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Wheelchair2While it is a true statement that this photo is a wheelchair, it is a lie that it is JUST a wheelchair. Let me explain.
On the positive side: A person in need of this medical device would describe it as “priceless”. This allows a husband to continue to care for a wife as her MS advances. A single mother can transfer her adult sized teenage son out to the porch in the sun. Churches take a couple of chairs and start a lending closet in their community for those that need temporary use of a chair. A chair can open doors to the Gospel and Compassion of Christ. A family with adolescent sons affected by osteogenesis imperfecti… here in Guatemala a chair might cost most of an annual salary of the dad, an agricultural worker… how do they then take care of their sons medical needs and feed the family? In rural Guatemala children with congenital deformities are often doomed to a life in the dirt, open sores, infections to a degree that it shortens life.  So that is not JUST a wheelchair; it is “gold, pure gold!” (and that is a quote from Daryl Fulp and Dick Rutgers)
On the negative side: JUST a chair, not fitted to the child properly can literally kill a child. Usually it is not that dramatic, never the less true. Pressure necrosis can occur, causing an expensive medical care process. Infections and severe scarring all can be avoided if a chair is properly fitted. In order to do that it takes skills. Physical therapist along with a chair specialist can team up and configure a chair that is safe and offers increased mobility to the patient and their family. We have friends that are skilled and refer people in their direction.
So what is the need in Guatemala?  (As you read this understand that half of Guatemala does NOT have smart phones or easy access to computers.)  Well let me give you an idea by telling you about a recent event here at the Vine bodega. We had two containers with about 200 wheelchairs each two days apart. Cindy and I asked for help, graciously received from Orphan Resource International, Esperanza Contra Esperanza and our neighbors or Cindy and I would be in traction right now. We believe a conversation was overheard as one friend was telling family about what they did that day. Then a visitor in the home put it out on What’s App and Facebook that a gringo had 100’s of chairs to give away. They gave our address and the wrong phone number. We know the person with the phone – they have changed their number after receiving 10,000 plus phone calls. I was here on Thursday when the word got out and I could not get the doors of the bodega closed fast enough. I have a taste of what Noah must have heard after God shut the door of the ark. It is NOT pleasant to be on the victim side of a flash mob. It was heartbreaking to turn away people but we are set up to give to ministries who have the ability to give to individuals. There are those here that would pay 75 Quetzals to a crippled person and bring them here, get a chair and go sell it. Most of our ministry partners give and follow up to prevent such thievery. Some of our partners in mission here have staff that goes to the home to investigate the need and provide personal service which we cannot provide out of the warehouse. The depth of need – 400 wheelchairs sounds like a lot… from some calculations I have done, it is less than 1% of the need in Guatemala.
These particular chairs are given through Joni and Friends. They are a major blessing to Guatemala and we thank them. Other friends of Vine International helped cover the expense of shipping, Guille Cruz and crew, Jerry, Mike, Tim and Dave. For these we are also grateful.  We could not do this work without the friends that give routinely to this work. We are especially grateful to you who give faithfully to keep Cindy and I here.

We continue to teach a Wednesday night Bible Study and are in Matthew 13 now.  And we are blessed to be preaching one Sunday a month close to Antigua to a small but unbelievably giving church there.

Prayer requests.  Whew!  Vine ministers in many ways, some of which cannot be shared publicly in this format.  Praying for safety, not so much for us but friends directly involved in those ministries.  God is clearly at work here.  We are directly effected in that the people of Guatemala (the church has taken to the streets! – would that the USA could understand what has happened here in the last six months) are demanding a cleansing of the corruption in government.  This directly translates for us increased delays and expense in shipping – but the company that helps us with importing said just this week, “Your containers are blessed!”.  The ports are medically speaking ‘constipated’.  Delays mean increased expenses in importing.  Prayerfully this may improve in the early months of next year and be worth the frustration we experience now.  There are some awesome projects in the works, Fickers in Canilla, Stephanie Hawley/Exodo Foundation and Esperanza Contra Esperanza are being used by God to pour out compassion on Guatemala.  Remodel of Hospital Santa Fe moves forward, soon Dr. Castillo and family will move into their home and out of the hospital buildings they have lived in and shared with teams and patients over the last decade.  And as the LORD supplies, Vine International is on track to ship the 200th container I estimate in first half of next year.  Thank you again for your support.

in Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Turner permalink
    14/11/2015 08:16

    Dennis and Cindy,

    Thanks for your commitment to Guatemala and Vine International. I know that the experience has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. You guys are great fits for the position and it is hard to explain to anyone how important and impactful you guys have been, Thanks


    • 14/11/2015 08:55

      thank you Mike Turner y familia… You have been part of this ministry longer than we have been… thanks for your support and kind words.


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