Author: Don Rich

Believe It or Not!

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Believe It or Not! Peruvian Elections and more!

November 1, 2022

   I apologize in advance for starting our letter with politics, but with all that is going on in the US politically I thought you might enjoy a laugh while reading about how it is elsewhere.

   Regional and local elections in Peru took place on October 2. In one city a 20-year-old was elected mayor. In the US he wouldn’t be old enough to do many things but here he is old enough to run a city. Then there is the man who lost the mayoral election in his town, and he was the only one on the ballot! All Peruvians must vote or pay a fine. There were so many who voted blank ballots that there were more of them than the candidate received. In still another election, two men received the same number of votes. They will now gather the national election authorities and toss a coin to see who becomes mayor. You can’t make this stuff up! Speaking of politics, our Peruvian President Pedro Castillo is being accused of running a corruption ring and paying for votes. This is the third attempt in sixteen months that they have tried to impeach him. If you will remember I wrote in 2020 that Peru had three presidents in five days! The excitement never ends! Welcome to Peru!

   Covid restrictions are lessening finally. The government recently announced that masks are only required in public buses and in medical facilities. It is great to see people’s faces again. There is still a three-vaccination mandate for living in the country.

   Please be in prayer as Carla and I have applied for “permanent resident/migrant” status. It is a process that takes a couple of months to complete, and we’ve heard it is hard to get approved. We only know of one missionary who has received it. If approved, it would be a blessing both financially and timewise. We have always had to renew our residency every year, paying fees, filing papers, etc. The new status would allow us to just get a new ID card every four years. It would also be less restrictive, allowing more time while on furloughs and for out-of-country trips for distributing Bibles, etc.

   Back in September we had a visit from missionary Darren Townsend, his girlfriend Rachel, and her parents Van and April Coker. While here Darren proposed to Rachel! They are now engaged with a wedding date set for mid-January. What this means for us is that help is on the way! Darren and Rachel are praying to finish deputation so they can arrive in Peru next Spring. They will be working with us while they pray as to where God would have them work permanently. Our prayer is that they will be staying in our area. Would your church like to support a new missionary? Please consider this great couple who love the Lord and would be a great asset here in Peru!

   On October 16th we celebrated the 6th Anniversary of our Guadalupe church with an attendance of around 20. It was also the last service in the church building as we enter a period of transition. As we mentioned before, this work has suffered in the past couple of years with an average attendance of about six to eight. After much prayer we have moved to “house-church” services. We are praying that this will promote more involvement of the members and allow for more growth.

   Printing of the next shipment of Bibles from Victory Baptist Press has been delayed because of difficulty in getting employees in the print shop. They now hope to begin printing sometime this week. Please be in prayer for them as they continue to provide the Word of God for many all over the world, including us in S. America.

Ministry opportunity – We plan to distribute Christmas gifts to poor neighborhoods again this year. If you would like to help with this, please send the support to Central Missionary Clearinghouse with a note that it is for “Kids’ Gifts”.

   Carla and I want to praise the Lord for six more souls saved in our ministry since our last letter!  Six more who won’t have to face God’s wrath but will live in his love for eternity.

   There are three more photo albums on our website, www.richperu.com. Take a look!

May God richly bless you all as we head into the holiday season, celebrating our great God and his blessings.

Don & Carla Rich

Blessings Abound

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Blessings Abound

September 1, 2022

Hello from the beautiful Andes Mountains,

   Carla and I have just returned to Peru this week after our short furlough where we visited some supporting churches, and we also were invited to a couple of new ones. God blessed our time with them, our home church, and our families and friends. It was a refreshing but busy time. In August we participated in another beautiful wedding. This one was for Moriah Rice (Black), another daughter of our dear friends. We went fishing with our son and my brother and had a fish fry for friends and family. We also were able to see our granddaughter Wyndee begin to ride her bicycle without training wheels. It is events like this that we miss while on the mission field so we feel blessed when we can be there for them.

   We returned to Cajamarca to what would be called our Spring here in Peru. We still have cool weather at night but sunny and around 65 degrees so far during the day. Our seasons are reverse of what we have in the US. Summer is on its way which is also our rainy season. It can get downright soggy at times, but it is much needed for the farms in the mountains and valleys around us.

   In our last letter we wrote about celebrating 19 years on the field in Peru. On August 14 we had another celebration. That was the 17th anniversary of our first church here in Cajamarca. They celebrated with a guest speaker for the three services, dinner on the grounds, and a baptismal service where two were baptized and one more was saved!

Our Guadalupe church is still struggling but has seen a new couple visiting faithfully in the past few weeks. Please continue to pray for Pastor Juan Carlos and us as we work together to make wise decisions for this ministry. We rest in the fact that God’s Word does not return void but accomplishes His purpose.

Bible Ministry Update: We have heard great news that Victory Baptist Press has received the paper for the next printing of around 25,000 Bibles. They have had some setbacks including a forklift needing repair that is used to lift the large rolls of paper to the printing press. We continue to pray that all will go well in order for us to have Bibles by the end of this year or the first part of 2023. I continue to get requests from all over S. America from those who are in need of Bibles for their congregations.

We are looking forward to the coming months as we have plenty to do and are expecting some special visitors. More on that in our future letters.

We have had a total of four more saved and 3 more baptized in our ministry since our last prayer letter. God continues to bless the work, and we are honored to be messengers of our King here in Peru.

May God bless each of you for your prayers and support!

Don & Carla Rich

 

 

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Celebrations!

July 1, 2022

To our always faithful supporters,

   Carla and I pray this letter finds you all doing well and receiving God’s blessings. You are all such a blessing to us, and we are so thankful for your prayer and financial support. Without you, we know that our ministry would not be as effective.

   That said, let me begin this letter with one of our reasons for celebrating. On the 15th of this month Carla and I will celebrate 19 years on the field in Peru! We are amazed at what God has accomplished in that time and look forward to what he will do in the coming years. Our prayer letters since the second year of our ministry are all on our website at rich2peru.com. I find it a blessing to go back and pick an old one at random from time to time just for the memories and to see how far God has brought us on this adventure. It is humbling to think that He would use us in His eternal plan to reach lost souls.

   As of this letter, we are on a short furlough for Carla’s yearly doctor appointments and visiting supporting churches that we couldn’t get to on our last furlough. Preaching and giving updates at our supporting churches is always a great time of reconnecting with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have also been able to be in New York to attend the wedding of Rebekah Rice (Diehl), one of our dearest friend’s daughters. We plan to be a part of her sister Moriah’s wedding in Ohio the first week of August.

   After the wedding in New York, Carla and I took a trip through the northeastern states for a late celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary which was back in April. We were then able to visit our daughter’s family in Ohio where I had the privilege of preaching at the church where our son-in-law is now serving as pastor. The church is located across the state line from them in Indiana.

   We also have been able to take a short family vacation with my sister and mother and go fishing with my brother and our son Shawn. It is always great to be with family.

   In the short time that we have been staying at my mother’s home, three in the house have been diagnosed with Covid but came through it fine. Carla and I were not affected. God continues to bless and watch over us.

   Another great celebration that we are looking forward to this weekend is Carla’s milestone birthday. I won’t tell her age but let’s just say I recently turned sixty-three and she is three years younger. It will be a nationwide celebration as her birthday is on July 4th. Go ahead and light up some fireworks and help us celebrate her birthday!

Bible Ministry Update: We have heard great news that Victory Baptist Press has received the cover stock needed for the next printing of Spanish Bibles that they will send to us to distribute in South America. After being told that the paper they normally use for printing the Bible itself will no longer be available, they were able to order a paper that will work well. Please be in prayer that the paper will arrive soon so that they can begin printing. We are praying that all will go well in order for us to have Bibles by the end of this year or the first part of 2023. As always, I am contacted often by pastors and missionaries all over S. America who are in need of the precious Word of God for their congregations.

   We have had two more saved in our ministry since our last prayer letter! God continues to bless. We are so glad to be a part of what He is doing in Peru.

May God bless each of you!

Don & Carla Rich

 

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“No Seed Left in the Barn”

May 1, 2022

Hello from Peru!

   Through the years we have received tracts, John/Romans, and other materials from missionaries who left Peru and gave us what they had left over. We have shared many of these with pastors and missionaries and used them to give out when we were on road trips in Peru, but still had random boxes of different materials sitting under the stairs or in other storage areas. We have been so blessed to receive the Bibles, John/Romans, gospel tracts, and Romans booklets as part of our distribution ministry that those older materials were put on a back burner. This really burdened me recently as I thought of all that gospel seed that was just sitting in the barn, not being sown. It became our goal to get everything out. An often-heard phrase around our house is now, “No seed left in the barn”. PTL, we are accomplishing that goal! Now I want to encourage you to do the same. Does your church tract rack look the same every time you go by? Take a few and give them out. The seed doesn’t do any good if it is not planted! In these last days we shouldn’t be hoarding seed, but planting and cultivating souls for Christ.

   In our last letter I mentioned a trip to the Ecuador border to deliver Bibles and Romans booklets to two missionaries. We had a good trip and were able to get the materials delivered after a couple of hiccups at customs. But God worked it out in a way we didn’t expect. Long story short, we entered Ecuador, made the delivery, and returned to Peru without having to have our passports stamped. That is one day saved on our limit of time we can be out of the country.

   NO MORE BIBLES or ROMANS BOOKLETS!!! In just 10 weeks (2 ½ mo) all of the Bibles were either delivered or promised to many different ministries. We were able to get them distributed into five different countries this time. We also completed distribution of the Romans booklets. We are now awaiting another shipment of Bibles that we are praying will arrive at the end of the year or beginning of 2023. Pastors are already asking when we will have more.

   In March we led a four-day mission trip to help our struggling Guadalupe church on the coast. Carla and I took eleven others from our Cajamarca church. We covered the majority of the city with tracts and church invitations. The rest was completed the next week after we left. We have seen very little fruit so far from this effort. We do not like to write about the negatives, but they are part of the ministry. Please continue to pray for this work.

   We found out that there was going to be a transportation strike the day we were going to return from the mission trip, so we had to leave before daylight to avoid being stuck there. We found out as we arrived home that the road we used was indeed blocked off behind us because of the strike. It was a good thing we left when we did. Also, as we left there was unusual rain in Guadalupe, an area where they only get around an inch per year. The rain continued into the mountains causing rockslides and road closings on roads all around, but the Lord blessed our return. Our route had some rockslides but nothing to impede travel.

   In April, I was invited to preach a 5-day missions conference for missionary Peter Putney in Colombia. I was also privileged to be a part of the ordination council and service for the new assistant pastor Uber Atehortua. Carla and I visited the new property and building that they are purchasing for their church. It was great to see how God is blessing their ministry. As a result of the conference the church was able to take on two more missionaries and raise the monthly amount for the two they were already supporting.

Political news: The Peruvian Congress once again tried to vote out the sitting president of Peru but was unable to get enough votes. He is now proposing a new constitution which has caused much controversy. They continue to look for ways to get him out of office, including proposing a new law to limit a president to only two-year terms (now 5).

   We have had at least two more saved since our last prayer letter. God continues to bless, and we are so glad to be a part of what He is doing in Peru.

   We have new photo albums on our website (www.rich2peru.com) Please take a look! May God bless each of you for your heart for missions!

 

Don & Carla Rich

 

 

 

His Word Will Not Return Void!

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His Word Will Not Return Void!

March 1, 2022

   Hello from the beautiful and wet Andes Mountains of Peru! Our rainy season arrived a little later than usual but is making up for lost time. This last week has been w-e-t with temps in the 60’s here in Cajamarca. We have heard of several mountain roads that are closed due to mud and rockslides. The coast of Peru is enjoying a hot summer. And the jungle? Well, the jungle is the jungle. It is always hot and can rain at any time. But so much for the weather update. Let’s share what God is doing in Peru!

   In January we took seventeen youth including several visitors over two hours back into the mountains for a day trip. It was a great day of fellowship, games, and of course, eating. God blessed the day and we had three saved!

   Carla has begun a ladies healthy eating class in our Cajamarca church. They are having fun learning better ways to eat and trying new recipes. Peruvians eat rice and potatoes at many meals and there is a high rate of diabetes because of it. Carla hopes to help at least some turn that poor pattern around and have a healthier lifestyle for their families.

   I was invited to teach a class in February to at least 54 pastors in a town about an 18-hour drive from where we live. The class was on the purity of God’s Word and the early manuscripts. This is a great way to share our Bible ministry with more pastors. We also provided Romans booklets for each pastor in attendance. After the class, we immediately began receiving requests for Bibles and Romans booklets in that area. We have now sent over 300 cases of Bibles to many pastors there to be used in their churches and other works where the Word of God is so desperately needed.

   Carla and I were blessed to have two visitors recently. Ken and Worth have visited our ministry in Peru many times and love to be involved in the distribution of Bibles. They both accompanied me on the week-long trip to teach the pastors. Upon our return they also helped us deliver and ship out many cases of Bibles and Romans booklets to various pastors and missionaries.

   Speaking of Bible & Romans booklet distribution, you’ll remember we announced the arrival of the container of Bibles in our last prayer letter. On Jan. 3, I sent an email to pastors and missionaries here in Peru of the availability of the Bibles. In just under 2 months, we have delivered or promised over 20,000 Bibles. That is over 85% of what we received! They have already been delivered to many churches in the mountains, coastal desert, and jungle areas of Perú. Carla and I recently traveled to the coast to coordinate a shipment of 2800 Bibles into the jungle capital. We have also sent a large shipment into Chile to three missionaries who will be distributing them there. As soon as we can get clearance, we will be delivering many Bibles to pastors in Bolivia who will receive them at the border of Peru and take them into the country. Covid and customs restrictions are causing some delays, but God is in control. Carla and I are leaving today on a trip into Ecuador to deliver Bibles and Romans booklets to three missionaries there. More on that in our next letter. Please pray for safety and no problems in the border crossing process.

   National pastor Juan Carlos continues to work hard to build our coastal church back up. Church attendance began to return to normal as Covid restrictions lessened, then dropped again as we began to see a lack of commitment in the members and attendees. Pastor Juan Carlos is doing a good job of visiting and encouraging, but they are just not responding as they should. We know this is happening in many places, but it is sad to experience. That said, praise the Lord a baptism is planned for the coming weekend for two of the members. Please be in prayer for this work as we trust God for guidance and continue to reach that area. We continue to see a good number of visitors at our Cajamarca church and attendance has been good.

   Praise be to God, including the youth outing we have seen a total of 9 receive Christ since our last letter!

   We have posted new photo albums on our website (www.rich2peru.com) Please take a look! May God bless each of you for your heart for missions!

Don & Carla Rich

20-20 too!

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NEW YEAR! 20-20 too!

January 1, 2022

   As we enter this new year may it be another one of vision, “refocusing” ourselves on Christ and our part in His Kingdom work. Instead of 2022, may we look at it as 20-20 too! In 2020 and 2021 many became so focused on avoiding the virus that God’s Church began to suffer great losses. Although the majority seem to have returned to in-person services, there are so many churches who continue to see drastic declines in attendance and faithfulness. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us that in these last days we need to exhort one another to ‘not forsake the assembling of ourselves together’. Let’s refocus on winning the lost and finding the wandering sheep! There are so many teaching false doctrine. We need the fellowship of believers and the preaching of the pure doctrine of God’s Word.

   Let me share something that for lack of room was left out of our last letter. Around October we realized that the “Mother God” cult, aka “the World Mission Society Church of God” had moved into our area and started a church at the end of the street our church is on. When the ladies of our church had a bake sale on our little city square, I helped them set up then passed out Romans booklets to passers-by. I noticed a young lady talking with a man nearby and she had a Bible in her hand. I got closer and could tell she was from the cult “Mother God”. I started a conversation with her and listened to her twist scripture to fit their beliefs. By the time I finished “discussing” Bible truth and their false religion, 5-6 guys and an older woman from their church surrounded us. I quickly figured out which was their pastor and told him some of the Biblical reasons that their beliefs were false doctrine and asked how long he had been studying and following this religion. He responded, “4 yrs”. It is so sad. The battle is so real between good and evil in these last days. I’m so glad I had just studied this cult and had already planned to teach on it the very next day in our church. BTW, three police officers heard our “discussion” and saw our small “gathering”. They came in close listening and watching. As you read in our last letter, we saw 2 saved that day. God is good.

   Carla and I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to those who sent special support that allowed us to purchase many KIDS’ GIFTS! Because of you and the ladies bake sales in our church here in Peru we were able to provide Christmas gifts to children in three local pueblos – Shaullo, Puylucana, and Jesús, along with kids in our churches in Baños del Inca and Guadalupe, and another small local church with low finances. We were also able to share with some Venezuelan kids brought by parents to Peru to escape poor conditions in their country. In all, we were blessed to distribute around 550 gifts. Each child also received a coloring book with a Gospel presentation and many adults received a New Testament. Pastor José presented the Gospel at the chocolatada (Christmas party with hot chocolate and fruit bread) in Shaullo. Many hands of children and adults were raised at the invitation. Only God knows the decisions made that day.

   Our Cajamarca church held a special Ladies’ Christmas Dinner. They had around 50 ladies present and had a great time of fellowship, food, and the Word of God. It was a beautiful evening for them to enjoy.

   We had some special holiday restrictions in Peru on Dec 25th and Jan 1st: “All gatherings and social events, including those at home and visits with family, were prohibited in all four levels of alert in Peru.” Also, churches are now required to “card” everyone coming to regular services to prove vaccination. If not vaccinated, they are to be turned away. Just so you know, we will not be turning anyone away when the deadliest sickness that anyone can have is unrepented SIN and they need the healing salve of the Gospel, of which the church has a big supply.

   The container of Bibles arrived this week here in Cajamarca! On Wednesday we had a great group of around thirty-five volunteers from our church help us unload the nearly 24,000 Bibles and over 8400 John/Romans booklets for a total of 1742 cases. Distribution will begin on Jan. 3. What a way to end 2021 and begin the new year, 2022!

  PTL, we’ve seen at least 3 more saved since our last prayer letter!

   We have posted four new photo albums here on our website.  Please take a look and see how God has been working here in Peru! May God bless each of you and may you all have a wonderful New Year!

Don & Carla Rich

 

Groups, Souls, Blessings, & Bibles!

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Groups, Souls, Blessings, & Bibles!

November 1, 2021

   Hello from summertime in Peru! Yes, as you are all heading into winter, most of Peru is entering their summer. It affects temperatures on the coast quite a bit, but the major difference for us in the mountains is it is our rainy season. The rain varies but was so heavy recently that we had mud flow from above our town and fill the streets. Several homes, including those of some of our church members, and the police station were flooded. Praise the Lord, our church building was not directly affected. The rain comes, but the work doesn’t slow down.

   In September, Carla and I hosted a group from Columbia, S. America. Missionary Peter Putney brought seven of his Bible Institute students for a missions trip. I was very humbled and surprised to find out that while they were planning the trip to visit us, one person in the group realized that we were the missionaries that sent Bibles to him while he was in Lima eight years ago. He took them back to his church in Columbia. He and the others in the group were so appreciative of our ministry helping to get God’s pure Word to the people in their area. What a humbling blessing.

   While out witnessing with the group, our Peruvian pastor began to speak to two ladies. One was a younger lady with a child. As the pastor spoke, the younger said that she knew me. She remembered Carla and I bringing a group of Americans to her school and speaking about Jesus. That was five years ago when our son-in-law and daughter brought a group from their church in Alabama to visit. Another one of the team from Colombia was told by someone they gave a Romans booklet that they knew our church, my name, and the name of two other missionaries that we had worked with throughout the years but have since left Peru. Praise the Lord for the gospel testimony in this area.

   In all, the group helped us hand out around 2500 Roman’s booklets. Bro. Putney and two of his students preached for us that week. The highlight of the trip was when 3 people were saved! Bro. Putney was able to tell them about our Jesus while we were out evangelizing. What a great week!

   In mid-October, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of our coastal church in Guadalupe. We had a great attendance as I had the privilege to preach for the service. We also baptized three on Saturday! This included a woman, her daughter, and another young lady.

   Just before the anniversary service we shipped 80 cases of Romans booklets by truck and river barge to the jungle capital of Iquitos, Peru. There they were received by a national pastor who helps us distribute them in that area.

   We’ve just heard from Victory Baptist Press that the next shipment of around 24,000 Bibles is now printed and ready to be shipped to Peru tentatively on November 5th. It will be a blessing to once again be able to supply Bibles to pastors and missionaries for their works all over S. America. We are planning a couple of trips to deliver them to countries outside of Peru. We will also be receiving around 8500 John/Romans booklets personalized with our church information for evangelization. Please pray for the shipment. We are aware of the trucking and shipping problems in the US and are praying that we will receive these with minimum delays.

   Carla and the ladies in our Cajamarca church are gearing up for Christmas. They are planning on providing gifts for the kids here, in another small town nearby, and for our Guadalupe church. They had a very successful bake sale last Saturday on the town square. Several of us passed out Romans booklets while they sold their goods and PTL we saw 2 more souls saved! God continues to bless! * Many of you ask if you can help with anything from time to time. If you would like to help with a donation for the kids’ gifts, it will be much appreciated and put to good use. It can be sent to CMC with a note that it is for “kids’ gifts”.

   We enjoyed being a part of one of our supporting church’s missions conference recently. We connected online by the Zoom app. What a blessing to see and speak to those who pray for and support us.

There are new photos on our website, www.rich2peru.com. Please take a look!  May God bless each of you.

Don & Carla Rich

 

Hitting the Ground Running

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Hitting the Ground Running

September 1, 2021

   Hello from Cajamarca! We arrived back in Peru on August 5th after our short but blessed furlough. It is always a joy to visit our supporting churches, enjoy time with family, and catch up with friends. We were also blessed to be able to be a part of the home school graduation service of our dear friends’ daughter Charity while we were in the US.

   Another great blessing that we enjoyed was seeing two souls saved. While we were at one of our supporting churches they had two Mexican nationals, a father and daughter, who visited but did not speak English. It was not a coincidence that they came on the very day we were there. After preaching the service I was blessed to talk to them. They both bowed their heads and accepted Christ as their Savior that day! Praise the Lord for His timing and for the obedience of Guadalupe and his daughter Citlaly! The new pastor at the church said that according to church records they were the 2nd and 3rd souls to be saved there in many years. May God bless and allow this to be just a start to a fruitful ministry.

   Also, while in the US we saw the Bibles that Victory Baptist Press are printing to be sent to us here in Peru in a couple of months. What a blessing to see their facility filled with the different portions of the Word that will soon be whole Bibles that will be placed in the hands of so many in S. America!

   Upon arriving in Peru, we began delivering cases of the Romans booklets as pastors and missionaries placed their orders. We still have several cases left and will be doing our best to get them out quickly. No seed does any good if it is left in the barn. We also need the room for the coming Bibles in a couple of months.

   Pastor José of our Cajamarca church told us that three teens were saved just one day before our return! What a blessing to return home to.

   On August 14th our Cajamarca church celebrated its 16-year anniversary! Because of the Covid restrictions we were not able to invite other churches to celebrate with us, but we had a good group of members and their friends and family. We rejoiced with two baptisms that day. I was privileged to preach the service. We had several sing special music and children reciting scripture from memory. The ladies of the church prepared some delicious plates of grilled chicken, potatoes, and salad. But the best part was that one young man accepted Christ!

   Our Cajamarca church has re-opened all regular services and children’s church with Sunday School coming soon. We are pleased that the majority of our church members have returned to the services.

   Our Guadalupe church has struggled because of the pandemic. Our national pastor is working hard to get the services back up and running but the people are resistant and sadly unfaithful. He has so far opened one Sunday service. The other two services are still online with varied attendance. Please pray for this work.

   We have had some visitors since we returned. To start, we had a couple from a church we know in a coastal city who came to Cajamarca to celebrate their 30 yr wedding anniversary. Upon arrival they found there were no vacancies at the local hotels (no room at the inn). Our national pastor called and asked if we could help. We were able to give them a place to stay while they toured the area for three days and attended church with us on Sunday. Then a missionary friend from Trujillo (on the coast) brought his family of eight to visit. He preached a good message for our church on Sunday. It was good to have the fellowship as we talked, played games, and showed them around our area.

Other updates: We have recently been advised that the 3rd wave of Covid has entered our area. Also, the socialist candidate won the presidential election, and his cabinet choices were approved. The financial and political uncertainty has caused their money to depreciate, and prices have gone up on many items. We appreciate your prayers as the people and economy struggle through these situations.

   There are new photos on our website, www.rich2peru.com. Please take a look! May God bless each of you for your faithful support and prayers for our ministry.

Don & Carla Rich

 

 

Celebrating our 18th Year!

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Celebrating our 18th Year!

July 1, 2021

It is hard to believe that as of the 15th of this month Carla and I will be celebrating 18 years on the mission field! Time seems to go so quickly (kinda like my hair). We began our deputation in 2001 and just 21 months later God had us on the field. We have seen several missionaries come and go and have made some lifelong friends along the way. We have seen God bless our ministry over and over in ways we would have never imagined. We are looking forward to seeing how God will continue to work in the strange times that we are living in.

As I write this, we are about two-thirds of the way through our short furlough. We have been in 18 churches so far. We have a full calendar with 10 more meetings scheduled. Our plan is to be back in Peru on August 5. We have been enjoying seeing our friends in our supporting churches, visiting with friends and family, spoiling the grand kids, and getting in some fishing time. Carla’s birthday is on the 4th of July, so we will be enjoying family time as we celebrate her “nunya” birthday (nunya business how old she is ?).

There was not enough space in the May prayer letter so let me say here… PTL and thank you for the prayers. We were able to begin shipping the Romans booklets once again at the end of March. We still had many cases left when we came in on our furlough and look forward to getting those sent out upon our return.

We are also looking forward to receiving more Bibles and materials when we return from our furlough. After a few setbacks Victory Baptist Press is in the process of completing Spanish Bibles and John/Romans booklets that will be shipped to us in the coming months. I continue to receive requests for Bibles and materials weekly.

UPDATES: Your prayers for Peru are welcomed and appreciated.

*  The third wave of Covid has begun in Peru. The India strain has entered and has shut down the 2nd largest city in the country. Restrictions are still in place for the entire country with masks still being mandatory along with other strict measures. At least most are able to get back to work for the time being.

*  The presidential election continues to be in limbo with a difference of only one quarter of one percent difference between the two. There are many claims of fraud which are being investigated. No one is sure when the outcome will be announced or how the country will respond. At least 75% of the country do not believe the election was clean and a lot of people are upset. One candidate has requested international intervention. Two of the members of the organization that handles the elections have resigned because they said they didn’t want to be a part of the corruption. We’ve heard rumors that some of the remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group have been stealing dynamite from the gold mines. This has happened before, and it is unsure if it is has to do with the election results.

But there is good news! Praise the Lord, we have had at least three more saved in our churches! God continues to work even though church attendance is down, as we have seen in many churches also here in the states.

Let us close by saying that we are still praying for God to send a couple or family to work with us. We do have one intern who is now on deputation to come to Peru. We are praying for the Lord to quickly provide his support and also a wife to work alongside of him. But there is still room for more workers. Could God be calling you?

May God continue to bless each of you who faithfully pray for and support the ministry that God has called us to.

Don & Carla Rich

 

 

Quarantine Yo-Yo and Furlough

Posted on Updated on

 

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