Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Update On Our Little Buddies

I wanted to take a moment to write and bring you up-to-date regarding the four little boys I wrote about yesterday.


I am sorry to say that Josua passed away early yesterday afternoon. His brain damage was simply too severe and the doctors could do nothing more. Please pray for his grieving family. In addition to their personal pain they are also exhausted. They have spent most of the last five days at the hospital and then had to wait all night at the hospital for the body to be released. We are now being told that the funeral will be tomorrow afternoon (Thursday).


Alex, on the other hand, is doing much better. The medicine we provided is working and his diarrhea has stopped and he is eating again. He still has a long way to go as he needs to regain about nine pounds and lots of energy, but he is on his way. Thanks for your prayers!


A sponsor for has stepped forward for Berne’s wheelchair! Another sponsor has volunteered to cover Berne’s monthly formula needs and Ever Elisio’s education! I am so thankful for and humbled by the generosity of God’s people in caring for His children! We could not do this work without all of your prayers and sacrifices!

Thanks so much for you continued prayers for this little ones and Josua’s family!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Four Little Guys Need Your Prayer and Help

I only have a few minutes, but I need to ask for your prayers for four little guys and for support for two of them. Thanks for caring enough to read and seek God regarding your response.

JoshuaThe first little boy is Josua (Joshua). He is three years old and he and his family live directly across the street from us. On Friday he was hit by a chicken bus (one of the brightly painted school buses that is one of the major means of transportation in Guatemala). He is currently at the National Hospital in Guatemala City. We have been told that he has brain damage and a badly damaged leg. We are also told things do not look good, so a miracle is needed. Please take time to pray for Josua in the coming days.

Update: I just received word that they removed Josua’s breathing tube last night to see if he could breathe on his own. He could not. They want to do surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain, but the doctors have said he is too weak. We have been told that the doctors are just waiting for him to die. Please join us in praying for a miracle.

100_0552The next young man we found up in Guastatoya last week. His name is Berne, he is six years old and he suffers from severe cerebral palsy. He is also malnourished, weighing only 26 pounds. Berne needs a wheelchair badly. He also needs a monthly sponsor for a high nutritional formula to help him gain weight. Please pray for Berne and let me know if you would be willing to sponsor him for a wheelchair ($200 one time gift) or for all or part of his monthly formula ($60 monthly gift). If so, please contact me at

SAM_0727Ever Elisio is another little guy that we found up in Santa Isabela. He is eight years old and his family has been perplexed by his learning disabilities and behavior. He only began to speak about 18 months ago and cannot count or name basic colors. They have tried placing him in school, but he keeps getting kicked out because he gets violent and hits and kicks. He will sit quietly for long periods of time but quickly becomes agitated if someone touches him or tries to make him do something. I am not a doctor, but Ever Elisio seems to have the classic symptoms of Autism. When I mentioned it to his parents they told me that they had never heard of Autism and asked me to explain it. We are making arrangements to have him evaluated by a doctor for a proper diagnosis. In the meantime, we have also found a wonderful school for children with special needs. It will provide a small classroom setting for him and a special nanny to help supervise him. And, most importantly, it is a Christian school that shares and shows the love of Jesus. It is also expensive (at least by Guatemalan standards). The enrollment fee is $40 and the monthly tuition is $40. It is too late for him to be a part of this school year, so he will have to wait for the new year to begin in January. But we would like to enroll him in October to assure his spot. Would one of you be willing to sponsor Ever Elisio so that he can go to school and get the help he needs? If so, write me at the e-mail address above.

SAM_0658aFinally, I want to give you an update on Alex. We found out early last week that he was suffering from parasites. As a result of the vomiting and diarrhea he had lost a lot of weight and had very little energy. We arranged for him to go to the doctor who ordered blood, urine and stool tests. We paid for those tests and tried to get them done quickly. However, his original urine and stool samples were contaminated (his mother used dirty containers to collect them). So, those tests had to be repeated. It wasn’t until Saturday that we received those test and Monday until we had the doctor’s prescriptions written. We rushed to purchase and deliver those to Alex and administer the first dose. We hope to see improvement in the next day or two. Please pray for Alex. He is dehydrated, very skinny and very weak.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support! They make a huge difference to these four boys and many more!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Confessions of a Failure

Note: There is a special video of a precious little guy name Anderson at the end. Don’t miss it.

I consider myself a writer, not because I believe I am particularly gifted in the use of words but because it is how I think best. For some reason when I type out my thoughts they come together in an orderly manner instead of the random clutter that normally crowds my head. So allow me to put together my thoughts in this very public forum.

failureI have come to the conclusion that I am a failure. This is not the first time that I have reached such a conclusion, and it will probably not be the last. I find that, more often than not, when I try to do something I fail in some manner, and I find that to be the case in my current ministry more than ever before. This is not a pity party as I am not particularly discouraged. It is a simple statement of the facts.

I know, I can hear the objections even as I type. There are plenty of people who are more than willing to convince me that this is not true. My family, friends and plenty of blog readers are more than willing to interrupt the clatter of my keyboard to try to convince me otherwise. But they don’t see me as I do, and they don’t see this ministry from the inside. On a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis I fail more than I succeed.

On a semi-regular basis (because I frequently fail to update my blog as I should) you can read about the successes of our ministry. You see the children we feed and to which we give wheelchairs. You see the child who has begun to walk due to braces and therapy that were provided. You see the leg that is healing, the little girl that is gaining weight and the teenager that is back in school. I have no doubt that it all sounds wonderful and our ministry seems successful…from the outside.

failed paperBut what you do not see is how many people we do not help. The ones we turn away, not because their needs are not legitimate, but because we lack the resources, time or skills to help. The mother of a disabled child who is living through rainy season with a very leaky roof. The lady who died because we did not provide the surgery. The child who is still facing horrendous seizures because there is no way we can afford his medication. The young man who needs new prosthetic legs because the ones he has were fitted when he was 12 and he is now 22. You don’t see the list of children that are waiting for us to come evaluate and help. (It is over 20 children long, represents four different villages and is sitting on my desk next to my keyboard, taunting me as I type this.) I estimate that for every person/family that we have helped we have turned away two others, and that does not include the ones that I know have needs but have never asked us for help.

You do not see our ministry’s budget that is facing shortfalls in almost every area at a time when our expenses are increasing. You do not see my crowded inbox waiting for responses or the to-do list that is awaiting my attention. You do not see the frequent times that I disappoint my children and let down my wonderful wife. And you do not see the times that my faith seems gone and I find myself wondering how many more ways I can fail both man and God.

And frequently in the midst of those moments I will receive a message from someone who tells me how wonderful and inspiring our ministry is, and I don’t know whether to burst out laughing or break down crying at the irony. The reality is that I fail more often that I succeed, at least from a human perspective. And, as a human, that tends to make it my perspective.

But I am learning something important about failure. God does not judge it the way that I do. He is not keeping track of the people we help to compare against the list of those we do not. He is not judging my life and this ministry with a scale or calculator. In fact, just because we give assistance to a person does not make that moment a success in His eyes, and just because we meet our budget does not make Him view it as a triumph. He measures my life as a Father, not as an accountant. And that changes everything.

baby-feet-first-stepsI remember the first time my eldest daughter, Brittney, walked. I considered it a brilliant success on her part, even though it was only three wobbly steps that ended with her diaper-clad bottom firmly planted on the floor. I clapped and cheered for her and called my parents to let them know. And as she saw my joy and heard my cheers she became even more determined to take more steps.

I am coming to realize that God has the same view of me. His standard of success and failure is not rooted in what I do and do not accomplish but in whether I am doing it with my eyes and heart set on Him. He knows the capabilities of both me and this ministry, and He knows that we cannot help everyone. He did not call me to Guatemala to help every person in need, He called me here to love people in His name and bring glory to Him. But, above all of that, He called me to love Him while I do it.

well-done-matt-25-21I have often heard people talk about their desire to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” When I one day cross the finish line of my life, I want to hear that as well. But I am finding that I need to break that goal down into much smaller segments. As a result, I find myself simply wanting to hear His Spirit whisper to me at the end of each day, “Good job, Daryl! It was a good day because you kept your eyes on me!” I figure if I can string my days together in such a manner, one at a time, the big finish line won’t be a problem.

I am slowly beginning to realize that success does not come from always saying “Yes!” to every need or by a full ministry bank account. Instead, it comes from walking closely to my Jesus through whatever come my way. As I learn that truth and stop focusing on my own standard of success and failure I can almost hear him clap and cheer each step, even when it is followed by my butt firmly hitting the floor.

That is all for now. Blessings!


PS – Here is one of our successes. Anderson is three years old, blind and deaf with cerebral palsy. If he can find joy, what is my excuse?

Anderson Laughs

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Whirlwind of Summer

In case you can’t tell from my lack of blogging, we are in the midst of team season. As quickly as one group leaves another one lands, so my free time is at a minimum. However, we have been greatly blessed by our teams this year. Every one of them has had great attitudes, has worked hard and has been wonderful with the children. I thank God for the assistance these groups provide.

Some of you have been asking about the situation with Marcos Antonio, his mom and the damage to their home. While I am not free to go into details, the situation has now been resolved. We met with both the land owner and the mayor and were able to form relationships that will be beneficial for the future. We praise God for helping us get to the bottom of the issue and get it resolved. I especially thank God for Gerardo and the wisdom and help he provided through the process.

SAM_0280Our daycare continues to go well. We recently added Anderson to our program, a little guy who is blind, deaf and has cerebral palsy. This handsome young man has a lot of potential as he is responsive and happy and appears to be very bright. We are in the process of researching teaching techniques, including tactile signing (sign language that is done with hand-to-hand contact) so that he can learn to communicate with others. Pat Duff has also been very helpful in showing us ways to provide stimulation to him.

As we have worked with Anderson, God has been teaching me much about myself. In spite of knowing Jesus for 30 years, I am still blind and deaf in many ways to the things He wants to show me. After all this time, I have barely scratched the surface of His love, mercy and faithfulness, despite God’s persistent attempts to reveal them to me. How honored I am that He is so faithful and patient in communicating with me!

The addition of Anderson brings our day care program up to five children. While that may seem like a small number, it does not feel small. Each of the children have severe disabilities and require a lot of care and supervision. By the time the final child is picked-up, we are all very tired. Wanda does a fantastic job of managing the program and has developed a schedule of play, therapy, and learning.

SAM_0272In addition, Brian Moore, an occupational therapist from the States, was a part of one of our groups this summer. He spent a lot of time teaching us new techniques for working with each of the kids in our day care and sponsorship program. That was an incredible blessing to us. In addition, he arranged for the donation of lots of occupational and physical therapy equipment, supplies and activities. We are now well equipped for the opening of our group home. It is hard to describe what an impact trained specialists can have on our ministry. Even a few day visit that includes training and demonstration can make a long-term difference in our work with children. We hunger for all the advice and education we can obtain.

SAM_0299We have also been able to deliver two more wheelchairs over the last few weeks. The first one went to Misael, whose situation has really touched our hearts. You might remember that his mother was widowed around that time that he was born when his father, a police officer, was shot in the line of duty. With Misael’s hydrocephalus, seizures and cerebral palsy, his mother has struggled to care for him and make ends meet. We fitted him for a new chair and arranged for him to be seen by our physician. He has severe seizures that have been worsening and she has not had the money for doctor visits or medication. He will be getting an EEG this week and we will hopefully be able to get him on good medication to control those.

SAM_0405We also delivered a new wheelchair to Luis Fernando in La Gomera (not to be confused with another sponsored child named Luis Fernando in Santa Catarina). We were taken to him by Jorge’s mother who is a friend of the family. We found him greatly in need of a new chair. He had been given a chair by Dick a few years ago, but it had worn out. In addition to that need, his parents were also struggling with providing enough food for him and the rest of the family. I am happy to say that we have a sponsor for him and made the first monthly delivery along with the wheelchair. I was deeply moved when the father, a hard-working man who takes his responsibility very seriously, wept as he thanked us for the help. It is an honor to come along-side men like him in Jesus’ name.

SAM_0410While we were in La Gomera, we also stopped in to visit Jorge. Two weeks before we had received a call from his mom explaining that he had been sick for almost three weeks. He had been having a fever that hovered around 104 degrees and had suffered from lower back pain. It doesn’t take a genius to know that he was suffering from a UTI (urinary tract infection). But when she took him to the National Hospital the doctor told her not to be concerned, IT WAS JUST A STAGE OF ADOLESCENCE. (I will pause here to allow you a moment to compose yourself and reach up to close your mouth that is likely hanging open in astonishment...) This young man had suffered needlessly for over two weeks. We explained to his mother that adolescence does not cause fever and that she needed to get him to a private doctor pronto and we would pay. As we suspected, a UTI was diagnosed and the doctor gave him two injections and oral antibiotics to address it. By the time we arrived he was doing much better.

As you can see from the photo, Jorge’s foot is continuing to heal from the partial amputation. We are hopeful that the wrapping can come off soon and he can be fitted for a prosthetic and AFO’s and begin therapy to walk. Please continue to pray for him.

Our group home licensing is proceeding rapidly. Each week we take more steps to prepare for its opening. Even as I type this we are awaiting the visit of another inspector. (To be honest, I forget who this inspector represents. There are so many agencies and governmental branches that require an inspection that I can’t keep up with who is who.) So far we have passed all our inspections with flying colors. In September we will have the really big inspection that will require that everything be completely ready for our home opening.


In addition to the regular ministry, our family life has continued. We celebrated two birthdays back-to-back as Carissa turned 19 on August 8th and Taryn turned 14 on August 9th. Time flies so quickly and all the kids are growing so fast!

SAM_0545We also purchase plane tickets for Teisha and Carissa’s trip to Uganda. They will be leaving on September 19th and will be gone for six weeks as they explore and work with various ministries there. They will both return on October 31st. Carissa will then enjoy the holidays with us before returning to Uganda in early January where she will stay for six months, serving as a nanny and teacher for a missionary family there and working in ministries during her free time. These trips will be preparation for both of their permanent moves there in the future. Please pray for them.

Finally, a brief update on our financial situation…

Many of you have been praying, and those prayers have begun producing results. Over the last five weeks we have seen an increase of monthly commitments by $550.00. We have also seen several larger one-time gifts. We still need to see an increase of an addition $1000.00 per month, but we are confident that these early commitments are just the beginning. Please continue to pray for God’s provision as we move quickly toward the opening of our group home.

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful week!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew