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What it is like in Guatemala


Hey y’all,

It was grits this morning for breakfast, as it was a good excuse to spend 20 minutes over the gas flame on the stove.  Al Gore is shopping his new movie at Sundance (in a snowstorm – grin) trying to explain why Manhattan is not under water as he predicted 11 years ago.  We here in the sub tropics are at 44 degrees outside.  Cindy and I are grateful for a windless night.  On windy nights we can keep the house only about 5 degrees above the outside ambient temperature.  It was 56 inside this morning.  The pictures from Xela, San Marcos and Huehuetenango are really impressive showing rime ice on everything… tree limbs are breaking in places.  Weather reports it is -6 Celsius or 19 Fahrenheit.  Our friends in those areas 8,000 ft + above sea level will really be suffering.  We are at just under 6,000 feet above sea level.

I think if you explained the first world’s fear of global warming to the farmers of Guatemala, they would probably laugh.  We have had snow in the highlands at least three of the 7 years Cindy and I have been here.  Fortunately for us it will warm up quickly with the sun at work.

We have had an extremely busy start to 2017.  A couple of containers arrived and many of the ministries that use our services are getting cranked up for the new year.  We have done something work wise every day since Jan 2 except one Sunday.  The rest of this week is full.  I reported that we had over 200 visits in the bodega last year.  At the end of this week we will have had 46 visits…  It won’t continue at that pace but we are seeing an uptick in using the shipping services of Vine International.  The need for medical missions in Guatemala is great and probably will increase.  News papers reported that the government is actually reducing spending on health care system.  We worked with a group just yesterday trying to find a solution for a trach tube for a patient in a hospital that is better funded than the national system.  The family was told the trach tube they had available was too small and the FAMILY would have to find it and likely would have to look ‘outside the country’.  We did not have the size they need, but I sent photos of an idea of cutting down a standard endotracheal tube used in anesthesia… no response yet.  Uhmmm does any one have a size nine trach tube in their pocket?  Actually I don’t trust the system so it would be nice to get sizes below and above the nine.  I have several pediatric sizes so anything six and above.

Well just a taste of day to day life here.  I can remember on an early trip to Guatemala about 15 years ago the Rice’s warned me to bring something warm to wear.   I threw a flannel long sleeve shirt in the bag.  Look its the tropics!  How cold can it get?  Now when I talk to people coming for their first time during the winter, I laugh because I know they think we are exaggerating.

Got to go to work.  We love you all.  Share our blog site with friends and family that might be interested in missions in Guatemala please.  Brady Green is in Guatemala as we speak – he is newest member of Vine family and is working on helping us get our message out in new ways.  It is a difficult story to tell.  We ship medical supplies and equipment.  We do it with extremely small staff.  Photos of containers coming in and full pickup trucks going out – well all containers start to look alike.  I wish you could see the smiles, hear the rejoicing and the prayers that go up from the floor of that ‘just a warehouse’.  When first started 24 years ago, Vine International partially supported a few medical ministries in western Guatemala.  We are now a major artery for Christian medical missions in the rural and inner city woefully underserved communities.  As an example, Cristo es el Camino has saved physical lives and shared Christ along the way.  They are now in a program to build churches in the recycler/pickers around the major garbage dump in the capital city.  Yes we just ship supplies and equipment but those ‘end stories’, well, we know the Holy Spirit is at work and Jesus is glorified.

Thank  you for you support..

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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