Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surgeries, Wheelchairs and Heart Attacks

DSCF9032We are privileged to be working with a team from Bel-Aire Baptist in Gulfport, Mississippi this week. This is an excellent team that has rolled-up their sleeves and gotten to work loving kids. Yesterday we were at Hermano Pedro and we took seven kids out for lunch and fun in the park. As always, this group was quick to attach to the children and struggled to leave them at the end of the day.

DSCF9046I wish all of you could experience first-hand what a difference a team can make. When we first arrive at HP there were only a couple of kids out in the courtyard. The rest were lined-up in wheelchairs inside, sleeping or staring at a TV set. Within 15 minutes that atmosphere changed dramatically. The courtyard became filled with children as we took them out and the air was filled with laughter. That transformation is the reason I am so willing to continue to lead teams, even when others advise against it. It is worth all the work when you see the joy that these teams can bring to the kids. Today they are helping out with our day care program at Hogar de la Esperanza.

DSCF7515On Sunday I checked in with Jorge and his mom at Hermano Pedro. You may recall that a surgery team with Faith in Practice saw them back in February and recommended that he have one of his feet amputated. They did not have the surgery then because Jorge was just not ready. He is 15 years old, and we felt that he needed to own that decision, so we advised his mom to wait for a future team. About a month ago, Dick Rutgers and his boys visited with Jorge and were able to give him some wonderful encouragement and support. As a result, he decided he was ready. So I contacted Faith in Practice who scheduled him to be seen by the next team.

After this group of surgeons consulted with them, they confirmed that the amputation is necessary and scheduled him for surgery tomorrow (Wednesday). Please pray for him and his mom. This will be traumatic for them all and will reduce his mobility until he heals from the surgery and receives his prosthetic, which will likely be at least 4 months.

One of the things that has been heavy on my heart is that we currently have six people waiting for wheelchairs for which I do not have funding. I don’t like asking for money, but feel that I need to do so in order to provide these chairs. So, here are the people who are waiting. Please seek the Lord to ask if you should help to proved a chair for one of them.


Toni Escobar is 7 years-old and has cerebral palsy. He lives about three hours from us in Quetzaltenango and uses an old wheelchair that was given to them by a neighbor. It does not fit him well or provide the support he needs, so he slouches badly. He needs a Hope Haven chair that costs $200.





Elvira is 8 years-old and also suffers from cerebral palsy. She lives in Guatemala City and currently has no wheelchair. As a result, her parents have to carry her everywhere. She also needs a Hope Haven chair at a cost of $200.





Gregoria (no photo available) is 75 years old and lives in La Gomera. She had a stroke one year ago and is now paralyzed on her left side and cannot walk. She has an old wheelchair, but it is broken and can only be used for very short distances. She needs a standard hospital chair which will cost $100.



IMG00662-20120524-1344Maria is 20 years old and lives in La Gomera. She has severe cerebral palsy and is currently using an old hospital chair with the back ripped out. We have done a temporary repair job to hold her over, but she needs a custom chair that will provide lateral support and help with her posture. The cost will be $200.




DSCF7514Jorge, whose surgery is mentioned above, is 15 years-old and has outgrown his wheelchair. I have adjusted it to its largest settings and it has no more to grow. He is very skilled at using his chair and uses it to go to and from school. He needs a custom chair that will cost $200.




In addition, there is an elderly man who lives in Jalapa who needs a hospital chair. He had a stroke last year the only mobility he has is when his family carries him. Information is sketchy as I have not had a chance to visit with him, but missionaries who live there have confirmed the needs and asked for my assistance. The cost will be $100.

If you are called to provide a chair for one of these wonderful people, please contact me at daryl@hopeforhome.org.

Finally, I would like to ask you to pray for one of my good friends and Hope for Home board member, Frank Riley. He suffered a heart attack Sunday morning. Praise God he and his wife, Suzanne, sought treatment quickly and they believe minimal damage was done to his heart. He received a stent and is now recovering. Please pray for a quick and complete healing for Frank and for encouragement for his family.

That is all for now. Blessings from Guatemala!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beginnings and Rough Starts

DSCF6047As I write this post, we are quickly closing in on the end of the first day of our new day care program here at Hogar de la Esperanza. This morning we welcomed four children with special needs, Carlos, Marcos Antonio, Jenifer, and Joni into our home. The purpose is three-fold: 1) To provide much needed respite for their families. 2) To give the children some time in a structured environment that includes play, therapy, stimulation and interaction with other children. 3) To give us practice in caring for larger numbers of children with special needs before the opening of our group home.

DSCF6055This morning, as each child was dropped-off, we were greeted with the same reaction from every parent…relief. All of these parents love their children and do a good job of caring for them. But it is a 24/7 job. They are limited in their ability to leave, shop, work or just relax. So, to have an opportunity to take a day away from that responsibility is a huge relief from the daily load that they bear.

DSCF6064One of our desires is to provide quality stimulation and play for these children. Because of the demands of their daily care, their parents don’t have much time to encourage simple educational play. Our friend and fellow missionary, Pat Duff, is a professional in this area and is adept at developing individual communication techniques for each child and structuring play and educational activities to assist in development. She has generously agreed to help us out and was a part of our first day. She spent time with each child doing assessments and playing and is currently working on a plan for each one. Thanks, Pat!

As the day winds down, we are pleased. We are also tired. There is so much work involved in this kind of program. It was a good beginning to a program that we hope will grow.

DSCN3596Yesterday we did our monthly food, diaper and medicine distribution. Our friends, Bob and Jane Ecklebarger, accompanied us along with their daughter, Jana, who is visiting from Ohio. During our time out we visited 10 families, delivering eight boxes of food, five prescriptions, and money for three children’s physical therapy. We will complete the rest of the deliveries later this week.

DSCN3612While we were out, we also stopped and evaluated a little boy named Anderson. He is three years old and is blind, deaf and has spastic cerebral palsy. He is a part of a family of eight whose total income is Q.1800 (about $230). Anderson is on anti-seizure medicine which costs Q.1200 (over $150) and needs therapy which costs Q120 ($15). You can imagine the challenge this is to his hard-working family.

We told his mom and dad that we would try to find a sponsor to provide half his medication, his physical therapy and formula (he has severe chewing and swallowing issues and can only swallow liquids). As we prayed with them, his mother broke-down and wept in relief that someone had come to offer help. They are scared that they will not be able to provide for Anderson and he will die.

We have an urgent need for sponsors to cover these needs for him. The estimated total for everything is $120 a month. Please pray that God will meet this need quickly.

Here are a few more pictures from our distribution:


Thanks for your prayers and support that make all this possible! Blessings from San Antonio Aguas Calientes!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Team Is Growing…Again!

As you know, life here in Guatemala has been very busy for us. The demands of a growing ministry have kept us working long days (and quite a few nights) to keep up. We have been praying for more partners in ministry to join us in the work who have a passion for Jesus Christ and for service. Much of these prayers have been focused on two specific families that we feel would be a good fit with this ministry and our growing team.

Beyer FamilyI am pleased to announce that one of these families, the Beyer family, of Edwards, Missouri will be joining us soon! We have known Dale and Anita Beyer since 1997 when they moved to Ohio and worshipped with us at Pleasant View Missionary Church where I was serving as youth pastor. During the time that we have known them, we have seen their great love for Jesus and their servant hearts displayed throughout their family and ministry. We believe they will be a perfect fit for the work here. They visited us for two weeks and worked alongside our ministry back in March of 2011. Since that time they have been praying and seeking God’s will concerning joining us.

DSCF6642They will be joined by their four children, Kristin (21), Kathlyn (19), Jacob (16) and Alyssa (14). Both Kristin and Kathlyn have been to Guatemala and served with us and have both felt God’s call to long-term service in Guatemala. Kristin is currently working on her education to become a nurse, so she will be a valuable asset to the medical side of our ministry. However, having the privilege of personally knowing all of their children, I believe they will all be a wonderful addition and help to our work.

The Beyer family has several areas of ministry in which they would like to be involved. First, they have a passionate heart for nurturing and building families. They are trainers with Growing Families International and have led numerous parenting classes over the years. They would like to apply these lessons to this culture where assistance in developing healthy families is greatly needed. In addition, they are looking forward to working with our rural village ministry and assisting with the hosting of teams. Dale is a problem solver with both mechanical and building skills that will also be a blessing to our ministry.

They have set a tentative goal of joining us here in the first few months of 2013, but there are several areas where they need to see God move to make this a reality. So, would you please pray for them in the following ways:

  1. Pray for their fundraising efforts. They need to raise approximately $2700 a month to fund their work.
  2. Pray for the selling off of their possessions. Like us, they will be downsizing their earthly belongings to about two suitcases per person. Pray that this goes smoothly and that they are able to make money from the sell of these items to assist with their transition expenses.
  3. Pray for their current ministry at Christian Witness Center in Edwards, Missouri. Their family has filled a vital role there for the last five years, and they will need to find replacements. Please pray that God will lead them to the right person or persons to fill that role.
  4. Pray for their entire family as they move towards this transition. The whole process can be physically and emotionally exhausting, and they need your prayer support.

If you would like to communicate with them or are interested in having them speak to your church, you can contact them at dale@hopeforhome.org or anita@hopeforhome.org.

Thanks for praying and supporting our work here! God is moving in great ways!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Wow! That one exclamation just about sums it up. As we have been dealing with an avalanche of tasks, opportunities and challenges I can only look back and say, “Wow!”

DSCF5767First, the licensing of our group home is moving at a break-neck speed and we are trying to keep up. Our social worker, Edy Tum, takes his job seriously and is plowing everything through quickly. Yesterday (Tuesday, May 8th) our Board of Directors met with him and officially signed our application for our association. (This causes Ministerios de Esperanza to be recognized as a non-profit ministry by the Guatemalan government.) Edy has set us up to be able to open multiple group homes, schools, health clinics and lead educational seminars. He asked us to dream big and then is helping us to be established as a ministry that can encompass those dreams within our organization. We are praising God for bringing Señor Tum into our lives and ministry.

DSCF5782At the same time, because he is moving so quickly, we have to move quickly to keep up. This process requires a mountain of information and paperwork including schedules for our group home, menus, house plans, sewage plans, a certificate of health for me as President and Director of the association, organizational flow charts, financial records, etc. (Which is why no matter how hard I work I can’t get to the bottom of the pile on my desk.) Of course, this process is somewhat complicated by the Guatemalan way of life. I contacted the owner of the home we rent to ask for blueprints of the house and sewage system. I was told that he no longer had those because he threw them away once the house was completed. (Go figure.) So, I have been in the process of making new household diagrams and talking with the owner to find where all of the sewage pipes run. It is not fun having to re-create the wheel.

But each day brings about the completion of more steps and we are making rapid progress. We are now being told that our home should be licensed by the end of this year! (From what we are told, this is record time.)

DSCF6397Meanwhile, the other parts of our life and ministry continue. A couple of weeks ago our family finally took the time to go to the beach. We have lived here for 15 months, with our house a mere hour-and-a-half from the shore, but we have never taken the time to go. So, at last, we packed up the van and headed out to San Jose.

DSCF6399It is a black sand beach and the temperature was around 93 degrees there, so tender feet hoped across the sand to the cool water. We played in the ocean and enjoyed a nice picnic lunch while our daughters fought off the advances of the teenage guys. Krishauna made an observation while we were there. She decided that it would be impossible for a gringa to drown on a Guatemala beach because she is constantly being watched by 15 guys who desperately want to come to her rescue.


DSCF5753On Monday Gerardo and I traveled up to Guastatoya to rent a new home for Carmen and her daughters, Manuela and Marsela. We were finally able to find a modest place for them up on a hillside with two rooms and a bathroom for Q.500 ($64). Carmen was thrilled! It is not much by American standards, but it is like a palace for them. A fenced yard where the girls can get air when their mom has to go away, a working toilet and shower, windows that open to let in a breeze and more.


For them to leave their old place we had to negotiate with their old landlord. She owed quite a bit of back rent, and we were concerned that she would demand it all. However, after much talking, she agreed to accept Q.1600 (just over $200) to wipe the slate clean and let her leave. So, that evening she and her girls slept in their new home. Thanks to everyone who is giving each month to make that happen!

DSCF5764While we were talking with her old landlord she mentioned a girl who lived just up the street who was “very skinny.” She agreed to take us up to meet her. When I stepped into their home I immediately teared-up as I saw beautiful 12 year-old Darolin lying on the bed. This little girl had wasted away to skin and bones. The family did not know what was wrong with her, only that she could not walk, talk or eat properly. We explained that she has cerebral palsy and that she has severe difficulty chewing and swallowing as a result. We went on to explain that she needs to be on a special high-calorie formula.

DSCF5765However, we realize this is not enough. She needs the attention of a malnutrition ward, so we are talking with the family and they are deciding whether they are willing to check her into the malnutrition ward at Hermano Pedro for several months. If so, we will drive up and bring them down for evaluation and admission. Once we can get her to a healthier weight, we will find a sponsor for her to provide the formula she needs so that she can return home.

Please pray for Darolin. Pray that her family will be willing to let her go to HP for treatment. Pray that she will be able to gain weight and get healthier. And pray for the financial sponsorship she is going to need after that happens.

I am so grateful to each of you for your prayers, support and encouragement that enables us to be here doing this work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to do what we do!

Blessings from Daryl, Wanda and the Crew!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Special Prayers Needed for Alicia

There is much that I want to share with you but am limited by time right now. So, I will simply share an urgent prayer request with you and ask for your intercession.

IMG00350-20120130-1048Four year old Alicia from La Gomera is struggling. Several months back we found a sponsor to provide some urgent, tri-weekly medication for her ailing kidneys and anemia, and we saw almost immediate improvement. However, after a few months of improvement, she has taken a sudden turn for the worse. Her mother took her to the national hospital and the doctors told her that they were concerned she would go into cardiac arrest…and then sent her home after telling her to get some tests done that she cannot afford.

We are arranging for Alicia to come in and see our local doctor and have him line-up the specialists she needs. She will definitely need a urologist (we have a great but expensive one in Guatemala City who sees patients for us) and will probably need a cardiologist.

Please pray for Alicia. Pray for healing. Pray that we will be able to get her in promptly to see the doctors. Pray that the doctors will have wisdom. Pray for financial provision to pay for the appointments and follow-up care. Pray.