I bet you did not know that our small little town is violent. Since we have lived here, there has been tear gas sprayed at least three times. Once, it was just a few blocks from our house as police tried to break up a crowd protesting corruption in the city government. I have treated wounded police officers, most recently as the police came in full strength to remove a bunch of squatters that were trying to steal some land that was in “dispute”. The owner had died, and the squatters tried to take advantage of the death by moving on to the land because the person who was going to inherit the land lived in a different part of Peru. Another time the city took control of some sand in the river. They had a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new governmental facilities. The unsuspecting officials were surrounded by a mob of people who began throwing rocks, and attacking them with sticks. Another time the roads were filled with big rocks blocking the way of drivers so they could not pass. We carefully wound our way through town trying to avoid the mobs who were protesting a rise in electricity prices by blocking all traffic on the Pan-American highway. One small taxi that tried to pass found itself with a big rock smashing in its hood. People greet you with hello and good day here, but there is anger just below the surface. A lot of people drown their anger in alcohol, then secretly take it home and abuse their wife and kids. I can feel the frustration in the hospital as my patients demand things from me in a way that I would never experience in the US. This is a beautiful country, but in many ways it is a broken society. I truly believe that they need the gospel, and they need a purpose to live beyond just living, working, and dying. I pray that God will make himself known here in Curahuasi and in Apurimac and in Peru.
This is sad – the unrest and stress that this puts everyone under. I know you will be careful and wise. I think of you all everyday.
I join you in this prayer! We live in a broken world. But our God is greater than the brokenness and He was broken for us! He is our hope!