Last Monday was a day not unlike any other. We went to school in the morning. In the afternoon I did some studying and prepared for our Monday night Bible study that we have been doing with two other couples. A little before the time of our study, one couple stopped by to let us know they couldn't make it due to other obligations they had to take care of. The other couple, Mario and Amalia, arrived late and we began talking while they opened a baby shower gift we had given them. Amalia was 8 months pregnant at the time. After a while we all decided we were hungry and wanted to go to Burger King and "hang out" together for a bit. They had informed us that earlier that day Amalia had an ultrasound and everything was going along normal in the pregnancy. The night ended and all were happy and content. The following afternoon I received a call from our pastor's wife informing me that Mario and Amalia had just gone to the doctor and found out that the baby had died. They were on their way to the hospital with our pastor. Sherri and I quickly got ready and headed off to the hospital to offer our comfort, support, and prayers (perhaps, we thought, it was a mistaken diagnosis). We got there too late as the pastor and Mario had already left. We tried to visit Amalia but the hospital would not allow it. Even though we knew they were inducing labor and we didn't want her to be alone during this trial, they told us "Visiting hours are from 2-3 tomorrow." The doctors gave her drugs to induce labor and put her in a room completely alone. As the contractions started to come, and the pain with them, she tried to remain calm but at times the pain was too great to bear and she called out for help. At that, a nurse would poke their head into the room and tell her to "shut up." She received no help until the baby's head was well on its way out. She delivered the baby, lifeless, at midnight. Wednesday AM they offered her a small piece of bread and half a Dixie cup of something to drink.The last time she had eaten was Tuesday morning. That was all she had to eat in 24 hours. The next morning we went to the hospital with Mario and our pastor and found out that Amalia had been stuck in a room all by herself. The hospital hadn't allowed calls nor visits, not even from her husband, for 24 hours. She was alone. Mario wasn't able to see her until after 10 AM that morning. During all this time he didn't know if it was a boy or girl, if his wife was okay, or anything. In order to comfort and help them our pastor wanted our church to take care of all the funeral arrangements and began busily calling members of the church to arrange various aspects of the funeral. At one point in the day he turned to me and said, "They sure don't teach you how to deal with these types of situations in school." When someone dies in Guatemala, there is a HUGE amount of paperwork. Of course, for anything in Guatemala there is a huge amount of paperwork. It was my job along with my friend Elvido to go and get some of the paperwork done. Mario's ID was basically shredded due to wear and tear so Elvido and I had to go to RENAP in order to try to replace it or get some kind of permission granted in order to get permission from the municipality to get the body so we could bury it. That took a few hours of waiting, running here and there, waiting some more, and finally we got it done. Our next task was to bring the paperwork back to the hospital and pick up the body. Elvido had already arranged for a casket which we had in our possession. So we arrived at the hospital and were directed to the morgue. Words cannot express what happened next. We finally got into the morgue after knocking on more than one door. We talked to the man in charge and explained what we wanted to do. We had brought some baby clothes with us that someone from the church had picked up for us so we could dress the baby. I had been under the impression that the hospital staff would do this. But much to my surprise, it was not so. Elvido and I began to prepare ourselves psychologically for this task upon understanding that we would need to dress the baby. We had a tiny little diaper, a pair of socks, two different sized hats, a pair of pants, a t-shirt, and another shirt to put over that. As we waited, I offered up a few prayers for strength to go through with this as I tried not to think of what we were actually going to be doing. It was like a dream, or should I say, a terrible nightmare. And yet, I found strength in the fact that I knew what Amalia and Mario were going through was infinitely more difficult than what I would be doing in the next few moments. Finally, the man went to a refrigerator-type storage unit and pulled out a small package wrapped in shipping paper. As I began opening the package, I tried to distract my mind but continued to think about the lack of compassion involved in this whole process. After at least two layers of shipping paper, I found that the baby was wrapped in a couple layers of diapers taped together. Carefully, I untaped the diapers and came to the little baby. The body was ice cold. The face was dirty, smeared with spots of blood. There was blood and ripped skin near the feet and ankles. My wife and I had talked about taking a picture of the baby for Mario and Amalia in order to remember her in the future. Having a photo really helped heal us emotionally when we lost our little boy that died at birth after 8 months of pregnancy. I realized what I must do. I had some TP with us and proceeded to unroll a bunch and then wet it at the sink. I tried to carefully wipe the baby's face and clean it up to make it presentable for a picture. It took a number of tries since the blood had started to dry. Then I tried to pick the baby up holding it with the diapers that were still underneath its tiny little body while Elvido tried to dress her. We decided not to put on a new diaper for obvious reasons and since she already had a diaper on. We struggled with dressing the baby, putting on its pants, trying to get the tiny little feet through the ends of the pants, not wanting to touch the icy little body, but of necessity doing it. Then we put the t-shirt on and finally we struggled with the shirt, trying to get her tiny little hands through the ends of it as well, taking care not to damage the body, so tiny, so precious, so fragile. The hat was next, we chose the larger of the two caps for ease of placing it on her head. We tried to take a photo but I had no memory stick!!! Ugh... I couldn't figure out how to take a photo using only the camera's internal memory either. Oh no! The only option was to return to my house with the body in the casket and get my memory card so I could preserve the memory of this precious little child for its parents. We took the baby that was now in the casket back to my car and placed it in the trunk. We proceeded to leave the hospital grounds, but needed to "check out" first at the entry gate. This required explaining what we were doing, where we were taking the body, presenting my driver's license, and other documentation. Finally, we were approved to leave. The funny thing was that they didn't even want to look in the trunk to see what, or if, we were leaving with what we told them. Now we were racing against time. It was about 3:30 and the funeral was scheduled to be at 4:00. Of course, the traffic was terrible and it took us what seemed like forever to get to my house. On the way home I called my wife to inform her of what we needed to do. I knew my wife would be emotional at the thought of bringing this baby home and having to see it like that but, much to my surprise, she handled the situation very well and even took the pictures herself. We arrived at the church shortly before 4:00 and I gave the casket to the father. We then waited around for 10 minutes or so for the rest of the people to arrive so we could all go together to the gravesite. Earlier in the day our pastor and a few of us went to the graveyard to make arrangements and buy a plot. Of course, here they don't buy plots, they rent the plots for 6 years and then... I don't know what happens. The man showed us the gravesite and I thought all was well. Then I heard them saying that we would need to dig the grave too! Our pastor asked one of the men and one of the teenagers in our church to dig the grave which they did that afternoon before the service. As I reflect over this day, I think of the difference in cultures between Guatemala (or probably any third world country) and the USA. I can't imagine how parents, spouses, or families can handle the lengthy, in-compassionate, and complicated process of death here without the help of their church family. One man made the comment during the process of that day that Guatemala knows extensively more about its dead than it does about its criminals. Thus indicating that maybe the government of Guatemala should spend more time and resources on trying to track down criminals and less time thinking up additional requirements and red-tape for people in order to bury their dead. By the way, Guatemala has socialized medicine (i.e. "free" medicine, hospitalization, etc). I hope this isn't the future for the USA.
Welcome to our blog page. After spending about five years serving as missionaries in Guatemala we are now in Minot, ND working at planting a Spanish church. We encourage you to check out the different information on this site. Thanks to all who have supported us with their prayers, thoughts, and finances. We couldn´t do it without you.
The MOST IMPORTANT Question...
If you died RIGHT NOW, today, are you SURE that you would spend eternity in heaven? The Bible says that we can be sure where we will spend eternity right now. The Bible says, "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Sin is defined as transgression of the law (1 Jn 3:4). The Law (i.e. 10 Commandments) is God's standard of goodness. If we can keep the commandments, we can enter heaven. BUT, we must keep ALL of the Commandments and NEVER fail (Jam 2:10). Have you ever lied? If so, you are a liar in God's eyes. Ever stolen anything, the value makes no difference. If you have, you are a thief. The Bible also says that if we hate someone we are murderers and if we have ever looked with lust we are adulterers at heart. As you can see, it is impossible to keep the Law. The Bible says that "the wages of sin is death..." (Rom 6:23). Because we have sinned we have earned the wages of death and must pay for our sins forever in the Lake of Fire, Hell (Rev 21:8). God is just and thorough. He will judge every sin, even our thoughts and the secret intentions and motives of our hearts. God requires perfection in order to enter heaven and He will not let sin enter. Remember the story of Jesus on the cross when Jesus cried out saying " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mat 27:46). Do you know why He said that? For all of eternity the Father and Son had a close intimate relationship. But when Jesus was on the cross, the Bible says that all our sins were placed upon Jesus (1 Pet 2:24). God the Father turned His back on His only son. Why? Because of sin. Not Jesus' sin, He had no sin. It was for OUR sin that was upon Jesus that the Father turned away. Now, just think of what will happen to YOU if you die in your sins if the Father turned His back on His only Son Jesus who had no sin of His own. This is very bad and sobering news. It would appear at this point that there is no hope, that we are all doomed. But wait! There's more... God doesn't want ANYONE to go to hell (Jn 3:16). This is the reason that Jesus came to earth. God showed His loved to us in that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died FOR US" (Rom 5:8). In other words, we owed a sin debt that we could not have paid and Jesus satisfied it by shedding His own blood on the cross as a payment for us on our behalf. He satisfied the just demands of a holy Law. This is a free gift (Eph 2:8-9). We can not earn it. We can not buy it. We can not do anything in order to obtain it. BUT, we must turn from our religion, our good works, and everything that we have trusted in to help us get to heaven and we must turn to God. The Bible says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom 10:9). It's like this: You are walking along living life your own way when suddenly you realize you are a sinner on your way to spend eternity in hell. You stop, turn to God and say, "I am a terrible sinner. I deserve to go to hell forever. I am sorry God and realize that you are right and I am wrong. Please forgive me. I put all my trust and hope in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to wash away my sins. I believe that He paid for ALL of my sins and I believe that You accepted His payment by raising Jesus from the dead. Thank you God for salvation. Amen." At that very moment the Bible says that you are passed from death unto life (Jn 5:24). Please know that the prayer does not save you. It is the fact that you are putting your faith and trust in the saving and cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ for your salvation based on the promise of God's Word, the KJV Bible. Please don't delay. Think about the reality of these things and call upon the name of the Lord today for your salvation and forgiveness of sins (Rom 10:13). May God bless you.
Are YOU evil?
If you KNOW something is evil, and DO nothing about it, you are COOPERATING with evil. If you COOPERATE with evil, you are PARTICIPATING with evil. If you PARTICIPATE with evil, you are DOING evil. If you DO evil, You ARE evil. In a court of law you would be PROSECUTED. Don't think for one moment that willful ignorance is a valid defense. Not asking questions amounts to giving permission for evil. Today there is no lack of evil in this world. But many Christians are burying their heads in the proverbial sand through sports, entertainment, and other self-interests. They are either unaware or are willfully ignorant of what is actually going on in the world. They expect our government to solve all the moral issues of the day including alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, etc. But morals absolutely can not be legislated. It is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to change the hearts and minds of the people through the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is NOT the responsibility of the government. Once the heart is changed, changed morals will follow. But too many Christians involve themselves in the political process in order to effect this change and neglect their first duty; to preach the gospel to every creature. IF you are a Christian, DO something. Look around. Ask questions. What seems to be is not necessarily so. Read your Bible! Prophecy is being fulfilled in front of our very eyes each day. Just because you will be raptured before everything gets really bad does not mean that you should neglect your primary responsibility; to seek and save the lost. Go! Do something! Make your life count for something bigger than your self. One day you will stand before God and give account for what you did, or didn't do, while on earth. If that doesn't make you tremble, perhaps it is time to ask yourself if you are really saved. May God bless you as you go about HIS business.
The Crash of the Dollar will Fulfill Bible Prophecy...
The Bible talks about 10 economic unions that will form in the last days (Dan 2 & 7;Rev 13 & 17) like the European Union. This is coming to pass before our very eyes. There are 10 ecomomic unions already planned, the USA, Canada & Mexico being one of them. One way to cause this union to come to pass is by destroying the dollar. Many countries have already backed away from using the dollar as a standard. It is just a matter of time before the dollar crashes and we see hyperinflation with all of the bailouts from the Bush and Obama presidencies and the Quantatative Easing measures of the current administration that have taken place in the recent few years. One way to protect yourself financially is to change your dollars into silver or gold. I believe that silver will outperform gold due to the lower cost and greater ability for the masses to obtain it. Please go to
Silversaver to find out how you might protect your assets during these difficult times. "Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)