Sad Ending Leads to a New Beginning!

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Sad Ending Leads to a New Beginning!

July 1, 2023

Greetings to everyone from Cajamarca, Peru,

   Many of you have been praying with us about our church on the coast of Peru in the city of Guadalupe. It has been suffering for over two years. The Covid pandemic sadly revealed the true faithfulness of the people there just as it did in many other churches both here and in the US. The Guadalupe work continued to decline after much effort to help it revive. After ministering there for six and a half years, with much prayer and searching for God’s will, we felt it was time to close the work. But this sad ending has opened the opportunity for a new beginning. The first week of June we moved Pastor Juan Carlos and his family back to our area in the mountains and will be starting another work a couple of miles from our first church. Its name will be Iglesia Bautista Ancla (Anchor Baptist Church). If you remember from our last letter, we have also recently begun working with another national pastor to build up a church on the other side of our city. Having all three of our works spread strategically across our valley will allow us to work together for the common goal of reaching Cajamarca for Christ. We have a rented building for the second work and are seeking the third location now. Please pray that God would grant us wisdom, provide the funds needed, and open the necessary doors.

   We have some other news to share. Our permanent/immigration visas were finally approved, and we picked them up from the immigration office in Lima on May 22! Thank you for your prayers as we were going through that process. This now frees us up to be able to cross borders more frequently to deliver Bibles, preach and teach, and to have the needed time for furloughs instead of the limitations we had before.

   In May, the youth of our church, Calvario (Calvary) did a great job setting up a day of celebration for Mother’s Day. It included special music by the different age groups, scripture reading, a drama, preaching, and gifts for the mothers. We posted a photo album on our website of the event. We are proud that the youth of this church have begun to grow and become more involved. In one of the recent youth meetings a young man 18 years old was saved.

   Another milestone… Recently the new pastor we are working with asked the small group how many years each one of them had been saved. It dawned on me that I was completing 50 years as a born-again believer! On June 3, 1973, at the age of 14, at Rocky Branch Baptist Church in Woodland, AL I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was baptized two weeks later. I still remember the spider that was floating in the baptistry! Although I haven’t always been faithful, I praise the Lord that He has. As the years have passed, Psalm 71:18 has become one of my favorite life verses. There is still much work to do, and I want to be found faithful.

   Please be in prayer for the new missionary couple who are coming to work with us as they begin their missionary journey. Darren and Rachel Townsend are planning on being here by July 10th, Lord willing. This will depend on Rachel receiving her passport updated with her married name. We are praying that they will make it in time for a special event. Carla and I will be celebrating 20 years on the mission field on July 15th! We’ll share the details of the celebration in our next prayer letter. Stay tuned!

Bible Distribution Ministry Update – As I am writing, the container of 23,338 Bibles and 100,000 gospel tracts has made its way through the Panama Canal and is on its way to Lima, Peru! It is scheduled to arrive on July 4. There it will pass through customs. Then it will be trucked to us here in the mountains. Please pray that all goes smoothly.

Thank you so much for reading our updates and praying for us. May God continue to bless each of you for your faithfulness in prayers and support.

Don & Carla Rich