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Passing the torch…well at least flickin’ our Bic!


Our Vine staff of four does have a huge upside. It’s productive, efficient, and we have a lot of experience under our belts. But there is also a downside we are having to embrace. We’re all getting older. For many reasons, we are convinced that this God-built model needs to develop and increase, which means we have to begin considering how to pass on the torch to younger, long term help. So do we have your attention? Good!
Vine International started in 1993 in Knoxville. Woody thought they had saturated medical missions in Guatemala the year they helped 30 ministries. Dennis and Doris Rice ran this ministry from 2004 to June 2009. During that time the work more than doubled. They turned it over to us in 2009 and helped smooth the transition. It has once again almost doubled under our seven years of care. Vine International has gone from helping a few medical ministries – to ministries (that’s safe to say) depend on the shipping service and supply that Vine International brings to Guatemala. We are at a rate of 20 containers per year. Woody Woodson our founder, Bruce White manager of the US collection center, and the McCutcheon’s here in Guatemala are being stretched.
I am now 63 y/o (Cindy is much younger) and the physical work of unloading 40 ft. containers and moving the boxes multiple times is getting to be more than we can do. So we are asking – first in the community that has supported and befriended us over the years – to prayerfully consider whether working with Vine here in Guatemala could be a calling for you and your family. Of course, that “match” will ultimately be the decision of Woody and Vine’s Board of Directors.
Some important points:
I believe that Vine International Guatemala will continue to grow. The need for our service exists in a major way. The national healthcare system may improve under this administration, but will not be able to meet the need.
We serve over 100 medical missions currently. Some of the old ministries are expanding. There are new ministries bringing exciting projects to fulfillment. All of these are increasingly dependent on the donated medical supplies and medicines that Vine International ships to Guatemala. The need for Vine’s services will expand. Two families here would be necessary within a year or two.
Just as Cindy and I have done, this work means raising your own support. It is a mission. It is a mission where not all churches see the value of logistics and distribution… making it difficult to raise funds. But I assure you Christ is glorified in this work. I assure you He provides. We know first hand.
Over the next few years, Cindy and I will continue to be here managing the overall Guatemalan operation, but we will be ‘aging out’. However, by addressing this now, our helper(s) would have time to do language school and slowly transition into the work of the ministry. Parts of it are easy, incredibly gratifying, and will make you smile. Parts of it (working with government agencies) can be frustrating and take a bit of a bulldog personality. It is our goal to reduce our physical labor in Vine by June 2017 and to continue after that in a support role and administration – which means Cindy and I could help cover for the new folks when they’re away for family issues or vacation.
As a humorous aside, after the Rice’s left, in that first 6 – 8 months every office that we dealt with, (that Dennis Rice gave directions and drove with me, went in and introduced me to the people I would deal with) MOVED. One of those offices moved twice!… smile… I was shouted at for going wrong ways on one way streets. An interesting time that was.
We will be in the USA/Asheville area and WV the last two weeks of April if you are interested in talking about the opportunity to serve Christ in this unique ministry. Those weeks will be busy but this is important and we will make ourselves available to answer all your questions.
Those who are faithful to pray with us, please join us in this issue. We love the work of Vine and want to see it continue into the next generations, until He comes.
In Christ,
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Stan permalink
    21/03/2016 14:50

    I am sending this out to several deacons in our church – God -fearing men with godly wives who are committed to serving and still have plenty of tread left on their tires.


    • 22/03/2016 13:00

      I literally laughed out loud at the tread on tire analogy. First thank you so much for sharing and I know you are a praying brother. We are grateful.. Now back to the tires… As I understand it tires without tread are used in drag racing. So maybe we “slick tires” have a few sprints left in us yet sir!!
      In Christ, Dennis and Cindy


  2. Gammie permalink
    22/03/2016 08:49

    Dear Dennis and Cindy, Rejoicing to see wisdom being exercised. I believe in the Vine ministry and its outreach to the suffering. Just as our Lord brought you all and Woody together He has someone in the Pipeline so that His work can continue. Yes, we all are getting older (better?) but aren’t we blessed to be alive and serving such a wonderful, engaged in our lives Saviour?
    Spring cleaning here – inside and out – your coming home is a great motivator to me. Recovery from eye surgery slow but ongoing; will find out April 11th if it worked. If it didn’t the doctor will be testy – surgeons become emotionally invested in their work? He does not respond well to failure. Me? God enables me to trust that the outcome is in His hands – darkness is light to Him! May God richly bless thee and thine in all your endeavors- Love and prayers, Mom M.


    • 22/03/2016 12:56

      Thanks Mom,
      Praying for the eyes. We are working on our schedule and will firm things up with you in next day or two. Thank you for the kind words about Vine and the work here in Guatemala.


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