Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gabby Is with Jesus

DSCF6522Gabby passed away this evening. In spite of the doctor’s best efforts, they were unable to reverse the allergic reaction, so she went to be with Jesus.

I don’t understand why things like this happen, but I do know that God is good. He loves Gabby far more than we ever could and has done what is best in his perfect wisdom. God is good all the time…all the time God is good.

I take comfort in knowing that she is with Jesus now in a place without disabilities and suffering. And I rejoice in knowing that, when we see her again, she will run to us.

Please pray for God’s comfort on Maureen and the staff of Los Gozosos and everyone who loved her.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pray for Gabby


Today our team went to Los Gozosos to do some work and spend time with the kids. Shortly after we arrived I spoke with Maureen and found out that Gabby is in critical condition at Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City. She has had an allergic reaction to her new anti-seizure medication that has caused her skin to slough off about 70% of her body.

I took the news especially hard because I was the one who discovered her petit mal seizures and recommended they take her to her neurologist who prescribed the new medication. My first thought was that if I had just left things alone and my mouth closed she would be fine now. After about an hour-and-a-half of self-flagellation, I actually got quiet and prayed and realized that I did the only thing that I could have done and would, in fact, do again in the same situation. But my heart still breaks for Gabby who is suffering greatly now.

I have been told she has about a 40% chance of survival and the next several days will be critical. If she gets an infection she will not be able to fight it off.

Please pray for Gabby. Pray that God will keep infection away and that the spread of the condition will halt. Pray that God will restore her completely. Pray for everyone who loves her and is hurting for her now. And pray against the enemy who seeks to use these circumstances to discourage God’s people and spread his ugly lies.



Monday, June 27, 2011


Today has been a lousy day. I am tired, discouraged, and overall feeling defeated. And the question that keeps driving it is a single word… “Why?”

IMG00575-20110627-1016This morning our team from Piqua, OH and I arrived at Hermano Pedro. I immediately went into the Anibal ward to check on Lionel, only to find him in his wheelchair quietly crying. I picked him up and held him for about 30 minutes. While his crying stopped immediately, he never responded to my attempts to make him smile. He is struggling to breathe, and they have reinserted his feeding tube. To be honest, it seems like he has lost the will to live. My heart breaks for him and I long to ease his pain.

From there I was called out into another room to adjust a chest harness that was cutting into the neck of Estefani. This was the same chest harness that I adjusted about 10 days ago. The nurses, in their great wisdom, seem to think that it is best to have the harnesses high on the chest, so they keep changing the proper adjustments. From that point, I spent the next 45 minutes readjusting chest harnesses, many of which I had properly adjusted just days before.

After that, I decided to go check some of the men out for lunch. After filling out the proper form and obtaining the head nurse’s signature, I proceeded to Father Jose’s office to get his. There I found out that he was out of the office until the afternoon, so I went to Father Francisco’s office. There I was told that he, too, was out until the afternoon. I spoke with Vicki who told me that she would try to get the signature of the one nun who was authorized but who was out sick. She went to her home, only to find her not there. So, after an hour of work, I found out we could not take anyone out to lunch.

IMG00577-20110627-1449I returned to the children’s ward to find little Yofri strapped improperly into his bed. This little guy suffers from severe CP which twists his back and threatens to bend him over double backward. You can read more about him by clicking here. The nurses had placed him in the special backboard that Dick had designed with the pillow placed in the small of his back, forcing him to remain bent backward instead of holding him straight. After controlling my anger, I picked him up and held him for a while until I had him relatively relaxed and straight. I then strapped him back into his bed properly.

At that point, the team and I left to grab lunch and take a breather, which I desperately needed. While we were out, Wanda surprised me by taking the chicken bus into town and meeting us at the restaurant. Her presence was just what I needed.

We returned to HP in the afternoon and I found Yofri, once again, strapped into bed improperly. This time there was no pillow in place at all, and his muscles were spasming, causing the strap to dig into his chest. So, once again, I fixed his positioning and rotated the bed so that he could lie on his other side for a while.

And so, this evening as I returned home I have been plagued with the same question that is pounding in my heart all day. Why?

  • Why has Lionel lost his will to live?
  • Why is he deteriorating before my eyes?
  • Why is HP making so many crappy decisions that is hurting the patients it claims to care about?
  • Why won’t the nurses do what they know they are supposed to do with Yofri?
  • Why does helping these children have to be so hard?
  • Why does Cerebral Palsy exist, along with all the other causes of suffering inflicted on the innocent?
  • Why? Why? Why?

Before you respond to those questions, let me explain that I would like to ask these questions of God, but I don’t want to ask Him with defiance or anger. I do trust God. I know that He is good. I know that He loves both the children of HP and me far more than I could ever comprehend. And I know that He has a plan for it all. My faith in Him is not shaken. But I am feeling tired, discouraged, and useless, so I would like to simply ask Him why and have Him hold me while He gives me just a tiny glimpse of the answer. I don’t need the whole unfolding of His plan, just a little glimmer of a single bullet point.

Please forgive me for venting as I have. Please pray for Lionel, Yofri, and all the kids of HP. And please pray that God brings an end to suffering soon.

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

Revelation 22:20              


I agree…come, Lord Jesus!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Teams, Teams, Teams!

It has been another very busy week, so I will tell the story, once again, with more pictures and less words.

For the last eight days we have been hosting a team from Pleasant Grove Missionary Church in Yellow Springs, Ohio. What a wonderful blessing they have been with both their encouragement and hard work!


After arriving on Saturday, getting a quick bite to eat, and settling in, our friend and Spanish teacher, Alba, came and gave the entire team a Spanish lesson. Alba is a great teacher, but some of them had trouble with the language. Through the course of the week I have heard “Elmo my llama” (instead of “Como se llama”) and “Aloha” (instead of “Hola”). It reminded me of my two friends Dick Rutgers and Bev Jansen!

On Monday the team spent time at Casa Jackson, the malnutrition center in San Felipe de Jesus. The team loved the time they spent with the children:





On Tuesday we spent the day at Hermano Pedro and took seven of the kids out to eat. This was the largest group that we have ever taken out, so there was a bit of chaos, but a lot of fun.




On the way back to Hermano Pedro we were caught in a rainstorm and had to take shelter. About 45 minutes later we were able to make it back.


On Wednesday the team went to Los Gozosos and spent most of the day doing work for this wonderful family-based group home for children with special needs. Projects included building a gate and a base for a slide, cleaning a mildewed bathroom, fixing a broken gutter, yard work, cleaning windows, sewing bibs, and more.






Thursday took us back to Hermano Pedro where we had another great day and took out eight guys from the men’s ward. Those are some of my favorite people in the world.




I let Elmer use my camera to take a few pictures. He has a unique eye on life:


Thursday was Corpus Cristi (Body of Christ day) which is a big Catholic celebration. There was a procession through Hermano Pedro and many of the children were dressed up.





Unfortunately, so was Aaron. As much as possible I tried to stand away from him and look in the other direction. For some reason, his wife, Sheska, was willing to be seen with him. Gringos…


On Friday we went to Amor del Niño and had a wonderful time with the children there.




This morning I am saying goodbye to this wonderful team and taking them to the airport. Fifty minutes before their flight leaves the next team lands. This group is from The Gathering Place in Piqua, OH, and I anticipate another wonderful week.

Thanks Aaron, Sheska, Brian, Allison, Melissa, Tammy, Linda, Jessica, Kimberly, Stephanie, Ben, Luke, Kayla Shae, and Kennedy! You gave us a great week of ministry!

So long for now!

Daryl, Wanda, and the Crew

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Summer Begins!

DSCF7463Over the past week we have been hosting the first of our summer ministry teams. This group was not one of our typical groups as they had originally planned to be a part of a medical clinic in Peten, but due to the recent drug gang related violence in the area and a state of siege they had to change their plans.

Ed and Coral Matus and their three children (Alex, Lindsey, and Brent) along with Jim and Ginny Hiltner and their two children (Steve and Tia) spent the week with us experiencing a small taste of our ministry. Coral is a doctor and Ginny is a nurse practitioner, so we were greatly blessed by their wisdom and insight into several cases with which we have been dealing.

IMG00502-20110614-1822Tuesday was delivery day in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. We now have three children with disabilities in our town who are receiving support through our ministry thanks to some generous sponsoring families. So, I went shopping for medicine, food, and diapers, packed bags for each family, and Jim, Ginny, Coral, and I set out. We visited and made deliveries to Joni, Marcos Antonio, and Carlos. In each home we were welcomed warmly and treated as honored guests. And to each family we imparted the basic truth of our ministry…the help come from Jesus, not from us. Each family was told that the gifts were from a sponsoring family in the US that was simply passing along the blessings that God had given them. I enjoy these times with those families greatly.

On Wednesday, Coral, Ginny, Steve, and I headed out to El Progreso to follow-up with three families. The first home we went to was that of Orfelina and Iris. Orfelina has been struggling with a problem with her mouth which we had tried to address. Coral and Ginny examined her and prescribed vitamins and some other medicine. To be honest, whether their advise helps or not, I believe it meant so much to her to have someone listen.

Orfelina’s adult daughter Iris has also been struggling. On our last visit she told us about surgery for a benign brain tumor two years ago and the chronic headaches, dizziness, and fatigue that have followed. Upon hearing her symptoms, Coral asked her how much water she drinks. She told me that she hears those symptoms up to 50 times a day at the clinic in Peten, and that the cause is almost always dehydration. We gave her vitamins along with a refill of her prescription for pain, but instructed her to drink five or six bottles of water each day and only take the medicine as needed. I will check up on her in a few weeks.

IMG00495-20110606-1155From there we traveled to the home of Carmen and her two daughters Manuela and Marsela. Both daughters have Epilepsy which produces seizures. They are also cognitively delayed. The needs of the family are great and overwhelming. During our last visit with them I provided a box of Kids Against Hunger food packets, and they had eaten them all. Indeed, the family looked like they had gained weight and had better color in their faces. However, as they listed their needs I became overwhelmed and discouraged. We, as a ministry, cannot afford to provide everything they need. At present, they will have to make do with the vitamins and food we provide. As I walked away from their home I turned to the rest of the group and told them that, at times, I felt like we weren’t even making a difference.

DSCF7461That feeling quickly changed when we arrived at Olga’s house. Olga had a stroke two years ago and has been unable to walk unassisted since, due to partial paralysis on one side. We measure her two weeks ago for a wheelchair and I was returning with the one she needed. As soon as she saw us approaching and pushing the chair she began to weep. Her weeping continued as we helped her into her chair and I made some final adjustments. As we filled out the paperwork and took some photos of the family she continued to cry tears of joy. We prayed with their family and, as I walked away, I realized that we had made a very real difference to at least one person…and that was enough.

DSCF7515Meanwhile, back at the house, I had left Ed, Jim, and Brent to build two simple sets of shelves for storage. Coral laughed when I told her that. Ed and Jim are both engineers, and she told me that they don’t do anything simply. She was right! We returned that night to discover they had measured my wood and maximized their design for minimum waste and maximum storage. The results were impressive! Thanks, guys, for your hard and excellent work!

Yesterday Coral, Ginny, and I walked a few houses up the street to the home of Marcos Antonio and his mother Maura. When we visited him on Tuesday Maura mentioned that Marcos had not been to a doctor for six or seven years due to a lack of money. Coral offered to give him an exam, and we were returning to do so.

IMG00503-20110616-0838Through the examination Coral determined two things: 1) His mom had done a remarkable job of caring for him. 2) He had ears so packed full of hardened wax he was likely deaf. After spending nearly 20 minutes trying to carefully remove as much of the wax as possible without damaging his eardrums, she prescribed some medicine to place in his ears over the next several days. I will return to his house every three days for the next couple of weeks to do ear washes until I can see his eardrum clearly.

While we were there, I was also able to show Maura several stretches that she could do to help the range of motion in his legs. That, along with a follow-up visit from Pat Duff to work on communication skills, should produce a real difference in Marcos’ life.

After we returned to our house, we assembled the team and headed to Los Gozosos in Chimaltenango. This family-based group home is a wonderful place about which I have written numerous times, so I won’t go into detail again. The group spent the morning on various work projects including repairing a leaky washer, a leaky sink, and a broken bed. They also did yard work, installed a new slide, and cleaned windows and chairs. The afternoon was spent having lunch and playing with the kids.

Tomorrow morning we welcome a new team of 14 people from Yellow Springs, Ohio. This will be the first large test of our hosting abilities as we fill our second floor. They will be week two of three straight weeks of teams, so we would appreciate your prayers. The last two weeks have been difficult and exhausting, and the next two weeks promise to be filled with fatigue as well. Please pray for energy for me, my family, and the teams that are here to serve.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog, pray, give, and come to help! We couldn’t do it without you!

Because of Him!

Daryl, Wanda, and the Crew

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Special Little Guy and A Special Request

This is a special blog update to ask you to commit to pray for a little fellow at Hermano Pedro orphanage. His name is Yofri, he is three years old, and he has severe CP that twists his tiny body severely. He regularly spasms and his body almost doubles backwards, bending his spine sharply.


He is worsening with the passage of time and this is, in part, due to the nurses’ unwillingness to use the special back board that Dick Rutgers built for him. Dick will adjust it and get him lying nicely, only to return the next day and find the board stuck under a crib somewhere unused. If things continue at their present rate, Yofri will likely not be with us for long.

Will you and your family please pray for Yofri? Please pray that God will ease the tension in his body and help him to relax. Pray that the nurses will use the tools available to help him. And please pray that those of us who love him will do all we can and then leave Yofri in Jesus’ hands.

Thank you,

Daryl, Wanda, and the Fulp Crew

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Couple of Weeks…in Pictures

Once again I have gotten overwhelmed and almost two weeks have passed without a blog update.  As I was thinking about catching up, I realized that the best (and quickest way) of doing so was to use more pictures and less words. So, here you go…


Since my last blog we were able to find a wheelchair for Joni, one of the young men from our neighborhood. That along with a new mattress that we provided, a sponsoring family in the US who will be helping with food and medicine, and just some love from us will make a huge difference in the lives of Joni and his family.

While my friend, Dick Rutgers, was recovering from surgery in our home he was surprised by a wonderful gift. Chris and Donna Mooney pulled up in a brand new 2011 Land Cruiser and handed him the keys! A gift from an anonymous donor, the new vehicle is almost exactly like his old one, but with a few nice additions, including a snorkel and a winch.

With the addition of the new Land Cruiser, Dick’s energy improved. I had planned to take a trip out the next day with Jessica and Paul and Elizabeth Branch to deliver a wheelchair and check on a few people, but suddenly Dick was ready to go along. So, we broke-in his new vehicle together. The next day, Dick left our home to complete his recovery at his place. It was good having you with us, Dick! We miss you!


Our first stop was in La Gomera where we delivered a wheelchair to Jorge. This handsome young man has Spina Bifida and is suffering from a couple of bed sores. However, he seems to have a wonderful family, and his mother has done a great job of caring for him. The medications he needs has been a strain on the family financially, but I am pleased to say that we now have a sponsoring family. So, those medications will now be provided for him each month.

While we were in town, we also stopped at the home of a little guy named Alexandro. He is an 18 month old who has struggled to thrive, but is quickly improving. His father was laid off from his job, so the family is going through a challenging and scary time right now. We will be providing Kids Against Hunger packets to the family along with some vitamins for Alexandro. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of this cute little guy.


From there we went to La Gomera to check on a couple of people. If you will recall, we met Reyna the last time we were there. She is the elderly lady that Jessica diagnosed with pneumonia who was also struggling with diabetes and anemia. We were very concerned that she would not survive, even with our intervention. We arranged for her to go to a local clinic which hospitalized her for five days. We were pleased to find her at home and much improved. Her color was back, her breathing was much better, and she had a smile on her face. We were welcomed to the home with hugs and love by the entire family. Above is an x-ray of her lungs that was taken when she was first admitted to the hospital. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but I have never seen lungs so crowded with fluid.


We also stopped in to see Ponceano to whom we had provided a wheelchair on our last visit. He was sitting up on his porch having just completed his exercises and stretches that we had prescribed. I have really grown to love and appreciate this man and his family.


One of the things that has become increasingly apparent is that we don’t have to travel to remote villages to find great needs. Still another family from our town came to our gate last Saturday to ask for help for their 19 year old son, Carlos. He has CP, is malnourished, and has a seizure disorder. The medication for his seizures have been costing his family almost $75 a month, which is over half his father’s income. Praise God we found a provider who will sell it to us for $53 a month and we now have two families in the US who are covering these expenses. This will make a huge difference to their family.


On Monday (June 6th) I traveled to the town of El Progresso with Jessica, Marissa, Brittney, and my Spanish teacher, Alba. Alba’s father is a pastor in that town, and he informed us of several people who needed help. So, we made the 2 1/2 hour trip so he could take us and introduce us to them.  One family has two daughters, Manuela and Marsela, who were born with genetic conditions that influence their cognitive abilities. Both daughters also have epilepsy. We will be providing some food and vitamins to them.

We also met Olga, an elderly lady who had a stroke two years ago and needs a wheelchair. We measured her and are seeking to come up with the necessary $90 to get the right travel chair for her.




Meanwhile, our entire family has been volunteering each week at Los Gozosos, a group home for children with special needs in Chimaltenango. Carissa (along with some other patient helpers) teaches four of their young ladies ballet. Some of the rest of us work with a little girl named Gabby, teaching her to walk with forearm crutches. I also do some maintenance around their home.


After a month with us, we took Jessica Huwer to the airport yesterday so she could fly home to her family and be a part of her brother’s wedding. We miss her already and our household of 12 still somehow seems empty without her. Thanks, Jessica, for your servant’s heart! We love you!


This morning I went with my friend Gerardo to meet his cousin, Mynor. He is 20 years old and lost his left arm and both legs below the knee when, at the age of 10, he climbed a power pole and touched the wires. He has been wearing the same prosthetics since he was 12 years old, and they are wearing out. We are investigating a US charity to see if they can provide new prosthetics. If not, we will need to raise approximately $1600.00 to have new ones made. (Similar prosthetics in the the US would sell for over $10,000 each.)


Last Saturday Jeremiah’s soccer team had a game in Ciudad Vieja. Since we have a 15 passenger van, we were asked if we would transport the team. So, we piled 23 of us in the Nissan and headed out. I don’t know if the kids had more fun playing soccer or riding. At one point, we took a wrong turn and one of the kids wanted to know where we were going. Another shouted “Los Estados Unidos!” and everyone cheered.

Well, that’s a quick summary of the last two weeks. This Saturday we welcome another team and will have three straight weeks of teams following. Life is full but good!