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Racing around Guatemala


Cindy and I are blessed to have company these past two weeks.    Woody and Dianna Woodson the founder of Vine International plus Cindy and I left the Barcelo with Katie Pace, Kathryn Hearns from MAP (Medical Assistance Program) to do site surveys here in Guatemala.  MAP is our supplier of medicines.  They are generous to us and need to see the fruit of their labors in Guatemala.  It is easy to show the warehouse/bodega.  It is cool, inanimate, containers come in and stuff goes out — it would be drab if you did not know what happens to ‘the stuff’ in the hands of doctors, nurses and others at the end of the pipeline.  The simple analogy of ‘pipeline’ defines Vine International.

One of the Vine Family’s great frustrations is that the work of Vine is easy to ignore.  Take a chair and watch a pipeline.  Sort of boring – all you see is pipe.  No motion.  It doesn’t change color.  The visible work occurs on the ends and inside.  Collection – in our case occurs in ministry partners like Joni and Friends, Samaritan’s Purse, Wheels of Hope, MAP, and our collection center in Knoxville TN area.  The materials pour into the open end of the Vine Pipeline, strangely looks like a container instead of round pipe.  Shipped by tractor trailer to port, often Mobile AL, placed on container ship then offed in a port in Guatemala, trucked to the warehouse and off loaded (wash rinse and REPEAT).  We help a lot of ministries and most in their newsletters never mention the issue of shipping – we are that boring.

On these trips, I so wish you could hear all the expressions of gratitude, the stories of how the medicines, materials, equipment have helped so many.  Cindy and I get tired moving boxes and pallets. We recognize the fruit is NOT in the bodega.   MAP is a larger organization and has staff to analyze their service.  They work at identifying the process and seeing the fruit of their collection and distribution.  Their pharmacists on staff estimate a single container provides medicines for greater than 62,000 patients.  The joy in this work is seeing the fruit.  So off to see some of those 62,000 patients and their care givers.

Cindy and I discussed a cross section of our ministry partners in Guatemala, choosing rural/urban, national/expat supported works, and off we go.  We saw about a dozen works this trip.  The MAP crew always had their notebooks in hand and Katie had her camera (which she would not trade for mine).   Because of the failure of the national health system, expat missionaries, local churches, those with a humanitarian heart see a void that needs filling.  Doctors, nurses and pastors step into the lives of the wounded and hurting and offer aid.  There are many Guatemalans with hearts the size of Texas who help their fellow citizens.  Some ministries are better funded than others, some with skilled personnel, some that do basic low level clinic care, and volunteer EMT/firemen called Bomberos here in Guatemala.  We saw a cross section.  There were similarities.  The common chronic issues, diabetes, hypertension is seen as on the rise with change in diet (soda, hamburgers), the dependence on corn tortillas, beans and rice as the large percentage of diet.  There were differences.  Rural ministries see hernias and machete injuries.  Ministries close to roadways see increase in automobile wrecks, pick-up and bus wrecks often with multiple catastrophic/multiple trauma.

On this road trip we heard the gratitude for the assistance that Vine International provides.  Some state they could function except that Vine is here to help, all have expanded their ability to serve because you our supporters keep us here.  Lives have been saved, sick bodies healed, souls brought into the kingdom of Christ because of the work here.  Without the multiple supporters, financial, material and prayer partners on the USA end we would have no success.  Equally without those who coast to coast and from sea marsh to mountain top in Guatemala with a desire in their heart to serve the poor and under served we also would have no success.  Servants, all of you we thank you.

A rather extensive photo album is linked here on our Smug-Mug blog site.  Enjoy.

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

One Comment leave one →
  1. 23/02/2016 21:02

    Thank you for all you do…thanks for assisting us with supplies, vitamins, Bibles…they are priceless to the people we serve in rural Chichicastenango…great to have see you all…come back again soon!


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