Monday, June 23, 2014

Interruptions and Tin Foil

Once again it has been far too long since my last blog post. I have sat down to write several times, but seem to be constantly interrupted. For example, the first and second sentences of this post were written Friday morning, June 20, but it is now Monday afternoon the 23rd as I am writing the third sentence. One of the pastors with which I worked as a youth pastor used to tell me, “Ministry is what happens during the interruptions.” I have found that to be very true during my 25 years of ministry.

First, some updates…

OlimpiaLittle Olimpia is doing well. She has gained almost a pound in the last three weeks, which takes her to a whopping 6 1/2 pounds. At 6 months and 10 days old, she is still way too tiny. Her skin on her arms and legs hangs from her bones, and they are so thin. A child her age should have rolls of fat, but she has none. However, little by little we are seeing her grow and gain weight.

One positive thing we have seen from her is she cries more. That may not seem positive, but it is. When a child does not have their needs met for a long period, they stop crying. Their cry is their way of asking for help, but when the cry remains unanswered (for example, when their hunger pains are not satisfied) for long periods, they stop asking for help. She has learned that her needs will be met and feels free to tell us about them in ever-increasing volume. However, most of the time she is content and happy. She will play quietly with toys hanging from her swing and “talk” to herself for long periods.

Manuel 2Last week we were able to take Manuel in to pick up his newly fitted hearing aids. (You might remember that I met his dad while he was going door-to-door looking for work. We have found a sponsor for the hearing aid refitting, batteries, food and rent until his dad finds work.) When the hearing aids were placed in his ears, his face lit up in a smile. Once again, a whole new world has been opened to him and he should be able to Manuel 1begin school at the beginning of next year as a result. This is just one small example of what child sponsorship can do to transform a life.

His parents have been overwhelmed to the point of tears numerous times as the sponsor’s gift has helped change their circumstances. God is doing great things in their lives as a result. Please pray for them in the days ahead.

20140605_143941On June 2 – 6 we had the privilege of once again working with a therapy team from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Every year they bring a group of quality therapists and students along to serve in Guatemala. Last year we worked with them for the first time, and the experience was so positive we could not wait to work with them again.

20140605_151417On our first day with them they spent the entire day just working with the children in our home. This was so valuable to us as we crave quality therapeutic help. We have an excellent therapist, Lisa Monterroso (another Xavier grad who serves with their team each year), who works with us every week, but all of us were glad to have additional input and help with our kids.

The second day we hosted a clinic in our home for the entire community. That day our home was filled with neighbors and new friends as people lined up to be seen. As always, it did not end with just therapy, but wheelchairs and walkers were given away and two wheelchairs were repaired. This was a huge blessing to our community.

20140605_161252On days three and four I stretched the team some. I had asked the Xavier team leader, Carol, if I could take a group of therapists up to San Pablo La Laguna. This was a new experience for them that took them out of their comfort zones, but they agreed. So, we loaded up my pick-up and van and hit the road.

We arrived at the health center and found a line of people already waiting. The afternoon was a blur as the team saw 25 people in only four hours. This is even more remarkable when you consider that most of the patients required translation from English to Spanish to T´zutujil…and then back again. But the team worked hard and finished late, feeling exhausted.

We overnighted in San Pedro and were back at it the next morning at a new location. Once again, the patients lined up and were seen and we were all tired by the end.

I am so thankful to Xavier and their excellent therapists and students who stretched themselves and worked so hard. We can’t wait to work with them again next year.


One of the blessings that has started coming our way has been drop-in visitors. These are people who come to Guatemala to serve with other organizations, but have followed my blog or heard about our ministry some way. We are getting increasing requests from these groups wishing to stop in, see our home and volunteer to help.

20140616_152854One of these groups have been the Heard and Kreul families. And what a blessing they have been to us. They originally planned to visit and work for two days with us, but they were such a good fit that their work has continued. They have done lots of painting, installed a wheelchair accessible walkway (enabling us to roll wheelchairs into and out of our facilities easily on a smooth, clean surface instead of through mud) and are today building playground equipment. Meanwhile, the other half of these families has volunteered in our home by holding, loving and playing with our children. We are so thankful for their work, but more than that, we are thankful for their Christ-like hearts and friendship. They are making a significant difference in our home.


I find myself once again in transition as our ministry continues to grow. My work load has continued to increase, and I am frequently finding myself overwhelmed. This has especially been true of my office work. I often tell Wanda that there must be someone better than me to run this ministry. I could work for them and do the real ministry while they do the paperwork. But I guess that is what heaven is for. So, until then, I will be turning over a lot of my responsibilities to April Clark, our Ministry Coordinator.

AprilApril has been such a blessing to us as she has taken responsibilities for our teams and has been a huge organizer for our growing ministry. Now that things are better organized she is ready to assume other responsibilities, including some of mine. In many ways she will be serving as an administrative assistant (in other words, my brain), and that will free up my life to do the things that only I can do.

Speaking of April, she just returned from a three week trip to the States where she spoke in churches in both Alabama and North Carolina. God blessed her trip financially and with additional prayer supporters. In addition, it has also kind of kicked off our 2015 team season with numerous registrations for next year. Already we have four teams scheduled for January and are expecting more registrations for the summer months. So if you are planning a trip for 2015 please make sure you contact April at soon.

Well, I had better go before more interruptions come. But before I do I have one last photo to share with you. Recently we were having some fun with tinfoil hats, and thought I would share a taste of that fun with you. Who wouldn’t want to support such a dignified ministry as this?

Family Foil

Blessings from Guatemala!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew