Dane and Martha Made It Home, and the Roads Are Closed Again

We were thankful to have open-ish roads Friday through Sunday. In fact, there were people at the Inquilpata market. The market itself was closed, but vendors set up all around the top sides. There were even some people selling animals, but only a few.

The fruit was a bit sad but a good bit better than what we’ve found in town. We got about as much as we could carry. I was glad that my in-laws could at least get a taste of what market was like. I was disappointed that they were locked down on the farm pretty well their whole trip with us, but there was nothing I could do about it.

We had heard that Cusco was running out of all the things. Friends sent pictures and videos of the stores being empty, of long lines at the gas stations, and of rising prices of propane. One acquaintance claimed to have paid over S/200 (~$57) for a small tank of propane; we had been paying S/50 (~$14) before the protests began a few weeks ago. Hearing those reports made me worried just a bit about getting Daddy’s to the airport and back again with the fuel that was in the van.

I asked Caleb to go looking for propane in the area. He spent hours looking and found three or four tanks, and we were thrilled that they were only S/65 a tank! What a blessing. We were also able to get into town and get a bag of flour and some other things like that.

Saturday, we were rejoicing to find the roads more or less open. We had to go off the road in a few places to get around trees and other things covering the roads. In fact, Caleb had to clear a roadblock on our lane! We had to do the same on the return home. Our neighbor’s granddaughter is quite the mischievous (to put it lightly) girl, and she has been blocking our lane. Well, what do you expect when she has such an example of her countrymen?

We prayed on the way to Cusco that God would provide fuel for us. Passing Pucyura, I saw a gas station with a short line of cars. The entrance was blocked, but they were letting a few vehicles through, so I tried to go in. They told me, “We don’t have a drop of gas, and we are running out of diesel, but get in line. Maybe there will be enough.”

Since our van takes diesel, we waited in line. But it was only a couple minutes before a lady came and told me to go to an empty pump in the middle of the line. I’m not sure how we managed to jump ahead like that except for the kindness of God. They filled the van most of the way, and let us pay with a card, which was another great blessing because I had almost no cash on me.

That morning, I had read the story of the widow who had no food and no way to pay her debtors. The man of God told her to gather all the containers she could from her neighbors and to use the little bit of oil she had left to fill them. The oil lasted until every last container was filled. She sold the oil to cover her debts and buy food.

With that story in mind, I told God about our situation. We don’t know when we will again be able to buy fuel, but I would like to have enough for the next weeks, if possible. I asked God if He would keep the fuel from going down during the day. We found Cusco quite open, so we took advantage of the freedom and showed my in-laws the Plaze de Armas, and took them to do a bit of last-minute tourist shopping.

We then went by Plaza Vea to get some groceries for Caleb and Belinda before heading to the airport. There was no trouble dropping them off at the door, and we heard from them throughout the night and the next day that their travels went very well. In fact, they were put to the front of the line in Lima because of Mommy’s ageβ€”one of those times you can be thankful for gray hair!

As we left Cusco, I pointed out the fuel gauge to Steph and our Dane. God had answered my prayer, but He had gone above and beyond, as He so often has done for us. Not only had He maintained the fuel level, but as we traveled home, the gauge went up. We left Cusco with more fuel in the tank than when we entered, and it was now well ABOVE the Full line! Our Father is so kind to us though we are so undeserving. May He be praised!

The people in Compone have mostly cleaned out the roadblocks here by us. I wonder if they aren’t getting tired of suffering with no supplies. Inquilpata, on the other hand, is just as strong as ever. They have closed the roads again. Pucyura has also closed the road to Cusco. They are two very, very small villages, but they are flexing their power over the Pan American Highway!

Caleb and Belinda were able to go visit Alicia this morning. She couldn’t make it to church yesterday, so they wanted to stop in and see her while getting suero for the pigs.

Someone asked me what the political situation is. I don’t know how to answer that. We make a conscious effort to avoid following the news, especialy politics, since we are not of this world, but we do hear a few things. The President continues to say she will not resign since she is legitimatlly and legally elected. The people say they will not stop protesting until she resigns. But we feel the exhaustion of the people; the country is suffering. Cusco had made big claims that they wanted to be their own country, but a couple of weeks with no supplies from Lima, and we are on the verge of starving. The next couple of weeks will be a make or break for the country, I assume.

Some few people have asked us why we are still here. Why haven’t we gone back to the States? Obviously, the country is rejecting Jesus, and we are in danger. We’ve talked about that as a group. Leaving feels like a last resort that is still far away. If our sister Esmeralda can suffer through these times, and if Alicia, who is in instruction class, can suffer through, and if Rafael and Elisabet who are in Bible study with us can suffer through this, can we not? Should we not? Who would care for these souls if we were to leave?

We want to heed the Lord’s direction, and presently He is telling us to keep working here. So, that’s what we’ll try to do.

I want to say thank you to those of you who have heeded the Spirit in sharing with us financially recently. We had less than $100 in the bank for a while, and I was trying to figure out what the next steps should be. We had emptied our savings last year and had taken some more from the money from when we had sold our house, but we were beginning to look at the bottom of the barrel

We don’t know if we are making the best choices, but we feel an obligation to help Esmeralda and Alicia, especially. Percy and Edward also depend on us for their income from the farm. How long we can keep that up, I don’t know, but your gifts have made it possible to keep on for now. As long as you share with us, we can share with them. May God bless you.

Keep praying for us. God hears and answers.

Saying goodbye
Goodbyes in two languages
Lines for fuel
Empty shelves at Plaza Vea
All the fruit and vegetable shelves are gone
Can’t leave without a poncho
At the door to the airport
Leaving Cusco that night