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2017 in the can


Well 2017 is in the can ( film terminology Joe Leier ).  You who support us have contributed to a record year for donations through the Vine International ‘Pipeline.’  I was at a Technical Exchange for Christian Healthcare (TECH) conference in Tampa Florida (I think).  I saw the following demonstration years before Cindy and I were part of Vine International.  Woody Woodson our founder was trying to think of a way to impress on TECH members just what Vine International did.  He came up with the idea of pipeline.  You put stuff in the top and it flows out the other end.  The upper end is in Knoxville TN and the lower end is in Guatemala.  OK now he had a good idea – how to demonstrate it?  Most of us laughed when Woody pulled a folded card board toilet paper tube out of his shirt pocket.  Our smilin’ Woody showing how to pour things into the top of the ‘pipeline’ and seeing it roll out the bottom was most memorable.  I didn’t know until years later that toilet paper tube cost Vine International just south of 10$/yes 10 dollars.  Apparently the cleaning lady found the toilet paper that Woody had discarded so he could have JUST THE TUBE.  She turned him in to management and some way accounting came up with 10$ for a roll of toilet paper.  We have not been back to that hotel.  The toilet paper wasn’t that good.  In fact as I recall neither was the food.

The statistics for 2017 are 23 containers of wheelchairs, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, and medical equipment given to over 100 medical ministries with 250 visits in our bodega in Guatemala.  A great deal of our ministry ‘partners’ carried these donated materials into every department (think states if you are in USA) in Guatemala.  Some of the assistance crossed borders into Mexico, Honduras and I think El Salvador.  Most of these use medicine to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Some containers were direct drops to ministries where we provide shipping expertise.  MAP medicine containers are always a blessing.  Bruce White director of Vine International Collection Center provided 5 or 6 containers last year out of our home base in Knoxville TN.

In spare time Cindy and I do other things.  Cindy is now the local Chicken Lady.  In addition to MFEs (Mighty Fine Eggs), Cindy seems to have a higher than average yield of ROOSTERS who at about 4 months become somewhat intolerable, fighting, crowing, disturbing the hens.  So they get a night ride to a neighbor who converts them into fresh protein – soup that is.  I have helped an orphanage move lock stock and barrel closer to the city as part of an Orphan Resources International project.  A couple of Guatemalan friends and I did a few site visits.  We are hoping we can do this more routinely.

Discussing plans with a pastor friend to start a yearlong active discipleship course with a group of leaders among our friends.  Excited and studying for that.  I expect to learn as much or more than the ‘students’.

We had a delightful visit with our five adult children and three granddaughters.  We were blessed to see the oldest two Sarah and Olivia in their Christmas Pageant.  Enjoyed table fellowship at all three houses, East Village Deli and of course Hot Dog King.  Brief visit with our pastor was too short but a blessing.

The new year – will be as busy if the support is there.  Woody and Brady are discussing seriously doing medical teams again, so add that to the schedule.  Cindy and I are still praying for the family that is called to step into our shoes.  Several of the groups that use Vine International shipping services have new building, or remodel/expansion projects in the works.  Vine International continually look for ways to improve quality of donations, not just quantity.  We are called on by many of these groups to counsel on many aspects of their projects.  I continue to believe this will grow.

We were blessed this week to give a wheelchair to a friend, as he has worn out the one we gave a few years ago.  A notorious group here tried to murder him.  He was in the national health system.  A mutual pastor friend had been witnessing to this brother, went and prayed for him while unconscious.  He asked the nurse to give a Bible.  The nurse essentially said he is going to die, take the Bible with you.  Ahhh, our friend insisted that she give it to him when he wakes.  Crazy Jesus people.  Our brother lived.  The pastor had to provide a second Bible.  The first Bible, stolen.  A persistent pastor, second Bible, a multiple amputee that was to die – now sharing Christ with those who shot him, friends only the True God our Creator can call into the deep dark of that brother’s failing life and massage it into good for one that loves the LORD.  For that brother to seek us out to thank us for a small gift is humbling beyond words.

May that stolen first Bible be a spiritual grenade in someone’s life for the glory of the Kingdom of Christ.  Father protect our friends and family in the LORD here.  While giving boldness, keep them safe.  Let them see any threat in time to avoid it.  Let them live to see their grandchildren marry and start yet another generation, if Jesus’ returning tarries that long.   Give Cindy and I discernment for the work ahead.  Give success to our many friends, particularly Tejeda-Harris family and business for years to come.  May the work we do make You smile.  We pray this in Jesus name amen.

Cindy and I thank you for your support.

One Comment leave one →
  1. The Fulton’s permalink
    23/03/2018 17:26

    You better watch out! She may not able to physically throw anything at ya, but she can still throw her love and kisses at you for picking her up at the hospital with a coffee in hand. Because you deserve it. You gotta love the McCutcheon’s


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