Friday, October 14, 2011

Olivares family update
Cusco, Peru
Sept/Oct 2011
A village church plant
A few months ago we were approached by a brother in our church to begin praying about God’s leading toward starting a new work. This work would be a church plant in Sangarara, an agricultural village nestled high in the Andes Mountains a few hours outside of Cusco. Most residents speak only Quechua and are illiterate. They work herding sheep, cows and pigs. They live by barter. Their lives have been mostly untouched by the western world. There is a group of individuals who have heard the gospel and have placed their faith in Christ. But they have no church, no shepherd, no one to teach them. They
want more. 

So, we visited and prayed, sent Jorge and Janet back to visit, and have met with Eloy, the believer who lives in Sangarara who shared this need in the first place. It encourages us that God has led the believers in our church in this way. We will help support the formation with the idea that the members of our church will be the
leaders and teachers who continue and sustain this work.

We will begin this Saturday, Oct. 15th, with a children’s outreach campaign; with music, children’s songs,
dances, a lesson and breakfast served. We are inviting the entire village, with the hopes to get to know the
families and begin inviting them to the small group that Jorge and Eloy will be starting. The head of police
gave us the approval for the open-air meeting and said he that he also wants to learn more about God. He was so thrilled that he is going to have the entire police force (which isn’t many) attend. 

The small group that is being formed will be led by Eloy. Seeing as Eloy doesn’t speak Spanish and doesn’t
read at all, his wife will read the Bible to him. Jorge will meet with to disciple him on a weekly basis since Jorge is bilingual in Spanish and Quechua. Janet will be leading ministry with the children. We have already begun to collect Bibles in Quechua. The members of the church are compiling worship music in Quechua as well. Everyone is excited at how they can participate in what God is leading us to do in Sangarara.

Prayer needs:
-For the people of Sangarara to have open hearts to receive Christ and to follow Him 
-For interfamily violence and alcoholism that exists in the village
-That it doesn’t rain this Saturday
-For safe travels for everyone who will be going Saturday, we leave Cusco at 6am
-For God’s provision of the approx. $400 we will need monthly, for a location, supplies and travel costs for those who will be going each week.

If you would like to commit to supporting the new work in Sangarara on a monthly basis or send a one-time donation, please make check payable to Iberoamerican Ministries, with a note attached for “Olivares Cusco Ministry” And send to IAM, PO Box 1493, Monroe, WA 98272

Other prayer requests:
-Tracie’s health- her eyes are continuing to have complications, accompanied with pain and blurry vision.
-Jorge and Janet, pray that they will continue to grow and mature in the Lord, as shepherd and teacher.
-Aracely and Carlos, for their marriage and commitment to the Lord and to each other, that they will
continue taking steps of faith. For Aracely who is being discipled as a children’s leader in the church and for
Carlos, who wants to serve, but is easily distracted with other things.
-For the annual children’s Christmas party in December; planning has begun so that this year’s party will be
as much of a blessing as it has been in the past. If you would like to make a donation we’d be grateful!

-Efrain and Olger took steps of faith and were baptized recently. They
also are attending the leadership course that Ricky is leading. Both
men are growing and desiring to serve more in the church.
-Ricardo and Julia, the couple who were recently married in the church
are taking steps toward leadership as well.
-Though we don’t know anything yet, it is possible the neighborhood
association of San Blas will donate a piece of land to the church that we can build on. We praise God in advance knowing we will soon have something… and we continue praying for favor from God and that of the association’s president. And for a meeting and decision to take place soon.

We will close by sending greetings and love from our family to yours. Isabella and Milan are doing well, growing too fast, and bring so much joy to our lives. We are looking forward to the medical team that will be coming in November and the upcoming Christmas celebrations, preparations are already underway!

With love and peace,
Ricky, Tracie, Isabella and Milan

• For donations please attach a note for “Olivares Cusco Ministry”
• Specify it for the “Cusco Christmas Project” if desired
• Send to: IberoAmerican Ministries. PO Box 1493. Monroe, WA 98272

Monday, October 10, 2011

High Altitude Cooking....

Except for the months between Sept 2005 and Jan 2006, where we stayed with Ricky's parents in Santiago, I have spent my entire marriage living in Cusco. I can no longer remember what it was like to cook in a non-altitude environment on a daily basis. Cooking has become a hobby of sorts and I find joy in creating healthy, delicious meals for Ricky and my little ones.

But I do remember what it was like our very first week in Cusco. It took me nearly 7 days to figure out how to cook rice. My sister in law gave me a neat little cookbook called the High-Altitude Cookbook. After trying and failing certain recipes I read the biography of the authors and discovered that these ladies were living at HALF the altitude (in Colorado) that we are. So in our first weeks/months in Cusco, my free time was spent browsing the internet compiling information about high-altitude cooking. Soon I started readjusting and re-writing most of the recipes I had. It was fun and challenging.

After living here for nearly 7 years and cooking for my family every day, I hardly use recipes. Its fun to try things just by seeing a photo or inventing things using what I have in my kitchen. It has been a challenge when I want to try a recipe and can't find those ingredients here in Cusco. I've learned to just skip over such meals (like anything with fish or specialty cheeses or healthy substitutes like agave nectar). What I have learned is how to make an excellent dish with simple ingredients.... my fave is probably home-made pesto. We don't have the luxury of buying it already made and sold in a jar. Besides, what I'm learning is that those jarred/canned/processed foods have ingredients that aren't the freshest or even add terrible additives/colorants/preservatives, etc. Things I have come to abhor. I am thankful that I now have the skills to start a meal from the ground to the table and not have any need for additional store-bought, processed ingredients.

I have become obsessed over the last few years of reading labels and doing research. Like the time when I was learning about the E numbers. Having come from the U.S. where additives are not named as E numbers, I wasn't sure which each number meant. So I looked it up. And now, I know which ones are okay and natural and which ones are unhealthy and even dangerous. There are E numbers that have been approved in the EU and US and others that are not- that Peru uses, since they don't have the same standards.

Cooking in altitude is generally the same when grilling. It changes a bit with boiling since water boils at a lower temperature here. Water evaporates much quicker, so when making anything on the stove top, you have to keep that in mind and give either more water or more time depending on what you're making. I always thought it was weird that Cusquenans made rice by bringing it to a boil and letting it absorb half the water and then they pour off the rest of the water and place a plastic bag over the rice under the lid. How's that for getting BPA's in your food? Well it's normal here and it's almost the only way to cook rice. I avoid the plastic bag, but my rice never comes out as good. Baking is where things change a lot. After trying time and time again to make cookies, after nearly 7 years, I have finally perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe so that I end up with a fluffy, soft and chewy cookie with the chocolate chips that stay melted inside. Cakes are just as difficult.

It gets complicated but my high-altitude tips are something along the lines of less sugar, less oil/butter, more flour/oats, additional eggs, more liquid, change amount of baking soda and powder - less soda more powder, higher temperature by about 15%, and more time in the oven. Fun, huh!

Friday, October 07, 2011

August baptisms

family and friends coming to watch to baptisms (ignore the clothes in the back... this is my patio!)

Ricky sharing a few words and explaining what is about to happen

Ricky and Jorge with Efrain 

Ricky and Jorge with Raul