Cindy and I are in our home in Swannanoa, NC, USA. We are working on the remaining schedule and seeing what needs to be done and what to delete so to speak. It is very cold and getting colder tomorrow night. It is supposed to drop to 0 degrees F (for my Guatemalan friends -18 Celsius) Sunday 1/5/2014 night. Praying the water doesn’t freeze in the pipes. We have been able to speak at three churches (Calvary Chapel of Asheville, Woodland Hills Church, Lookout Baptist in WV)so far, sharing the physical work that God has called us to through Vine International and some of the eternal spiritual work with which He has blesses us.
We still have many who support us that we want to check in with and the schedule is filling up. There is no rest for the wicked, nor missionaries home from the field. We have been blessed by many, borrowed car, funds to travel with, food – so many meals. Some time with granddaughters, so craving more of that… baby sitting tonight while my son and wife Hadley celebrate their 11th anniversary. We have had a delightful lunch with daughter Casey and husband Jeremy. Peggy has been very busy at work, breaking in new staff and she has been very ill. We are planning again Dennis’ Famous Biscuit Breakfast next Saturday with all these precious progeny.
We had a part of three days with Mom and siblings and many of their children. It was an immense blessing to be with Kent and Kate Smith, David and DeAnn Bennett, Jeremiah/Kim, Anna/Joel, Jessica, and Ben and all their wee ones. What a crew, and what a blessing.
Have had my camera out of the bag only a couple of times but here is a link to some of the photos… Cindy and my niece Jessica Bennett (her photography site is linked in the right tool bar) took a couple of photos of me ‘at work’. For a couple sermons I uses Simeon’s Song in Luke chapter 2. At the simple sight of Jesus Simeon was ready to ‘depart in peace’ that is to die. I also thought of Paul’s statement in Ph. 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain” and used that text in one sermon anchoring it with the testimonies of some friends we miss in Guatemala, but will see again when our rest comes. Looking forward to sitting in church tomorrow and listening to Pastor Billy Osigian preach. We miss our family and our church family when we are in Guatemala… I can think of no other sacrifice. We are where God would have us and the work is His.
Phone while here in the states is 828-699-6267 (yes Rogers I double checked it this time and it is correct – waugh!)
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
We are trying to button up the needs here in Guatemala and hearts and minds are on family in NC and WV. I have a nine month old granddaughter who has yet to feel granddad’s arms around her. We are working on a schedule and so far here are the details. We arrive in Asheville on the 18th and that first night plan on squirreling away with family.
December 22nd will speak at our home sending church Calvary Chapel Asheville NC.
December 29th will speak at morning service at Woodland Hills Church, 50 Woodland Hills Road Asheville, NC.
Wednesday night service at Lookout Baptist Church, Lookout WV.
Container number 160 arrived this week. It is mostly designated items. It was held up by burrocrats (I know it is misspelled mom, but it is appropriate) and gives us a short time to disperse the contents. The delay packs a lot of work into a short amount of time. But 160 containers, that is a lot of medical aid to the rural and inner city poor. Cindy and I continue to lead two Bible studies and serve in other ways as well. You can hear about those things at then speaking engagements above. It is a joy to serve the LORD in a work He designed for us. If unable to attend the above engagements and you want to hear more, email me and we will do our best to set a date. I will meet with some friends at other times – Metropolitan Medical, and HIMers are high on that list.
My email firstname.lastname@example.org will be checked frequently during our home time. We will have a tract phone while in the states and that number is 828-699-6267
Pray for some friends of ours, the Wood family (Rick in Philippines Jennie attending dad and mom – dad had very serious spine surgery with some complications), Dick Rutgers working with a family in Huehuetenago – Link to Dick’s blog is in the side tool bar. Some friends both here and in the 10-40 window that have special needs.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in the coming month.
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
I had promised the van to friends that do a family and ministry get together late in November every year. Then we found out from Mike and Karen Rhea that they had a small team of two men coming for a short week on Thanksgiving. We invited our selves down to bring the men, share Thanksgiving dinner, fellowship and return the guys to the airport saving Mike a couple of runs from Rio Dulce to the city. After I promised Mike we would do this was when
I remembered (Cindy reminded me for those who require exactness) that the van was committed to Pastor Nacho. SSsssoooo!
Hans Schieber is our warehouse landlord and neighbor. We do a Bible Study and Prayer meeting every Wednesday at his house. Hans came through and loaned us his Suburban. Thank you brother. We picked up Jon di Venti and John (JT) Lewis. Jon is on staff at Ringling College of Art and Design and members of Calvary Chapel of Sarasota. He offered to paint a mural on the wall over the children’s (well now young ladies and young men) rooms at the children’s home at Rancho de Esperanza. Jon is one of those driven artists, his own worst critique, the kind of professional that is driven by quality of product not time. He spent days on the scaffolding. This time (Thurs, Fri, Sat.) was to complete the mural that I could not see needed any completion but as usual I was so wrong. It is amazing how the mural pops off the wall. For instance I was comfortable with the ‘grey squirrel’ but – well check out the photos! Prints are available and money raised goes to support the project at Rancho de Esperanza. I cannot immediately find the information to order prints I will try to add it as a comment or get Jon to do so, so check back soon if interested. ADDENDUM: Here is link if interested in purchase of a print
We had a pretty standard Thanksgiving Feast – two turkeys, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, other things including Cindy’s sweet potato whoopee cookies (‘cos they make your mouth go ‘WHOOPEE’ of course). Great fellowship, good Bible Study on Friday night led by Pastor Benito. It was a great relaxing time.
We have a container in port. Bureaucracy of one of the many departments that get involved regulating aide is standing in the way and we could use your prayers. I have yet to see a piece of red tape that defeats God’s purpose and plan. Still in the midst of things like this I do confess to a little frustration.
We will be in the states this year for Christmas with our sons, daughters, granddaughters and other family around New Years. I will announce our speaking schedule when it is firmed up. Speaking this Sunday on the birth of Christ to a special group of brother and sisters in the LORD. Lots to do in the next couple of weeks so we really need that container to be turned loose.
Thank you for your support. As you can see from the post there are ways to support ministries that the LORD has given you concern for – it is more than money and prayers. Here we had a professor of art use his amazing talent to bless a work of God… anyone want to come work on an ancient forklift?
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
Some months ago Andrea and Alphonso asked me to officiate their wedding. If you follow us, you have heard of the Tejeda-Harris family. I believe 12 years ago on MedEquip Missions second trip to Guatemala with a biomed tech (Todd Poor), Vine International vice president in Guatemala then was Dennis and Doris Rice. While we were racing around the country, Dennis Rice was flattening his ear with his phone arranging for an ultrasound machine that just happened to be on a Vine Container to be off loaded and transported to a crises pregnancy center in zone 13 Guatemala City. Todd on our final day in Guatemala plugged the machine in and put it through its paces. The lady that initiated the request was Andrea’s older sister Lucia. Lucia and a group of young ladies had set up a counseling center and were very successful in intervening and preventing abortions. Lucia told us that women who see and ultrasound photo of their child were about 60% more likely to NOT abort. The most startling statistic she told me that day still runs through my mind. When the man that sired the child sees an ultrasound photo the save rate approaches 100%…it seems he understands he has become a mini-creator and no one is going to harm what he has created.
In the course of the day Dennis Rice found out about the Tejeda Harris family business and a partnership was born. Lucia, Andrea, Sonia, and Sonia Mejor (mom) in a brief period of time became family. They are a Guatemalan face to the ministry in our dealings with customs, companies that ship containers in Guatemala, truck drivers, etc. They wade through the constantly changing regulations and keep us from making expensive mistakes. Words can not express the sense we have that God brought us together. Both families feel blessed and that is obvious when you see us get together. Sonia the younger sister is now married and just last week confirmed she is pregnant. I answered the phone to, “You are going to be our American Grandad!” What a blessing. Still it was a surprise when Poncho (knickname for Alfonso) and Andrea asked me to officiate their wedding. The only question I had was, “is it legal for a gringo missionary/pastor to do so in Guatemala?” When they assured me it was so, the answer was yes. Of course Dennis Rice learned and passed this pearl of wisdom on to me – when Andrea asks you to do something= DO IT!
Weddings in Guatemala – hmmm – There are two weddings, one done ‘legally’ before a judge or lawyer sometime before the ‘church’ wedding. Often this is done the weekend before the church sanctioned wedding. There are nuances of differences in how they do their wedding party; no practice ceremony the night before with a big rehearsal dinner was one that made me a little nervous. But the wedding was beautiful. November is usually the beginning of the dry season – whoever God’s secretary of weather forgot to send the memo. It was raining all morning at our house. Cindy and I got there 2 and a half hours early and it was a heavy mist. Some of you had joined us in prayer for this outdoor wedding and the clouds parted and blue sky came in time to dry the seats.
Now a word about photographs… One cannot be the photographer AND pastor, so these photos are of the grounds and some of the lead up to the actual ceremony. Cindy got a couple of Andrea and her mother walking the aisle and a couple of the ceremony itself. Andrea was a beautiful bride. She made a request that Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 be used in the ceremony with an emphasis on 4:12b (ASV …a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ) Poncho and Andrea braided two white cords and one purple cord together during the ceremony. For communion the bread was a three strand braided loaf. One final note about the photos linked here: for some of the men that follow this blog – the International Harvester pickup truck that Poncho restored is some real eye candy. Todd Poor, Jim Moore, David Bennett y’all can quit drooling now.
In the midst of this past week Vine International launched a new website (linked here). The web site is crisp, clean in appearance. There is a tab about the story/history of Vine that you can click your cursor on and watch Woody pack 20 years of history in 5 minutes. If you know Woody – THAT is an amazing feat. Check it out. It is our step into the information age and the social media. There are ways to give to Vine or to sponsor a container if you church or company would choose to do so.
Thank you for your support.
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
Cindy and I would like to announce to those who follow our life here in Guatemala a launch of a new website for the ministry we serve.
Vine International ( www.vineinternational.org )has been working with friends of Vine since a meeting in February of this year to restructure our online presence. Woody has spent hours with friends and specialist to develop this site. It is clean and fresh. It will announce new containers and allow us to share stories of what happens with the material sent. Now, you must to pray for a couple of old guys Woody and myself getting comfortable keeping the site up to date. I still look for paper and pencil to take notes… makes for a really messy laptop screen when you try to erase.
On the front page under the header photo is an animated blurb about Vine and the service we provide/you help us provide to Guatemala. Under that is a tab that says “Learn more about Vine’s history”. Click on that and you will see the founder Woody Woodson share a 5 minute moving history with several photos. Watch for that first infant incubator on the first van load on the first day with a premature baby whose name was Moises (espanol for Moses). That story still brings up a well of emotion for me.
Tonight in Knoxville TN there will be a celebration of 20 years of Vine International serving in Guatemala. If you are our friends and close enough please consider attending. RSVP here please.
Please share our story with your friends. Some of you are feeling pressure from economic downturn. We are praying for all our supporters. As you feel the pinch, things for our friends in the country side of Guatemala are even more extreme. I am constantly surprised at how interconnected the countries in Latin America are with the economy in the USA.
Just a quick note about the website launch and the 20th anniversary celebration today. Enjoy, share and pray for Woody and the board – they have put heroic effort in tonight’s event.
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
Cindy and I always enjoy a break with our friends Mike and Karen Rheas at Rancho de Esperanza. This is a unique place for children where the atmosphere is as home like as this couple can make it. They received a new child about three weeks ago. Carlitos was picked up from Fundaninos. There were apparently several Angels (an hels) there and the staff named this lad Carlitos. In the paper work Karen found his name to be Angel so a new kid, a new name, a new home for Angel in a single day. He is blossoming.
Cindy and Karen catch up on all kinds of things, Mike and I cure the political problems in the USA and talk issues of faith. I think everyone gets to relax for just a brief time. I first met Mike and Karen about 12 years ago. They were running a clinic on the river Rio Dulce (Sweet River) and a boat outreach to some of the inaccessible areas on the river/lake. They had a national nurse for a season, but she was let go for a discipline issue. They continued their work and were a blessing to the Mayans in the region who were woefully underserved. They received a letter from the regional national health department forcing them to close because they did not have national staff.
The Rheas were being led to start a children’s home and put their full effort where they believed God was directing. They sold the boat and started the orphanage. That story is too big to tell here. The village in which the fixed clinic, now closed by government directive, came to Mike and Karen on multiple occasions to ask them to start it again. Karen encouraged them to go deal with their government and get the doors open again. I think now over 5 years the local leaders have built, repaired cleaned and painted. The government still requires a national nurse. There may be two freshly trained nurses who are Mayan interested in the position. The clinic will need about $350 dollars a month to pay wages/expenses for this position. Then there will be the supplying of medicines and basic supplies that a clinic needs. Vine International has helped years ago and we are standing by to jump in once again. This coming Thursday a Vitamin A and de-worming program will be done as a step towards reopening this much needed project. Please pray for wisdom and discernment for the Rhea’s. They have a heart for this project as do we, but clearly their primary calling is the children at the ranch. A second home is going up and will soon be available for children. So they need a second set of house parents. Perhaps there is someone out there with a medical background who wants to help with the work of home care of children and a medical clinic to serve rural poor…. ?
We stayed through church on Sunday. Pastor Benito who is leading a Calvary Chapel church plant on the property is now also the foreman for the ranch. He has some health issues and was told by his doctor to move close to Guatemala City. This man believes his calling is there on the ranch. So please be in prayer for this brother in the LORD. He is a tremendous blessing the Rancho de Esperanza.
Check out photos linked here. Find in a photo caption what Michael Jose said to Cindy one night before walking across the field to the little house that caused Cindy to tiptoe all the way. Mike and I both laughed out loud.
As you know by now we will celebrate our 20th Anniversary of Vine International serving in Guatemala on Nov. 7 2013. I was with some of the board members in Guatemala early this year and heard Dave Russell tell of that first trip. They had an infant incubator in the back of that van… and the very first night after delivering the incubator, it was put into use to warm and save the life of a premature baby named Moises (Moses). That photo may be part of the proceedings so go and see… simply RSVP at this RSVP Link
Thank you for your continued support.
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
First the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Vine International and the work here in Guatemala is being celebrated in near Knoxville TN. Nov 7th 6:30 to 9:00 in the evening at Knoxville Island Home Airport 2701 Spence Place, Knoxville, TN 37920
If the link in the picture does not work, try http://www.vineinternational.org/main/?page_id=1948 I am sure it will be an enjoyable time, but Cindy and I will not be there.
As we have pointed out in last couple of blogs Dennis is officiating a wedding in Guatemala less than 48 hours after the Vine International Shindig and we did not want to take a chance on air travel that close to this wedding.
Andrea Tejeda-Harris is getting married. This family is part of the Vine family. They are an extremely good blessing here and have helped in countless ways to expand the work in Guatemala. When Andrea asks, Bruce White, Woody Woodson, Cindy and I say YES MA’AM!
Cindy and I spent the day with Pancho and Andrea and his mother, and step father. We went to see the event center where the outdoor wedding was and went over the service. It is a beautiful orchid farm, with a house that may go back to the 1700s. It will be a beautiful wedding I am sure. We will post some photos after the wedding but here are a few photos of the bride and groom and the grounds.
We are going to take a small break and go visit our friend’s the Rhea’s at Rancho de Esperanza in Rio Dulce. We always enjoy seeing the kids and the chatter that goes on ALL the time when you have so many adolescence and teenagers.
We are in the midst of a Vitamin A and anti parasite program the meds are provided by Vitamin Angels through MAP. Lots of work being done by our “partners” throughout Guatemala. When we are done, 10′s of thousands of children will have been treated. Perhaps 100′s of thousands as each ministry ‘improves their serve’.
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon