New Newsletter

WE ARE COMING HOME . . . For Allison and Will it definitely feels like coming home, but for our kids it is a little bit more confusing.  Sarah has never attended an American school.  All the kids except for David have had more years in Peruvian schools than they had in their much beloved Scofield Christian School.  And yet we are all excited about these upcoming months in the US!  The kids are excited to see their cousins and grandparents.  They are excited to experience a taste of America and see what Mom and Dad are so excited about.  Allison and Will are glad for a time of rest in a culture that is familiar, with easy access to comfort food and modern conveniences. Will is especially glad to speak English all the time.  And we are all excited to spend time with as many of you as possible.

Read the rest here!

Going Downhill

It took me about five times longer to get up to this point than it took me to get back down to our house.  I walked into our courtyard (after terrifying myself going down a trail I did not have the skill to go down), sat down, and thanked God that I get to live in this beautiful place and that I was still in one piece.

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Getting ready to go down.

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Lima Guesthouse Soon?

Maybe the transition through Lima on our way to Curahuasi is about to get a little bit easier.

One stop in Lima


The advantages are obvious

For a few years, we have been considering an idea. Since Diospi Suyana has grown to a considerable size, it would make sense to have a private guest house in Lima. New missionaries could be picked up and welcomed at the airport. During their first days in Peru, the new arrivals could have a safe home. A couple of Diospi Suyana employees would take care of the house and also take a part in administrative procedures. Our staff in the capital would also help with important purchases for the hospital and the school.

The house would be within a radius of 30 minutes from the airport, and would include several rooms, a small backyard, a conference room, a garage and a garden. When and where, we do not know, but many would benefit from a home in the 8-million-metropolis.

Prayer Request

Would you please pray with me as I ask God to take away my migraine headaches? As many of you know, headaches like this often come in clusters. This has been my experience and, thank the Lord, I usually go through a cluster and then emerge into the light on the other side, mostly free of migraines for a year or more. I am asking God to end this period of headaches right away. Thanks so much for caring about our family. We feel loved across the miles.

Growing Old

Some things really stink about growing old:  loss of strength and flexibility, loss of ability to eat whatever you want without getting fat, loss of stamina, and general aches and pains.  I was faced with some of my mortality this past weekend when we took a short trip to some local mountains.  We visited Salcantay which is about two hours from our house.  We did not attempt to climb the mountain as it is technically difficult and over 20,000 feet in elevation.  However we did try and reach some snow and visit a beautiful glacier-fed lake that is nearby.  My kids were excited to see the snow and practically ran up the mountain while Allison and I tarried behind a little bit.  My heart rate reached a brisk 180 beats per minute as I simply walked up a very steep incline at 14,000 feet.  We reached an altitude of somewhere around 14,250 feet where my kids ran around throwing snowballs while I sat on my rear so that my heart would pump more efficiently and my lightheadedness would go away.  It is something to be at your physical limit and watch your seven year old go running up a steep mountain way ahead of you!  So that is the bad news of growing old.  But of course there are good parts of growing old!  You are wiser, smarter, and hopefully more refined by the Holy Spirit if you are a Christian.  As you grow in knowledge and wisdom of God you see your perspective change so that the things of earth become less meaningful and the things of heaven grow more important.  These sinful, fallen bodies decay while our reborn Christian minds and spirits grow and expand.  In the future lies something better than the past, and our broken bodies should not hide this truth from us!

Getting started.  All the kids have started running up the mountain to reach the snow you see behind us.

Getting started. All the kids have started running up the mountain to reach the snow you see behind us.

Standing at 14,000 feet.  All four of my kids have already run over the ridge behind me.

Standing at 14,000 feet. All four of my kids have already run over the ridge behind me.

How much further.

How much further.

Family picture at the lake!  So pretty!

Family picture at the lake! So pretty!

Coming Home

Did you know we will be in the United States this fall and winter? We are excited, and the idea of seeing grandparents and cousins as well as American convenience, restaurants, and movies tend to dominate our dinner conversations. If you would like to get together, let us know. We want to see as many people as possible while we are home. We will be in Texas most of the time traveling from the panhandle to the southern tip. We will also be traveling through parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, California, and even the kingdom of Duck Dynasty on our way to Mississippi. Send us a message, and lets get together!

Tough Night

I was not in town on this very tough night as the family and I had taken a few days away.  But you can see that even in the very early morning hours, every doctor that works in the hospital came in to try and save one life.  One of the things that makes our hospital different here in Peru is that we are always trying our best without regards to cost or social status.  We hear stories from nurses who have left to work at other hospitals and from patients who come from other hospitals about how the patients are mistreated or are thought not worthy of investing time and money into.  We believe that all people are important, created in God’s image.  And although we all have our frustrations with the culture and the people at times, when you get to the root of our belief system and our being, we are motivated by a desire to show the love of God to our fellow man.  And here in Apurimac, where so many are neglected or pushed to the side, we hope that the love of God for his people is shown in the way we care for our patients.  Read below this post from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

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“Quick, we need blood!”

Monday night, 9 o’clock. My wife and I had just finished a personal conversation with a coworker, and I drove her to her apartment on the outskirts of town. At 9:10, I was back at home. My wife Tina stood in the doorway, waiting impatiently for the car. “I have to get to the hospital immediately. A serious accident has happened!” As I got out of the car, she hopped into the driver’s seat. “But it’s your night off,” I muttered crossly.

What happened? Half an hour before, Alberto Huaman had been riding his motorcycle along the small town highway. A vehicle was parked on the roadside, and its driver suddenly took off without using his blinker or looking in the rearview mirror. Alberto was hit, flew in a great arc through the air, and landed on the hard asphalt. Just then, a passing truck dragged Alberto 50 meters. His right leg was skinned from top to bottom; he suffered various fractures and extensive bleeding, including pelvic. According to eyewitness report, firefighters brought Alberto to the hospital Diospi Suyana a few minutes later.

By 10 o’clock, my wife came home. She reported that a team led by Dr. Haßfeld and anesthesiologist Dr. Susan Dressler had operated on the young man. He would be stabilized and transferred to Cusco the next day, so that a traumatologist could mend the broken bones. We went straight to bed. By 3 o’clock in the morning, my alarm would be ringing, because I had to travel to Lima to complete administrative procedures.

At 10:30, Tina’s cell phone rang. “Come immediately to the operating room,” a nurse said. “The patient is being resuscitated!” My wife and I both jumped out of bed and rushed to the car. Tina usually thinks that I drive too fast, but she was yelling, “Drive faster, pressing on the gas!”

The operating room looked like a battlefield—the table and the floor were smeared with blood. Dr. Ari Cale pressed her fists rhythmically on Alberto’s chest. Dr. Dressler administered the medication, and Dana Henning and surgical nurse Julio pumped blood into the circulation. The heart began to beat again, at 160 beats per minute.

“Quick, we need more blood—otherwise, we cannot save him!” I knew that my wife was right. Dr. Haßfeld described to me in a nutshell the surgical findings and the results of the computed tomography. The pelvis was broken. The right femoral head was violently torn out of its socket. The skin of his leg was peeled down to the muscle. “I’ve rinsed the wound surfaces and tacked again to the leg!” said Baden Württenberger, the assistant. “You did well,” I replied, and glanced at the clock on the wall. In 2 1/2 hours, my alarm would be going off.

In the ICU, the anesthetist Susan is tough; she can handle a lot of stress. Still, it would be a long night for the ICU staff. Nurse Sara Glöckler rotated the bed and began tending to Alberto. A heat lamp was used to keep his body temperature up. I watched them work, realizing that they get paid far less than they deserve for this job. They give everything and cling to these words of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I heard my wife in the laboratory. Then I saw dark a figure in the waiting room—Jens Haßfeld sitting there in a chair, muttering, “I wonder who else could donate blood!”

Shortly before 1:00, we drove from the hospital down to the highway. With our headlights, we could see a lone figure running up the hill. It was computer specialist Dominik Hüttner. He had heard about the emergency, and he said that he would donate blood for the patient.

The stars shone in the sky. Before long, I was sitting up front in the cab on the way to the Cusco airport. As I struggled with sleep, there was a fight going on in the ICU against death. The outcome was completely uncertain, but we did everything we could to sustain Alberto’s life.

In the morning hours, the patient was still alive, but his hemoglobin was hardly measurable in the laboratory test. He needed blood! 11 preserves and 12 blood plasma bags were administered throughout the day. Our doctors had endless telephone conversations with hospitals in Cusco, but no one was willing to accept the patient. And unfortunately, the doctors in Cusco showed no interest in the case. Their first question always was, “Who pays the bill?”

Tuesday night at 8 o’clock, I was working from my hotel room in Lima. My wife had been keeping me updated, and she called with the terrible news. “The man has just died!”

He had lasted 24 hours, and our medical staff had gone back and forth between hope and despair. Now the fight was over and the tears could fall. When a TV star gets an Oscar or a sports team makes an unexpected comeback, the media goes wild, and celebrities are portrayed as heroes. But my heroes are different. No newspaper writes about those who have suffered a dark night of the soul—but it is precisely these kind of people of whom I am infinitely proud. / KDJ

Dr. Susan Dressler, Dana Henning, Dr. Jens Haßfeld, Dr. Ari Cale, Sara Glöckler, Dr. Martina John, MRTA Juvenal, surgical nurse Donna, Julisa in the laboratory, her husband Edgar, Dominik Hüttner, intensive care nurse Sara Nafziger, nurses Maribel and Alida, Andre Bacher and Micaias with blood donations, student Matthias Kaestner, ultrasound specialist Dan from England, surgical nurse Julio, and so many others…

The pulse is more than 150 per minute. The patient is in shock.

The pulse is more than 150 per minute. The patient is in shock.

Blood donations against the clock in the middle of the night.

Blood donations against the clock in the middle of the night.

In the ICU. Anesthesiologist Dr. Susan Dressler kneeling next to the bed.

In the ICU. Anesthesiologist Dr. Susan Dressler kneeling next to the bed.

Generosity in Service

The generosity of churches, families, and friends are why we are here!  People support our salary so that the hospital does not have to pay for their physicians.  That allows the hospital to keep its services very cheap for the patients.  Most of our supporters help us because of their love for God and their trust in us.  They want to be a part of God’s work in Peru, and we hope to be able ambassadors for their good intentions and service.  We pray that God will help us in that effort, because we are probably not always up to the task in front of us.  We are thankful for every person that is helping with this work in Peru, and we will work hard to honor your confidence.  Read this article below from the Diospi Suyana Hospital webpage.

What do these things have in common?


A full waiting room, a wedding, and communion

The waiting room is full; there is standing room only. Outside the main entrance of the hospital, there are many patients without a doctor’s appointment, hoping to see a doctor. At Diospi Suyana, it costs four soles ($1.25) to be examined by a physician. Needless to say, this hardly begins to cover the true expenses of the hospital. Patient fees cover roughly 20-30% of the hospital’s budget, depending on whether or not donated missionary salaries are included in the calculation.

166,000 patients have been seen so far. Why is Diospi Suyana not already bankrupt? It is because of people like the Wiemers. A few days ago, Frank and Petra Wiemer celebrated a church wedding after 25 years of marriage. Instead of asking for gifts, they collected donations for Diospi Suyana. Their son Paul-Ferdinand also gathered a contribution at his communion.

The bride and the bridegroom with their son Paul-Ferdinand

The bride and the bridegroom with their son Paul-Ferdinand

Two days ago, the Wiemers gave a total of 1,325 euros ($1450). This amount represents 4,640 Peruvian soles, which will cover 1,150 patients for their medical appointments with us.

We thank the Wiemers and many other friends of our work who allow us to do what we do. We wish God’s blessings on all three of the Wiemers for the future.

Here We Are!