Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wheelchairs and New Additions

The irony of having a blog and running this kind of ministry is that when there is not much happening, you don’t have a lot to write, but there is a lot of time to write it. However, when there is a lot happening there is a much to write but little time to write it. It seems like the last year has been filled with the latter, and the last 16 days have been no exception. So, here is a whirlwind view of the last two weeks…

IMG_0060I went down to Nueva Concepción to visit Rosario after her discharge from the hospital. She was released after a six day stay, still weak but free of infection. Her responsiveness was much better, as was her energy. However, she is still not eating very well and is anemic. So we made a trip to a local pharmacy to purchase liquid vitamins and Incaparina (a nutritional, high calorie drink) to help her gain weight. We had a very nice visit with her and her family. We praise God that, due to your generous response to the need for Yosselin’s surgery, we had sufficient funds left over to pay for Rosario’s hospital stay and medicines. Thank you!

IMG_0054My brother and sister-in-law, Rusty and Vanessa, came down and brought a team from their church. They spent a week serving alongside us, and what a blessing they were. Their church donated $2500 toward the purchase of a therapy hot tub. This, combined with another large gift from Millies Pearls gave us the funds we needed to make the purchase and prepare for the installation. Dale Beyer is overseeing the project, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without his experience, know-how and hard work. He and the team poured the concrete pad and a wheelchair-friendly sidewalk leading from the back door to the pad. Electrical work is continuing to get the needed power supply to the back of the house. When the tub is installed we will be able to use it to provide better and more pain-free stretches to those children with high-tone cerebral palsy.


In the midst of this project I received an incredible call. A gentleman contacted me and explained that he represented an anonymous Christian who wanted to invest in our wheelchair ministry. We spent time talking about our desires and goals for the ministry and I was told they would be in touch. Two days later I received a call notifying me that a check for $10,000 has been sent to Joni and Friends wheelchair ministry to provide wheelchairs for Ministerio de Esperanza! This means that we have between 40 and 60 wheelchairs provided, depending on the kind needed!

This gift could not come at a better time. We currently have seven people awaiting wheelchairs. Meanwhile, Dick Rutgers contacted me and explained that he needed seven wheelchairs for a community up near Huehuetenango. So we will be traveling together to make those deliveries once the funds clear and arrangements are made.

Over the last week we have added four new families to our rural village ministry. In addition, we have several families awaiting our visit for assessment. Yesterday we finally visited a family that had been waiting for almost a month, and this took us to a new village.

IMG_0097There is a cross on the side of a mountain that overlooks Antigua. It is a popular tourist destination, and I have been there many times with my family and with teams. But I have never continued up the mountain beyond, until yesterday as we drove about 15 minutes beyond it to the village of El Hato (the herd). And what a drive it was. Narrow roads, at times dropping sharply off the side down the mountain. A few times the road was so narrow my wheel was inches away from the edge with brush scraping the far side of my vehicle. We finally parked and began walking, first down, then up a narrow trail. Near the end it was so steep that we had difficulty walking and slid a fell on a few occasions.

IMG_0092But at the end was waiting a precious little guy named Brandon. He will turn five years old on Friday and has a smile that can light very dark places. He now suffers from cognitive delays and cerebral palsy, but it was not always that way. When he was two he could walk and talk and was progressing normally. But then he came down with pneumonia and his fever shot up. His parents took him to the national hospital, but they failed to treat his fever properly. When the hospital returned him three days later, he could no long walk or speak.

He also has a seizure disorder and seizes four or five times a day. They took him back to the national hospital where he was seen by a neurologist, but he gave them medicine that sedates him without treating the seizures. So today Manuel took him to our neurologist to get him on the proper medicine to control his seizures. They just returned and the doctor has prescribed medicine for his seizures while waiting for us to get an EEG and Cerebral TAC done. Please pray for him and his family. They are very poor and have seven beautiful children. The father works in the fields to provide for them, but it is not enough.


IMG_0110While I was in El Hato, our home was receiving a delivery. Little Rosalinda joined our home yesterday afternoon. I know…a while back I announced that we were full and would be saying a firm “No!” from that point forward. And we had, until I received a message on Friday from a friend. The Erickson family runs Redeemer House Ministries here in our area, but their ministry also works in the Department of Solola. And in the town of Concepción they had discovered a little girl who needed help.

The initial message told us that she was malnourished with brain damage and heart problems, and her health problems sounded quite severe. So, after talking with Wanda and praying, we decided to say yes. At that point, we believed that her life was at stake, and we could not turn away and let her die.

So, late yesterday afternoon she was delivered to our door via ambulance. However, her health was better than we had anticipated. She was very malnourished, but she shows very little signs of brain damage, if any. Likewise, we were informed that she had a hole in her heart, but that is seems to have closed. So, in essence, we simply have a malnourished child who needs a chance to grow and gain weight. (Please note: The information we received regarding her health did not involve any type of deception by the Ericksons, Redeemer House or any of their workers. It was simply some miscommunication resulting from having numerous people in a chain of communication. All of the above are wonderful people doing wonderful work, and we are so grateful for them!)

SAM_4453Most of her hair has fallen out from the malnutrition. She also has some type of allergy that has caused a rash over a large part of her body. Our doctor will be coming this afternoon to examine her, and we will be making appointments with our neurologist and cardiologist. But developmentally she is not very delayed. Her lungs are very healthy, and she has demonstrated that with her loud cries and screams for much of the time since she has been with us.

When she was brought to our home she was accompanied by her parents who were distraught at having to give her up. They were very attached to her and she to them, so the last 24 hours have been difficult. She has been held a lot, apparently, and does not like to be put down, even for a moment. She displays lots of anger and fights almost everything we do. So, we have some challenging days ahead. She may very well turn out to be the most challenging adjustment in the history of our home.

However, her prognosis looks good, and we are grateful. Please keep her and us in your prayers in the days ahead.

While this is, by no means, a complete listing of the activities over the last two weeks, it at least hits the high points. Thanks for all you do to make this possible!


Daryl, Wanda and the Crew

BTW, here is a recent Fulp Family photo, taken by Kathlyn Beyer. Thanks, Kathlyn!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Urgent Prayer Needed for Rosario

I am seeking your intercession on behalf of a young lady named Rosario. She is currently hospitalized in Nueva Concepción and her life is hanging in the balance.

We currently have a team here from Dillsburg Brethen in Christ Church (Pennsylvania), and that group includes Wanda’s sister, Jaylene, and her brother-in-law, Ron. While most of the group stayed behind to work in our home today, Ron and another team member, Glenn, traveled with me to Nueva Concepción to visit a couple of families. This town is far off our beaten path, so we only go there every other month. But I pushed up my regular visit because we had received word that Jorge’s wheelchair was broken and needed repairs. So we loaded up and headed out.

IMG_0934We arrived in town and had a nice visit with Jorge and his family. Based upon what we had been told, I did my best to estimate what parts I would need to repair his chair. Praise God, we had exactly what we needed and the repairs went smoothly. The family blessed us with coconut drinks and we sat and visited for some time, including taking turns holding Jorge’s two month old niece.


IMG_0944We then left and headed over to Rosario’s house. I expected to make a quick stop to check on her wheelchair and visit for a few minutes, but our plans changed quickly. When her mother saw me, she quickly waved me inside where I found Rosario very sick on her bed. She was non responsive, with her eyes unfocused. I quickly grabbed my medical bag and listened to her lungs and heart. She had a fever of 102 and her throat and ears were infected. In addition, she showed signs of severe malnutrition and dehydration.

While I was examining her, her mother explained that she had gotten sick a month earlier and stopped eating. From there, her condition continued to deteriorate. She became weaker and gradually became unresponsive. With tears in her eyes, she told me that she knew her daughter was dying, but they did not have the money to take her to the doctor.

I explained that her daughter’s condition was very serious and the we needed to take her to a doctor immediately. They agreed, but reemphasized that they had no money. I explained that we would not take her to the national hospital (that would be a death sentence) but would pay for a private doctor and hospital. I carried her out to my truck and placed her in her grandfather’s lap, then the mother and the rest of us squeezed in and headed out.

IMG_0946When we arrived at the hospital a nurse saw me carrying Rosario and recognized how serious her condition was. She waved us straight into the exam room and a doctor arrived a moment later. When he saw her condition he ordered an IV to rehydrate her and blood tests to determine the infections she was fighting. He told me that she needed to be hospitalized and asked if we wanted to take her to the public hospital or if we wanted her admitted there. I told him she needed to stay with them, so he asked if we would pay. Yep.

I went out to the secretary’s desk and paid a down payment and made arrangements to return upon her discharge to pay the rest. When I returned to the room 20 minutes later, Rosario turned toward me, saw my face, and smiled! So already the IV was rehydrating her and her condition was improving.

The doctor pulled me aside and explained that she was in serious condition and he did not know if she would live. He did, however, explain that if the infections and dehydration were the only issues, he believes she will recover. His big concern is renal failure due to prolonged dehydration. Could you please pray for healing in this young lady? The doctor told me that he would call me tomorrow with an update on her status.

At one point I was speaking with Rosario’s grandfather. He spoke with tears in his eyes as he told me of numerous people in their town had died recently. In each case, they needed medical treatment but did not have the money to pay for it. He explained that they knew Rosario was dying, but they couldn’t afford to take her to a doctor. He told me that they had wanted to take her to the national hospital but they did not even have the Q.20 needed to take her via chicken bus. (They had lost my number and didn’t know how to reach us for help.)

Provided the treatments are successful and there is no kidney damage, she should be hospitalized for four or five days. Please pray that she responds quickly to the antibiotics and that there is no further damage to her weak body. Pray she begins eating and can gain weight and strength. And pray that Jesus will be glorified in her and her family.

Thanks! Blessings from Guate!

Daryl, Wanda and the Crew