Saturday, March 27, 2010

with the year well underway, we are pleased with the growth of our church fellowship so far. Just last Sunday 5 people prayed to accept Christ. Along with the 6 baptisms last month and all the new visitors, we are sure that God is not done with us yet. Sometimes the most unlikely people are the ones that the Lord wants to reach.

I remember a pastor once said about Cusco, "we don't want to church plant there; it's too touristy, there is no need"

It turns out that quite a few, nearly half, of our church is made up of street vendors. Women, mostly, who sell their handy-crafts in the Plaza de Armas to the tourists. They sell anything from jewelry to alpaca knit scarves to finger puppets. They are quite creative and talented artisans. Which brings me to think, what would have happened with all these lovely women if there was no one sharing the gospel here? Just because a place is touristy does not mean that there is not spiritual warfare going on. In fact, there is more spiritual need as a result of the tourism. All the interesting yet false beliefs that are brought in by tourists, as if the people weren't confused by their "catholic/incan" religion already. i love watching the Lord at work among all these beautiful people. Hermanos, brothers, in Christ who now have a life of hope and peace. What would have they had if Christ was not shared with them?

Wasn't it Paul the apostle, who visited the major city of Damascus, through which all the commerce of the known world flowed. If he had avoided such "touristy" places, who would have then brought the message about Jesus back to their home towns and villages?

... just sayin..

(oh and that pastor? he is no longer a pastor. go figure)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The airport suffered damages from the earthquake so they put up huge tents in the parking lot.
The lines were LONG. Thankfully we had priority because we were with little ones.
Isabella was a ANGEL! She patiently waited the entire time, even as they had to fix our flights because they lost our reservation. The only reservation that appeared was for Milan. Imagine that, they had an infant reserved to fly alone.
A wave of exhaustion and relief filled our hearts as we landed in Cusco.


Today was our first Sunday back at church. It was so wonderful to meet all the new people and see all the old faces. Some are still relatively new, recently baptized. Others have been with us since the beginning 4 years ago. Others still are brand new visitors. They had a really nice reception for us, with a yummy meal of Aji de Gallina, one of our favorite Peruvian dishes. And they sent us home with cake. There were more than 30 in attendance today.. and many were missing. Our church family is growing. Everyone was thrilled to meet Milan, except that he slept in the sling the entire time, not even opening his eyes once. But there will be time for that.

Two weeks ago on Feb 28th, the church held a baptism service at our house. Karla, Victor and Jorge, who were in charge in our absence, organized the special service that welcomed 6 more people into the family of God. We were happy to meet the new believers today. We are overwhelmed by God's goodness and faithfulness. Even in our absence, the church grows. The work in Cusco is not our own. We are fortunate to be a part of it.

Jorge and his wife Yanette (Janet) are still faithfully holding mid-week small group meetings. They are now meeting in the church as their home has become to small to hold everyone. Alicia, a new believer, who was diagnosed only a few months ago with tuberculosis is doing well and is no longer hospitalized. We had the joy of meeting her today.

School is back in session this week. We are still raising funds for the school supply project. It is our hope to provide some basic start up supplies for our children's ministry.

Finally we were able to see how the flooding has affected the city. As we drove up to San Marcos, we saw entire hillsides that have disappeared, having fallen onto the highway, leaving rocks precariously hanging over the roadway. Adobe homes disintegrated into a pile of mud. Other homes on the mountainside just seem to be waiting until another rainy day before crumbling. People are living in fear that the rain will come and catch them off guard and will sweep them away. Just last week the heavy rains came and a near-by river flooded an entire village. There are still many living in tents; bridges still need to be rebuilt. The railway still needs to be rebuilt in several spots so that tourism can continue. Many are without work due to lack of tourism. Farmers have lost their crops. Machu Picchu is still closed. As things start to dry out in March/April, reconstruction can begin.

February 27th, we were in Santiago, Chile when the earthquake hit. It is hard to describe what it was like living through one of the top five most powerful earthquakes on the planet. We are thankful to be alive. We grieve with those who have lost their loved ones to the quake and subsequent tsunami. There has been something like 30 aftershocks, some of which have reached levels of 6 or 7 in magnitude. People are still in dire need of help.

It is an interesting time we are living in. When faced with disaster on all sides, we are convinced that now is time to share the good news. We don't know how many more days God will bless us with, but we plan to be busy in His work.

In His service,
Tracie, Ricky, Isabella and Milan

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Today we leave Santiago to head back to Cusco.

We will arrive Cusco tomorrow at 10:45am Peru time. Today we fly to Arica, Chile, cross the border into Tacna, Peru by taxi and stay the night there. Tomorrow we fly from Tacna to Lima and Lima to Cusco.

Our flight changed because there are no longer direct flights from Tacna to Cusco...apparently they had problems either because of the flooding or with narco-trafficking.

Please pray for safety and especially pray that Milan will adjust well to the alitutde.

Thank you! We love you