Ronny update and new project that is exciting in so many ways…
First Ronny has improved and may by the time you read this be home. Dick Rutger reports that Ronny is out of his coma, strengthening somewhat and on Nov. 2nd the plan was a little more observation and home soon. Many of you prayed for this young man and his family. I ask you also pray for Dick, it has been a difficult few months. As always the link to Dick’s report is in red above. Understand too, that Ronny has muscular dystrophy and is still terminal, but we have him with us for a little while longer.
Maria Jose de Gallardo is the in country director of the Shalom Foundation – Moore Pediatric Surgical Center here in Guatemala City. She and her lovely daughter have been in our home. We communicate frequently when containers destined to their new hospital in the city are in the “Pipeline”. Maria also arranges the logistics here for teams from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Denver Children’s Hospital as they send surgical teams to serve Shalom’s kids. In the past, Cindy and I have promised to go and see the ‘new’ facility. Finally the day came when their schedule and ours had the same hole.
Tommy Sanders and I have known each other for years through Technical Exchange for Christian Healthcare, Inc. when he was on the staff of Project Cure. We lost track of each other, but about 6 months ago his name came on my radar screen. I did not know he had been in and out of Guatemala for the better part of 20 years, helping build churches and schools. He is now involved with The Shalom Foundation It is a joy to work with this brother in the LORD once again. Please go to their website and explore. Their article on Guatemala and its children is excellent.
I am fascinated at the history of this place. You see it is not a new facility at all. When we came to Guatemala full time about 18 months ago I read the biography of Cameron Townsend. Wycliffe’s brief bio is linked here for this hero of the faith. He came to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles but found that the people he was selling to couldn’t speak or read Spanish! Out of that need Wycliffe Bible Translators was born. “Uncle Cam” started Summer Institute of Linguistics sitting on donated nail kegs and JAARS in North Carolina for technical support, shipping and airplanes. In his work in Guatemala he came across a bright Mayan young lady and supported her through medical school and surgical residency. Elena Trejo Carstens, rejected at Guatemalan medical schools because she was Mayan and female, went to train in the USA and returned to her beloved Guatemala. She would take indeginous young women with her and train them as she worked. A brief but exciting biography of her life is linked here in Revue Magazine a Guatemalan English language magazine. This lady deserves our respect. The building that is being renovated was her idea and she used it as a hospital to serve the poor, Over the years it has changed functions as necessary and was finally a maternity hospital before falling into disrepair. Her daughter Alma sold the building to Shalom and here we are full circle once again getting ready to do surgery for children whose families cannot afford the surgery they need. Praise God for this family and the service they have been over generations. Cindy and I are praying that our schedule allows us to attend the grand opening and to meet Alma. What a blessing that will be.
Vine International has partnered with Shalom Foundation to help with their shipping needs. They have been very resourceful on the supply issue and we have shipped two or three containers for them in rapid succession. It is a little funny in that they have to notify the major the containers are coming. Apparently traffic has to be diverted in order for the container to be off loaded on the street due to the narrow roads.
We will do an update when Moore Pediatric Surgical Center opens its doors. While in renovation and construction now (photos), I know this facility will be busy. We will share this resource throughout the community of medical missionaries that use our services. I hope and pray you enjoy history as much as I do – if so there is a lot to enjoy as you read about Cameron Townsend and Elena Carstens history. It is such an honor to walk where these saints have walked, to imagine Dr. Elena at less than 5 foot tall driving that Packard. My brother and a couple of second cousins took a hacksaw to granddads junked Packard and cut the top off, turned it over and used it for a sled on the hill where my mom and dad’s house is now. We could get almost all the grandkids in at one time… that little history is just for the smile it brings. Ha!
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
A post script to homeschoolers I know that use us. The biography of Cameron Townsend is an awesome read for your young charges. This brother believed that science is best used by Christians because we have the compassion of Christ compelling us to use what we learn for the good of those who suffer. It is not the mere collection of data, but what we do with that data in the name of Christ. This blog can only give a taste of what all this man did. Read kids, read.