Thursday, September 23, 2010

"There Are No Mistakes in the Kingdom..."

I returned from Guatemala almost a month ago and I'm still rambling on about my very short time there. Maybe one day I will have said all that I need or want to say about this place that holds so much of my heart.

Wait. I take that back. Never will I be able to stop talking about Guatemala or my experiences there. Just when I think I have nothing to say I am compelled to share something else. I guess that is kind of the point of a blog, isn't it?

My last full day in Guatemala last month had nothing to do with Pueblo Nuevo which is rare during our time there. Naomi had mentioned her friend that volunteers at a children's home between Antigua and Guatemala City and told me about how this home is struggling to get by. It pierced my heart to hear some of the stories she had heard about several of the children there. I wondered if there might be something we could do to help. So she called her friend and asked if she would mind taking me to visit the home and children. The answer was yes, but first I would have to go with her to feed and love on babies at Hermano Pedro.

Be still my soul!

I had been wanting to visit Hermano Pedro for years. This hospital has multiple focuses. One of it's wards is focused on children that are extremely malnourished. That is where I wanted to go and that is where we were going. I could not wait!

Pat pulled up to the curb and blew the horn right on time. It is not common for me, someone that struggles with intense shyness around people I do not know, to immediately feel comfortable and open up when I first meet someone. I've come to realize that it is more of a problem in the U.S. than it is when I am in Guatemala because Pat dug right in to my life with her questions about why I serve in Guatemala, about our ministry and every thing else she could think of before I even had a chance to shut down. So I gave her a brief summary and flipped the questions back on her. I so loved talking with her as we made our way from Parramos to Antigua.

We talked a bit about Dick Rutgers and how she thought that I should meet him one day. Oh how I would love to meet him! Just to be in the same room with him would be a big deal for me. I have known about Dick and his ministry for years and have followed his work as closely as I could. He works with children that have disabilities, providing them with much needed equipment (wheelchairs, etc.). He serves in multiple areas, but spends a lot of time with children that are being treated at Hermano Pedro. His servant's heart is boldly evident and I continue to be in awe at how God uses this man for His glory in Guatemala. So yes, having the privilege of meeting him would be so exciting. But it wouldn't be that day.

We finally made it to Hermano Pedro and walked right in, ready to get our hands on some precious babies. As soon as we walked in, who did we see? Why, Dick Rutgers, of course. Pat laughed, turned to me and said for the first of many times that day, "There are no mistakes in the Kingdom of God. There's Dick. C'mon, I'll introduce you." Right there in front of everyone I almost burst into tears and I have no idea why. Dick was busy measuring a child for a wheelchair so our introduction was quick and there was very little time for chit chat, but so far that day I had finally made it to Hermano Pedro AND met Dick Rutgers. What a day so far!

While we were feeding babies, Dick came over to chat for few minutes before he left the hospital. It was interesting to hear what he was working on and getting ready for. No matter how brief, I am still thrilled that I had the chance to meet him.

I have pictures from our visit to Hermano Pedro, but because we do not serve there on a regular basis I do not want to post them here. I will be happy to share photos with those that I know personally so if you want to see them, just ask and I will send them to you. I could write an entire post on the feelings that came from being at Hermano Pedro, feeding children that are so severely malnourished that you are afraid their bones are going to break at any moment just from holding them and loving on babies that are waiting for surgeries to repair the most intense cleft palates you have ever seen, but I will save it, for now. I am so thankful for the people that God specifically calls to volunteer there because the children that are within those walls are in such desperate need of affection.

We left the hospital and sat down for a quick lunch. During our meal we talked more about all things ministry and Guatemala. I have no idea how many times Pat said, "There are no mistakes in the Kingdom.." and, "Thank you, Jesus!" that day, but she had such an impact on me with her encouragement and glimpses into their ministry that by the time we got halfway through the day I was praying, "God, help me to live a life that screams JESUS as much as her's does."

From Antigua we headed to the children's home, Rosa's de Amor. There are mostly girls that live there and the majority of them have been severely abused, neglected or abandoned. At one point, most of the teenage girls that lived in the house were pregnant. There is only one there now, a 14 year old girl (I think) that has a child. Her baby boy lives with her there. We arrived and just like any orphanage or children's home that you will visit in Guatemala, the children surrounded us, each wanting their moment of attention. We took a tour of the home and spent time watching as the children worked on homework. This is a home that is struggling. The director was in the U.S. at the time, so I will arrange to meet with her in December, but we did hear a long list of things that are needed and ways that we might can help. I am not sure yet what it is we are supposed to do at Rosa's, if anything at all, but we are praying through ways that we may be able to serve these children and those that work with them daily and dearly love them. Again I have pictures from Rosa's, but I will not post them here yet.

At the end of the day, I got out of Pat's car and hugged someone that I felt like I had known forever good-bye. I am so excited about being able to spend a little more time with her in December when she comes to Pueblo Nuevo to help us throw a huge Christmas party for the children there. By the time I left her, I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness for every part of this trip...for Naomi's generosity and talking me through moments of crazy panic, for the time in Pueblo Nuevo that was productive and educational and just sweet and for the day away from PN that led to me meeting this new friend that God used to speak so much to my heart in just a few short hours through her living example of faith.

In the words of Pat....

There are no mistakes in the Kingdom of God. Thank you, Jesus!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I love that you are giving these precious children dignity by not sharing their photos on the web.
And indeed "there are no mistakes in the Kingdom of God!"