Hello and Happy Easter from Peru! It has been a slow and then suddenly busy past few months at the orphanage, as the kids were on summer vacation but started school at the beginning of March. Our coordinator, Matthew, and his wife, Valeria, were in the United States sharing about God’s work in Peru. There have been some changes at the orphanage during their time in the US, including a new couple at the orphanage, new children, and summer projects. Then upon the coordinating couple’s return to Cusco, the kids and staff from the orphanage took an Easter trip to Cusco to take advantage of the days off of school they get for Easter Week.
We’re sad to say that one of the families at the orphanage have left, as after giving birth to twin girls, David and Deysi decided that with two newborns in addition to their 3-year-old, they needed to spend some time refocusing on taking care of their family. God immediately presented the orphanage with another family from the town of Acomayo though, a small city about 2 hours south of Cusco. The family, whose names are Pablo and Agusta with their kids Baker, Abraham, and Karen, come from the same house church plants that introduced everybody to Luis and Marilia. They seem to fit in right at home in Cachora, speaking Quechua, being handy in the field, and having children who are also willing to help in how they can. Their arrival has been particularly helpful with the arrival of two new boys from the nearby town of Curahuasi, Jesus Manuel and Brayan, who at 8 and 6 come from a bad situation and practically living in the street. As you can imagine, it’s a tough adjustment for the two boys, so please keep them in your prayers that they will soon feel at home among all of the family at the orphanage.
While the kids have been on summer vacation throughout January and February, that doesn’t mean they haven’t done anything. Though the rainy season has been less intense this year due to El Niño, it still limits what they can do. Despite this, they’ve taken to trying to keep the grass under control with a new weed eater- possibly the longest and widest weed-eater you’ve ever seen- and to building a swimming pool. The idea was to dig a big, deep, hole, cover it with some plastic tarp and fill it with water to make a nice swimming hole for the kids during the warm and sunny days that will break through occasionally during the rainy season. However, while the efforts have been valiant, the kids and house parents found that the Andean soil is tougher and rockier than they perhaps anticipated, and the project- while still going- is going a bit slower than hoped! In the end, like kids in the US working on digging a hole to China during the summer, it was a fun goal for the kids to try to achieve during their summer break.
School started at the beginning of March, but the first break of the year came fairly quickly with Easter Week. In Peru, many businesses go on holiday from the Thursday before Easter through Easter Sunday, and so the entire orphanage took a trip to Cusco thanks to the Nolan family of Canton, Georgia. They arrived to a feast on Thursday eating what is called the ’12 Dishes’, an Easter Week tradition for Peruvians where they eat 12 types of food in a single lunch. That night they went to the Zona Zegura Missions House, where there was a pizza party that included a special message for the kids, playing Twister, and playing Wii, courtesy of Your Mission Matters who donated the Wii for the kids to enjoy; you bet they did!
On Good Friday Rolans drove the kids around on a type of bus tour, teaching them about Cusco and the ancient city’s history as they rode around. For lunch they went to eat Ceviche, Peru’s national dish that is made of fresh fish marinated in limes, chili peppers, and onions. Ceviche is a very nice meal, and so the kids and staff were able to have a very nice Good Friday feast!
That evening the children and house families threw a surprise party for Agusta’s sister, Biviana, and had the chance to worship with the Zona Zegura band and hear a special message from Zona Zegura’s Pastor César. They went to bed that night preparing for a big day of going to an indoor swimming pool, visiting a small theme park, seeing Kung Fu Panda 3, eating dinner at the mall food court, and playing in a video arcade. With reason, when they returned to Cachora on Easter, most of the kids slept on the way back except for a stop along the Apurimac River to have a nice Easter lunch of roasted chicken.
All in all, the down time at the orphanage has been followed up by a busy month of March, and it is going to get busier as year goes by. Thank you for all of your support and prayers during this time, we hope that you will continue to support us through sharing, prayer, and financial partnership. A special thank you again to the Nolan Family and Your Mission Matters for making an unforgettable trip to Cusco possible, we hope that it has warmed your heart as much as it did ours! God Bless and until next time, chau!