Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Do You Say “No”?

YesI just received a phone call from Human Rights in Antigua. They called to ask us if we would please accept a two year old boy with severe malnutrition. He suffers from seizures and the hospital has told his mother that he needs to be placed in a malnutrition center, but she has refused.

Even with my less-than-ideal Spanish skills I was able to hear the desperation in the worker’s voice. The child needs to be removed from the home, but the judge will not order the removal unless they have a place for him to go. We are the only home in the area that is equipped to care for children with special needs, so they called.

“We have no where else to put him,¨ she told me. “Will you please help him?”

We had decided not to take any more children. Due to the needs of the children in our home, we have felt that our plate (and budget) is full. We are facing a season in which we will be losing several volunteers and our board just voted this morning to hire another full-time nanny to help fill the gap. So, based on that, the call should have ended with a polite “I’m sorry, but no.” But it didn’t.

I have learned to say “No,” and I say it a lot. I say it to additions to my already full schedule. I say it to drunk men who come to our door. I say it to dozens of people each month who seek nothing more than a handout to enable their lifestyle. I say it when well meaning people try to give me advise without understanding the situation. But I haven’t learned how to say that word in a situation like this.

How do I say “No” to a child who is starving? How do I say “No” when I realize that it will likely mean a child will suffer and die? In this situation, how do I say “No” without sending Jesus away without help? I honestly don’t know.

In these kinds of situations I am haunted by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:45. They are spoken at the end of his sheep and goats prophecy and are a sobering reminder of our responsibilities and privileges:

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”

I never want to leave Jesus (in the form of these children) hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison without intervening. I never want to allow him to starve today in filth and poverty, and I believe that a “No” from me today would have done just that.

So, I spoke with Wanda and my children. They don’t know how to say “No” in this situation either. As a result, another child will be joining our home. He will likely come Friday or Monday, depending on how fast the courts move. Tomorrow is a national holiday and the judges have already left for today, so the courts will move for no man for the next 40 hours. Please pray that they will work quickly on Friday morning so we can begin to get this child the help he needs. Please pray for God’s continued provision for this home and ministry.

Please pray that God will continue to give us wisdom to know when to say “No” and when to say “Yes!” It is not an easy decision to make. And please pray that we never send Jesus away with a careless “No.”

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The last month has been somewhat of a blur as I have continued to wrestle with health issues. As a result, I have been negligent on keeping with this blog. I have spent several days out of my office due to illness and other days on the road. So most of my days in the office have been spent catching up on the stack of work that was waiting.

Being away from my blog has been difficult because so much has been happening on this end. I have been anxious to share what God has been doing, but was unable to do so.

20140418_151518First, we had a great Easter weekend as a home. We were able to hard boil and color 120 eggs and the kids had a great time in the process. Then, on Sunday afternoon we had an Easter Egg Hunt all over our home, inside and out. Some of our children had never experienced anything like this, and the looks on their faces were priceless.



20140415_092648In addition to the festivities in our home, there was also much fanfare around us with the Catholic processions. While these events can be frustrating because they can close down streets for the entire day, I have come to appreciate much of the ceremony. Families and businesses work hard to create alfombras to honor Jesus, and the actual processions can be quite impressive as hundreds of people take part. Our village, San Andres, has its big procession on Tuesday before Easter, so we carried all the children up to the roof to watch.


20140423_093342One important update that I need to give is regarding the twins, Racquel and Esther. When they first came to us we were told that they both had microcephalus and their long-term prognosis was not good. We had been concerned for them because this condition can worsen over time and may require surgical intervention to prevent the build-up of pressure on the brain. So, we have been working to have them evaluated by our own specialist to determine what we can do for them.

One of those specialists is a pediatric neurologist in Guatemala City. He is considered to be the best neurologist in Guatemala, so we were anxious to hear what he had to say. After a very thorough exam and analysis of test result, he informed us that, while the girls’ heads are somewhat small, they do not have microcephalus! He also told us that with our continued intervention through therapy that their prognosis is very good! We praise God for this news!

SAM_1441Our little Thania continues to improve. We are still awaiting her test results from Switzerland, but in the meantime she is continuing to gain weight and get stronger. In fact, the girl that could hardly raise her hand now fights me mightily every time I have to replace her feeding tube. As a result, it is now a two person job, and I am thankful for that.

Brayan, Yenni, Raphael and Alejandra continue to do well in school. We continue to see improvement in Brayan’s behavior and concentration.

1421273_579751448771838_1912771960_oIn the midst of all of this, we are once again planning to expand our work, both here in Guatemala and elsewhere. Our daughter, Brittney, is currently in the States completing her student teaching. She will be graduating in a couple of weeks with a double degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. God has given her a real passion for the community of San Pablo La Laguna on Lake Atitlan, and He has called her to move there and begin a special education ministry, which is much needed. This community is very poor and has a high concentration of children with special needs. Yet there are very few resources for those with disabilities. She will be moving there full-time this fall and will begin this ministry under Hope for Home Ministries. Please pray with us for the necessary funding and for God’s hand of guidance and provision on Brittney as she does this work.

1893_10200913301420775_2139962582_nIn addition, our daughter Carissa will be leading another area of expansion in our ministry. She has been serving as the Co-director of our group home, Hogar de la Esperanza, and has done a fantastic job in this role. She has filled that position to help prepare for God’s calling on her life. In 2015 she plans to move to Uganda, Africa and open a group home for girls with special needs. She has already spent five months in Uganda last year doing preparation work, investigating details and volunteering in orphan ministries, and she has a good foundation laid. So, in July of this year she will be heading to the States to do fundraising for that new work. This ministry will be the fulfillment of a vision that God gave me in early 2009 and will expand Home for Home’s ministry to a third country and second continent.

So, I have a favor to ask…would your church consider allowing Carissa to come and share about this new ministry? She is currently booking dates from late July through November, so if your church would be interested in having her come, please contact me at As a part of her presentation, she will be giving an update on our work here in Guatemala, so this would be a good opportunity to connect with our supporting churches.

So, as you can tell, life is full. Each day we rely on God’s provision and guidance…and each day He delivers. He is so very good and He proves it anew each day!

Blessings from Guatemala!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

Monday, April 7, 2014

Expansion, Infection and Drought

Over the last few weeks we have been undergoing an expansion in our ministry. Believe it or not, we have actually outgrown the downstairs of our house. On the typical day we have ten Fulps, nine children in the home, six workers and two professionals that come and go. If you are keeping count, that totals 27 people who are in and out of our home on a typical day. We found ourselves so crowded that we were tripping on one another and hindering the professional’s (therapists and psychologist) ability to effectively work with the children.

SAM_1054In addition to this, we found that our family had lost all sense of privacy. With our bedrooms on the main level with all the other aspects of the ministry, it was difficult for us to get away during down times. As a result, we made the decision to move our older daughters’ bedroom and Wanda and my bedroom to the second floor. This has freed us up to convert a large downstairs bedroom into a therapy/activitity/and shower area. By spreading into this area we now have SAM_1055room to work efficiently and the children have more indoor area for play (which is especially important as rainy season will begin soon). This also makes the nannies’ job easier, especially during bathing time. We have a nice walk-in shower and changing area that saves a lot of wear and tear on our workers’ backs. Wanda’s and my old bedroom has been converted into a guest room for interns and long-term workers.



With this change, we will now be hosting teams off-sight. We are still arranging the details of this, but rest assured we will still be providing a quality team experience for everyone who wants to join us.

Already we feel the difference in our home as the atmosphere is more relaxed and less crowded. In addition, Wanda and I actually have some room to breath. Our old bedroom was right off the courtyard and everyone who came and went walked right past our door. This was especially challenging on a day off or if one of us was sick, as we heard almost everything that occurred. And, knowing we were just on the other side of a door, the staff and volunteers frequently knocked to ask questions. We also had to enter the courtyard to go to our bathroom, which was an open invitation to be pulled into questions or situations. Now we are upstairs and away from much of the action.

This has been especially nice for me since I have been struggling with sickness that has forced me to spend a couple of days in bed. I had assumed that I had picked-up an intestinal parasite, as I have been dealing with stomach issues for the last six or eight weeks. When it reached a horrible peak 10 days ago, I finally broke-down and went to the doctor. Surprise! I don’t have a parasite, I have a nasty intestinal infection. I have been placed on meds, but thus far improvement has not come. But having privacy when I need it has been a blessing.

10014695_10203741857972921_853329514_nWhile I have not been improving, Thania has! After months of wrestling with helping her to gain weight and energy and find some happiness, we have finally made progress. Her face is rounder, her arms and legs are thicker, and she has begun to laugh and smile! This has helped our entire family and staff breathe easier.

We took Thania to a geneticist, who also happens to be a world-class pediatrician. He has agreed to treat all of our children at a reduced rate, and he really knows his stuff. He ordered additional testing on Thania and discovered a problem that, when combined with the MRI’s of her brain, seem to indicate a problem with her metabolism. As a result, he performed another blood test that is being sent to Switzerland for analysis. He is hopeful that the results will show a problem with her metabolism that can be treated with diet and medicine. If so, this will help her to gain more weight and strength.

SAM_1049The twins, Esther and Racquel, have adjusted wonderfully to our home. After two weeks of tantrums and pushiness failed to get them the desired results, they have settled in and are a pleasure to be around. Since most of our children are not mobile, having two toddlers around has taken some getting used to. They are playful and curious and seem to find trouble. And we are getting our exercise chasing them. There are still a lot of tests awaiting them as we try to determine a long-term prognosis and what procedures may be necessary for their care. We have been putting these off until they are feeling more secure and settled.

6a00d834516a0869e20154344e769a970c-800wiLast weekend we faced a challenge as the water in our home suddenly stopped flowing. It seems that the water pump that supplies our village went out and had to be replaced. So we were without water for 4 1/2 days. Trust me when I say that this was a challenge for our home. Having so many children with special needs and no working showers or washing machine stretched us to the max. Thankfully, the Beyer family opened their home to us to help, but for part of that time their water was off as well. When the water was finally restored I decided that I would never take running water for granted again!

7hg2I hope to install a roof-top cistern to help in the future. These large plastic tanks can be purchased in a variety of sizes and fill automatically when the water is working. Then, when the water is off, it provides an emergency supply. I don’t like spending the money, but I have learned that running water is not optional for our group home!

Well, that’s it for now! Blessings from Guatemala!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew