Rafael’s Robbery and Hearing from Esmeralda

Thank you all for your prayers for Esmeralda. It has been good to begin hearing from you all again! Just a short note to let us know you’re praying for Esmeralda or for us in general is such a boost. I had really missed that interaction. You can always email us directly—thank you to a bunch of you who did!—or you can message us on WhatsApp or Telegram. As a reminder, my email is schmidt.shawn.david@gmail.com and my phone number is +51923410008. I look forward to hearing from more of you.

Also, thank you to those of you who sent encouragement to Anne and Abbey. That was very sweet and made them feel special.

After sending the blog on Wednesday and asking for prayer, we were delighted that China met Esmeralda in town, and Esmeralda initiated a short conversation. Later, Esmeralda stopped at Rafael’s store and chatted briefly with Caleb. Over the next couple of days, several of us heard from her on WhatsApp though very briefly. Though it is small, we are rejoicing over answered prayer! Step by step we will journey on.

We pray that Esmeralda will have both the courage and opportunity to take it to come to service on Sunday. She is in a very tough situation, but God is bigger than her difficulties. We can help her best by battling for her in prayer.

About Rafael’s, they were robbed last Wednesday very severely. Two of their large business trucks and one small pickup were completely stripped. The robbers broke into a closed garage and then broke into the three trucks, taking anything they could sell, including the computers and many of the cables in and around the motor. They even took the steering wheels!

This is a huge blow to Rafael and Elisabet. They have gotten estimates for replacing the stolen parts, and it amounts to close to $50,000. That is an unimaginable loss for them. It would take years of work to cover that amount of loss. They tried working with the police, but the one officer on the case just told them to go to Wanchaq, a district in Cusco, because he is confident that’s where the stuff has been taken. Rafael’s are sure he is a corrupt officer who is getting kickbacks from the robbers.

Rafael was terrifically angry. He blames God for allowing this bad to happen, saying he doesn’t deserve it because he’s such a good person. He said he’ll just need to give more to the priests so that it can pay for having more good luck from God. He said he thought about going to a witch to have a curse put on the robbers but decided against it.

They were here last night for supper, and we had a good talk. Mostly, I just listened to them share their sorrow, but I did warn them about the danger of not forgiving and about how bitterness will consume and destroy them. They said they will not allow the robbers to destroy them! Poor dears, they don’t understand how very ill-equipped they are to fight this battle. I asked to pray with them before they left, which left them both in tears. You know it’s been a good visit if your guests leave crying.

Please pray for them that God could use this experience to soften them, especially Rafael. I’m praying that the kingdom of darkness would be driven back so as not to further deceive or distance them from God. It is still evident that the Spirit is speaking to their hearts.

In other news, we had an enjoyable morning at market yesterday. We only sold one goat, but I talked with many people about God, and we invited several people to church. One person joined our WhatsApp group to receive the Sunday sermons. Anne, Dane, and Shawn were with me. We all ended up fairly sunburnt (remember hats next week…), but we all enjoyed the talks with people.

Hopefully, next week we can sell more than one goat. But if not, we look forward to sharing the good news of Jesus anyway.

Rafael’s trucks
Cold and foggy mornings
Followed by hot, sunny days