Back Home in Peru!

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March 5, 2016

It’s hard to believe that we have been back from our short furlough for almost two months. We returned to find the church doing well. On the Wednesday after our arrival, a large group in the church took us out for “pollo a la brasa” (Peruvian style rotisserie chicken) after the service. On our first Sunday back, a 25-year-old man received Christ in the morning service! We have seen several more saved and two more families have joined our church recently!

We have been very busy since returning. The last weekend in January we enjoyed a Men’s Bible Study Breakfast in our national pastor’s home. We also had a women’s’ meeting and a youth group gathering where Carla and I cooked and served burgers to a hungry group. We had a church picnic with volleyball, tug of war, and relay games on the Monday of Carnival (Mardi Gras), when all power is shut off in the valley for the annual parade. I (Don) spoke at a couple’s banquet at our church on Valentine’s Day. As I write this letter, we are enjoying a visit from a dear friend, Bro. Ken Benge from N. Carolina.

Two weeks ago, the national jungle pastor with whom I am working to translate some doctrinal books from Spanish to the Awajun dialect, came to visit for a week. I invited him down to go over the translated material that we have so far. While here, the pastor told me that his “typewriter” is not working well anymore. The ribbon is out of ink and he can’t find any. Also, some of the keys are rusting because of the jungle humidity. He had told me before that he had what he needed to do the translation. I never knew he was talking about a typewriter! Through a gift from my son-in-law Stephen, we were able to provide him with a computer for use in the translation. I had our youth pastor teach him the basics (he knew how to email). He is now working on two of the files so that we can get them to the printer soon.

While in the US, a dear supporting pastor heard how we had helped a few jungle churches replace their thatch roofs with tin. He told me that his church wanted to help one of the jungle churches also. I contacted a Peruvian missionary that I know and found that a jungle church was recently demolished by wind. They will rebuild the wood structure but can’t afford the tin roof. We were able to match them up with the US pastor to get the roof for them. God is always on time and in the right place.

We were amazed this year as we started our VBS. The very first day, we had 211 kids, 55 adults, and 19 teachers! By Friday, we had 322 kids! Two hundred and forty-two of them received school notebooks for being there at least 4 of the 5 days. There were around 450 total in attendance on Friday. We had a bus route which had to run 3 trips each way by Thursday. I have been informed that there were around 100 decisions made, including several adults. When so many adults came and stuck around, we started a pastor’s class for them.

I was contacted by a Peruvian missionary I know in the jungle asking about the price of a wheel chair for a young lady whose legs and spine didn’t develop correctly. I spoke with a lady in our church who is the mother of a child with Spina bifida. I asked about purchasing her daughter’s old chair. She gladly donated it. It is great to see God meet needs through our church members.

The Lord has laid it on our hearts to start a new church. We are now visiting several locations to find God’s will for the new church plant. Please be in prayer as we pray for wisdom and move forward in this decision.

For those supporting churches and individuals that we did not have time to visit on our short furlough, we have placed our presentation update video on our website… Under the “Intro” tab, click “Presentation Video”. You may have to wait a minute for the video to load. We hope you will enjoy seeing what God is doing here in Peru.

We have so much more to share but so little space to write. It will have to wait until the next letter. God bless.

Serving Him for you in Peru,

Don & Carla Rich