March 6, 2014
On January 6-10, we had our VBS and saw 9 saved! Our high attendance total for this event was 109. Our church members did a great job and all the kids had a great time learning about our Savior and His Word.
What a week we had February 4-9! We were at a pastors’ conference in the jungle for three days teaching, preaching, and delivering the last 1750 of our Bibles to 53 national pastors. We found that most pastors from this large tribe, called the Awajun, had only a New Testament and did not even own a Bible. After preaching the first day, five PASTORS received Christ as their Savior! That night, after showing a Christian film for them, another PASTOR was saved! It was incredible! Doors are opening for us here in the jungle and we will have to pray as to how to proceed. The trip had other interesting aspects: We almost ran over an iguana, we had bats flying around us as we showed the film outside, and we saw large monkeys swinging through the trees as we traveled to another area of the jungle to preach and teach for another national pastor. We were requested by some missionary friends to show a Christian film in a park on Friday. We saw three more saved that night! God is good!… Always!
Several of our adults cooked for and served dinner to 25 young people at our Youth Banquet that was held on Valentine’s weekend. The youth also sang, watched a touching video and heard a message from our youth pastor. We had three saved that night! It was a great way to show just how much we love and appreciate the youth of our church.
On February 22, Yonar, a mototaxi (taxi built from a motorcycle) driver turned left from the right lane (a common occurrence) and hit our van. We got an estimate on the repair cost which would be 600 Peruvian Soles, around $235. This 19 year old man could not afford such a cost and asked if he could pay me in payments. I had him come by our house to talk a couple of days later. I explained to him about ‘mercy and grace’. I talked to him about God’s grace as I walked him down the Romans’ Road. When I finished, he asked if he could receive Christ right then. He bowed his head and humbly prayed for Christ to save him. I then asked him to come to church with me on Sunday. Not only did he come to church but he brought his cousin Juan Carlos with him! As I was explaining grace to Juan Carlos, Yonar was so surprised as I told him that I was going to forgive him his debt, just like Christ forgave us. Add to all of these, three others who have been saved since our last letter and three more baptized! God’s amazing grace! How sweet the sound!
We recently had a wedding in our church, the first in our completed building. It was great timing as we have just built eight new pews. After years of using our original six pews and many plastic chairs, it is a beautiful sight to see wooden pews. You can see pictures of this and more new albums on our website, including additions to our baptism album.
Our Bible distribution point in Chile was able to get Bibles into Paraguay recently. That makes at least seven countries inside of South America that the Bible distribution ministry has reached! We are “getting the Word out”!
Our container now sits empty of the 23,000 Bibles that once filled it. In January, we mailed out DVD’s to all of our supporting churches concerning the Bible campaign. We hope that you received yours and will pray about showing it in your church, if you haven’t already. We also sent an email with a link attached so that many others could see it. The response has been great and of the $56,000 needed, around $20,000 has been raised in just a little over a month! We and Victory Baptist Press are very encouraged and are praying that the entire amount will come in quickly so that we can get the Bibles into the hands of those who so desperately need them. If you haven’t seen the video, you can view it here. Please make sure that all donations are sent to Victory Baptist Press with a note that it is for the Peru Project.
We have another great blessing that we will be sharing with you soon. For now, you’ll just have to wait to hear how God continues to “enlarge our coast”. Thanks to you all for your faithful prayers and financial support.
Serving Him for You in Peru,
Don & Carla Rich
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WHAT A BUSY & BLESSED YEAR!
January 5, 2014
Carla and I pray that all of you had a great Christmas and are entering this New Year with plans to serve God with all of your heart. There is no limit to what God can accomplish through us if we will just be open and obedient.
It is hard to believe that we returned from our furlough in April. In the seven months since returning God has kept us very busy. Driving to deliver Bibles to two countries and twice to the jungles of Peru was a blessing as we witnessed the pastors’ joy as they received them.
In November we drove over 5400 miles round trip to Santiago, Chile to deliver 1372 Bibles and 440 New Testaments to fellow missionary Mike Mullins. Bro. Mike has agreed to distribute the Bibles for us in that country to the pastors and missionaries who need them. While there I preached at their work, Antioch Baptist Church. Our first two days in Chile were spent driving through the world’s most arid desert. At one hotel we were greeted by a young lady named “Genesis” who is a Christian, speaks English and lived in Texas for many years. It is definitely a small world.
As we returned to Peru we stayed one night in Arequipa. This is the first town I visited over 13 years ago when I came on our church missions trip with our kids, Shawn and Christa. Carla couldn’t make the journey because of her work. That was the trip where God spoke to my heart to return as a missionary and it has changed our lives forever. It was a great feeling, standing in the same spot where it all began, remembering the souls we saw saved. We also stayed at the Children’s home where our group helped pour concrete for the first floor roof. They put us up on the 3rd floor in a prophet’s chamber in the same building this time. A lot of great memories.
In December we drove another 1900 miles round trip to Ecuador. There we delivered 1008 Bibles and 616 New Testaments to a total of eighteen pastors, missionaries and works. What a welcome sight to see diesel fuel for $1.02 per gallon! We are used to it being $5.65. We delivered the Bibles in three cities from the south to as far north as the capital city of Quito where we crossed the equator. It’s true, the water does drain in the opposite direction!
On one of our jungle trips, which I shared in our last letter, we sent Bibles up on a truck because of bad roads. The pastor who received them has now been able to deliver them all to village churches along the river. He said that grown men were crying as they received the first Bible they had ever held. He also said that there is such a need that they could easily use 4000 more. We will be sending out a letter later this month concerning the great need for more Bibles here in S. America and how you can help.
We had great services and fellowship for both Christmas and New Year in our church. For Christmas we had a chocolatada (celebrated with fruit bread and hot chocolate). We had 118 in attendance. Carla’s Sunday School class had a “Happy Birthday Jesus” party which was full of kids. Each of them received a special Christmas gift to take home.
We continue to work with the group in Bambamarca who asked us to start a church there. It is not easy as the area is three and a half hours through the mountains. We are praying that God will provide us with a national pastor for this work.
Great news! After seven months, both Carla and I have our resident visas. It has been a long and expensive process to get them back. We lost our residency because of a new law activated while we were on furlough. If we are out of the country for more than six months in any twelve month period we have to start all over in the visa process. For this reason our future furloughs will be shorter. We will have to visit half of our supporting churches on one visit and half later.
We have seen at least three more saved recently. God continues to bless the church and our other ministries here in Los Baños del Inca. We have many plans for this year but no room here to share them. You’ll just have to wait!
May God richly bless each of you in 2014! You are all a constant encouragement to Carla and me as missionaries.
Please check out the new pictures on our website, rich2peru.com.
Serving Him for you in Peru,
Don & Carla Rich
This entry was posted in Newsletters.