Chairs, chairs, everywhere

From Brad:

Our final day of the trip has come.  We had a great wheelchair distribution yesterday.  Our hearts are full and while we are sad to leave our friends in Guatemala, we are happy to go home to see our families.

We started the day yesterday with our last morning devotion.  I really have to thank Tom for all of his work he puts into our devotions.  It is absolutely a God thing with how accurate the devotions are for each day.  Whatever we study seems to be completely relevant at some point.  Thank you Tom!

We headed to Chimaltenango for the wheelchair distribution.  Rick had a really good write-up on the distribution, so I encourage you to read it. (  I was so happy to see Hugo get his wheelchair.  Amazing how quickly things can happen when God gets involved.  From Rick asking the question to Hugo being in a new chair of his own was less than one day.

The first person I helped was a 78-year old man who had a surgical mask over his face.  As I welcomed him and told him my name, he pulled the mask down. Almost all of his nose and a portion of his face was missing!  He has been battling skin cancer for 16-years.  He has had quite a bit of his face removed through surgery.  Many would look at him and turn away.  People would probably assume he was sad and had no joy.  Not this man.  He was so full of joy. He was not defined by his appearance or circumstances.  He was thankful for this day the Lord has made, and thankful for the wheelchair he was about to receive.  Even though I could not understand much of what he wanted to say, and needed Emily to translate a lot, I knew enough to realize he loved God and was thankful for the gift God was giving him.  What a powerful witness!  Another special person I worked with was a woman who said she was 108-years old.  I didn’t get a picture with her, but she was so sweet.  She was praising God and giving Him all the glory.  She was so thankful to receive her chair.  I’m always amazed at how organized Bethel is with the wheelchair distributions.  They make it look easy, but the reality is that so much work goes into making the day happen.  And, not only happen, but go so smoothly.  Fifty people received chairs.  They were perfectly fit for them.  So many smiles!

We then headed for our annual pilgrimage to Pollo Campero.  It was delicious.  If they had one in Louisville, I would probably eat there at least once a week.

After lunch, we headed to visit Luki and her family.  Luki has been a special part of our visits.  Her story is very interesting.  In short, she was run over many years ago by a truck and considered dead.  They covered her and were waiting for the car to come take her away.  All the sudden, she began moving.  They realized she was alive and called for an ambulance to take her to the hospital, not the morgue!  Her kids are all doing well.  Tulio has really matured.  He now works in the wheelchair shop with Bethel.  He also helped start a church near where they live.  He is on fire for Jesus.  They now have 48 people attending their church each week.  Yohana is now starting college to become a social worker.  And, David is working on computer programming. 

We ended the day by driving to Guatemala City to stay at the Barcelo Hotel.   We have done this for the past two years.  The traffic has become really bad in and out of the city.  So, rather than have the entire group get up at 2:30 or 3:00 to beat the traffic, we stay 5-minutes away at the Barcelo.  We had one last dinner together at the hotel.

On the way to the City, American Airlines notified me that my flight was cancelled.  They then notified me that they gladly rebooked me 24-hours later.  Wow, that was super generous! J  Doesn’t everybody want to travel one day later?  I called American and changed my flight to United.  All seemed well until I showed up today at the airport.  The United person said the ticket was not complete.  This started a 45-minute process walking back and forth from the American to United counters.  Good thing I showed up early!  All the other guys are heading back on Delta soon. 

It has been a special week together.  God has done so much in all our visits.  As usual, I ask each guy to write one last blog post.  After that, I will write one last entry as well, wrapping things up. 

Thank you to everyone who has donated money or prayed for us.  You helped us accomplish all that God had planned for us.  So many lives were changed.  Many came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I pray that everyone is safe and staying warm through the Polar Vortex hitting the USA?  You have been in our thoughts and prayers. 

Please check back each day over the next week to read the guy’s closing thoughts.

Dios te Bendiga, Brad

Posted in 2019 Guatemala.

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