real beds in real bedrooms with privacy and dignity. Family devotions, story telling, laughter, and hugs. And a whole lot more.

DSCF4718 What will you do? Will you adopt a waiting child? Will you give sacrificially to an orphan ministry? Will you give to help a family bring home a waiting child? Will you go on a short term trip to hold and love them? Will you join us and help to open a second home in Guatemala? What will you do to help the word “home” become a reality for a child who has never know it before?

Daryl Fulp (on behalf of HfH June 2010 Guatemala Team)


Saturday, June 26, 2010


(Note: After feeling fine for over 24 hours, Katherine once again came down sick last night and had to remain behind at the motel this morning. Then Rachel began to feel sick mid-morning and needed to be escorted back to the motel. Both are better now, but they missed our day with the kids.)

DSCF4717 We spent our final full day in Guatemala at Hermano Pedro, and the day started off…interesting. When we arrived this morning we were met by the head Nazi…I mean nurse…who seemed to hate life in general and us specifically. Her scowl and snapping tone put our team off and ended with the two of us exchanging words. Of course, neither of us could understand the other, so I am unsure what words she exchanged. In spite of our best efforts to be friendly and helpful, nothing we did was good enough.

DSCF4735 However, the day improved when I was able to arrange to check some of the little kids out for a trip to the park. We took along a couple of young people who were experiencing their first time in Guatemala and Hermano Pedro. One of them, Anna, was a unbeliever from Guatemala. I was able to share Jesus’ heart for a hurting world with her, so please pray that God takes those seeds and produces a harvest in her life.

We had a great time taking of shoes and socks and splashing their feet in the water. After that we bought ice cream for the kids and made a mess of them.

DSCF4768 Shortly after we returned to HP a clown team arrived to entertain the kids. I pulled out water guns and gave them to the kids who could handle them, and we quickly filled the courtyard with laughter and water! I put on a rain poncho and the kids (and clowns) had a great time squirting me. After a little while the head nurse came out and shook her finger at us saying, “No mas agua!” But we (both kids and adults) had a lot of fun while it lasted. I don’t know why they do not allow the kids to simply be kids.

DSCF4770 Near the end of the day one of the nursed approached me and asked me to feed little Estuardo. I quickly agreed, even though feeding him is something like running a marathon. He has autism and does not like to sit still. In fact, he quickly screams a piercing squeal if he is restrained, so his feeding usually involves following him around the courtyard trying to hit his mouth with the spoon. But tonight he seemed especially hungry and was standing still for the first four bites. Then, the head nurse arrived, took the bowl out of my hand, and said, “No comida por Estuardo!” (No food for Estuardo!) Are you catching a theme to our day? She then told me to put him in bed. When I tried to argue with her I could get no reason for why he was not to receive food apart from her bad mood and her dislike of Estuardo. So, my little buddy went to bed hungry and I left angry.

This evening I find myself praying a very simple prayer: “Lord Jesus, come quickly and bring healing for these children and shut down Hermano Pedro and every place like it for eternity. And meanwhile, help me love and fight for every child who is oppressed, neglected, and ignored. Let your kingdom come through me!”

This is my last blog from Guatemala. I hope to update again on Monday after our travel day tomorrow. Please keep following and praying!

Here are a few more pictures of our day for your enjoyment and consideration:

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Friday, June 25, 2010

No One Came Today

Our team went to Amor del Nino today, a Christian orphanage near Guatemala City. We had a great time with the kids and I had planned to share the details in my blog tonight. But during this evening’s devotions, Pastor Jeff Kephart shared a poem that he wrote last night. I was so moved that I decided to use tonight’s blog to share it with you along with a few photos of the kids we have grown to love.
No one came today.                                                          
No one to speak for Jesus                                                    
And say “I love you.”                                                          
No comforting touch.                                                           
It must have been too much to ask                                     
For a moment’s peace from the gnawing pain                         
Of my solitary existence.DSCF3212 No one came today.                                                           
No voice, no smile to light the way                                   
Through my fog of deep despair—                                         
No one to whisper “God DOES care—take heart!”                     
Are they just unaware of my desperate plight,                       
Or too busy with distractions                                              
To have time for me tonight?DSCF3620 No one came today.                                                         
I’m the orphan child in a land far away                              
Beyond the perception of most—                                       
The man in the nursing home just down the street,                
The single mom at the end of her rope,                               
The widow—broken hearted—hoping against hope                   
For a sweet word of encouragement, an honest embrace—      
An end to this endless isolation.DSCF3157 Is there no one to love Jesus                                               
By loving me, the least of these?                                         
No one to treat me with dignity—value—                              
Not like I have some dread disease                                      
To be avoided at all costs?                                                 
No one to act for Him who seeks and saves the lost,            
Who can drive my fears away?
No one came today.     
But, perhaps,                                                                     

(Jeff Kephart, Guatemala, 6/24/10)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Little Piece of Heaven

IMG_6652 Most of our team spent today at Hermano Pedro. I say most because Mara and Tim had the unique experience of traveling with Dick Rutgers to deliver groceries and a new wheelchair battery to families near the coast. This gave Mara the rare opportunity to travel through and see Democratica, the hometown of her adopted son, Bennet. In spite of a vehicle breakdown that delayed their return somewhat, they had a wonderful day meeting some wonderful families and getting to know Dick and two of his boys a little better.
The rest of the team had a great day with the kids at HP. We took at seven of the older kids and men to Pollo Campero and had a great time. Beautiful Sonya and Veronica brightened the table with their laughter and smiles while Willley, Edgar, Elmer, Angel, and Moises were up to their usual mischief. Once again, airplanes and sauces flew and large amounts of chicken were consumed. It is hard to remember my life before these incredible people were a part of it, and to be honest, I don’t want to.

The day was long and the hour is getting late, so I am going to keep this short and add pictures at the end. However, before I do, I want to end with a prayer:
God, awaken your church to once again care about the things for which you care. We once had the understanding that we were your hands and feet, but have lost that awareness somewhere along the way. Please awaken us so that we will once again hate oppression. Please awaken us so that we will once again care for the neglected. Please awaken us so that we will once again love the ignored and despised. Please awaken us to action so that will we not rest until every one of these children are released from their cages and knows both our love and the Author of love. Amen.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

God’s Life-saving Design

(Note: Kathryn woke up sick this morning and was unable to go to Casa Jackson with us today. She stayed behind at the motel, took some medicine, rested, and is feeling much better this evening. That is why she is not in today’s photos. Please pray for her continued healing.)


Our team spent today at Casa Jackson, a home for malnourished children. We gave baths, feedings and some much needed love and attention to these precious little ones. Each member of the team bonded with at least one special child, and each of them had difficulty saying goodbye. And none of them will forget the faces and experiences of the day.

DSCF4562 Pastor Jeff fell for a little boy named Gerson (pronounced Hairson). This little guy bonded with Jeff as he fed him, played with him, and followed him all over the 2nd floor. When Jeff placed him back in his crib he wailed, and those cries were heard as we walked away from the facilities until we turned the corner at the end of the block.

DSCF4513 Mara connected with a beautiful little girl named Ellsa. Elsa has beautiful curly hair and big brown eyes that seem to see right into your heart. By the end of the day Mara was trying to figure out how she could smuggle little Ellsa back to the US with her. (That was just a joke for any immigration officials who may be following this blog!)

DSCF4525 Tim bonded with a little girl named Madara (sp?). As I looked into this little princess’ eyes I could see the suffering of a lifetime. I don’t know what she has had to endure in her short life to this point, but as Tim began to spend time with her I saw a smile break out that seemed to wipe away the bad memories. I think Tim left a part of himself there when he walked away today.

DSCF4557 I connected with a boy named Emmanuel. He is blind and you can see the cloudiness in his eyes when you look into them. He slept much of the day, but he still has a wonderful smile and a desire for cuddling when he’s awake.

I could continue to list the group members and their children, but it would take too long. So I will simply place some pictures at the end for you to enjoy.

DSCF4547  If you have never worked with people suffering from malnutrition, you may not be aware of the early symptoms. Usually, the first sign of malnutrition is a pallor of the skin followed by pealing which leaves the person red, raw, and bleeding. This is quickly followed by the loss of hair. Many of the children at Casa Jackson have suffered or are suffering from these conditions. And while it is difficult to see these signs of hunger, it is actually a part of God’s wonderful design. The Master Architect of the human body designed us to protect our vital organs, even in the face of incredible hardship. So, as the body suffers a shortage of needed supplies, it begins to delegate those resources to the most needed systems while allowing the less important systems to struggle. In the event of malnutrition, the heart, lungs, and brain are the last systems impacted.

DSCF4545As I fed, held, and played with these children today, my heart was broken by their suffering. It hurts me deeply to know how much hunger and pain they have had to experience. I choked up as I touched pealing and raw skin and stroked thinning hair. But at the same time, I gave praise to our awesome God for his incredible love and design that kept these little ones alive until help could come. And I prayed that next time help would come sooner.

Good evening from Guatemala!

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