Finishing Strong in 2016
January 3, 2017
Greetings and blessings to each of you,
As we finish out 2016 and begin the adventure that will be 2017, Carla and I have been traveling back and forth between our two churches. Each week we are experiencing a difference of around 9000 feet in altitude, and the stark difference between a dry hot desert and the seasonal cool rain of the Andes Mountains. As we make the drive, we enjoy seeing God’s creation from the rice, corn, and cane fields of the coast, to hillside farming, interesting rock formations, mango plantations, eucalyptus tree farming, plenty of farm animals, and even an occasional tarantula in the road. Life is anything but dull as we close last year’s chapter of our ministry and look forward to what God has in store for us in the new year.
Our men’s meetings have been going well with a good attendance at each in the months of November and December. It is encouraging to have several of the young single men of our church faithfully attending these meetings also. These future leaders of our church and of their own families will have a solid foundation.
We praise the Lord for three more souls which were saved in our ministry. Two were saved at our Cajamarca church. Also, I had the privilege of leading a 68-year-old man to the Lord during visitation in Guadalupe.
In November, our Cajamarca church took on its first missionary, a young family working in Pachacutec near the capital city of Lima. It is great to see the growth of our church with a heart for missions.
On December 5th, we watched the celebration of the Virgen of Guadalupe, for which the city is named. It was sad as we witnessed different ones singing and reciting a poem to “the image”. People were kneeling, praying for blessings from it, crying as they touched and kissed the idol. They paraded for hours through town. Then they made their way to an entrance to a larger image on the mountain. They walked up hundreds of steps, with up to sixteen persons at a time carrying the heavy image on a wooden platform. We couldn’t help but remember Psalm 115, where the scriptures warn of worshipping idols with eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear, hands that cannot touch or help, and must be carried. We passed out many Gospel tracts to the large crowd that day.
Thanksgiving in Peru – Carla and I invited five families from our Cajamarca church and two other visitors to experience the joy of our American tradition in our home. We all thanked God for the privilege to serve Him.
We had a great first Christmas service in our new church. We had 33 in attendance in Guadalupe! Lidia, a lady that told me in September, “I want to go to your church” finally did! She showed up for Christmas and brought someone with her! We celebrated with the traditional “chocolatada” (fruit bread and hot chocolate) and gifts to the kids. It was a great time of fellowship.
We have mentioned this before, so bear with us as we share again this prayer request. Since the other missionaries in our area left a couple of years ago, we have been praying for God to provide a like-minded family to work alongside of us here in Peru. There is so much work to do. As it says in Luke 10:2… “pray ye therefore…that he would send forth laborers into his harvest”.
Carla and I pray that you will all enjoy a blessed new year. Thank you so much for praying for us and supporting our ministry. Together, we will make an eternal impact on the lives of many in S. America.
Serving Him for you in Peru,
Don & Carla Rich
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