Thank You

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hello Everyone from Guatemala.

I just had to send a thank you letter out to you as Marleni and I are just overwhelmed with the donations this month from
 you folks.

But I would like to let you know where your donations go when you send them.

I of course cannot list everything, but here are a few examples of when you send us funds
 how God directs us to use them.


Remember Daniel? He was the boy who I found in a shack in the jungle who had a non-functioning liver.

He was eleven years old when I first found him. He is now 17 years old and still alive.

 The Doctors in the City told me he would not live 6 months.
All I could do for him was give him a diuretic to try and get rid of the excessive fluids
 in his body and ask you all to pray for him.
Well it worked.

However I still have to buy Lasix every two months for him.
His mother gets on a bus 75 miles from here and meets me in Rio Dulce. I give her
the medicine and money for the bus and food.
She does not have a husband as he left her and went to Belize many years ago and never returned.
 So she is trying to feed 4 kids and Daniel and
all she has are some chickens to sell eggs.

So some of the money you send goes to help this family and keep Daniel alive.


You may remember Rodrigo the little boy who was burned so badly and we did surgery on him here in Guatemala
and then sent him to the States
where a Plastic Surgeon did wonders on his skin.

He is also now a teenager.
I went to Rio Dulce the other day and as I passed the open market I looked down the ally
and there was Rodrigo digging through the garbage trying to find
something to eat.
 He had found a tomato that was only half rotten and was eating it.
I walked over and said Rodrigo? He looked up embarrassed and said
Hola Dr Bryan.

 I said what are you doing? He said he had not eaten for three days and was hungry. 
I reached down and hugged him with tears coming down both of our cheeks.
I gave him some of your money to buy food and some shoes. I told him to take
some more money and buy food for the family and take it back to the village.
 He said he would and said Gracias. I said " No Rodrigo, thank God"
You see God
had some people from the United States of America send me money to help you.

Last week I had to go to Guatemala City to pick up our car.
We had to sell it and a guy bought it and then put a stop payment on the check.
He did not know how to
drive a standard stick shift and so he burned up the clutch and tore up the shifter linkage.

 Fortunately my wife Marleni's sister is married to a high ranking officer in the
 National Police Force. So he sent two police officers to the guys house and got the car back.
I had it fixed by a local mechanic, jumped on a bus and went to Guatemala City to get my car back.

While I was staying at my brother-in-laws home, I met a couple there and we began to talk.

His story drove me to tears.

He said he worked at a car wash to try and make enough money to feed his family.
His wife sells tortillas and makes about 10.00 Quetzales a day. ( $1.30)
They have two children. A boy 12 years old and a girl 10 years old.

They do not go to school as they live in a very very poor neighborhood and to go to school
you have to buy uniforms, books and supplies. So they do not go to school.
As we talked he explained that he used to be a police officer and had served for 17 years.
He would get a retirement pension after 20 years.
So I said why did you quit the police force?

He said I did not quit I was fired. I said why?

He and his two other partners had been on patrol one night and saw a suspicious truck with what looked like
a drug deal going on.
They investigated and found 170 kilos of cocaine.
They arrested the two gang members and were glad they stopped a major deal.

The next night they saw another truck in the same area, as they approached the truck one of the gang members
in the truck got out and started shooting.
One of the bullets went through his side and out his back.
He returned fire and shot the gang member which killed him.
The officer was taken to the hospital and they opened him up to find his intestines severed.
I saw his entrance and exit wound scar and the long scar down his abdomen
where they opened him up to do the surgery.

After two weeks in the hospital the police dept came and put HIM in jail !!!
They said because he had shot and killed a man he would spend 6 months in prison and was fired.

I could not believe my ears. (In my country he would have been given a medal.)

I said WHY?
 He said the human rights laws in Guatemala only allow deadly force in self defense.
 I said but that is what you were doing?
He said yes I know, but this is Guatemala.....
So 17 years of serving as a police officer and this was the way they say thank you.
Now both of my sons are in law enforcement.
One is a police officer and the other in the Coast Guard.
So I have a soft spot in my heart for Police who put
 their lives on the line

I went to my brother-in-law in the next room privately and said Enio, is what he just told me true?

 Enio said Bryan I am ashamed to say, yes it is true.

So with YOUR money we are now sending his two children to a private safe school in Guatemala City.

I could go on and on but you get the picture.

We are transitioning from medical mission work to focusing on Dental Work.
The reason is we just don't have the funds or teams like we used to.
So with gas at $5.00 a gallon it's kinda hard to
drive the bus into remote villages.

So our current project is to build a dental clinic There are none in this area full time.
Sometimes a dental team will come through but just for a week and then nothing for years.
The reason we are building a dental clinic is because starting in January of 2013 there will be
13 teenagers from a Mayan Village deep in the jungle only accessible by boat
coming to live at the dorm facility.
They will go to school all week and then return every few weeks for the
week-end to be with their families.

Their parents cannot afford
to send them to school and it would be a two hour trip by boat each way.
So they just cannot go to high school. This program will change these young peoples lives.

If they can get an education and escape the poverty of living in the jungle, they may be able to get a decent paying job when they graduate. They will receive food, uniforms, and transportation to Rio Dulce.
This is with the help of a church in Alabama USA!

 A missionary family from the church are living with their family in the dorm and will be
taking care of these teenagers.
( Please keep them in your prayers )

Marleni and I just want to say thank you so much for your prayers and support
 in helping us to help the forgotten people of Guatemala.

In His Service

Bryan & Marleni Buchanan