Quarantine Yo-Yo and Furlough

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Quarantine Yo-Yo and Furlough

May 1, 2021

As of our last letter, Cajamarca was placed on level 2 (high) of the four tier Covid chart. It was short lived. After two weeks it was re-evaluated and placed at level 4 (extreme). Numbers of infected had begun to climb. Our church had to shut its doors once again and return to online services. After two more weeks our area was downgraded to level 3 (very high) which would allow us to have services at 20% capacity. BUT these two weeks coincided with Easter and the vote for a new president. The government declared that the entire country would be on the strictest quarantine for “Holy Week” to keep large groups from gathering and spreading the virus. Voting in Peru is always on Sunday and no public gatherings are allowed. So those two weeks were also without church services. We could meet, but we couldn’t. A conundrum to say the least. The following two weeks we were able to return to services at 20% capacity. Then new rules went into effect requiring masks AND facial shields to enter stores, markets, and public buildings. Despite all precautions, we have had several families infected with Covid in both our Cajamarca and Guadalupe churches. PTL that none of them became very sick and have since recovered.

Hospitals in our area are considered “collapsed” because of all being full and no ICU beds available. Oxygen is only being supplied in hospitals. Those who are suffering with Covid in their homes are being overcharged for oxygen when they can find it. Just this week, we were able to purchase a portable oxygen machine. It cost several times more than what it would be in the states, but we felt it would be worth having it available. The cost was right at $2200. If anyone would like to help with this please send any support to our mission agency, Central Missionary Clearinghouse. Please include a note that it is for the oxygen machine for our ministry.

In March, the country suffered a transportation strike. Travel was blocked on main highways and streets in towns, shutting down movement and commerce. After five days, the national police were instructed by the federal government to clear the roads of protesters. Warnings were given and the trucks unblocked the roads, allowing traffic to return to normal.

Please be in prayer for the country of Peru. The recent presidential elections brought the field of candidates down from eighteen to two. The run-off will be in June. The choices are sad. One candidate is along the socialist line of governing, the same as the failed government of Venezuela and Cuba. The other candidate has been jailed in the past and is still under investigations for corruption. Either one will be a poor choice, but one will be President.

On April 23, Carla and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. Like many of you have experienced, celebrating was different this year. We managed to get away into the mountains for a picnic. We are looking forward to next year and hoping that we will be back to a type of “normal” so we can plan something special to celebrate our 40th. Then again, each year is special living and serving with the love of my life.

After our mailing address failed several times, we have now gone back to using a post office box. We received Christmas cards in March (mailed in Nov) after the post office saying that we had no mail for three months. They just “found” them. We still do not recommend mailing anything to us because of an unreliable system. But for those who do want to send cards, our address in Peru will once again be: Donald Rich  Casilla 90  Cajamarca, Peru

PRAISE: I recently received a short video from a Christian radio station in the jungle city of Iquitos. It was of a 24-year-old lady giving her testimony on the air. She cried as they presented her with one of the Bibles we provided for that ministry. What a blessing to know how God is working through the Bible distribution.

Lord willing, by the time you are reading this, we will have just arrived in the US for our short furlough. Carla will be visiting a specialist to finally determine if she has Lupus or not. Our calendar is full, and we look forward to visiting several of our supporting churches. We will be giving ministry updates in five states. We appreciate your faithful prayers for Carla’s appointments and for our travel.

May God bless and keep each of you.

Don & Carla Rich