God is still in the “Good News” business!
September 1, 2020
It is hard to have a conversation, listen to the news, or even hear a message preached without hearing something about the international pandemic of the Corona Virus. I will touch on that since people ask us how it is in our area, then I want to focus on the good news… Yes, good news in the midst of all that is going on!
As expected, we went back into quarantine about two weeks after it was partially lifted. The numbers in our valley continue to rise between 150-200 per day in a population of around 250,000. Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra recently announced that the National State of Emergency has been extended for another month, thru Sept. 30. Children under the age of 14 will no longer be allowed outside for any duration of time, and adults aged 65 and older are to remain inside except when absolutely necessary. No social gatherings of any kind, including in the home with family, are permitted. Our area of Cajamarca is still under an 8:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew from Monday to Saturday and all-day quarantine on Sunday. Social distancing and the use of facemasks will be required for the foreseeable future. A missionary friend of ours posted a chart showing Peru with the highest death rate per capita and the highest total cases per capita in the world at this time. But God is good, and we remain healthy and safe.
I would like to share a sad news report that we saw recently. In the capital city of Lima over 100 people were found breaking the law by gathering and drinking in a nightclub. When the police arrived, many panicked and tried to get away, causing chaos. The exit was accidentally closed in the confusion, and people were trampled trying to get out. Thirteen were dead when it was all over. We watched part of one of the funerals on the news. The pall bearers danced to rock music while carrying the casket of the deceased. They also poured beer on the casket in “honor” of the departed. What a sad testimony. Like the rich man in hell, I’m sure the deceased would love to reach out to those left behind, those who continue to disregard their eternal life so they can enjoy their sin for a season.
Now for some GOOD NEWS! The first that we’d like to share is that the “Good News”, the gospel, reached another soul in our Guadalupe ministry! After one of our church members passed away in July, Pastor Juan Carlos was able to lead his 32-year-old son to the Lord!
Also in July, Carla and I celebrated 17 years on the mission field here in Peru! It has been great serving with my wonderful wife for all these years and we are excited to see what the future holds in our ministry here. Then in August, our Cajamarca church celebrated its 15-year anniversary with two special services online. I preached the morning service and then Carla and I blew out the candle and cut the ceremonial cake. Pastor José Zamora preached the evening service.
More good news! Many of you know that our Guadalupe pastor Juan Carlos was infected with the Covid virus. He was literally at the point of death at one time, but God intervened. He is now well on his way to recovery and gaining strength every day! His wife Karen is doing well also after a mild case of the virus. It was hard to be three hours away and unable to help them, but thanks to your prayers and the people of the Guadalupe church pitching in, they were taken care of. And of course, God gets all the glory.
On a lighter note, we were asked to help an elderly lady who was out of work. She wanted to sell a hog to make some money. We and another missionary family pitched in and bought the hog. We had an old-fashioned hog-killin’ and helped butcher it also. We kept some of it and were able to share some while it was fresh with some of our church families.
Our Bible and tract ministry is mostly at a standstill since the bus lines have been shut down. I was able to share two cases with a national pastor in our valley who walked to pick them up. We are looking forward to the opportunity to send them all out as soon as we are allowed. Requests come in weekly from all over S. America.
We continue to make food deliveries to those we know who are without jobs. We thank the Lord for those of you who have sent in donations to help with this ministry. It is a continual blessing to those we help.
May God bless each of you for your continual faithful prayers and support of us here in Peru.
Don & Carla Rich
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