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One Year in Guatemala today…


and we spent it in the bodega doing what we do for Vine International.  We met two ministries in the bodega on our one year anniversary.  We have had so many firsts this year, first earthquake, first hurricane immediately following first volcano eruption.  Our landlord at the bodega greeted me this morning with, “You cannot be bored living in Guatemala!”   That is the truth.  It has been an exciting first year.  With Dennis and Doris Rice working the first six months and the McCutcheons the second six months of 2009, Vine International set a record of 18 containers of medical equipment and supplies for medical missions in Guatemala.  We are on track this year to repeat or further expand the record.

Cindy and I are doing something new it seems everyday.  New language, food, friends and culture.  Learning what it takes to run a ministry like we have never done before.  I can remember praying when we were with MedEquip Missions that the LORD would allow us to fill sea going containers.  I took our youth group to Knoxville years ago and helped Bruce White and Woody Woodson load a Vine container in Knoxville and praying as we returned home, Lord I really don’t need the thrill of loading containers.  NOW here we are working for Vine International offloading those blessings here in Guatemala.  We sold our home of 17 years, by far the longest I have ever lived in one place. We left our children and granddaughter in the hands of God and friends.  So many firsts for us … but enough about us, I want to tell you about some of those new friends and their firsts for Guatemala.

My Sweet Refuge is the work of the Sonia and Roberto Rivera family.  They literally left their work and picked abandoned elderly off the street and took them into their own home.  They were told they were crazy.  When they ran out of resources and asked the community for help… you guessed it!  They were crazy.  Why would you leave a good job to help the elderly.   Today a supporter out of Florida sent six small boxes of adult diapers, which are very expensive in Guatemala.  We gave them exam gloves, cleanser, heel cushions any thing they saw and needed.  You see these CRAZY Christians have started the first Christian nursing home in Guatemala that we know of.

They witness and share the Gospel at all levels.  They cannot pay but very little so all their staff are referred to as volunteers.  Many of the staff are former homeless street people that Sonia and Roberto have witnessed to and most are saved and transformed.  Sonia told me of two young ladies who had been sexually abused by their grandparents.  They were counseled they could not work with the elderly until Sonia knew they had dealt Biblically with that issue with their grandparents.  These two girls gave their lives to Jesus were able to forgive the sin of their grandparents and are valuable team members.  Sonia and Roberto have set up a program where Jesus is shared at every level, staff, patients and patients families.

Oh yes, they have prayed to God to be able to set up 14 nursing homes across Guatemala.  Their first one in Peten has 100 clients, 30 staff members, training staff for the next two facilities that are opening as we write this and those two facilities have 50 clients each scheduled for admission.  One of these had some flooding issues with the recent storm and they were examining that place today.

A few weeks ago the national Ministry of Health has agreed to help significantly with setting up the first 7 facilities (Sonia continues to pray for 14 – Cindy and I love working with CRAZY Christians).  The government sent one of their auditors 2 weeks ago to inspect the first facility.  He said…essentially “you are crazy”.  You see there are a few other elderly care places in Guatemala.  The staff works 8 to 4, if a client dies, they are found and buried the next day without ceremony.  The Riveras staff 24 hours a day.   They provide for the family what is culturally acceptable at the death of a loved one which involves getting the family together and providing a small meal even in the middle of the night.  The body of the one who died is treated with dignity whether there is family attending or not.  The auditor said “you do much more than you need to do.”   But the Rivera’s find that this opens doors to testify of the love and need for Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior.

Can you leave a job, take strangers abandoned on the street, provide for them until your funds run out and trust God for the next meal???  Can you take a stand when friends and neighbors shun you or call you crazy?  We are blessed beyond measure to be able to support in such a small way people like these friends and family in the LORD.  We are allowed to see God’s provision when the world says, “you are crazy.”   What a blessing on the day we celebrate one year in country.  Thank you Jesus.

In Christ

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Max permalink
    01/06/2010 20:39

    WOOHOO!! Congrats on one year!! May God rain blessings (not just mud) on your ministry!

    PS: I hear mud baths are good for the skin. I wonder if the same is true for mud showers. Hmmmm… I think I will just take their word for it.


  2. 02/06/2010 12:48

    Felicidades Amigos! I doesn’t seem like it’s been a year for you guys. May God continue to use you in mighty ways for His Kingdom. My prayer is that God will allow us to minister together again one day soon!


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