Happy New Year!

L to R: Sarah, Allison, Annie, Peter, Will, David

L to R: Sarah, Allison, Annie, Peter, Will, David

It has been a full year for our family, and I am thankful to God for his continual provision.  As I sit here at the computer, listening to the thunder, wondering if it is going to rain on us during our walk to the Hassfeld house to celebrate the New Year, I thought I would recount for myself and for the blog a brief list of the last year’s happenings:

  • Finishing Spanish Language School
  • Leaving Costa Rica – This was super hard on David who had become a Tico and loved living in San Jose.  It was also hard to say goodbye to so many great teachers and friends.  However the excitement of moving on helped with all the goodbyes.
  • Three weeks in the US – This was a packing and paperwork trip home.  It was not nearly enough time to see family and all of the people who support us, and we sincerely regret any oversights.  The next time we come home will be longer, and we will be trying very hard to see everyone!
  • Move to Peru – We spent the first few days in Lima, and then woke up early to fly in to Cuzco on our way to Curahuasi.  Several hours of travel and after a bit of motion sickness we happily arrived in the new house we rent from the Brady family.  (Thank you Bradys – we are so glad to be here!)
  • Will started working in Diospi Suyana Hospital
  • The kids start their first school
  • The kids leave that school and start their second school
  • The kids leave that school and begin homeschooling (needless to say we are very hopeful that the Diospi Suyana school will be great)
  • David (Allison’s father) came for a visit.  One of the highlights of our year
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with other American missionaries.  We had a Turkey that had been in our neighbors yard the day before.  I think I like the taste of our prepackaged, steroid enhanced Turkeys in the US more.
  • Will and Allison received their religious visas from the Peruvian government after two more trips to Lima.
  • We travelled with the Hassfeld family both times to Lima, and we are thankful for their friendship!
  • Christmas season in Curahuasi.  It is exactly like every other season.  There is little to no evidence of it anywhere.
  • Our second Christmas in a foreign country.  We spent this one with friends from Holland and Germany.  The next door couple, John and Viola Lentink, had us over for Lasagna, then in the evening they brought over their projector and we watched The Sound of Music on the living room wall.  A great Christmas Day!
  • Learned lots of patience, recognized the incredible qualities of everyone in our family, and thanked God that he had given us this life.

Homeschool Christmas Party

This post is a bit dated now, but the kids really wanted a Christmas party over the holidays.  They felt like they had been missing the Christmas holiday festivities.  Of course what they actually are referring to is the commercialization of Christmas.  They missed all the decorations, commercials, stores full of goodies, and Christmas lights.  Hey, I missed them too.  We all love the Christmas season and everything that comes with it.  There are no decorations and hardly any acknowledgement of Christmas at all here in our little Andean village.  Life goes on like normal.  So Allison decided to throw a homeschool Christmas party for our kids and some other American missionary kids who are here in Curahuasi!  They decorated cookies, had a backyard scavenger hunt, and generally had a good time.  It was a huge success and Allison and the kids all had a good time.

Positive Thinking – Cast Your Worries on God

My apologies that sometimes the grammar is not quite correct in the posts from Diospi Suyana Hospital.  I think this happens when people are working in four languages (Spanish, Quechua, German, and English).  I have corrected the grammar to make it sound more correct in English in the past, but maybe it has more significance when you read it with some of the errors.  You realize that we are all working within our human limitations and with common human weaknesses.  The following post is a reminder that it is in God we trust, he goes before us and behind us, and his will is accomplished.  We can put our worries on him and know that he will carry us through.  From the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Prayer before an operation: Without God's help, there would be no long-term hope for Diospi Suyana.

Prayer before an operation: Without God’s help, there would be no long-term hope for Diospi Suyana.

Is not enough!

Many years ago, the book, “The Power of positive Thinking”, topped bestseller lists. The idea that a positive attitude leads to good results, however, was not new.  Many of the challenges that Diospi Suyana has before it can not be managed with the “positive thinking”. Yesterday we received the news that the tax office in Cusco could to remove us as a “non-profit-organization” because of the construction of the school. In such messages, I pipe down. I know that the discussions with the authorities are completely unpredictable. Sometimes I have a feeling of underlying fear and I ask what unpleasant surprises await us.  In the New Testament, Peter writes: “Cast away all your worries on Him” (1. Peter 5:7). Is the apostle speaking of the power of positive thinking? Does he want us to perform a mental exercise, to get rid of our emotional ballast for a few hours? No, because the verse contains a small but immensely important postscript. ” … that He cares for you!”  If we, as Christians, unload our worries and fears on the cross of Christ, we do so in the hopeful certainty that God intervenes in a real and very practical way. My positive attitude is thus based on the past experiences of God’s faithfulness. My worries I hand over to God. About 1000 years before the birth of Christ a king wrote: “He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake!” Diospi Suyana signified, “we trust in God.” This sentence is not just lip service, but an expression of our whole hope and deepest longing. The countless resistors that have repeatedly built up in recent years and before us threaten, result in an important realization. Without God’s blessing, his care and management Diospi Suyana would never have arisen. / KDJ

 

Merry Christmas from the Caires

And from our Quechua shepherd.

Quechua shepherd for the Christmas pageant.

A post shared by Will Caire (@willcaire) on

David was a shepherd in the Hospital Christmas pageant.  The best part is the beard, but the Quechua don’t actually grow them!  We hope you all have a great Christmas!

Prayers for Spanish and the People of Curahuasi

It has been a rough week in the hospital, and I have been working a lot.  I still feel uncomfortable when dealing with emergencies, especially in regards to how to communicate and discuss my thoughts in Spanish.  I am used to talking over a situation with the nurses to understand their impressions, and then we make a decision in treatment.  That is pretty difficult for me to do here, so I make decisions with just what I can understand.  Meanwhile, I have been increasing my patient load during the week, which has meant some long days.  So please continue to pray for my ability to speak, and even more understand Spanish.  It is so important.

Please pray as well for the people of the mountains of Peru as the holiday season passes.  The problem of alcohol is huge, and it leads to many early deaths and lifetime problems for the people.  Read the following article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

The devil has made the schnapps …

Also, this patient it is covered in mud and vomiting. In a drinking bout, he was involved in a fight

Also, this patient it is covered in mud and vomiting. In a drinking bout, he was involved in a fight

The patient is dead as a result of alcohol consumption.

The patient is dead as a result of alcohol consumption.

… to destroy us

As the German song writer Udo Jürgens sang this song in 1973, the atmosphere was relaxed. Although he took up the subject of alcohol, probably none of his listeners then cut their liquor consumption as a result.  Friday the 20th of December at 13:30 clock. From different places, two mens are brought simultaneously to the Diospi Suyana emergency. One had choked while eating, under the influence of alcohol. The surgeon Dra. Annette Haar found the patient with dilated pupils. His body is cold, he is dead. In the other case, it is a young man who was involved, while drunk, in a violent confrontation. He is not awake.  A week earlier, a drunken man died, after having lied down beneath a truck to sleep. As the truck pulled away, it ran over the sleeping Quechua native speaker.  Entire communities in the mountains of Peru can sink into collective binge drinking on weekends. Not infrequently, an orgy concludes religious festivals at town. Violence, disease and death, the rape of many girls, abandonment of children’s and the poverty of families belong to the sad consequences of alcohol abuse.  The alcohol is (as all the experts agree) the scourge of the Peruvian mountain people. Unfortunately, there are many influential Peruvians who have a great interest in ensuring that the status quo does not change. In Curahuasi for example, a high-ranking politician operates a liquor plant. His earnings stem from the alcohol dependence of the Quechuas in the district.  In response to this national epidemic all federations of Protestants churches in the country to have a clear answer. They say: “A drop of alcohol is a drop too much!” In Europe and North America, this attitude may seem to be quite extreme. However, the results are clearly positive. 12 % of the Peruvian people, namely all evangelical Christians abhor any consumption of alcoholic beverages. By their example, it leads to decreased alcohol consumption of their neighbors, friends and relatives.

The Second Wright Family has arrived!

The newest American family made it to Diospi Suyana Hospital last week.  We are thankful for the Wright family coming to serve with all of us.  This is the second Wright family to have here.  Nolan is a physical therapist and he is joining his brother Stephen who works here at the hospital as a physical therapist.  Read about their arrival at their blog Wrights in Peru

The Wright family minus Nolan in the Lima airport.

The Wright family minus Nolan in the Lima airport.

Texas Invasion in Curahuasi

Terri (left) and Deb with some of the goodies they brought from the States.  ¡Qué bueno!

Terri (left) and Deb with some of the goodies they brought from the States. ¡Qué bueno!

Will with his new favorite sponge.  Also note his Rainbow Loom bracelets!

Will with his new favorite sponge. Also note his Rainbow Loom bracelets!

We were so blessed to have two wonderful visitors from Texas one week ago.  Deb Pullen is a super fun children’s leader from my Richardson ladies’ BSF class.  (If you aren’t a part of a BSF class, go to bsfinternational.org, find a class, and try it out.  You won’t be disappointed!)  Deb’s church was planning a trip to Peru to visit orphanages through Buckner ministries.  She told me when I saw her this summer that she would be in Cusco in December and that she would make the extra trip to come see us here in Curahuasi.  I thought that was very nice, but would she really have time?  Then I realized that she is a regular blog reader and supporter, someone who truly prays for us, and she is a real go-getter.  Yes, she probably would actually make the drive.  She would be our first non-family visitor here in Peru, how exciting!

Spurred on by the lovely Katherine Holmes, another BSF children’s leader (now STL) and one of my best friends, Deb collected up one huge suitcase and two small suitcases full of USofA goodies.  They brought us one million rubberbands for the Rainbow Loom and a book of “advanced” bracelet patterns that has been entertaining all four children every single day.  They brought us Christmas presents, they brought my Zumba DVDs I had left in Dallas, they brought goofy things I had requested like arch supports, and they brought food– Velveeta, Rotel, chocolate chips, cornbread mix, peanut butter, and homemade goodies from Will’s mom.  Soap, candles, many muffin/ cupcake liners, Christmas cards, books, notebooks, clothespins, and Will’s very favorite, a scrubby sponge with a face (I love that dish washing man).  What is it’s name again, Deb?  Scrub Buddy?

We had a great visit with Deb and her friend Terri.  They were real troopers, slipping down the newly-bulldozed hill to the hospital to attend a birthday party with the kids, washing dishes, entertaining the kids, coaching us on dog training, and listening to lots of stories.  It was a serious blessing that both ladies were such kid people.  It is also lovely to have such a nice house to host people in.  We have plenty of beds and an amazing view for anyone who wishes to visit!

As their car headed back to Cusco, I felt a wave of sadness and homesickness, especially missing the friends and fellowship I had at BSF.  I went inside and opened up a beautiful bag they had left under our Christmas tree.  Inside was a book signed by most of the leaders of my BSF class and several cards from them.  The messages touched a tender place in my heart.  One woman had written, “Great is your reward.”  Is it ever!  Would I ever have had such a visit if I weren’t here?  Thank you, God, for the variety of rewards you plan for your people.  May I trust in You when they seem far off.

Thank you, Deb, Terri, Katherine, Susan, and all my wonderful BSF friends who continue to spur us on to love and good deeds.  I love you.