Since it was getting late and threatening to rain, we cut our visit with this family short and started back for Antigua. We did have time to stop at a clinic operated by a doctor from Cuba and his nurse Walter. They help with providing food for some of the children in the area who have returned home from the malnutrition program at Hermano Pedro. Walter updated us on Julio and Milton, two of these children. Dick was not sure that Milton would still be alive, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that, at least for now, he is doing well. Even though it was after 5 in the afternoon and there were still a number of people in the doctor’s waiting room the doctor came out to greet us in between patients. He is such a kind and gracious man.
While I’m sitting here writing this, I have (finally) realized just how different my experience of Guatemala has been because of my friendship with Dick. I first met the kids at Hermano Pedro through him, went into a traditional village for the first time with him, and have gotten to tag along and meet countless “real” Guatemalans over the past 2 years and even have the privilege of sponsoring a wonderful you man named Miguel so he can stay in school. I probably would have been very satisfied to stay with the “traditional” volunteer activities here in Antigua, were it not for his encouragement to step out and try something different. When I first thought of moving to Guatemala, he was one of the first people I talked to abut this, and his belief that I could actually pull this off gave me the confidence to take the risk of pursuing this dream. And if I “fit in” with the Guatemalan people, so much of this is due to what I have learned watching him and from his stories. Little did I know a few years ago what would happen when a young man in the Guatemala City airport told me that I needed to meet “this guy” in Antigua who makes and fixes wheelchairs. Thank you, God, for all the “Godincidents” you’ve given to show me the way, and thank you, Dick, for letting our Father use you in growing me.