Friday, June 29, 2012

Urgent Prayer Intercession Needed

The following is a letter that was just sent to our Hope for Home Ministries mailing list. I am posting it here, as well, because we are seeking all the prayer support we can get.


Hello Everyone,

First, let me state clearly that this is not a fund-raising message, it is a prayer-raising message. We find ourselves facing a financial challenge and we are simply asking you to stand with us in prayer to the One who is our Provider.

Over the last year we have focused on making the needs of specific children and families known and finding sponsors to assist with those needs. I am pleased to share that God has provided generously for those needs and our sponsorship program and its finances are healthy and growing. I offer my sincere thanks to all of you who are a part of that!

At the same time, due to a gradual decrease in giving and increase in expenses, our US general account has been steadily shrinking. Our general account covers expenses such as the following:

  • Salaries (Under $2000 a month for 2 ½ people on staff)
  • Rent, utilities and operating expenses for Hogar de la Esperanza
  • Licensing fees for our group home
  • Gas and maintenance for our 4-wheel drive ministry (All sponsored money goes directly to the families and none is used for expenses.)
  • Etc.

At present, our general budget is almost out of money. This is coming at a time in which we need to see more money, as the monthly costs of operating our group home will begin soon. This will mean increased expenses of approximately $1400 per month. So, we are in need of families who are led to support our general operating budget. Without this, none of the rest of the work we do can happen.

So, will you please make this an urgent matter of prayer over the following days and weeks? Please ask God to place it on the hearts of people to support Hope for Home Ministries at large on a monthly basis. Also ask Him to provided the influx of funds we need for the short term. We believe and trust that God will provide. He has before and He will again, and your prayers are powerful and effective in opening the floodgates of God’s provision.

Thank you for your prayers and for all that you do to make this work for God’s Kingdom possible!

Because of Him!


Thursday, June 28, 2012


I don’t know how this happens, but somehow I keep thinking that I have updated my blog a few days ago only to realize that it has been two weeks. Life is a whirlwind and I am getting blown around by it quite a bit.

In order to catch you up quickly, I am going to give some snapshots of the last few weeks. These are not all-inclusive narrations of these weeks, but just brief glimpses of high-points.

June 9-16

Dick Rutgers decided to take an extended vacation in the States. Once he got there he decided he liked it so much that he would extend his stay for another 12 days. At last, he decided to come back to Guatemala where I was waiting for him to help with a couple of wheelchair seatings. (Actually, Dick went home for a month to do some speaking and take care of some overdue business. While there the doctor discovered a nasty infection that needed to be treated with IV antibiotics, requiring him to stay for an additional 12 days. It is really good to have him back at last, but don’t tell him I said so.)

Shortly after Dick returned to Guatemala He and I set out on a two day trip with Gerardo and Alex. We traveled to the La Gomera region to check in on some of our families and deliver a couple of chairs. It was a great trip that God orchestrated. One of the God-incidences that we experienced was due to a mistake on my part. I had measured a young lady named Maria for a wheelchair a few weeks prior on a very, very hot day. She was seated an old wheelchair that was falling apart. She was very lethargic and seemed unable to move or propel herself in any way. I made the decision to get her a custom chair that would improve her posture. However, when we pulled into her place with the new chair on top of the car, we saw her sitting in her old wheelchair propelling herself backwards. We quickly realized that we needed to put her into a standard hospital chair to allow her that same mobility. So, we had a chair we did not need…or so we thought.

DSC00136The next day we visited with Carlos, one of the kids that Dick has worked with for a while. When we arrived his mother explained that he needed a new chair as his old one was falling apart. He is a tall and lanky young man, so Dick began to talk to her about bringing in a chair soon. Suddenly he stopped and we both looked at one another. The chair on top of the car would likely be a perfect fit! So, we pulled it down, made the necessary adjustments, and Carlos was ready for the road.

DSC00100Over our two day trip we visited with 9 families, delivered two wheelchairs and two boxes of food and arranged for long-term help for two other families. Plus, we had a blast together while we did it. I am learning more and more how much we need one another and I truly love the time that Dick and I spend together…in spite of his driving! When we returned he wrote to me and told me that he enjoyed our trip and wanted to travel together more. But he said that he would not keep driving like a little old lady to keep me from whining. I wrote back and thanked him because I have been trying to come up with a clear, concise way to describe his driving and he had done it. He drives like a little old lady (half-blind, half-deaf and completely senile)!

June 17-24

Last week we hosted a team from Dillsburg Brethren in Christ Church. In addition to them being a wonderful team, they had the added benefit of including Wanda’s sister, Jaylene, as a part of their group. It is always wonderful to have family visit us here.

DSCF9228In addition to spending time at Hermano Pedro, Amor del Niño, and the feeding program in Santa Maria de Jesus, they were also a part of our day care program, our monthly food distribution and one of our village trips. We can do this when we have smaller teams, so I like keeping the numbers small. We had so much fun visiting with families during the distribution and village trip. Our only problem was getting out of the towns. Everywhere we went we were swamped with children and adults who just wanted to visit. The group did a great job of singing with the kids and keeping them entertained while I worked with families. What a great team! Thanks for a great week, guys!


June 25 – Now

This week I have had the privilege of working with a team from Living Waters Church in Hastings, Michigan. This group blessed us greatly with a large financial gift to our family and 50 water filters last summer. This year they came with great blessings once again. They sent $1000 in advance to purchase several wheelchairs, brought an additional $3000 gift to our ministry in Guatemala and  brought supplies for our rural village ministry and family that are difficult or expensive to obtain here.

DSCF9240On Monday I took part of their group into Hermano Pedro for the day. On Tuesday three of their team members traveled with Gerardo and I to deliver a wheelchair to Maria (the proper chair I mentioned she needed above) and to work with several families. On Wednesday they blessed us by sending a crew of three to our house to build wheelchair ramps for our group home.Today, Thursday, we are visiting Amor del Niño with some of their group.

DSC00149I love Living Waters Church so much. They have such a heart for Jesus and His gospel and they live that out through their ministry. They intentionally keep their costs low in order to allow them to bless others. Each year they come and touch lives, not just through our ministry but through several that they support. I believe that churches like this bring a smile to God’s face. Thanks guys! God is doing great things through you and churches like you!

Other News

Our group home licensing continues to progress smoothly. We were recently told by our social worker that the process is going quicker than he has ever seen and we are on track to be licensed by November or December. We still have lots of work to do, but each day brings us closer.

We have found two children in need of sponsors, but we have already found a sponsor for one of them. I continue to be amazed by God’s provision and praise Him for caring for these little ones’ needs as they arise.

DSC00158 (2)We have already found a sponsor for Misael from San Juan del Obispo. We were taken to his house yesterday by our friend, Cesar, who lives in the same town. Luis is 9 years old and has hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy. As a result of his hydrocephalus, he struggles from seizures. His mother was widowed 9 years ago when her husband, a police office, was shot in the line of duty. She is unable to work because of her need to care for her son, and her only income is from renting the front of her home to a bread seller and one room to a tenant. She is unable to afford her son’s anti-seizure medication. Through the sponsorship program, this family will now receive his medication and a 40 lb. box of food each month. We will also be taking him to the doctor in our town for evaluation to make sure he is prescribed the best medication to control his seizures and providing him with a wheelchair (his current one is borrowed).

DSC00158On Tuesday while we were in La Gomera delivering a wheelchair to Maria, Jorge’s family asked if we could visit a little boy in need of a wheelchair. We were taken to a home where we found Luis Fernando, a 9 year old with cerebral palsy. His chair is worn out and we realized that the family needs food support and help with the cost of his medicine. They are struggling just to survive and meet Luis Fernando’s basic needs. We need a $50.00 a month sponsor to help take care of him. Would you prayerfully consider becoming that sponsor for him? If you are interested, please write me at

Big Picture Planning

In just over a month Hope for Home Ministries will celebrate its 4-year anniversary. I stand in awe of what God has done in such a short period of time. The ministry has grown and expanded beyond my wildest expectations as I have struggled to keep up. In reality we have moved from being a tiny, family-run ministry to an international ministry very quickly. As a result, I realize that it is time to evaluate our structure and make some long-term plans in order to better accommodate this growth.

The reality is that I am poorly equipped to manage a ministry of this size, yet I am the person that God has placed here. As a result, I am learning how desperately I need to cling to Jesus and seek His face and wisdom on a daily basis. I am completely insufficient, but He is everything that this ministry and I need.

I will be taking two days next week to retreat, fast and seek God for direction…first for my own life and second for our ministry. Please keep us in your prayers in the days and weeks ahead as we listen to and follow God’s voice.

That’s all for now! Love and blessings from San Antonio Aguas Calientes!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Real Sacrifice

On a regular basis I meet people who have heard about our move to Guatemala and the ministry we do here. Usually their response it something along the lines of “Wow! We really respect what you are doing and the sacrifices you are making!” And my response is always the same…a shake of my head and the words, “No, we haven’t sacrificed anything. In fact, we have gained so much.”

And that is true. Sure, we occasionally encounter inconveniences or challenges as a result of living where we do, but they are minor compared to the joy and passion or our lives here. I have spent a some nights in motels with no air conditioning and no hot water. I have worked some very long days in very hot and sticky weather. I have driven and worked through heavy rain and mud slides. But those things are just part of the adventure of life and, for the most part, I love it all.

When push comes to shove, I realize that I have never really made a true sacrifice for the sake of the gospel. I have simply discarded things that I once thought was valuable but finally realized was garbage. And the things that my family and I have gained are so much more wonderful. And I am not just saying that, I really mean every word. I don’t know what it means to sacrifice anything of real value for Jesus Christ.

419672_3468094787085_1489956610_nBut that is about to change. Two years ago my daughters, Teisha and Carissa, said yes to God’s call to missions in Uganda. Since that day I have known that the day was coming when I would have to say goodbye at an airport so they can follow that call. But that day has always been “some day…” You know, way out there in the distance…when they are older…and hopefully I am dead. But somehow “some day” has a way of becoming today.

For the last few months they have both been planning a trip to Uganda to work with several ministries and plan for the future. This is scheduled to be a six week trip extending from mid-September until the end of October. Okay, I can deal with that. Six weeks and then they will come home again and move to Uganda permanently…some day. Way out in the future. Right, God?

And then, very suddenly, Carissa has been presented with an opportunity to serve as a nannie/teacher for a missionary family in Uganda. As a result, her six-week trip may transform into one year. And very quickly “some day” has transformed into “mid-September.” And, in the blink of an eye, I suddenly realize that I have never known real sacrifice until now. Our move to Guatemala is nothing compared to surrendering my daughters to the call of Jesus, no matter where that leads them.

I don’t know what will happen. There are several things that could close the door on her extended stay. It could be that she will return home to us at the end of October and her dad will be very happy to have her back. But if so it will simply be a delay of the inevitable. We have tried to instill in our children a passion to follow Jesus wherever He leads, and it seems that we have succeeded. So, whether it is in September, next year or two years from now, we will say goodbye to both Teisha and Carissa with both great pain and great joy as they head for Uganda. And on that day I will know what real sacrifice for the gospel really is.

Jesus said this in Luke 18:29-30:

“’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come,eternal life.’”

408600_2982347645428_1370111737_nIf I really believe God’s Word the way I claim to, then I will resist the urge to cling to my children when God leads them elsewhere. Instead, I will urge them to let go of Wanda and me and run with reckless abandon toward the One who died for them and offers them so much more than I could ever give. I may do it through tears, but I will do it if my faith is anything more than cheap lip-service.

So, after 30 years of following Jesus, I am learning what real sacrifice is. And with His help I wrap each of my children in a huge daddy bear-hug and send them on God’s adventure, whatever that may be. Just don’t be surprised if you see tears in my eyes.

Blessings from a motel room in La Gomera, Guatemala!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Saying “No”

I have lived in Guatemala for almost 15 months now. There are a myriad of things that were difficult when we first arrived, but have gotten easier with the passing of time. Communication is one. My Spanish is very weak, but I can generally function pretty well in day-to-day tasks. Getting around is another. Gradually the strange maze of streets that all looked alike have become very familiar and easy to navigate.

But there is one thing that has not gotten easier. In fact, it gets harder and harder with each passing week. And that is saying a simple two-letter word…“No.”

DSCF9081A half-hour ago a family showed up at my door. Claudia, a single mother, rang our bell along with her two little ones and mother. They live in a small shack in San Antonio that has a corrugated steel roof with major leaks, allowing water to flow into and through their home when it rains. (One wall is made of cardboard and bamboo.) And now they are facing another five months of rainy season. They asked if we could help them by providing corrugated steel to repair their roof and, if we could spare it, some food.

At first glance, this seems like an easy “No.” After all, we work with children with special needs. Her children are healthy. We can’t help everyone, can we? Our resources are limited, money is tight and they do not fit within our ministry’s parameters. So, I told them we could not help them. I am however collecting information from them to share with another ministry that does that kind of work.

DSCF9078But, face it, even if they qualify for help from this ministry they will be placed on a waiting list and will probably face the entire rainy season in their current situation. (That is not a criticism of this wonderful program that builds houses at all. The needs are great and their resources are limited as well.) So, as they left our home the words of Matthew 25 came to me and I found myself wondering if I had just sent Jesus back out on the street.

There are days and moments that I just don’t know what to do. (God, please help me. I just don’t know what to do.) If I say “Yes” to every need around us, we will be bankrupt by the end of the month. At the same time, how do you send a single mother and her family back to a home with no food and a leaky roof and an 80% chance of rain and call yourself a Christ-follower? When do you decide that it doesn’t matter what your ministry is and take personal responsibility for the heart of Jesus? How do you do that without going broke?

DSCF9080I just told Gerardo to pack up a box of food and take it to them. On his way to their house he will pass lots of people with great needs and hunger, any of which may knock on our door tomorrow seeking help. And, once again, I will not know what to do. Shoot, I still don’t know what I will do about Claudia’s roof.

I am surrounded by good missionaries here. They offer great wisdom and advise, and all of them tell me the same thing, “Daryl, you just need to pick your ministry and say “no” to the rest.” Good advise. And yet I see every one of them disregard that advise regularly because none of them want to send Jesus away hungry, naked or homeless.

To put it simply, I don’t know what I am doing. Surely there is someone out there who can do it way better than me. Someone who knows when to say “yes” and when to say “no” and who will not keep revisiting every decision. Someone with far more wisdom than me. If you are one of them, please come and join us. I will be happy to do what you tell me to do.

Please pray for Claudia and her family. And, as you do so, throw in a prayer for this lunkhead who struggles with basic decisions.