Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cusco Christmas party 2009

Thank you to everyone who was a part in making this years childrens Christmas party a success. Without your financial donations we would not have been able to have such a special day for the kids who are a part of our ministry in Cusco. We had over 150 children in attendance and were able to bless them with food, gifts and the love of Christ.

May the love of Christ fill your hearts this Christmas as we remember His birth; His "step down into darkness". He is the light of the world and the door by which we enter into eternal life with Him. We are blessed to be His lights unto the world. Thank you for joining us on this journey and for being a part of reaching the nations for Christ!

With love, Ricky, Tracie, Isabella and Baby Olivares

Friday, December 11, 2009

November was a whirlwind. There is so much to comment on, but I doubt I will get to it all. It's already late, I'm tired as a pregnant woman and ready for bed already! But a post is long over due!

We moved into this pretty old house. The owners live next door which has turned out to be a blessing. For the first two weeks we had people coming over almost every day to fix something that either wasn't working or really needed an upgrade. We finally got water hook-up for our washing machine, got all the showers, toilets and sinks fixed, some electrical stuff done.. etc etc. It was nearly a month without internet, which was harder to deal with than you could imagine, especially because it happened to be during a time of mission teams. We needed to connect with people to check on flights, have conversations over skype and send updates. Needless to say, there we were on more than one occasion after the teams were done for the night driving around our neighborhood looking for a wireless signal so we could quickly check our email.

Isabella got really really sick. It was not fun and we almost took her to the emergency room because she couldn't breathe. But after a few sleepless nights, she began to feel better. Aparently she had bronchitis or something. It was probably even worse for her because of being in the high-altitude where there is already a lack of oxygen. She also had a few rough weeks... got 5 new teeth that we can see.. all at once. poor girl, she was miserable. But she's feeling much better now, thankfully!

We thoroughly enjoyed the 2 mission teams we had in November. The first team from Crossroads came to help with some random projects of ours, evangelism and outreach. They did a great job. We were excited to finally be hosting a team from Crossroads because our relationship with them began in such a random way nearly three years ago, even before Chuck became their senior pastor. It's funny how God works, and how through a random family friend we met someone who knew someone who was coming to Cusco.. and they wanted to meet us and see the church. We will post some photos of the team and their work as soon as we are able.

Two days after that team left, we hosted a medical team. Their work was different entirely and also a blessing. Through both teams' efforts, new people have come to receive Christ and have joined our church fellowship.

The church has been growing like crazy! And only thanks to God who has a perfect plan for calling people unto Himself. We are humbled and blessed to be a part of our church family. To see such tremendous growth in such a short amount of time makes us realize something. God uses multiplication. Instead of just filling a church, which we could do if we were only focused on numbers, it is of utmost importance to invest in people's lives and disciple them. With the very purpose of multiplication. Ricky and I, as husband and wife team, are really just one person. We've been in Cusco for nearly four years all by ourselves. How could one person reach so many? It can't be done without multiplication.

In the beginning we worked for many months with only two people. Thankfully the Lord did not let us lose heart. The amazing thing is that when one person shares their faith and disciples another, they have multiplied. Then two become four, four becomes sixteen, and so on, which eventually becomes a great multitude of Christ followers. If we teach multiplication in the church, we are not focused on numbers nor on filling our church for the sake of doing so. We invest in someone's life knowing that they will then invest in the life of another.

We have long outgrown our rented church building with the children, and now have outgrown it with the adults too. Investment in the future leaders of the church is a top priority for this next year. What good news to have need for a new building!

Well, December is almost half way through, we haven't had a chance to sit down and catch our breath, because we are preparing for the Christmas party! There were so many responses to our request for donations for the children's party. We reached and surpassed our goal for the party! The fiesta is being held this Saturday, Dec 13th. We have over 150 gifts and have everything ready and are expecting quite a turnout. We'll get photos up as soon as possible.

As far as my pregnancy goes. I. am. tired. but feel pretty good aside from that! I am loving this pregnancy and am fascinated how different it has been from my pregnancy with Isabella. We are looking forward to our trip to Chile. We will be there for the birth and until baby can fly back with us to Peru. It will be nice to be with Ricky's family again. They are amazing and caring people. Couldn't ask for better parents-in-law. Isabella is going to love Christmas in Chile this year and celebrating her 2nd birthday in January. We are loving the rain here in Cusco, but also look forward to summer in Chile.

 It has been such a blessing with my mom here these last few weeks. She has helped me a lot and has given me a much needed mental break from daily activities. Although things continue to be busy, just having her here and enjoying her company has helped me relax.

I love Abram's face in this last picture.
Closing for now, buenas noches

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2009 Children's Christmas party in Cusco

Christmas time is quickly approaching and it time to start planning for Christmas in Cusco.

We have successfully had a Christmas party for the children in San Marcos the last 3 years and last year we gave out over 170 gifts! Hopefully this year will be no exception.

Our hope is to provide a small gift for nearly 200 children; and have a big party with favors, Christmas bread, hot chocolate and other Christmas goodies. We also hope to have a small party celebrating with all the adults during a Sunday service in early December.

We need between $1500-$2500 for this entire project. We are always looking forward to Christmas to remember the birth of our Savior, and to share God's love through this celebration with the kids. As we have shared in the years past, most of the children in San Marcos do not celebrate Christmas with their families, not even with a simple gift or a family dinner. Would you please pray about making a donation toward this project?

If you feel led to be a part of this years party, you can donate online through PayPal or mail your donation to IberoAmerican Ministries home office.

Please click here to make an online donation

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cusqueña Wedding

We just got home from Carlos and Araceli's wedding. They are a young couple, without much money, so this evening was a small civil ceremony at the municipality building, followed by a reception with maybe 20 people in the building where Carlos works as an English teacher. It always facinates us the manner than Peruvians "party". People generally dress nice; men wear suits and ties, women wear pant-suits. The bride wore a long wool coat, almost touching the ground, completely covering her nice dress.. she wore it the whole time. Her hair was definitely done up all fancy though. The civil ceremony was typical and short, with the coordinator asking the bride and groom more than once if they are SURE that they want to be married. Then following it up by saying if there is anyone in the room that has any reason why they shouldn't marry, now is your chance to say something. Well, no one did.

Then we left for the reception. We loaded our van full of the bride's family, so they didn't have to take a taxi. Then we all went inside and sat down and waited.. and waited.. and waited while everything was still being set up. When it finally started, Carlos and Araceli danced the typical "waltz" and then called up every family member (and us included) to dance with them. But in general Peruvians are very quiet. They sit around the room, not talking or laughing. They just sit there.  At least there were fireworks out the window. Today, Oct 24th, is day celebrating Señor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes). He is the saint of Cusco. I will explain the story in another post. Finally the food was served. The dinner was the most interesting part.

Imagine a room full of nicely dressed people eating a greasy chunk of pork. But this pork is nothing like what is served in the States. It's a young pig, called Lechon. Roasted whole, then cut into large pieces. It is mostly skin and fat. My piece still had hair attached. I picked through the fat and got only a few bites of actual meat. And then they brought us more... and more.. I was done after the first round.. but we ate everything we could. I am astonished every time I see the Peruvians eating Lechon, because they will eat it all, even the skin. Hands get all greasy as they pick everything off the bones. Napkins are not served. Drinks are not served. No salad. Just pig and a tamale. At 10pm.

Needless to say, Isabella didn't eat anything, not even cake. We offered, but she only drank 3 glasses of juice (which was not a good thing because she has been sick for the last 3 days... it went right through her). She was a trooper and had fun playing with her friend Abram. She calls for him and says, Abram, Ven! (Come here!). It's cute and everyone says they are pololos (boyfriend and girlfriend). We finally left after the cake was served and when Isa was just too tired to stay in a good mood.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God's princes and princesses. Los pricipes y princesas de Dios.

Finally.... an update! (English version)
We are happy to be back. We are so thankful for Jorge and Janet and the work that they have done the last 3 months in encouraging the church and teaching the Word. It may be a little premature, but we are excited to share that our friend Karla, from Tacna, Peru, has decided (or more like agreed to our steady pleading, eh hem, encouragement) that she come back and work with us full-time! Karla will be a blessing in many ways, especially in the children's and women's ministries and with the new projects for 2010.

My pregnancy is going well. Our son is growing right on schedule and is healthy! Although, I was recently diagnosed with Placenta Previa. There is a good chance that it will correct itself in the upcoming weeks. However, it is a very serious condition with many risks for both mama and baby. So for now, I have been placed on rest, no lifting, no exercise or any strenuous activity. With a toddler this seems highly impossible, but Ricky is helping in every way possible and is doing an amazing job.
When Ricky shared with the church on Sunday, they responded in accord that they will help pick up the slack. Groups are being formed to clean the church and help in other ways. I am thankful. We are encouraged that even though this is a tough situation for me, it will allow the weight of certain activities to rest on the church body; that they will work together to care for their church building and members.

Praise God, Marlene made a decision to follow Christ on Sunday! Also Jorge's sister wants to be baptized and three adult couples want to be officially married.

In November and December we will receive three teams from the US and Canada. The first team will be doing community outreach, evangelism and a construction project. The second team is a medical team. The third is a small group who will help specifically with this year's Christmas party.

We are thoroughly excited that this year the medical team will reach out with a 2 day clinic in San Marcos for the people and neighbors of the church, but will also hold a 3 day clinic in a poverty stricken village outside of Cusco. We will take advantage of the knowledge and skill of our doctors and nurses to serve in a pueblo where there is no medical access. This year we will partner with the Red Cross again, as they will provide us with certain "VIP" privelages (not exactly) for getting the medicines in country as well as our much needed Quechua translators.

Blessings in Christ, Thanks for praying for and supporting us!
Tracie, Ricky, Isabella and our little guy

Here is a brief Quechua lesson for those who want to try their hand at the ancient native language:

Quechua - Spanish - English
Jaq - Uno - One
Iskay - Dos - Two
Kinsa - Tres - Three
Tawa - Quatro - Four
Pich'qa - Cinco - Five

Imata Munanki - ¿Que quieres? - What do you desire/want?
Imata Sutiki - ¿Como te llamas? - What is your name?

Por Fin.... Nuestras noticias (Version Español)

Estamos contentos de estar de vuelta. Tan agradecidos somos por Jorge y Janet y la obra que hicieron en estos ultimos tres meses de animar  a ala iglesia y enserñar la palabra de Dios. Tambien, podria ser muy prematuro, pero estamos muy contentos compartir que nuestra amiga, Karla de Tacna, Peru ha decidido (mas bien accedio a nuestras peticiones) volver aca para trabajar tiempo completo con nosotros. Ella será una bendicion en una variedad de formas, especialmente con los niños y mujeres, ademas con los nuevos proyectos para 2010.

Mi embarazo esta yendo bien. Nuestro hijo esta creciedo bien y esta saludable. Pero, recien fui diagnosticada con Placenta Previa. Hay una buena posibilidad que mi cuerpo mejore solo en estas semanas. Pero, es una condicion seria, que puede causar muchas complicaciones para mamá y bebé. Por ahora, tengo que descansar, no levantar nada, no hacer ejercicios o cualquier fuerza. Con una niña muy activa esto suena imposible, pero Ricky esta ayudando en cada forma posible y lo hace muy bien.

Cuando Ricky compartio con la iglesia el Domingo, todos respondieron en acuerdo que van a ayudar mas. Grupos se estan formando para hacer el aseo de la iglesia y otras cosas tambien. Estoy agradecida. Estamos animados de que aún es una situacion dificil para mi, va a dejar un poco mas  de carga sobre los hombros del cuerpo de la iglesia; que trabajan juntos para cuidar a su iglesia, edificio y miembros del cuerpo.

Damos gracias a Dios, por Marlene, quien dio su vida a Cristo el Domingo pasado. Tambien por la hermana de Jorge, quien quiere bautizarse, y por las tres parejas de adultos que quieren casarse oficialmente en la iglesia.

En Noviembre y Diciembre, recibiremos tres equipos desde USA y Canada. El primer equipo hará un trabajo comunitario, evangelismo y construccion. El segundo será un equipo medico. El tercer equipo es un grupo pequeño que viene a ayudar especificamente con la fiesta de Navidad.

Estamos muy contentos que este año el equipo medico tendra una clinica de 2 dias en San Marcos para la gente y vecinos de la iglesia, pero que tambien tendran una clinica de 3 dias en un pueblo de harta pobreza que esta afuera de Cusco. Aprovechamos del conocimiento y habilidad de los doctores y enfermeras para ayudar un pueblo sin acceso medico. De nuevo este año, nos juntaremos con la Cruz Roja, para que ellos nos den acceso "VIP" con las medicinas al pais y que tambien nos proveen con los traductores de Quechua.

Cerramos todo con decir muchas gracias por sus oraciones y apoyo! Bendiciones en Cristo,

Ricardo, Tracie, Isabella y nuestro pequeñito

Los Chibolos.
Se ven tan lindos, no? Ellos son de los mas traviesos! El niño de la izquierda se llama "hombre araña". El usa un disfraz de hombre araña... todo el año.

The boys.
Cute, huh? They are the biggest trouble makers! The boy on the left goes by "spiderman". He wears a spiderman costume... all year.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

cuanto les extrané... how much i missed them!

This is Elian. I missed her crazy hair days! Su pelo me da tanta risa. Extrañé a Elian.

It's good to be back and see all these little faces once again. and see that they were well taken care of while we were gone. Estamos contentos de ver todos estas caritas de nuevo. y ver que estaban bien cuidado mientras no estuvimos

Thursday, October 01, 2009



it has been three very long months.

we left on Wednesday. With 24 hours of traveling, after going through 5 different security checkpoints at four different airports, one tremendous lightning storm while flying over the ocean close to Panama, and a less than 1 hour lay-over resulting in one missed flight.... we are home again. finally!

we are tired and thankful to be here

Thursday, September 24, 2009

el nuevo look, the new look


We are making some changes to our blog. Our goal is to make this blog more about our ministry in Cusco, Peru and less personal so-to-say. We have another blog, that will be made available to those who wish to keep up to date with our personal lives. http://unfoldingleaves.blogspot.com.

Our hope is that this blog will serve the purpose of keep everyone who prays for and supports this ministry informed about our plans, goals, challenges, etc. It has also become very necessary for us to maintain this blog in both English and Spanish.

So hope you enjoy it


Estamos haciendo algunos cambios a nuestro blog. Nuestra meta es hacer este blog mas sobre nuestro ministero en Cusco, Peru y menos personal, por decirlo asi. Tenemos otro blog, que estara disponible a todos los que quieran ver sobre nuestra familia. http://unfoldingleaves.blogspot.com

Nuestra esperanza es que este blog sirva el proposito de informarles a aquellos que apoyan este ministerio de diferentes formas, sobre nuestros planes, metas, y desafios, etc, aca en Cusco. Tambien ha sido muy necesario mantener este blog en Ingles y Espanol.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It is a week before we leave to go home to Cusco. we have been thoroughly blessed during our trip, by everyone's hospitality and friendship. it was great to meet so many new people and be able to share our vision for Cusco with all. Now that there is only 1 week left, and most of our meetings are done, we will try to see as much family and friends as possible in the time that's left.

Continue praying for CCV and their decision about whether or not to support us. It has been a long process. We turned in our proposal at the end of July and are still waiting on a response. I suppose things like this can take a while. They told us sometime next month (October) we should hear something. Although we don't know what to expect, we pray for God's will to be done, we hope for the best (that our relationship through ministry will continue on into the future) and just trust God with the rest.

We know God loves the people of Cusco. He knows their need. We are not focused on numerical results and do not determine our success by the size of our church. Yes, we expect growth. We may spend several years reaching only a small community for Christ. We will always be concerned about spiritual growth and discipleship, making long-term believers and servants.

Our work has already begun as we plan and organize 3 mission teams to come to Cusco by the end of this year. Almost as soon as we get back! One will be focused on service projects, the other is a medical team and the last team has a very specific focus to help us with this years Christmas party!

Pregnancy is still going well, thank the Lord! I am much more tired this time around than I was with Isabella, but that must have something to do with chasing a toddler around all day! Isa is FULL of energy and doesn't stop talking. We are so proud of the way she manuevers both English and Spanish, how she understands both languages and speaks a large variety of words. She is a little sponge, soaking it all in, and a little parrot, repeating everything we say! We are excited for her to become a big sister. I am 5 months along and feel really pregnant, with this belly growing more and more every week. Pray for our health (mine and the baby's). We won't have a real thorough prenatal visit and blood tests until we get back to Peru.

Thank you to all the people who have given us a place to stay; the Jones, Heuton, Pritchett, Hendrickson, and Merold families. Thanks to the Peltiers for the vehicle! and for all the other people who have invited us into their homes or to dinner.

This is when Isabella saw Mickey for the first time

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

We are at ease about still being here in the states. After what happened with Ricky's dad, we thought maybe we should leave for Chile. But Peter progressively got better... and we are relieved. He has been released and is recuperating at home. He still has many headaches and some issues with his liver after all the drugs they gave him, but he is glad to be home. Especially to celebrate el 18 (chile's independence day) with the family.

We will celebrate here, with our Chilean friends who live in the states. As the month approaches the mid-mark, we are getting ready to go home to Cusco. We are trying to take as much back with us as possible, without going over the weight limits. That has been quite a chore! There are so many supplies and personal things we will take back. Gathering clothes for another year for Isabella, and also a year's worth of clothes and baby things for her little brother.

Sorry we don't have much time to update. Please keep praying for Pedro. Pray for my pregnancy. I'm half way!! We will send an update about CCV as soon as we are able, pray for their decision. Pray for our support raising... for God's grace to be upon us!

Love, all of us

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

current news from Peru

Puno people mobilizing against Inambari dam project

According to several reports and articles printed by regional press, the upcoming construction of a massive hydroelectric central in Inambari (Puno) is causing great concern, distress and distrust among the people.
The dam is supposed to create a lake of 412 km2, and 220mts. high, which means that more than 60 little villages, plus roads, production, flora and fauna would be covered by 200 mts. of water, as well as the towns of Lechemayo, Loromayo, and Puerto Manoa.
The polemic and anger among the population increases day by day since this project, which is being developed in a 1,700km2 territory granted in concession to Brasil, would reportedly benefit directly Brazil (particularly the states of Acre, Rondonia, Amazonas and Mato Grosso) rather than Peru.
“Peru will use only a 20% of the energy produced by the 5 hydroelectric centrals that we are to finance in that country,” said Brazil's Energy Minister, Edison Lobao a couple weeks ago to Reuters.
Puno people, who has not been consulted about this, are currently organizing to ask for information and explanations about this project, but the lack of responses from congressmen and related authorities is likely to generate popular protests soon, according to more regional media reports.
The works, which will reportedly cost US $15 billion dollars, will be financed by Eletrobrás and Brazilian National Bank of Social and Economic Developmen (BNDS).
When will the Peruvian people stop having reason for protest?
Happy 30th my dear sister in law!

We love you Tia Sassy....

Friday, August 21, 2009

July and August in the USA

As I sit down to write I am constantly interrupted with different things. Getting quiet time for even posting a few photos has become a rare occurance these days. After a few days of trying to write and finish this entry, I am finally posting it!

We spent a wonderful month up in the Northwest, visiting supporters, friends and spending lots of time with family. Isabella just loved being with her cousins Maddy and Trinny (who she calls, Mammy and Ninny). She learned all sorts of new and interesting words this last month. My two favorites are watermelon and blueberry. I think she would live on a blueberry diet if I'd let her. My parents have 2 blueberry bushes and a bunch of strawberry bushes at their house, so every day Isa would go search for berries. Her new favorite pasttime.

We will miss dearly everyone, especially our immediate family. Soon I will post photos of all the good meals and good times. We were there during a heat wave, so most of our time was spent at in the pool, at the river, at the beach, camping, or just in front of a fan.

It was hard to say goodbye. but we still have lots planned now that we are in California. It's been quite busy since we've been back. I'm constantly being refreshed and then yet again drained after our wonderful and long days.

Pregnancy is going well. I am 17 weeks along. Finally feeling the baby move and kick. This baby is quite low in comparison to my pregnancy with Isa. Which brings it's own types of challenges, that I wont share here.. hehe. And it's a challenge resting with a toddler running around. But it is a wonderful joy that we cherish every moment of. Ricky is loving it just as much as I am. We are excited to just have the baby already in our arms!

I will close with a promise to add some new photos of our recent travels. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We receive reports from Cusco each week from Jorge, Cristian and Karla. We are very pleased with the work they are doing. Pray for them, for the church and for its continued spiritual growth. The kids in Cusco are doing well. I miss them! Isabella loves watching our video because she sees and recognizes her Peruvian friends from back home.

With love from all of us,
Tracie, Ricky, Isabella, and baby

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We are in Washington... and loving the nice hot summer. Every day we are in the pool and hanging out with our family. Isabella loves her cousins. Maddy and Trinity are 1 and 2 years older than her, so they are pretty close in age. They are so sweet with her. This is the only photo i have right now, Cynthia took it. You can see the joy on Isa's face. She's been trying new things!! The slide at the park.. she went on a swing for the first time.. and swam in the pool.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

we have arrived

we are here, finally!

Thanks for all your prayers. We got through customs quickly and easily and sat together on the plane, just as we asked you to pray for. In Cusco, we left at 5am... got a taxi to the airport just fine. Because of the nation-wide strikes, everyone was arriving to the airport at that hour, even if their flight wasn't scheduled til later because if they waited, then there wouldn't be transportation. So we walked into the airport in Cusco and it was wall to wall people. Hundreds of tourists waiting and standing in lines. I immediately thanked God profusely for Isabella. She saved us! In Peru they give priority to people with little children. We were ushered to the front of all the lines and got through really quick.

However, there were other unexpected problems. We had a layover in Miami. Due to engine and other problems, our plane from Miami to LA was delayed and then finally canceled and rescheduled.. 4 hours later. Then in LA, the airline lost our stroller, which we finally got. No one could come pick us up because of the delay. Our arrival time was 2:30 AM. Well, after recuperating lost luggage and getting a shuttle service at 4:30AM, we finally arrived at Ricky's aunt and uncles house at 6AM. Let me tell you. LAN is wonderful. American airlines is another story. And after all that they made us wait, American Airlines didn't even give a snack for our kids.

After more than 24 hours of traveling and not sleeping, we were tired (and i was cranky!!) But we have slept and showered up and are SO happy to have finally arrived!! Praise God we are here and are safe. God protected us and we are thankful. We are looking forward to all that is in store in these few months to come.

We love you!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


We are almost on our way. Sometime after 4am tomorrow morning we will be up and getting ready to head to the airport. it will be a LONG day of traveling. There weren't any direct flights this time, so we have a connection in Miami. We won't arrive to LA until after 10pm. I'm stocked up on snacks, books and coloring pages for Isabella.. hoping she doesn't get too bored. Boredom is a child's worst enemy!

Pray for us. Especially that we can just get to the airport! Tomorrow is a nation-wide "paro" in Peru.. protests.. again. All the ground transportation will be stopped and most businesses closed. But we have been reassured by many that it will begin at 7-8am. We should still be able to find a taxi to take us to the airport!

Also, this is something simple, but pray that we will be able to check our bags all the way to Los Angeles and won't have to get our bags and recheck them in Miami. With Isabella tagging along and with such a short layover, having to get bags really slows things down. Also that we will get seats sitting together! We have been trying to check-in for the flight, but it's not open yet and won't let us choose seats. The worst is if we are separated, trying to entertain an 18 month old (and forget about in-flight service!). BUT however things go... everything will be fine. I just keep telling myself that.. haha

We'll post again once we arrive!


Thursday, July 02, 2009


a raspberry scone sounds so good right now. I have yet to attempt to make scones at home but I think I'm going to try. Imagine this with a hot cup of tea or coffee. mmmm.... i am so pregnant

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June happenings in our corner of the world

Vanessa and her little guy, John Angelo, who now is almost 2 months old and growing so fast!

Our actors for the silly Zaqueo play performed for the adults


Buds. Chinito is the boy on the left with the striped shirt

Here are a few photos from my sunday school class. There are usually only 10-15 kids on Sunday mornings... unlike the 70+ kids on Saturdays. It's been so fun watching these children become friends with each other. And especially fun when the girls like the boys and so on. There is this one little boy. His name is Juan Carlos, but we call him Chinito, cause he looks a little Chino (Chinese). It's not rude to have those types of nicknames here, it's endearing. Anyway, Chinito started coming on Saturdays but he didn't have any friends. He is so quiet and reserved. He wanted to play with the kids, but he didn't dare invite himself into their games. Chinito began attending on Sunday mornings too. It was more his style I think (less kids). Now whenever he arrives the other kids they say Oye, Chinito, come sit here by me! (They also call him Fujimori, who is one of the ex-presidents of Peru, who happens to be Japanese). He has many friends now and he has opened up so much.... God's plan for Juan Carlos. Wonderful.

Friday, June 12, 2009

current unrest in the Amazon

There is a lot of fighting between the Peruvian govt/military and the Amazonian natives. The natives feel the government is exploiting and violating their rights over certain land ownership, especially land that has a certain important significance to the people. However, the government usually do what they want in situations like this. The natives organized a protest (which happen all over Peru for various reasons several times every year). The natives became relatively violent in their protests, and it is unknown to us who started the violence first, but the government entered with guns by force rather than continuing to engage in peace talks. Many people on both sides have been killed.

In Cusco, there have been large protests. These have been relatively peaceful. The walls of the buildings in the central plaza of Cusco are plastered with posters stating the peoples upset with government, some are serious, some hateful, some funny. In Cusco, the people are "taking" the airport and other means of transportation, which means flights may be canceled. One flight in a city close by here was not able to land because the people managed to get onto the runway. 10,000 protesters have marched in Lima, with several hundred more here in Cusco and in other cities.

The government has closed down the Bangua radio station, called La Voz (The Voice). It is a main form of communication among the people. The Govt feels it to be a threat, although there is no legal reasons for closing it down. "This is the only radio station that has transmitted live coverage of the Bagua conflict, providing a voice through its microphones to the people of Bagua." (http://www.livinginperu.com/news-9328-breaking-news-perus-ministry-of-communications-closes-bagua-radio-station)

We are praying for the situation in the Amazon to be resolved quickly and without further bloodshed.

Here is an excerpt from an email from some friends of ours who are missionaries in Peru, in Tarapoto, a part of the Amazon. It explains a little more first hand of what is going on.

A couple of weeks ago, if we had taken our 17 hour trip through the jungle, over the mountains and down the coast to Trujillo we would have been stuck there and unable to make it back to Tarapoto. The highway opened up for only a few days and then was once again taken over by natives who still refuse to let anyone through until the government promises to stop exploiting them and their lands. As a result our city continues to be cut off from all transportation, commerce and gasoline. The city's electrical grid is run by gasoline generators which will no longer be able to function by midnight tonight for lack of combustible. The city has been rationing power the last ten nights cutting streetlights and starting tonight it'll be no electricity at all! (This might be our last e-mail for a while).

Today everyone is listening for news as much violence has broken out at the roadblock (Bagua Grande – halfway between here and the coast). The government has sent in hundreds of police armed with machine guns to take on thousands of natives armed with blow guns, spears and bows and arrows. Today a helicopter has been downed and the natives have killed several police but of course the police and army have taken out many more of the natives with their modern weapons. In Yurimaguas, the natives are outraged at the news of the killing and are preparing ambushes from the jungle around the highway and we've heard they are planning to blow up gas stations if and when the police attempt to get close.

**We have just heard that there is now NO gas in the gas stations!!**

Please pray with us that they can come to a peaceful solution soon.

PS. When we say `natives', we do not use the term insensitively as, we as the American missionaries are the civilized and the Peruvians are the uncivilized! The term `natives' is a term the Peruvians themselves use for this people group, who are living as their ancestors have historically lived in their villages and/or nomadically living off the land. This is in contrast to the approximate other half of Peruvians who are part of a mestizo group who are of mixed Spanish and native Peruvian descent.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a new chapter into our lives as parents has begun.... we are expecting a baby!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Isabella loves books. She'll go off by herself to her little play area, pick out a few books and browse the pictures, while talking and laughing to herself

Sunday, May 10, 2009

at the farmers market

Our first Saturday here in our new apartment, Ricky mentioned that there is a feria (a farmers market) right around the corner. So we decided to check it out. I imagined a nice little street with a few farmers here and there selling their goods.

leaving the house...
my little sweet pea...

As we turned the corner..i imagined a small street with a few farmers selling theirs goods. but we discovered...

the biggest feria in all of Cusco

there were vendors from all over the region.
The famous large round breads from the Oropesa adobe ovens, to fruits from the jungle of Quillabamba. There were thousands of large sacks of potatoes featuring hundreds of different varieties. Other campesinas with piles of various types of flour; trigo to kiwicha, quinoa to avas and coca flour. While others sold spices like cinnamon by the trunk, palillo (which is like Saffron), and raw sugar. Other camesinos sat among their harvested fruits, vegetables and wild flowers.

Cucumber, apples, red bell peppers and red onions
everything home grown... organic and pesticide free for the most part

oranges and bananas

This interesting fruit is very large with a bumpy hard shell. It is a fruit that comes from the jungle and is commonly known as Pan de la Selva "Jungle bread". She gave me try and it was delicious, tasting of pineapple mixed with banana.

leafy lettuce...

more vegetables... almost anything you could want or need for a really low price... and this woman was even still smiling while all bundled up on a really hot day!

Finally we came home with a week's worth of vegetables. We got all this for less than 5 dollars