Steps to Success

Friday turned out to be a full day. I went with Percy after chores to take some goats into market. We took ten goats in, including two older does. As soon as we were inside the gate, we were swamped by people wanting the goats. We agreed to sell to one lady who often buys and resells. That would save us time. I couldn’t stay, so Percy told me to go, and he would make sure to get the payment. The lady had offered to buy the two does and three bucks if she could get a lower price.

I left and went home to change and pick up Steph. From there, we went to the shipping station to get the box from Simon’s. They were open! I grabbed the box and opened it and got out the passports. We didn’t take time to look through the rest of the contents, but went straight to the muni.

The fellow who does the birth certificates was out, but his secretary was in. She said she was sorry, but that we would have to go many hours away to the locale that handles births for Curahuasi. I told her no we didn’t and showed her on the document from the hospital where it clearly said we needed to be in Anta. She said okay and told us to wait for her boss who would be back “later.”

The man showed up and was very cheerful! He said he was glad to see us back so soon and took my passport eagerly. That was quite the change from the other day. It was only a few minutes later that he had the document ready for us to sign, and we were on our way!

While we were signing the papers, he told us that RENIEC where we needed to do the DNI had moved down to the middle of town. There was a location in Izcuchaca, meaning we didn’t need to go to Cusco. That detail felt like a direct answer to prayer. We walked a couple blocks down the street and found the place. There was a helpful man who gave us a code to take to a bank to pay the fee; he told us to come back on Monday early to get the DNI, which is Willow’s identification number.

I paid the fee, then we went home and went through the box with the children. We had a few school items from Christian Light that Simon’s had picked up for us as well as a few surprises. Christine had sewn a sweet little dress for Willow that Steph and the girls thought was delightful. There was also a jar of peanut butter, a bag of circus peanuts, and a large can of jalapeños! I need to call Simon to figure out what came from whom, but wasn’t that just sweet of them!

Percy called and said he was ready to be picked up. He had five bucks left, but he felt he had learned some things. The woman had been dishonest and refused to buy any bucks, then she wouldn’t pay the full price we’d agreed to. She came out to the truck to try to get me to go down on the price. I insisted a few times that she keep her word, but she wouldn’t have it.

Percy and Lucrecia lit into her in Quechua. I do not know what they said, but the woman was sweating buckets. Then several other ladies joined in and declared her to be a thief and a robber and a deceiver. I decided the money was not worth the scene. I relented. Then everyone really gave it to her! Poor lady.

At home, I told the family what had happened. The woman had left, promising that she would bring me a beautiful doe of hers for me to buy next Friday to pay me back for all the drama. I told the children that I don’t want to buy any goats, but I want to take her some biscuits next Friday. “Why?! She stole from us!”

Well, maybe that will let her know we love her, and God loves her, too. I doubt she has many friends, all things considered. Now, if I just don’t forget to do that. Percy says he thinks he can easily sell the bucks next week, so we’ll give that a try. He also found out the going rate for pigs, so we’re going to sell ours next week, hopefully.

We’re trying to get rid of some animals before we travel again. That way Percy has less to worry about while I’m gone. I’ve been butchering a rooster periodically, as we had quite a few. I butchered another Friday afternoon, and we used the breast meat for a barbecue chicken pizza. I ground the rest of the meat from the legs and so on with the grinder Steph’s family had gotten her for her birthday and seasoned it to taste like sausage, which we used on another pizza.

After lunch, the oldest four children, China, and I went back into town and passed out tracts. We each had a backpack though Juanito’s only held about fifty tracts to my two hundred fifty. We handed out most of them, but we limited ourselves to an hour because we needed to get back to make supper.

On the way home, I saw Fernando and Esmeralda out by the road, so we stopped and talked with them. They have been locked up at home for months now because Fernando was so scared of dying from Covid. But now he’s no longer scared because he had just Friday received his second dose of the vaccine. They said they would come next Friday night for supper.

Rafael and Elisabet came for supper–only half an hour late. We had an enjoyable time with them again. The children nearly wear them out with playing every time they come. We had pizza and sang together and talked until late.

China wondered aloud why we must have people over for supper on the busiest day of the week. Fridays are often chock full of things to do. I told her that makes us appreciate Saturday and Sunday all the more.

I worked up a sermon while the others worked on the house Saturday morning. Steph worked on finishing some sewing. In the afternoon, I wanted to take goat milk into town to sell. Cristina had planned to come for Bible study, but I asked if we couldn’t do it there since Steph and I were going to be in town selling milk. She was glad to have us to her home.

She had not read any of her Bible assignment since last we met. She had lots of excuses. I asked her how long she’s been a school teacher; turns out it is over thirty-one years. I asked if her students learn if they do not study or skip their homework. As any teacher might, she went on a rant about how many students and parents don’t care and make “thousands of excuses” for why they don’t do their homework.

I told her she was no different, which made her about swallow her tongue. How is she to learn to know God if she isn’t willing to put in the work, I asked. She agreed. She said next week will be different. This time she will read her Bible every day. And I kind of think that she will. I’m looking forward to seeing how she does.

We had a good discussion about evidences of God. She wanted to know what a “Christian conversion” is and how it differs from other religious experiences. I told her the difference was a new life and power to live above sin through Jesus. She said that’s what she really wants because honestly, she is still a sinner after all these years of being Catholic.

I told her what we call ourselves is not so important as whether or not we are born again and completely surrendered to a life of faithful obedience to Jesus. “Yes! Yes! I want that.” Please keep praying for Cristina.

Some of you have been asking about other families who may be coming to live here. I understand there are still a couple families who are in the thinking stage. There was also a single fellow who said he’s interested in coming to help. Those folks are still praying and getting advice, and the GCM board is working to keep moving forward with possibilities. We are hoping for another young lady to come for a time to give China company and to let her focus fully on school teaching.

However, there is one couple who has officially given a yes to the board. They are my brother Caleb, his wife Belinda, and their little chubby cherub Ashlyn. They are in the process of paperwork and selling their things and figuring out what to do with their house and so on. They received their passports just last week, which was exciting.

Caleb, Belinda, and Ashlyn

We don’t know when they will be here, but it shouldn’t be long after our furlough. There is a possibility that they may fly back with us from the States, but they have a lot to work through in the next few months. They’ve committed to come, but they are coming somewhat indefinitely at first. They’re excited about the future, but it is also scary to them.

And we understand. It could look pretty big for them. China is doing a great job of selling them on all the good points and trying to get them to commit to live here forever. She has fallen in love with Peru and the people here. Please pray for Caleb’s as they plan and prepare.

And give God praise. As Steph said at lunch the other day, “The Lord is so good, and His mercy endures forever.”


  • Pray for Cristina that she would hunger to read the Bible.
  • Pray for Rafael and Elisabet to surrender to truth.
  • Pray for Fernando and Esmeralda to find freedom in Jesus.
  • Pray that we can get Willow’s DNI and passport tomorrow.
  • Pray for Caleb and Belinda as they plan to come.
  • Pray for the GCM board as they look for other workers for here.
Heading to market
A few bucklings in the cab
Leaving Percy at market
Signing papers
Señor Walter is the registrar
Steph visited Andrea while I paid the bank fee.
We stopped to see Victoria on the way home.
Passing out tracts
Skinning a rooster for supper
Putting the rooster on pizza 😁
Reading and singing after supper
Happy Willow
Cristina’s house
Caleb and Belinda