Alone on the Ranch

We are still alive here in Peru. The updates have been hard for me to get out, partly because of how busy we are, and partly because I just didn’t write them. Thanks to all of you who have been sending us emails and messages and calls; they are great encouragements. Thanks to all of you who thought about doing it but just didn’t get it done; I understand, and we appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

I will not try to tell you everything that has been going on in the past week and a half, other than to give some prayer requests. Lamar’s carnet (residency card) should have arrived a good while ago, but he discovered through a series of unfortunate events that the whole process must be restarted. He did that. We do need a residency card to do certain business transactions and to stay in the country legally beyond three months. Please pray that the renewed process goes through smoothly.

Steph and I have started our residency process. We hope that the troubles Lamar’s have endured will help us clear the hurdles more easily. There is only one step left in ours, but we are waiting on some paperwork from the States. We have been here six weeks tomorrow, so we’re halfway through our stamped allotted time on our passports. Please pray for that.

We are looking forward to moving into a facility in Izcuchaca for church this weekend. Now that we are finally moving ahead with the building, many other facility options are presenting themselves. We would like to go with the less expensive options that are now available, but we must keep our word to the first fellow for our two-month agreement. Thank the Lord we have a building. We are looking forward to increased attendance once we move into town.

I have been spending a couple afternoons a week with Rafael Farfan, a young fellow who helps his girlfriend run a hardware store in Izcuchaca. Rafael teaches me Spanish, and I teach him English. He is taking English as a required part of his university degree in business administration. We enjoy each other’s company; I’m hoping our friendship grows so he learns to know Jesus the way I do. Pray for those language classes.

Steph is still great with child. The signs of the time seem to point to the imminent coming of our son. We’re looking forward to meeting him. Pray for them.

Now for today. Lamar’s left last evening for Puno (a seven-hour bus trip) to visit Titus and Sarah Peachey. They will be gone until tomorrow night. Titus’s are moving back to the States, and we two families are helping them by buying lots of their stuff. We will think of them fondly as we use it. The item we are all most looking forward to Lamar’s bringing back is the car! It will be lovely to have a neighbor we can borrow a vehicle from until our house in the States sells, and we can purchase a vehicle of our own.

So we have the Ranch all to ourselves today. We are reveling in the freedom! The freedom to milk the cow, the freedom to care for the bulls, sheep, chickens, the freedom to fix broken things, the freedom to chase off the neighbor’s sheep, heifers, and dog, the freedom to run to town–all alone and broken-hearted. I’m not sure about this freedom business.

After school is finished for the day (it nearly is), I will be trying to figure out an automation project for someone in the States. It looks like a big challenge to me; words are more my forte. But I’m looking forward to the work… I think.

This afternoon I’ll be in Izcuchaca for a few hours with Rafael. Steph is working on prepping for Walter’s arrival. Jolynn is cleaning up the messes she and our children make. Anne is digging roots and grass out along the house for a tea bed. Abbey is cleaning out the pullet pen/area. Dane is mucking manure out of the barn. Shawn is watching out for marauding sheep. Seth is trying his best to climb up anything that looks dangerous, breaking stuff in his path along the way.

Talk to you all soon.

Note of Praise:

Yesterday Steph and I spent some time going over our budget. We felt like we were scraping near the bottom of the barrel of our resources and needing to make the soles stretch a bit further. We prayed about it, specifically asking God to help the house in the States to come to closing. (There are a couple of roadblocks in the way from the buyer’s end.)

This morning before breakfast I received a call from the States. A dear brother had encouraged his church family to share with us. Out of the blue, we were receiving a gift via PayPal just when we needed it. We felt humbled and grateful and very loved, both by our brethren in the States and by our Father in heaven.

Glory to His name.