We are back “in the jungle”. Our neighbors ran over and gave us hugs in the uninhibited Guatemalan style. Lilly is a widow with five children ages 6 to 19. Her car was stolen while we were gone from the parking lot at the school where she recently got a job. We are praying for the return of the car, but here it is unlikely. Also praying that God will intervene on her behalf. We have started a pancake breakfast (supper tonight) that seems to be a real hit. Our round table gets real crowded and full of joy with Lilly and the kids.
We enjoyed our time in the USA and with family at Casey and Jeremy’s wedding. I am justly being blamed for carrying a severe cold and many have come down with all the symptoms. I am so sorry. But couldn’t miss the wedding and you guys sure wouldn’t delay. While there we did not have time to see some of the churches who support us, for which we feel regret. We need some wisdom and discernment about handling this part of our schedule. As it was, I only got about three hours of Olivia (granddaughter) time.
I had the opportunity to preach at Community Chapel Greenville SC and you can view that at the link here. It is 45 minutes long. Go to the right hand corner where Pastor Rit’s photo is and click on “more media” then on Dennis McCutcheon 20 February. Cindy and I are grateful for the support CCG puts into Guatemala and pray for continued evangelism and unique combination of Gospel sharing through medical mission here in Guatemala.
Can I speak to the men on this list for a moment. It was a pleasure for me to take an hour or so and attend an indoor soccer match in Black Mountain. A friend of the family has a young son on the team and we cheered his efforts. It was a small thing. But in the two weeks we were in North Carolina we had two moms sit with Cindy and ask how to get help getting a good masculine example for their sons. Both are divorced from men who are living with other women now and not the best examples for their sons. I KNOW from my experience here in Guatemala that fatherless sons are fodder for gangs, and the criminal element. There is a call to ministry here. Step up men, show respect publicly and by deeds for your wives and daughters (these young boys are watching you). Prayerfully take one or two young men like this under your wing. Take them fishing and hunting, attend their sports events and let them see you interact properly at home with your family. Those of you with strong marriages reach out to these single mothers as they are themselves wounded and are hurting for their children. Cindy and I serve a ministry named Vine International and we are blessed. However, I believe when the final accounting is done ministry at family level, ministry that does not have a name or legal nonprofit status will make Jesus smile the most. We count it a privilege to do what Jesus would have us do with Lilly and her children. He planted us here for more than Vine International alone. Speak Jesus into young lives.
Share the blog with those you think will be blessed. We are grateful for your continued support. Please pray for my eyes. I will see a doctor here next week and hopefully will be able to get cataract removal in the next few weeks. Cindy and Peggy took over driving due to my eyesight. Apparently driving is getting too exciting for their taste. Second week of March a group of doctors from Iowa are visiting Adonai Minitries International looking at starting a Christian hospital in one of the most needful places I know on earth. That will get a blog post of its own soon. Lots of things are coming together for that project which we/you will be part of. Vine International has a team, “Friends of Vine” coming third week of March. Actually the schedule is full through August for us. Please put Lilly our neighbor on your prayer list. No photos this time. Until I get the eyes fixed trying to work with the photos is frustrating.
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
Well the wedding is complete, Oldest daughter Casey is married to Jeremy Smith. And Jennie no one saw me cry. Rick call me and I will tell you how it is done. Chuckle. We skipped church this morning to visit with famliy that we do not get to see very often. We were disappointed that some of our nieces and nephews could not make it die to death in the famliy, jobs and distances too great. Peggy sang a beautiful duet with Tim Kirkpatrick and had to endure a failed start due to failure with the sound system. They recovered nicely.
Casey made a unique request that the whole congregation come to the front and a very large group photo was taken. She may have started a new tradition in the family. Everyone seemed to enjoy being part of the ceremony.
It has been very busy and we have been very ill in the midst of this. We are sorry but we got very littel else done except what was necessary for the wedding. Productive cough, sore throat and fever of 101 (both Cindy and I) have made for a difficult week. We are now packing, will return borrowed car tomorrow, make sure we have PASSPORTS PEGGY, tweak some banking issues, get a box of pepperment tea. We bought five pounds of stone ground grits today, part to fix the dryer in in hand. I think the checklist is done. Our oldest son is going to haul us to the aiport at 4:30 on Tuesday morning and we will be in Guatemala by mid day. Peggy will be with us. Our calendar is full from now until August.
I did find that officiating a wedding steps on being an amateur photographer. So for the good stuff you are going to have to wait for the pro, but there are a few things linked in the album at our Smugmug account. Please enjoy.
Thank you for your support. In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
We are in the final week of preparation for oldest daughter Casey’s wedding. Cindy and I are going to her house tomorrow (Monday night) for home cooked meal with she and her fiancée. A couple of the days will be devoted to around the house issues, such as cleaning gutters etc, if the wind dies down. Cindy and I worked on leaves and sump pump this past week, while contemplating upcoming speaking engagements.
One of those engagements occurred this past Saturday. Friday I went to Knoxville and spent the day with ‘Bodega’ Bruce White our collection engineer and master container organizer, and our boss Woody Woodson. Paul Gordon a biomedical engineering student came down from Cincinnati (how do you spell that). He will be joining us for much of the summer. He is a 20 yr/old interested in using his skills for missions… We are praying that at the end of six or eight weeks we will either cure him of this or have him so infected with desire to serve with these much needed skills that he will become a permanent life long missionary. No pressure Paul (chuckle). Joe Leier, Marty Hand and I are working on your schedule even as I write this. Somebody throw a flag for piling on.
Saturday morning Woody and I spoke to the USA board and friends of Vine International. Vine did 15 containers last year and tripled the value of the donations to Guatemala. Working with MAP and getting containers filled with quality medicines was a huge part of that number. We shared that we had over 250 visits to the bodega in Guatemala. Frankly as a ministry we could have done more containers, but we are hurting financially. Woody, the staff and board have given sacrificially. We are exploring ways to increase funding stream via ‘social media’. Stay tuned; as we fine tune those issues we will make announcements. Personally our financial support has taken a couple of hits but we feel blessed that most have remained faithful. Believe me, we recognize the commitment it takes in the economically uncertain times we live in to continue to give. We thank you for your faithfulness.
Upcoming events. We are speaking at Community Chapel in Greenville SC on Wednesday evening, if you are in the area come. Wedding on Saturday and I covet your prayers for that event. We return to Guatemala on the following Tuesday with Peggy and her new passport. We will be cleaning the warehouse and getting more medicine out preparing for a team from MAP and a pharmaceutical company that donates to them. They have a desire to increase their presence in Central American and (wink, wink) we desire that they do just that!!! Work team in April to Hospital Santa Fe in Chocola from Community Chapel Greenville and working on a team from Calvary Chapel of Asheville to partner with Adonai International in the highlands of Quiche Department to start a hospital in that region. With Paul Gordon coming our summer is already full.
One health note, my cataracts are worsening rapidly. I could not read the road signs on US 40 in Knoxville in bright daylight last week. Somewhere between teams I will have to find time to get them dealt with in Guatemala. I do not have health insurance and cannot afford to do the work here in the states. Plus the time away from Vine in Guatemala just won’t work out. We have a bead on a couple of good eye doctors in Guatemala and I look forward to being able to read my Bible again without sounding “like a fourth grader” as Cindy pointed out last week. Also I have a niece heading to a mission post with To Every Tribe. Her daid David Bennett will be on the road to Texas back to West Virginia by Friday and here in NC on Saturday. Again for these things we appreciate your prayer support.
No photos with this post, but I suspect after the wedding there will be some photos next posting. So come back if you want to see me in a penguin suit.
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
Well that is a first for me. WordPress didn’t keep a draft of the post I just did so I will have to redo it. It will be even more brief due to the fact we are packing up for the states.
Casey our oldest daughter is marrying Jeremy Smith on Saturday the 23rd of Feb. We have much to do so this trip will not have a lot of visits and speaking engagements. I will speak Saturday the 16th early in the morning to Friends of Vine International meeting. This will be in Dr. Bruce’s office. Other than that speaking engagement’s will be few. Too much to do. Cindy and I will be at Calvary Chapel of Asheville our home church Wed. night 13th. Most likely in Community Chapel Greenville on Wed. the 20th.
I need to go help with the packing and I thought this was done so GOT TO RUN.
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy.
to a group of friends. Lev. ch. 7 teaches on free will offerings and a thanksgiving offering is outlined there. While not a command of the level of sin/repentance offering, it seems to me that if we are to obey His Word we should on occasions look up and offer thanks to He Who created us and gave us physical life and made a way for life eternal. Then there are those blessings that come everyday. Even when customs holds up your container making it necessary to drive 6 hours one way Where you get to meet the family that works the ports for us (Vine International and Tejeda-Harris) who are equally frustrated. While sitting “10 minutes” these new friends express their gratitude for a wheelchair about two years ago for their 80+ yr. old grandmother that allowed them to care for her at home until she died a few months ago. I did not know we had done that (it turns out we didn’t – Andrea and Sonia had asked for a friend and it was our pleasure to do this). But Vine is merely a pipeline or garden hose through which that given by God, in Jesus name is passed on to friends in Guatemala that God has called us to serve, whom He loves and cares for. It is frankly embarrassing to receive gratitude so misplaced.
It is God Who deserves this gratitude and not us. But then I understand our new friend when with tears in her eyes she recounts how that simple chair allowed them coveted time with a loved one in the last months of life. She has thanked her God but just like us we want to thank everyone in that pipeline through which God chooses to work. That chair came from Wheels of Hope in Ohio, loaded by volunteers, driven to Mobile Bay in Alabama by a driver I will never meet, loaded on a boat, crosses the Gulf of Mexico to Puerto Barrios or Santo Tomas and offloaded and another driver contracts with DOLE to deliver it to our warehouse and in this specific chairs case we delivered to Tejeda Harris office who shipped it back to Puerto Barrios. It would be nice if we could express our gratitude to every soul in this stream. BUT ultimately God is the Giver and He alone in a very real sense deserves our gratitude.
Thank you LORD for Your attention to details that are beyond my feeble mind’s capacity to keep track of. You see needs before they occur and set into motion all these events so that we who serve You can do Your will. We thank YOU and strongly desire to serve in a way that makes You smile. We pray this in the name of Jesus.
On a personal note… our oldest daughter Casey is getting married to Jeremy Smith. Yes Aunt Kate (Smith) there is going to be another Smith in the family. This is the niece born on the same day as Aunt Kate 30 yrs later and she is going to be a Smith too. Chances of that are???? We will be in the states most of the last two weeks of February. Peggy returns to Guatemala with us for about 10 days. February will be full. We are helping with travel needs for a team led by dear friends Dennis and Doris Rice, the first week or so of Feb.
If you are in the Knoxville area I will be speaking to a Friends of Vine International meeting Saturday morning at 8:00 location to be announced. We will share about the usual stuff but also some things happening here that we do not brag about publicly. If you are close come and see.
and yes while the staff at Vine are grateful to God we understand that you who support with prayer, material and financial gifts are equally called to this work. We do not take that lightly, especially in this time.
In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon (Oh yes, 6 hour drive, 10 minute wait turned into 45 minutes and had to sign my name 4 times 35 seconds of work. The blessing was Mike and Karen Rhea were with us and we met Lionel and Annel Zea . Worth every mile)
Dr. Sergio Castillo and his family are in the air on the way back from Greenville SC where they visited with one of the teams that support them during the year. This is an exciting growing relationship. Cindy and I believe this to be an answer to prayer. We ask that not only does the “jungle hospital” grow but the local church is strengthened and new churches planted due to the emphasis of evangelism this team brings to this region. Click on his name and it will take you to his sermon from December 23, 2012. It will be about 50 minutes of blessing and the challenge from both Sergio and Pastor Rit at the end are worthy of consideration.
2012 is at an end. Woody Woodson, our boss, will do some final calculations. It appears we may have to count the final two containers shipped the first week of December as the first two containers of 2013… urgh! But we did a lot this past year. We will do a compilation in the next blog or two. I do have some stats for the blog. We had close to 3,000 hits on 24 posts in 2012. We got hits from USA, Guatemala, Canada, UK, Brasil, Columbia, Peru, France, India, Ukraine, Afghanistan, in all people in 54 countries took a look at us this past year.
I will keep this brief as I really would love for you to take the time to watch Dr. Castillo’s sermon. He is a servant of the LORD and Vine International is a servant to this servant and over 100 others in Guatemala. About mid way through he gives a couple of examples of patients and a snoring man in his Bible Study classes that will warm your heart.
Cindy and I are grateful for your continued prayer and financial support. In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
A brief note from Cindy and I. I have been very ill with fever up to 103 until yesterday for the five days before. I am weak, but I have an opportunity to teach about Jesus this evening. Can’t pass that up. Praying for strong voice, strong words and a message of truth. We are a little bummed out. Peggy couldn’t come due to loosing her passport, but we would have had to stay here due to my being sick. Peggy started her “big girl job” (other daughter Hadley’s words). She will have benefits – YEA! Delta treated us good. They waived the exchange fee and gave Peggy a $124 voucher. Cindy spent an hour on the cell phone with a nice lady from India. I had to leave as I was not helping. It is a good thing my son Jason was not here. He is a comedienne when it comes to those kind of phone calls. Ask Cindy about the experience the next time you see her.
Today has been full of blessed visits and phone calls (no nap) but a joy to visit with friends. One couple brought tamales, a tradition here in Guatemala… I should have taken photos but they smelled so good and I haven’t eaten much but saltines in five days. Ok photos next year. Our next door neighbor brought some of her best flowers as a gift. Humbling, as she is widowed with five children. How many of us give our best? Or do we give out of duty and then it’s cheap from China. We are going over when the bread is done and givegifts in the next couple of hours. Then at 8:00 pm it is to Hans’ house for fireworks, Bible teaching and lots of food.
Cindy and I remember with broken hearts the families in Connecticut. Sort of blunts some of the trivial trash (fights over sneakers) that hits the news, doesn’t it. LORD please help those parents and family members. IN the midst of this we would point all to Jesus whose birth we celebrate at this time. Not a green tree, but a tree was used to hold His body up on that last day. Not Santa Claus but all who believe (saints each one) they are in need of a Saviour, that is what we should dwell on.
A final note, check out the website for Community Chapel of Greenville SC by clicking on the name. When the home page opens you will see Dr. Sergio Castillo in the right hand column. Scroll over his name and click. It will take you to a Vimeo clip of his talk yesterday. Dr. Castillo and his family are dear friends and co workers here in Guatemala. He is national board member for Vine International. Because of quality of our internet connection we have been unable to watch all the way through, but he telss a couple of stories that will make you grateful for Memorial Mission Hospital (or what ever your local hospital). It is less than 50 minutes (short for a Calvary Chapel service). No photos today.