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Community Development2 min read


The Best Birthday I Ever Had

Vernon Brewer
Aug 14, 2012

Last week, I turned 65 . . . a milestone that many of my peers would rather skip over and quickly forget.

But for me, it was a birthday I’ll remember the rest of my life.

I was in Guatemala with several incredible people who support World Help and are instrumental in virtually every project we do . . . and now, we were about to celebrate the impossible . . . a project three years in the making.

Hosptial DedicationInstead of blowing out candles and unwrapping another tie that I’ll never wear, I was cutting the ribbon for the dedication of St. Luke’s Hospital, an extraordinary six-floor building that will literally save thousands of Guatemalans every year!

St. Luke’s is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment provided by World Help’s humanitarian aid program. Each floor is designed to specialize in a particular area, including an emergency room, a maternity ward, and an entire floor dedicated to the care of children.

Dying infants rescued through Operation Baby Rescue will be treated at St. Luke’s and given a second chance at life. There is even a helicopter pad on the roof to accommodate patients who have been air-lifted and are in need of immediate emergency intervention.

As I squinted in the blinding Guatemalan sun to admire the building, I saw the faces of Guatemalan parents beaming with a quiet, unmistakable hope. Can you imagine their relief in knowing that there is now a place nearby to go if their child is sick or injured?  St. Luke’s is literally the answer to their prayers. It is a beacon of hope in a nation entrenched in unimaginable poverty.

There’s no facility like it for hundreds of miles. What an unforgettable moment!

Painting a new home in causelife villageThe miracles continued as we visited village after village, some of which were given access to clean, safe drinking water for the very first time through causelife. Water-related illnesses will no longer steal the lives and futures of countless children here.

Homes are being built for families who were formerly living in dilapidated shacks with no safety or protection. Donors and World Help team members helped build these homes from the ground up alongside these families. I even helped paint . . . and I hate painting!

My wife, Patty, helped rescue a malnourished child with a donor friend. Another life saved . . . all because at World Help, we strive to be “Jesus on the ground” to every person we encounter in need.

Kathy Sarantos and Patty rescued a babyCountless stories and countless lives were impacted on this trip alone. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and their passion to partner with us in reaching the world with help for today and hope for tomorrow. These people are the real deal, and World Help wouldn’t be here without them.

Another birthday. Another list of God-sized tasks completed. Another reason to continue living my life in such a way that every day, I do something that will outlive me and last for eternity.

Also, thank you all for the dozens of birthday messages I received through Facebook, Twitter, email, and phone. I am blessed by your encouragement and couldn’t imagine celebrating my birthday with anyone else—even on the other side of the world.

Take a second to browse pictures from my trip.

Vernon in Guatemala

Guatemalan Boy


















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