The story of this mission trip actually starts 2 years before The Baum Families trip. David & Beverly Varner, Founders of His Hands International was visiting and following up with Mynor & Griselda, a boy and girl who are wheelchair bound. In previous trips, The Varners sent down two PET Vehicles (hand powered carts), to help the children gain more strength and independence. As part of their Christmas Shoes Project, the Varners presented new shoes to the children. As David washed each child’s feet and blessed them, he noticed that each child had some control and movement. So privately, David began to pray for God to send someone to look at these children and for God to heal them.
In December of 2014 they received a mission trip inquiry from a mission trip finder web site they subscribe to. David began the dialog and vetting process. As the process continued it was discovered that Mr. Ron Baum had a particular profession, he was a Physical Therapist…. Right then, David knew that this was a direct answer to his prayers.
The Baum Family came to Guatemala with an attitude of service and humility. They allowed the Holy Spirit to use them however He wanted. “It was such a blessing serving with the Baum Family”, David said, “they were an answer to 2 years of prayer.”
During the first day they went to evaluate the children and formulate a plan. The next day Ron began to work with Mynor and Griselda while the rest of the family prayed and played with the other children. Each day Ron could feel that their muscles were awakening and responding to his stimulation. By about the 3rd day it was time to stand and try to walk. One slight problem, they did not have a walker. So they began to ask around as to where they might buy one. Of course in Guatemala when you ask a question or directions, you never get the same answer twice. So after about an hour of going here and there, they were finally directed to a Catholic Charity Hospital in Antigua.
Walking into the office where they were directed to go, standing right there waiting for them, was the walker they were looking for. The Baum Family purchased this walker for a donation of around $20 to that ministry. Once again, God gave them exactly what they needed at a very good price! They returned to the home of Mynor and Griselda with the newly found walker. After a few more exercises, it was time to see what they each could do.
Griselda was up first. With a grin on her face from ear to ear, for the first time in about 10 years, she took a firm grip on the walker and stood. Again, with a beautiful and precious smile of confidence that we will never forget, she lifted her leg and stepped forward! We just saw a miracle take place! How awesome was that! She took a few more steps before sitting back down to rest.
Mynor’s turn. With the same smile and determination, he too took a firm grip on the walker, stood, and took his first steps in also about 10 years. His muscles are a little weaker than Griselda’s and will need more time to gain strength. The team made instructional videos that were later uploaded to the ministries YouTube Channel and Facebook account. These videos will be used by the family and body of Christ in Guatemala to help continue their therapy.
Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Also pray that God would send other Brothers and Sisters in Christ, in Guatemala, by to help them with their therapies.
When the Baum Family was not ministering to Mynor and Griselda, they continued to stay busy in the work of the Lord. They put on their hiking shoes, sprayed on mosquito repellent, and began the jungle like trek to visit poor families on the mountainside. With each stop, the family was engaged. Each person took a turn measuring dirty little feet. After all the feet were measured and the data collected, the work was not done. Now the 250-300 pairs of shoes that were tightly packed in suitcases, needed unpacked and sorted. Next came the task of finding the correct size for each child and bagging with their name.
The next few days were spent delivering and placing each pair of shoes on every child’s feet that needed them. What a blessing it was watching the Baum Families children get excited as they placed shoes on these precious little feet. On one stop, the ice cream man was walking through with his cart, and the Baum Family blessed all those around with a cold treat, including a little old woman who was watching through her door. “This is truly what our ministry is about”, said Varner, “allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you in whatever way He leads. We are a Spirit led ministry, and the Baum Family fit right in by their actions”.
On another occasion, Ron had another opportunity to use his talents. A boy who was born with a club foot came by having pain in his foot. Upon further examination, Ron discovered that the lad was not walking correctly, and showed him how to properly walk on that foot. In addition he also showed him some exercises he could do to help stretch his muscles. Also, the same family had a daughter who was severely handicapped and was starting to draw up. Ron gave instructions to her family how to exercise her muscles for her to help reduce some of her pain and stiffness.
Even after their trip, Ron stays in touch with David checking on Mynor and Griselda’s progress. We are looking and praying toward the day when they can once again can walk, and then RUN for the Glory of God!