The Calm After the Storm and a New Work!

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The Calm After the Storm and a New Work!

May 1, 2023

Hola desde el Perú (hello from Peru),

In the past two months we have experienced flooding in the northern areas of Peru caused by a cyclone in the ocean off the coast. The desert coast of Peru normally receives an inch or less of rain per year, so it was not prepared for the heavy rains that it received. This caused many homes to be destroyed, bridges collapsed, roads washed away, and many mud/rockslides in the mountains. There were reported to have been at least 59 killed and several missing because of the flooding. If that wasn’t bad enough, the El Niño phenomenon came in behind the hurricane because of warm waters off the coast, causing more heavy rains and flooding and increasing the damage. We had to postpone trips to our coastal work several times because of road closures and dangerous conditions. PTL we were able to visit once the weather calmed down.

The political rioting has all but ceased in the country with no real change having occurred after much destruction and many dying in the violent uprisings. Back in March, a small troop of Peruvian military was attacked by a group of between 800-900 protesters in the southern part of the country. They forced the soldiers to retreat while throwing rocks and physically attacking them. At least five soldiers drowned as they tried to cross a river to avoid the mob. The soldiers were there to try to maintain peace and order in this hot spot of the protests. Please pray that the calm that we are experiencing now will continue.

On a different political front: Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo was recently extradited from the US where he had fled and had been avoiding prosecution for corruption since 2019. This brings to a total of three the former presidents in one Peruvian prison and another former president under house arrest because of his health and age. I recently read that one woman who has run for the office of president a couple of times has decided not to run again. Who can blame her with the odds of ending up in prison? BTW, her father is one of the incarcerated former presidents.

Now for some exciting news! We have been approached by a small group who have tried for a while to start a church but have been unsuccessful. After much prayer and discussion, we have partnered with Pastor Erik Alvarado to raise up another work in our area. Our valley has grown to a population of around 250,000 allowing the opportunity to reach more souls through solid Bible preaching churches. The name of this new work will be Iglesia Bautista El Verbo de Dios (The Word of God Baptist Church). Your prayers are much appreciated as we begin this new endeavor.

Our Cajamarca church, Iglesia Bautista Calvario, continues to see new visitors, souls saved, and a growing youth program. Since our last letter we have seen 2 more souls saved and 3 baptized! It is great to be able to focus our efforts on our other works knowing that this church is doing well. Pastor José Zamora has developed into one of the best Peruvian preachers we know and does a great job as pastor.

Bible Distribution Ministry Update – Victory Baptist Press had another delay caused by printing plates being on backorder for months. PTL they were finally received, and the printing process is almost complete! We hope to have the next shipment within 2 months.

We have heard from the young couple who are moving here as new missionaries. Darren and Rachel Townsend are expecting to be here within a couple of months. We are looking forward to receiving them and enjoying working and fellowshipping with them in the years to come.

Until our next letter, may God continue to bless each of you as you faithfully pray and support the ministry here in Peru.

Don & Carla Rich