Busy?! I may have to send this letter in a tiny font just to fit everything in!
As we mentioned in our last letter, on July 15th Carla and I celebrated 14 years on the field in Peru. Wow, how time flies when you enjoy what you are doing! I think a song we sing at church says it best. It is called “Anhelo Trabajar por el Señor”, which means “I deeply desire to work for the Lord”.
Near the end of July, I made one of our two recent trips to the jungle. On this trip, I took our national pastor in Guadalupe and two young men from our Cajamarca church. One of them has mentioned a desire to serve the Lord full time and is just praying for God to direct him. We delivered a total of 2800 Bibles to be shipped on a barge upstream to jungle pastors waiting their arrival.
On the weekend of August 11-13, our Cajamarca Church celebrated its 12-year anniversary! We were blessed with guests from at least 8 churches to help us celebrate! Our guest speaker, Pastor Dario Balcázar, and his family, taught a class on creation and dinosaurs. The ladies’ enjoyed a special meeting just for them. We received some solid preaching from the Word. We also enjoyed a church picnic with friendly (I think) competition in volleyball and soccer. Praise the Lord, we saw three souls saved and other decisions made!!! We have seen a total of five saved in our churches recently! God is still working!
On our second jungle trip, just last week Carla and I delivered the first six of the doctrinal books we had translated into the Awajun Indian dialect. The first two were used as we presented a pastor’s training conference. We also provided reading glasses for several pastors who needed them, and Bibles for all pastors and their congregations. The leader of the conference called afterwards to tell me how the pastors felt so blessed through this. * Remember, anyone who supports our ministry and/or prays for us has a big part in this and we truly appreciate you.
Bible Ministry- As I write this letter, we have just driven back from the Ecuador border, where we delivered over 500 Bibles to another missionary. He will be delivering them to several pastors in that country. Previously, we told you that Venezuela and Uruguay were the only two Spanish speaking countries in S. America where we have not provided Bibles. PTL! We now have a contact and request from VENEZUELA!!! We will be shipping them soon! AND, we now have either delivered or promised ALL the Bibles from this shipment!!! The container is empty once again! This time, it took only six months to get them all out.
Speaking of the Bibles, it is not often we get to see or hear from those who receive them. Recently we were blessed to hear from a few, first-hand. While in the pastoral training conference in the jungle, it was a blessing to see their faces full of gratitude and hear them praise the Lord for the blessings they received. Also, in another town and church, we were introduced to a young man who received his first Bible 4 yrs ago (from our 1st container). It was one of several that we had sent to a church to help with their ministry. That young man has now been called to preach! He is active in open-air evangelism and other ministries of his church. We visited another church this week that has received Bibles. The pastor and congregation were very grateful for the difference it has made in their ministries.
PTL! On August 27, we had our first two baptisms at our new church on the coast! Bro. Hector and his son Mateo entered the baptismal waters as our first official church “members”. I thought it was great that we performed the baptisms below the “Puente Libertad (Liberty Bridge)”. I told the church about an English song that tells how Jesus built a bridge with only 3 nails and 2 pieces of wood “With one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge”. That bridge gave us liberty! (Pics of this and other activities listed here are on our website)
We are now actively planning our next furlough for February thru July 2018. I have already been contacting the supporting churches that we weren’t able to visit on our last furlough. As we’ve explained, the laws have changed in Peru, only allowing us short furloughs. Therefore, we must visit some on one furlough and the rest on the next. If your church would like for us to come, please contact us through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 678-921-5116. The calendar is filling quickly!
* Some short but heart-felt parting words… Help wanted! Is God calling you?
Thank you for your continued prayers and support,
Don & Carla Rich
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