We bless you in the mighty name of Jesus!
We would like to introduce you to our new ministry in the center of Cusco called “Mujeres in Crisis” (Women in Crisis). It was originally intended to be a Crisis Pregnancy Center, but it was threatened to be closed before we could even get it off of the ground – because the law requires for us to have a doctor (not just a nurse, like we have) and laboratory and specific equipment in order to function. But God provided the way and our director Marleni has met up with doctors and clinical technicians that are against abortion (still illegal in Peru, but widely practiced, mostly through clinics similar to ours that offer pregnancy testing). Girls and women “fearing” they are pregnant respond to the offer of free testing and then we refer/escort them to the licensed clinic where the test is actually done. They are referred back to us for counseling. The clinic also refers patients to us for counseling! We provide counseling and financial/material assistance to all who are in “crisis”. For instance,
- Matilde is a 29 year old professional woman with two boyfriends. She was determined to abort because she didn’t know which one was the father. We walked her through several tests, along with counseling, and even though the test came back negative, she was impressed by the care she received, and we are praying that she will come to the Bible studies each Saturday night in the clinic.
- Karen decided to keep her child, after entering our clinic (situated between two illegal abortion clinics) and receiving emotional support and counsel. She delivered last week: a tiny little boy, born safely – and is this mother over-joyed! We have given her diapers and clothes for her precious one.
- Another girl, Nilda, pregnant at 15, is pressured by authorities to file a complaint against the 29 year old father of the baby, but she said that she was never forced. She is from the jungle and very poor. She tried to abort her baby with traditional herbs, but when it failed, her mother took her to Cusco for a real abortion, and there, we were able to help her keep her child, and with many helpful items for her baby as well.
The building that was previously used for the children’s home will soon be used to house unwed mothers and expecting mothers that want to keep their babies. Sometimes, the families are shamed by the unexpected pregnancy and disown their daughters. With nowhere to go, they are often forced into a lifestyle of promiscuity and resignation to abuse and unfaithfulness at the hands of the child’s father. We are offering an alternative, including occupational training by a Puerto Rican pastor’s wife, who gladly consented to training and counseling the young mothers.
There are many offshoots of this ministry as well, including visiting women in need in some of the poorer areas around Cusco. Laura recently accompanied Marleni to visit Concepción, an alcoholic mother of eight, who had given birth to an underweight little boy. We climbed a steep hill to their adobe hut (built on the slope of the hill, so that there was no room for a yard). Their only source of water was a dripping pipe, ten feet away from the house.
We brought formula so that the baby wouldn’t have to be constantly nursing on alcohol laden breast milk. I(Laura) immediately fell in love with the precious little one when I held him (as did Hannah when she later visited along with Marleni and a team from Brisbane, pictured below), and couldn’t bear the thought of him growing up in those conditions, so I offered to raise her baby for her, and to help financially with the others (… I just couldn’t help myself!), but she quickly changed the subject. At first, it was hard to understand why she would so willingly condemn her child to a life of poverty and probable alcoholism, as is so rampant in that community. But I really do understand a mother’s love. We gave her oldest daughter money to buy food (so that the mother wouldn’t spend it on alcohol). Her husband arrived and was angry at her for being drunk again, as usual. He had given her a black eye. I was able to talk with him for a long time about forgiveness and starting over and prayed with them. We knew that a social worker with the power to take all of their children away would be arriving in a few days to inspect the house. At that time, they were all sleeping together in the same room that they all lived, cooked and ate in. That would not go well with the authorities, so I gave him money to fix up an additional room that he had started. It is all built and stuccoed and providing the much needed additional sleeping space.
Marleni has also continued the women’s prison ministry in Cusco, and is visiting in the hospital as well as an intensive care ward for terminally ill kidney patients, awaiting hard-to-come-by, but life saving transplants. God is opening many doors and bringing us/Marleni into contact with just the right people at just the right time! Praise our great and mighty Lord!
Hannah with Conceptipon’s baby
Hannah’s Visit a Double Blessing!
Hannah brought a small team from her newly developed ministry in Brisbane, comprised of current as well as past staff (from other schools). In addition to bringing worship, testimonies and blessing to the hospital and kidney ward in Cusco, they did a four day character series with our children in the jungle. which they also do regularly in schools in Australia. The children all enjoyed their time and received diplomas upon completion! They also helped in general around the house here, evangelized with us in town, and interceded for Puerto Maldonado, Cusco and Peru. While interceding in front of the abortion clinics, they even laid out on the ground, weeping for the blood being shed inside.
While in Cusco, they visited another large family: this time, a single mother of 12, that live even higher up in the mountains. Hannah and her team of three girls and one guy, carried a mattress, bedboards and sacks of food all the way up without complaining! The woman’s relatives all came and prepared watia – potatoes baked in an earthen oven made by stacking clumps of dirt into an igloo shaped structure. A fire is started inside, often with little more than sticks and twigs, and when the “coals” are just right, the potatoes are thrown in, often with fava beans as well, and the oven collapsed on top of it all for about an hour. The result are AMAZING baked potatoes, the only hitch being that they are sometimes charred, and always dirty, so that you have to scrape the dirt off and peel the skin back to get a bite. While we were there, it began to rain, and about 20 people all crammed into their one-room, tiny adobe house. Although some of Hannah’s team had some minor stomach problems the next day, they thoroughly enjoyed their time, and the family said it was their happiest day!
Daniel’s Adoption One Step Closer
After Daniel’s hearing in Cusco, the judge required more information as well as a home visit. Background checks and other information was easiest to come by, but the home visit took a while. Two weeks ago, Marleni delivered the necessary paper work, visited with the social worker, judge and even the fiscal, and then… nothing! But finally late last week we got a phone call from the social worker and brought her out to the land where she met not only Daniel, but many of the other children as well. Everything seems to have gone well, and we are now awaiting our next hearing date in Cusco. As soon as this one is completed, we will be able to procede with the others. Thank you for your prayers!
Shortly before the birth of their child, it seemed best that Caleb and Anna return to the U.S. to give birth. God provided an airline that would allow them to travel as well as a midwife that would take them so late in the pregnancy, He provided a job for Caleb to be able to pay for her services, and a nearby hospital where they were able to give birth after a long labor. Elaine Marie (the middle names of both grandmothers) Lenz was born May 20, weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and is going strong!
A Light in Dark Places
There are still 15 children with us (and we are still in contact with many that returned to family members, helping some financially with school tuition and supplies), who attend school both in our little community here in the jungle (grade school) as well as in the next community down the road (secondary school). They are consistently the best students in their classes, and often times the strongest morally – withstanding pressure from peers as well as some of the professors (!) to do things that are not pleasing to God. Some of the older ones, especially Rosalio – a normally shy young man – answer Bible questions posed to them that even the religion teacher doesn’t know!
We are working on getting custody of an autistic girl from our community. Kina is 7 but looks 3. She has been often left locked in a small, dirt floored hovel while her parents went to work, her teeth are in very poor condition, and her hair typically full of lice. She drools a lot and throws her food on the floor, but we have all fallen in love with her! Her parents are in complete agreement and bring her to visit on Sundays. She loves our home and the children love helping take care of her.
Please Pray With Us!
- Protection for the clinic, the prospective mothers/babies, and Marleni and Erica – our workers there. The clinic itself is situated between two abortion clinics and across from a Curandero – witch doctor. In spite of many setbacks, we are pushing forward.
- Please pray for Erica, our clinic’s nurse who has had health problems, even being hospitalized for a severe kidney infection. One of her brothers also recently tried to commit suicide.
- Please pray for Marleni who is also under attack as she presses forward in this new ministry area, as well as continuing with the legal contacts and processes of the children that are still with us.
- Please pray for the walk and witness of the children in their schools.
- Please pray that Anna and baby Elaine will be strong enough to come back home soon.
- Joseph is currently in the States for a brief period in order to return and begin to work on his first adult visa. Rachel will be traveling soon for the same reason. Please pray with us for their safe travel/return, and quick visa process.
- Please keep Daniel’s adoption process in your prayers!
- Please also help us pray for a sonogram machine and technician to work with it. We currently show videos to prospective mothers at the clinic, but if we could show them their own baby, in their own womb…
- Please also pray for Kina and the possibility of her staying with us.
“Examine Your Heart” – Dimitru Duduman – December 9, 1993
“Many are those who sit neglectful, loving the world and the things of the world. Many seek the life of the earth, but they do not prepare themselves to meet the Holy One. Jesus is coming! Do not be lazy! Terror and great pain is coming upon the earth. The devil will take upon himself power, and he will attempt to make war with the holy. But Christ the victorious one will come and will save His people. Proud men; all those who pretend to be teachers, yet never living the life; all those who say they worship Me, yet their hearts are far from Me,” says the Lord, “I will make them part of the suffering, torment, and terror so they will call upon Me. But I will not answer. Those that today humble themselves and seek Me with a clean heart, in that day, the hard day, will be glad and will rejoice. The power of the devil will increase greatly in this country, and many Christians will fall in its chains, because they have dishonored Me with their lives – in their pride, their arrogance and their vanity; thinking they are holy and worshiping Me, yet NEVER REALLY worshiping Me.”
“The winds and the storms that will begin against the Christians in this country will take many. Those who remain standing will be very few. Humble yourselves. Be holy. Seek Me more than ever, kneeling before Me often, that in the hard days I may save you,” says the Lord.
That was spoken twelve and a half years ago by/through a Romanian immigrant, who had suffered much in his native land, now gone to be with the Lord. The problems are worse, but the answer is still the same. The Church of the Living God must humble herself, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from HER wicked ways… There is no political solution. When will we understand? We need to pray harder than ever before, and be more painfully honest with God about ourselves than ever before.
We love you all,
Bud and Laura,
for the tribe
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