Friday, November 09, 2012

November update

Olivares family update
Oct/Nov 2012


We’ve been in transition for what feels like ages, but we finally got a house this week! Unfortunately it wasn’t well taken care of, so we are working hard to fix it up, cleaning and painting, etc. We hope to move in before Thanksgiving.

Isabella and Milan continue to bring us lots of joy and laughter. They both are very excited for the arrival of their baby brother, who is expected in mid-February. I have been well during my pregnancy, except for getting hypothyroidism, which is quite common. We had a small pause in regular life last week as Ricky’s wallet was stolen and he had to go through the hassle of cancelling and renewing everything. And we watched the damage of Sandy and the drama of the presidential elections and pray always for the very best for our friends and family in the States.

Ricky is a busy man, with the house and traveling to and from Cusco each month. But these visits have been such an essential part of our transition as he has had important meetings with the leadership over the land purchase, has attended baptisms and has encouraged the congregation. We are seeing now how the church is reaching out and starting a new work of its own!

LIVING WATER in Tambomachay
There is a little old town just outside of Cusco, called Tambomachay. It is a place where there are Incan ruins with a natural spring of water that comes out of the rocks. The water is clear, naturally filtered and never runs dry. Long ago, it was the bathing place of the great Inca. One of the leaders of our church works by selling handicrafts to the tourists who visit these ruins. Day after day, he would see the small town just down the road and saw there was a desire for Jesus. So a few months ago, he and the other leaders of the church gathered together to bring a songs, dance and a Bible lesson to the children of the town.

The story gets even better! A long time ago, the townspeople built a beautiful little adobe chapel, with the intention of holding Catholic mass there. The problem is, the priest never showed up. Now, aside from the occasional burial service, the building goes completely unused. When the people saw the church holding children’s activities, they made the decision to loan the building to them to use, free of charge. Services and activities are held on Sunday afternoons. Many people from the congregation in San Marcos go to help out. And now, we are seeing Living Water, the water that truly never runs dry, come to Tambomachay.

The land/building project is still going full speed, with our first phase almost completed! This month, November, we need to reach the 80% mark for the purchase of the land, according to the contract of sale. In October we had only reached the 50% marker… but thanks to a last minute donation from Christ’s Church of the Valley, we are now at 77.5%. Please pray about helping us this month to reach the 80% goal! If you read this newsletter and aren’t already a faithful supporter, we ask that you’d consider sending a one time donation of just $20 this month to help us reach our goal.

Lastly but not least, Christmas time is quickly approaching! We are blessed to hold our annual Christmas party in Cusco for more than 150 children. This year there will be two parties, one in San Marcos and the other in Tambomachay. As you know, celebrating the birth and love of Jesus through gift giving and celebrations is a wonderful tool to show God’s love to these kids who receive very little this time of year.

Every year, as the party approaches we ask in faith that God will provide for a party, and He has, usually only days before the party but never late. His timing is perfect. We know this year will be no different. If you have served with us in Peru before or just love children, or simply love God, we ask you to help make the party a reality this year!

It is such a blessing for us to continue serving in Cusco from a distance and we love the people there with all our hearts. We thank God for you, for your love and support and words of encouragement that we’ve received during these last few months.

With peace and love,
Tracie, Ricardo, Isabella, Milan and baby

IberoAmerican Ministries. PO Box 1493. Monroe, WA 98272
Make donations payable to Iberoamerican Ministries and attach a note specifying it for the: Olivares Land Project or the Olivares Cusco Christmas project

Thursday, August 16, 2012

our trip to the States

After a whirlwind trip to the US we have finally arrived back to Santiago, Chile, our new home! 

In these last four weeks, we had many meetings and lunches with great people who have loved and cared for us during our journey to and from Peru. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, from random surprises like running into a friend from a recent mission trip at the beach to driving hours in the blazing desert to see loved ones, to watching my dear brother as he received his bride.

Isabella and Milan are the best kids ever and even through the stresses of travel and disruptions, and having to share Ricky and I with other people, they took everything with a great deal of patience and childlike amusement. They had a blast seeing friends and team members who have visited us in Peru. They didn't object entirely to the changes in diet and they didn't have any major stomach issues this visit. And it was fun for us to see them enjoy the little things. When I asked Isa the usual, "what was your favorite part of the day", after coming home from a bonfire at the beach, she said "i liked watching the sun change colors [at sunset]”.

It was also exciting to share what God has done and continues to do in Cusco and to share our vision for the future in Chile. When others capture our vision and get excited about what we are going to do, it confirms how much God is with us every step of the way. We have so much to do before this year ends, just to get established in Chile. Ricky also will be traveling back to Cusco to oversee the purchase of the land as things are progressing in our absence.

Pray for us, as we need to find a house and basically are starting over from zero, since we couldn't bring anything with us from Cusco. Also, besides needing a vehicle, I have 90 days to apply for residency and we are looking for a doctor for my prenatal care. Yes, I'm pregnant! I don't think we mentioned it in the last newsletter, so not everyone may know. We are thrilled and our little ones are happy about having a brother or sister.
Thanks for your love and friendship! And for understanding such an informal update. 

Blessings and peace, 
Tracie, Ricky, Isabella and Milan
Aug 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

June update- Cusco construction project, our move to Chile and ....

Greetings! Here we are in Cusco for two final weeks before our official move to Santiago, Chile. We are eager to share with you a few updates, especially about the land!

LAND - The paperwork is almost done and we should be able to sign this Saturday, June 23rd!
We have separated the project into 3 phases, which helps us see our progress a little clearer.  Phase 1 includes the land purchase and all fees associated.  We have reached 78% of this goal! We only need approx $8000 to complete phase 1. Phase 2 is from breaking ground until the completion of the initial building with two floors. This will allow us to move the church permanently to the new location and leave the old one. Our goal is to have this phase completed by the end of 2012. Phase 3 is for additional 1-2 floors with classrooms, room for mission teams, the terrace and an apartment for the temple guards (those who live on site to take care of the property, something necessary and common in S. America). Pray for God’s protection and wisdom through this process. Also pray about how you can help us reach our goals for the construction project!

TEAMS- We recently received a mission team from Crossroads Church in California. Almost every person on the team was on their first ever cross-cultural outreach trip. We were blessed to see them embrace the culture and the people as well as all the activities we had them involved in. It was a beautiful thing.  Next week, we receive another team from Christ’s Church of the Valley in California. We are looking forward to receiving them and introducing them to this wonderful place. A few of the team members came last year; it encourages us that Peru would be in their hearts to cause them to return yet again this year!

OUR MOVE- We have been In Cusco since mid-May, living in a temporary apartment, since we left our house and got rid of all our belongings at the beginning of May. The reality of our move is setting in and it brings us sadness as well as relief. In just this last month, Tracie has had some pretty rough days; with several episodes of corneal erosion, infection and pain. But in spite of it all, we are sad to be leaving this beautiful place that we have called home for nearly seven years, for our entire marriage so far.  We will miss the kind people of Cusco, who have placed seeds of love and compassion deep within our hearts. God gives us peace because part of our hearts will remain behind and will never leave. Thank you so much for praying for us!
But we are thankful that we aren’t leaving and never coming back.  Ricky will be back often to continue strengthening leadership, ministries and oversee the construction. Cusco will remain a main focus of our ministry indefinitely. I will come with the kids when we are able, most likely at the end of November for a short trip, for the medical clinic and Christmas celebrations with the church.

TRIP TO THE STATES -Within days of our leaving Cusco, we will be heading to the United States for about 4 weeks (from July 12th to Aug 10th). It will be such a short trip, but a good one!  We have many things to share with you about what God has been doing in Cusco and to share our future ministry goals in Chile and continued support ministry in Cusco. We are also thrilled to be going because my little brother is getting married!
Please write to us and let us know if you like to get together. We would love to see you! With God’s grace and peace, we pray the same for each of you,

Ricardo, Tracie, Isabella and Milan
IberoAmerican Minsitries. PO Box 1493, Monroe, WA 98272 Please send donations for Iberoamerican Ministries and direct the donation toward the “Olivares Ministry” or                “Olivares Cusco Land/Construction project”

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blessed Changes

After nearly a year of meetings and waiting, and after finally being approved to receive the land, God closed the door. Can you believe it? Well, what could have been a discouraging situation, has turned into a huge blessing, because God opened another door that very same week. And a much better one at that! 

But first, we’ll share what happened: The latest association meeting didn’t go the way we expected and although we aren’t invited to attend those meetings, a sister from the church does. And she told us what the new proposition would have been. The “free” land originally consisted of us receiving half the land that belongs to them based on the idea that we build (on their half) a community center. According to the current land value, it was a good deal for us and even with construction costs, would have been less expensive in the end. But in this latest association meeting, the idea was proposed and accepted by many to “give” us the land for eight years, we still build on their part as well as our own, but after the eight years, the land would be taken back and we would have to start paying rent. Does that even make sense? It’s total nonsense. 

Earlier that same week we were approached with the notice that the neighboring association also has a piece of land, which is for sale. After negotiation, the land will cost $33,000 USD. It is nearly double the size of the other. Aside from that, the association has all their paperwork in order to make the deal totally legal (whereas the other still does not have things in order) and we aren’t expected to build anything except 
our own. And if that wasn’t good enough, this land has vehicle access (huge bonus!) because it’s right on the road, which reduces the building costs and the amount/time of labor. There is a restaurant in the area that is also interested in buying this land (because of the incredible view), but the president wants it to belong to the church, as he knows the church will bring blessing to the people. However, we have had to move quickly. God has given us a great peace about the change and all the leaders of the church in Cusco are in accord.

The purchase will be finalized this month. We need the minimum of $16,500 to make the down payment and soon after we need to pay the other $16,500. From that point we can start building immediately. Our building costs will be roughly $40-50,000. Please pray about how you help us purchase the land and start building. In faith we move ahead, knowing that God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.

In grace and peace,
Ricky, Tracie and the lil’ ones

IberoAmerican Ministries PO Box 1493 Monroe, WA 98272
For online donations, email us at for more information
Make donations payable to IberoAmerican Ministries and attach a note directing 
it toward the “Olivares Cusco Building Project

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March update

Olivares Family                             March 2012


The Land
            It is not news that our church has outgrown its current location. It is a wonderful problem to have, and yet, it is still a problem.
It joys us to share that we have (finally) been approved by the community to receive a piece of land for free. This land is right next to the park and soccer court in San Blas, on a main stairway that reaches up from the center of Cusco. It is right at the heart of the communities where we serve and will be a light on a hill for all to see. If all goes as planned- the legal work finalized and the money needed for building is raised- we plan to break ground in August. The community association here in Peru is donating the land, and they also have placed some expectations on us as a church. We only have 5 months before we are expected to start building, which means we have 5 months, April thru August, to raise the money to build.

Building costs
The estimate for the construction is a little more than $80,000 US Dollars. It seems like so much money to us, but we know that “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than all we ask or think according to His power works within us.” (Eph 3:20). We ask you to pray and consider how God would have you be involved in raising the money needed to build.

All donations toward the building project should be directed as follows: checks make out to IberoAmerican Ministries, with a note attached specifying it for the Cusco Building Project”. Mail it to IberoAmerican Minsitries, PO Box 1493, Monroe, WA 98272.

When you mail a donation, please follow up by sending us a quick email ( That way we can keep track of our progress. Maybe your church or small group would like to adopt our project or you would like to be a point person to share our need with others, please write to us and we’ll give you further instructions on how to make it happen. We appreciate it!

In other news

     Our back to school project was a success! In March we helped provide a number of school supplies to more than 120 children.

      The children’s feeding program is beginning in April. This program is designed to provide a main meal at least once a week to children in need, those in poverty and those who live with a single mother and/or several brothers/sisters. We all know that good nutrition is a foundation for success in their studies and schoolwork. This program still needs to be adopted as it has monthly expenses that need to be met. If you or your small group would is interested, please send us an email!

Church anniversary
This Sunday, April 1st, we celebrate six years together as a church fellowship in Cusco, Peru. Everyone is waiting with anticipation for our celebration. It will be a day of joy for all of us as a church family to praise God for magnificent change that the Love of Christ has made in their lives.  

A new chapter in life
For everyone who doesn’t already know, April is our last month living in Cusco. Through much prayer we have made the decision that for the health of Tracie’s eyes we can no longer live in the high altitude. Her illness continues as long as we are here and we don’t know at this point if the damage done is irreversible. We praise God for protecting her eyesight in general but she continues to have worsening complications when she is at altitude. God has opened a door for us to continue ministry in Cusco, but from a distance. 

From our new home in Chile we will be able to travel to Peru as well as serve in new and existing ministries with IAM in the church there. Ricky will come to Cusco monthly to oversee the building project and other ministries, as well as encourage the church and her leadership. We also pray for long-term person(s) to come to Cusco to live, to support and develop ministry here.

We are looking forward to this new chapter, though any type of change can be difficult. God has a way of blessing through hardship, bringing joy through pain, and hope through despair. We have hope, joy and peace that come only through Him.

Your prayers are appreciated during this time of transition for our family. Please remember the building project, pray, get involved. We can’t wait to see how God will use the new building to expand His kingdom in Cusco!

We love you and thank God for you!

Ricky, Tracie, Isabella and Milan

For donations: please make checks out to IberoAmerican Ministries
Attach a note specifying it for the “Olivares Ministry” or “Cusco Building Project”. Mail it to IAM (IberoAmerican Minsitries), PO Box 1493, Monroe, WA 98272.
For making donations online, please email us at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February update

Olivares Family
February 2012

           February means rain! Most of our days are spent indoors as the rains have come in all their glory. The storms are marvelous and always remind us of the greatness and power of God. Isabella and Milan are fascinated with the thunder and lightning, always running to the windows, or going outside undercover to watch in amazement.

February also means carnival! It is a joyful time of year. A typical ritual is that of Yunza. It involves the planting of a big tree somewhere (here they usually cut down a eucalyptus tree, carry it among many persons to a desired location where it is placed in a large hole in the ground and then buried sufficiently so that it does not fall over.) The tree is hung with lots of gifts, and people dance around it and then slowly cut it down. The couple that gives the final cut before it falls down is in charge of organizing the yunza next year.

Carnival also signifies the festival of water. Children and adults alike, all throw water at anyone and everyone. Our first year in Cusco, we didn’t have a vehicle and thus walked everywhere; we unknowingly became the target for many rooftop water balloons. Another year we actively participated, but with an advantage. Ricky drove the van while the members of mission team opened the sliding door haphazardly to throw water balloons at random people. It’s all in good fun and anyone who is Peruvian understands it that way. The tourists on the other hand…are much better targets and the Peruvian kids love going to the Plaza de Armas with water guns!

Send a child to school project
March will be here soon and the children are preparing to head back to school. The school year goes from March to December. By this time, most kids are rather bored of their summer vacation and getting excited for school again, though the excitement fades quite quickly (Isn’t that the irony, wherever in the world.)

This time of year we receive donations that help send children to school. Most families have 4+ school-aged children and the costs of getting start-up materials are far too great to be covered by what they make in a month. Schools require a certain amount of supplies by each student by the end of the first month (end of March) in order to continue in the school. These supplies are not cheap and include things such as uniforms. Any and every help we can give them will help these children’s futures. It is our goal each year to help as many children as possible with these start-up materials. If you would pray and consider donating toward this project we would be so grateful! We invest in their lives knowing that, by the grace of God, they are the future of Cusco!

Praises and prayer requests
The church in San Marcos (San Blas) is doing well. We are currently having a weekly leadership class, a women’s Bible study and will adding one or two more house groups! As we have previously shared, we have outgrown our locale. We are still waiting for the final word and papers for the land that the community association wants to give to us. It’s not final until it’s legal. But we trust in the wonderful ways that God works. People have told us that this kind of thing never happens (giving land away for free), so if it does happen it will be a marvelous thing that we can only praise God for! So keep praying!

With love and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ricardo, Tracie, Isabella and Milan

IberoAmerican Ministries PO BOX 1493, Monroe, WA 98272
Donations should be made out to IberoAmerican Ministries, with a note attached directing it to the “Olivares Cusco Back to School Project” or for monthly donations, “Olivares Ministry”

Thursday, February 16, 2012

what everyone else thinks I do

These things just started popping up all over the web. I thought it was pretty funny and easy enough. Here's a missionary's try at it....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

an update after a few months

I'm sorry for the absence. I know it's time to write a newsletter, but I think I'll start by blogging.

Truthfully, I haven't wanted to write. And I get distracted so easily! With two young ones running around the house (which is more like three because Milan alone counts for 2 children. He's crazy!) I'm up every few minutes to clean up a mess or check on the quinoa soup or to kiss an owie... so many things that I would much prefer to writing. Nevertheless, I know there are a few faithful readers out there who remind me to keep blogging because you like to read our updates. okay.... so here it goes.

December and January went by in a flash! Dec was amazing with the Christmas party preparations and celebrations. God provided at the last moment all the money we needed and we were able to celebrate properly with gifts and candies and the like. The kids in Cusco LOVED it. We also celebrated with the adults at church a few weeks before Christmas. Then we went to Chile and spend Christmas and New Year with Ricky's family. Overall we had a great time, enjoying hot summer days, late nights, neighborhood walks, lots of Chilean food and fellowship with family. Isabella turned four. Milan turned two. and Ricky turned thirty-six. We had a birthday party with both kids together and their cousins, with a pinata and cake and presents... they had a blast. I can't believe how big the kids are getting. Milan still seems like a toddler but Isabella is definitely no longer a toddler and is all girl. I remember when I was pregnant with her I said I would never dress her in pink, but then she received so many pink things, I just went with it. Later I realized that it's not up to me to decide what color she does or does not wear... I think I just didn't want her to be a girly-girl. But I realized that if that's who she wants to be then I need to support her. And she LOVES pink. What little girl doesn't? She loves all things frilly and princessy and I love her all the more for it.

So birthdays came and went. And then we came back to Cusco. We returned to find the church growing in our absence and Jorge doing a good job and the people loving and sharing their faith. There are some new believers who want to be baptized and others who are serving. We are encouraged and blessed. A week after we came home we received two young men from the US who are on an exploratory trip, visiting our ministry and another in another part of Peru, to see if their church feels led to send teams and partner with our work. We're obviously praying they feel led to Cusco, because we are going through some time of change this year, are implementing new projects, possibly receiving a piece of land for the church (which means construction), and on top of it we have lost a few supporters. AND Jorge is asking for a raise. We would love to raise his salary, but without sufficient support we just can't. Well, we did. but just a very little. 

Our return has been good, except for my eyes. The same issues with the corneal erosions came right back once we arrived. Anyhow, we have a lot of decisions to make. Some we've already made, but have to go public with them, which we haven't been able to do yet. We're praying that it all be in God's will and timing. 

We just got some exciting news that my little brother is getting married! I can't believe it because he'll always be my little brother, but we're thrilled for him. He is an incredible person, has a wonderful heart and will make his future wife Kayla a happy woman! We all love Kayla too and I'm proud to have her as a sister in law! I just wish we all lived closer so we could see them more often. The wedding is in July, which means a trip for us to the States is coming up.

This isn't really an update of our life, but my parents are in the car moving from Washington to Iowa right now. My dad got a nice promotion at work in an area of Iowa where they had purchased like 100 acres several years ago. It's where they had planned on retiring, but now it looks like my dad will work for another 5 years before retiring, but they were able to move to their property ahead of schedule. These last few months have been incredibly busy for them. My dad traveling a lot, selling the house, the car, the trailer... Most of their things from over a decade living in their house in Vancouver. It was sad for me to see them over Skype packing up... my dad took me on a virtual tour of the house as the movers were loading... I'm sentimental I guess. I can't believe the next time we visit their house it will be in Iowa. 

That's what we've been up to.... now for writing a newsletter!! haha