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Praising God Through Mixed Emotions

September 6, 2016

Carla and I praise God for a busy two months with much accomplished since our last prayer letter, but it has not been without its trials.

In our last writing, we told you about the new church plant we are starting in Guadalupe. We have been busy since then, moving Pastor Juan Carlos and his family to a rented apartment near the new church, and preparing the building that we will be using to start the services. It   needed some plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work, a metal security door, window panes replaced, much cleaning, and painting. It is coming together well. Carla and I moved a bed into the former kitchen area so that we can save on hotel costs when we are there for services, etc.

Before moving him to the coast, Pastor Juan Carlos lead the kids’ club one last time in Puylucana. We had 26 kids in attendance for this special time. They are sad to see him and wife Karen go, but excited about what God is doing in their lives. We also had a special send-off service in our church in Cajamarca.

On July 15, Carla and I celebrated 13 years as missionaries living in Peru! What an adventure it has been and we look forward to the coming years as we see what God has in store for us and our ministry. On the 17th, just after celebrating our milestone, we baptized six in our Sunday services! It has been worth it all!

On a sad note, on July 27, our national pastor’s mother-in-law was struck and killed by a motorcycle while crossing a road. This is the first funeral of one of our church members in the eleven years since we started. Blanca was a sweet lady who was always early for church and had a smile and a hug for everyone. She will be missed dearly.

Our church had a “fogata” (bonfire) for the young people the end of July. There was a big turn-out for the fun, food, fellowship, and the study of God’s Word. Before the night was over, one young man accepted Christ as his Savior as we sat around the fire!

In the beginning of August, we had a couple visit from one of our supporting churches in North Carolina. Rodney and Alisha were a blessing as they helped us clean and paint the exterior of the new church building in Guadalupe. We also visited several ministry opportunities in our area, as they are praying for God’s direction in their lives.

We celebrated the 11th year anniversary of our first church plant on August 12-14! It was a great reminder of just how God has worked in our ministry. We had a twenty-six-year-old man saved on Saturday night! We fed around 250 on Sunday! We enjoyed good preaching by Pastor/Missionary Jesús Altuna. He and his wife Tracy have been friends of ours for years. We are so pleased to see how the church continues to grow and serve.

Just after the anniversary services, we had to make an emergency visit back to the US. Carla’s dad’s health was deteriorating rapidly. Carla was sitting with him when he went to be with the Lord on Aug 20. He was 83 years old and had said many times that he was “ready to go”. He will be missed greatly, but we rejoice in knowing we will see him again in Glory.

While in the US, God opened the door for me to preach at our home church, and speak to a Spanish class at a Christian School in AL. We also enjoyed fellowship with family and our home church. When Satan tries to give you lemons, God has a way of squeezing out sweet lemonade.

Bible Ministry – Victory Baptist Press has purchased the large rolls of paper needed for printing the 25,000 Bibles! The printing has begun! We are praying that God will continue to provide so we can get those Bibles out soon!

* Take a look at all the new photos on our website!

Serving Him for you in Peru,

Don & Carla Rich