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January 2019 Change is in the air, meetings and a chicken coop

27/01/2019

Jason, Lilivet and Kristen Ryder are here in Guatemala.  They will be the new directors for Association Vine International Guatemala, replacing Cindy and I.  They get to cut their teeth on three containers that will soon be released.  Jason is from Michigan and a trained biomedical technician with mission experience.  He has worked with TrimedX and GE in the recent past.   Lilivet has jumped into the ministry and done some excellent translation work for Brady “Chepe” Green/Vine already.  She is Guatemalan.  They are expecting a baby in the next couple of weeks.  They have moved into a house close to the bodega/warehouse.  Poor Jason was getting up at 4:30 in order to get across the city to be at the bodega by 9:00.

We have done some training on the administrative issues.  Assembled and tested all the PET carts as you can see in the photo.  Kristen was delighted.  They are working on residency papers for Jason.  Some of the legal paperwork for transfer will have to wait until we have documents properly prepared.  Burro-cracy!

 

Our home fellowship is going well.  Psalm 45 and 46 next Sunday.  The teaching we do at Pavon Prison is on hold due to a violent act among the prisoners.  We have been checking but as of now no date is available for us to renew that ministry.   Appreciate prayer for this part of the work here.

Jason Ryder & Brady Green in discussion with Dr. Estrada

Brady our CEO spent most of this last week working on administrative issues here and speaking with some of our physicians in ministries. We are hoping to improve supply to some of the works that care for the health issues of the poorest in Guatemala. We had good talks with Dr. Eric Estrada and Dr. Sergio Castillo.

Dr. Eric Estrada

 

Dr. Sergio y Veronica Castillo

 

 

My apologies to Dr. Estrada.  I tried three times to get a good photo but missed each time.  NO he is not asleep, I just caught him in mid blink.

Also while praying please pray for three containers that are being held up by customs.  I just got word one of the medicine containers is pulled for a full inspection by SAT/customs, and this after the Ministry of Health took over four weeks to issue a certificate allowing us to import.

If you ask Woody Woodson about the beginnings of Vine he will tell you of the original office being in a chicken coop in his backyard in Knoxville TN.  Well Woody this is just for you.  I have ‘harvested’ wood from a variety of crates and wheelchair containers and with Jason Ryder, David Mollinedo, Ignacio Sanchez, Cindy and I we have built our neighbor a chicken coop.  I though you (Woody) might get a kick out of that.  It will be used to house Lilly’s chickens (some of which are progeny from Cindy’s flock) to add eggs and meat to her table.  Hopefully sometime this next week we can finish the run and it will be occupied soon.  See the photos below.

Thank you, all of you, for your continued support.

In Christ,  Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

First Vine Project in 2019

17/01/2019

Our founder Woody Woodson, messaged Cindy and I and asked us to help Dr. Alex Vasquez, a Guatemalan heart surgeon who practices in Alabama, USA.   The son of his mother’s housekeeper lives 10 km from us in Guatemala and Dr. Vasquez asked for help.

Ricardo was shot about three years ago and stayed much of two years in a local hospital.  The gunshot was low abdomen and spinal causing paraplegia and leaving him with colostomy.  Ricardo suffered the complication of extensive sacral and buttock decubiti.  He is 21 years old now, with a complex set of problems.  He is bed ridden in his current situation, pale, and sickly looking.   Dr. Vasquez came and visited Ricardo with us just before we went to the states in December.  Guatemalan doctors are looking again at the pressure sores doing debridement and encouraging healing.

Upon our return from family visit in USA Vine staff (now with addition of Jason and Lilivet Ryder) met Dick Rutgers at the bodega.  We collected wheelchairs and padding and met at Ricardo’s mother’s house in El Manzano.  It is always amazing to watch Dick Rutgers at work.  He has a tender heart and skill that comes with years of work.  He also brought his posse – two sibling groups that are fatherless.  We replaced the chair Ricardo has with a chair in which the leg and feet are adjustable.  Encouraging him to stay off his buttocks to allow for continued healing we will follow and when healing is complete will return for appropriate fitting/padding and try to help gain more independence.  Nutrition was discussed and we will return to fit his bed for a trapeze soon.

This set of health problems is difficult no matter where you are.  In the developing world, house on a steep mountain side, cobblestone street, no sidewalks, 85-90 $ a week in transportation costs, nutritional add on to the diet without insurance creates a huge financial and personal burden on a family.

Jason Ryder and our friend David Mollinedo both helped with translation – in fact so many different conversations were happening it is hard to imagine how we could have handled this initial fitting without both brothers there.  Maria – Ricardo’s mother asked how much this service was going to cost…. I have been giving away Vine resources for ten years.  I love that look when they find out it comes from Jesus.  It’s free.  Dick Rutgers led us in a beautiful prayer.  This story is not yet complete.

Jason and Lilivet Ryder are moving into a house very close to the bodega, we pray next week.  We will soon have three containers on which they can cut their teeth.  Lilivet will soon have their second child and is quite busy, making a nest, taking care of Kristen and the new one on the way and learning a new ministry.  They will be a good asset for Vine International and the work as it goes forward.

While waiting for the containers to be cleared we are not letting any dust collect on our shoes.  We are meeting the occasional ministry in the bodega.  We are helping our neighbor Lilly by building a chicken coop for protection of her hens, source for eggs and meat for her family.   We continue to work in Pavon prison with El Barrios para Cristo and Pastor Nacho teaching in Genesis.  We started on Abraham’s life stories yesterday.   And on Sunday’s the Bible study group that meets in our home is moving through the Psalms.   One of our teenage neighbors opened her note book and shared her outlines and study notes done over the Christmas break.  It was obvious she had worked through the psalms for herself and we were all blessed, especially me!

Please be in prayer for the Ryders as they prepare to take the reins of Vine International – Guatemala.  There are many details to be covered.  Pray specifically for their new baby, new house arrangements and financial support for this important work.

Thank you.

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

A Neat Wheelchair Story.

03/11/2018

Pastor Nacho asked for a wheelchair.  We have worked with this brother since our first days here in Guatemala almost ten years ago.  We know that where Nacho goes Jesus is shared, so of course if we have it, we give it in this case.

The recipient is dad to one of the group we are teaching the Bible to in a local prison.  I don’t have every detail but I believe it has been over 20 years since these two men have seen each other.  The gift of the wheelchair triggered a desire for reconciliation.  Dad was able to be transported and an awesome visit ensued.  They talked,  They ate together.  Our brother in prison got down on the level with his father and said, “over the years I have never asked you for anything, certainly not since I have been in prison.”  He explained since being here he had come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and proceeded to tell his dad about the Gospel Truth.  At the end our brother said to his dad, this one thing I ask of you, that you would pray with me to receive Christ as your Savior.  And he did.

Go God!

That wheelchair came from an unknown donor through Joni and Friends Ministries ( muchas gracias J&F and original donor).  It was refurbished by prisoners in the USA, transported in a DOLE container, by Vine International, unloaded by ex-cons and friends in Vine bodega, then given to El Barrios Para Cristo to be given at the home of an old man who had more than a simple physical need.  There is no way to count the hands on that chair, the funds that it took to get it here, but I know we made the Accountant of Heaven smile.

Pray for us as we continue to teach the Scripture in Pavon Prison.  I so wish we could share photos of this group.  But we are stripped of all devices, belts, keys, shoestrings, etc.  So no photos, smile, wink.

Next story.

Ratoncito and Cindy’s red sweater

See photo of Edwin, grandson of our groundskeeper.  His nickname is Ratoncito (Little Rat or Mouse).  He is always moving, always climbing and exploring.  He helps when we unload a container.  He is very

good help when wheelchair containers come.

The red sweater is a work of Cindy.  It was once her size and took weeks to make.  She wore it the first winter after handcrafting it.  Nice and warm but it shrunk too much for her to wear after first washing.  It is now a gift to Ratoncito and is much appreciated as it is very warm and winter is getting close.

 

 

 

 

Containers – We are currently in a struggle.  In our ten years here and in the 25 years of Vine Internationals service to Guatemala we have the two worst containers in our history back to back.  Container 242 and 243.  The problems are complex.  Some of the delays are ludicrous (putting a space between each line on one set of documents – a first in 25 years).  Our friend David Mollinedo and I went to the port on 242 and sorted the whole container to comply with the SAT inspectors demands.  A tremendous amount of work, all of which was undone when SAT warehouse staff reloaded.  We are very frustra

Tiva filters to Health Talents near Chicacao

ted.  The delays equate to dollars ultimately.  And these have been expensive.  242 was released about 10 days ago and is largely disbursed already.  TIVA water filters delivered.  Medicines to Salud y Paz a designated project.  Joe Leier is coming this next week for his stuff, etc.  243 is still held hostage…. Prayers deeply appreciated.

Next story:  Jason and Lilivet Ryder are landing in Guatemala Dec. 4 to begin a time of transition for Vine International.  We need younger blood!  They will take over Vine in Guatemala in time.  We will help make a smooth transition.  Lilivet is Guatemalteca and having that language skill will be a blessing for our ministry.  Jason is a trained and qualified biomed tech and what a need that is for the Christian medical community here.  It has been a long, shall I say LLLloooonnnnggg prayer of mine that Vine International could add repair and maintenance of equipment to our service.   We are looking forward to their arrival.  For what is going to happen to the McCutcheon’s you will have to wait.  We are not leaving.  We are not retiring.  WE are older and slowing down.  Until Jason and Lilivet can say “We got this”, we will not leave Vine International.

 

And a lighter note… the view from a seat at our favorite comedor Adelita’s while eating lunch.  I suspect we are looking at breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

In  Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon