We realise it has been a while since we last sent out a newsletter. Sometimes we feel like life stands still here in the Andes Mountains but then we look at Cordia & Estian and quickly realise they are growing up and we are not in a time vacuum. Yes we are proud of little Cordia who is turning out to be quite a tri-linguist. A lot of prayers have gone up for her to adapt to the culture and learn Spanish and we can see the progress in both. Estian turned one the 30th of July and loves playing with his little sister. He discovered the hard side of life when he burned his finger touching the candle flame on his birthday cake.
Medical visit to Locrohuancca
One of the things that the mountain villages do not get to see very often is a doctor. So when we recently had Dr. Allen George, who is also our SIM Peru Director visit from Arequipa, the musty mud-brick building where we normally have church meetings was filled up by the village believers of Locrohuancca.. Dr. Allen attended to some medical needs and we prayed for each “patient” after he had seen them.
We also visited one particular elderly lady, immobile and mostly bed-stricken, to see to her immediate medical needs. I had visited her some two months before to share and pray for her.
We are often so used to having good medical facilities nearby when we need it but most villages here have no doctor and people would need to walk between one and four hours to get to a any form of medical help, not necessarily good.
Return to Locrohuancca
With the next visit to Locrohuancca the Quechua Christian elder who normally accompanied us could not join us this time. So Stephan asked Calip, a Quechua-speaking Christian youth from Abancay who was visiting Cotahuasi to do some ministry, to join us. Just before our church meeting started, one of the local believers came to Stephan and asked him to please go up to his mother’s house and go and share the gospel there with some of his sisters and also pray for some people there. His mother is the bed-stricken lady whom we had recently visited with Dr. George. So I asked Calip to continue with praise and prayer at the church meeting in my absence as I would soon be back to take over from him. But God wanted something different. Up at the house there were some 14 people present who listened to the Gospel explanation, most of whom never get to a church. Stephan also prayed for some sick people and for the elderly lady and she cried inconsolably. An hour and a half passed by quickly and we know that God had brought Calip with for a reason; so that he could share at the Locrohuancca church meeting giving Stephan ample time to share the Gospel with those at the house.
Sickness builds faith
Previously we had asked for prayer for Hermana Rosa, a Peruvian believer of about 60 years old who has been diagnosed with scleroderma and tuberculosis in her bones. She lives in a little village with her elderly mother, her brother and an adopted son of 12 years old. Being Christians, they have always been the ridicule of the village and they survive on the bare minimum.
Rosa for the last 11 years before she got sick, would get up at 3 am on Sunday mornings and wait in the bitterly cold mountain air to catch two different buses in order to arrive at a crossroad at the foot of the mountain. Then she would take another hour to walk up to a village to be able to teach the Gospel to a group of kids aged 2 to 12. Afterwards she would need to walk down the mountain to the next village, 2 hours away, where she could catch a bus home.
The last year she had not been able to do this as her sickness got gradually worse. She was taken to the hospital in Arequipa six months ago and was in a bad state. Rosa came back to her village only about one month ago, now a small fragile figure with an obvious hunchback because of her pain. During a visit to her home what she shared just made us realise once more that God is so faithful.
Rosa and her brother have very little finances to speak of. Since her illness she had to stop working altogether and didn’t know where any money would come from. She says: “Hermano I now have the same and more money than when I had worked before. Non-Christians are giving me money, the municipality is bringing us food, and family members that always looked down on us for being Christians are buying me medicine. God has been providing since my illness and it has not stopped. We have food, we have enough money to live and even many villagers are concerned about my health. Although some days I felt like I wanted to die, God has been with me the whole time and He provides in abundance”.
Please remember to pray with us:
For good health for us as a family and for wisdom as parents raising children in a different culture.
For the believers of Tomepampa and Locrohuancca to grow in their faith.
For the spiritual darkness that hovers over the Canyon to be replaced by His light and His glory.
For the repentance of so many hardened hearts.
For more contact with family, friends and supporters. For people to visit us and share in what God is doing here.