NEVER A DULL MOMENT!
September 1, 2023
Hello from Cajamarca,
In July, Carla and I celebrated 20 years as missionaries in Peru! We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone than to have a mission conference in the first church we established. Just like life as a missionary the conference planning was not without its challenges. We invited two missionaries that our church supports to give updates and preach. We also planned on Darren Townsend, the new missionary coming to help us, to preach one service. Well, one missionary got dengue fever. The other’s wife had medical problems so he couldn’t leave her. And Darren’s wife still didn’t have her passport so they couldn’t make it. We quickly realized that God had a different plan. I preached on Friday and Sunday. Missionary friends Stacy Dassow and his wife Jennifer were coming to celebrate with us, and I had asked him to be prepared just in case. It was a blessing to have him preach on Saturday and again on Sunday. We also had our dear friends Jesús and Tracy and their son George come to celebrate with us. You may remember them as the family we asked prayer for when they were going through a long and tedious adoption process here in Peru. Another special person in attendance was a man I led to the Lord when he was 74 years old. Salvador is now 92! What a great week of celebration and remembering what God has done in these past 20 years!
Speaking of celebrations, our first church (Calvario) celebrated its eighteenth anniversary on August 14. We had a great attendance in each service, including Sunday when there were around 240 in attendance! A man I have been inviting to our church for almost the entire 18 years finally visited with his family. God has truly blessed this work. It is very humbling to think back on how He guided us to this area of Peru and then helped us plant this church right after we finished language studies. It is all to His glory.
Back in May we wrote about joining with a small group to help them establish a church. On July 9 we formalized the work as Iglesia Bautista Verbo de Dios (Word of God Baptist) and celebrated its first anniversary since they started meeting together. A few weeks later a group from our first church came to help evangelize and invite those in the area to visit the church. We have already begun seeing some growth and have seen six professions of faith in that work. Please pray that we will continue to see fruit for our labor.
In our July letter we wrote that we were praying and looking for a location to begin our fourth church plant. On July 18 we signed a rental contract on a building in the area we had chosen for the new work. The first services for Iglesia Bautista Ancla (Anchor Baptist) are scheduled for this Sunday, September 3. This building was formerly used as a bakery. It will now be used to serve the Bread of Life! Please continue to pray for this newest work to be established and that we will reach many with the Gospel through it.
Bible Distribution Ministry Update – The container of Bibles and tracts arrived in Cajamarca the exact day that we were celebrating 20 yrs in Peru and many of our church family helped unload them into our facility. Distribution began immediately and in just six weeks all the tracts and most of the Bibles have been distributed or promised and set aside for delivery.
We were blessed to have Worth and Ken, dear friends of our ministry, come to travel with me (Don) to make Bible deliveries into Ecuador and to the jungle river port of Yurimaguas. New missionary Darren Townsend was able to fly in also to help with these trips. At the river port we placed many cases of Bibles on a barge to send to pastors in the Amazon region of Peru. We traveled for a total of eleven days and delivered over 3800 Bibles.
Update: New missionaries Darren and Rachel Townsend finally received Rachel’s passport. She recently had some medical issues arise and are waiting for a doctor’s clearance to be able to move to Peru. Please keep them in your prayers. They want to be here a.s.a.p., and we are looking forward to having them here.
Take a look at the seven new photo albums on our website (rich2peru.com)! May God continue to bless each of you for your faithfulness in prayers and support.
Don & Carla Rich
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