Peter has successfully completed sexto grado at Colegio Diospi Suyana! He started three years ago in 4th grade, not hardly speaking a word of Spanish (in a school where not a single student or Peruvian teacher can speak English), and now he is a fluent Spanish speaker excelling in his classes (at least the ones that interest him). Can you imagine the challenge of changing schools, learning a new language, studying in a different type of educational setting while dealing with the stresses of living cross culturally? He is a champ! We are proud of you Peter.
Some photos from our recent hospital retreat. This article is from the hospital website. The people at the hospital are a great group, and they are a great example to us of Christian love and brotherhood.
A day of creative joy
If 107 grown-ups and children play and make handicrafts fun is not far away. The several workshops on offer rediscovered and promoted talents. Santa Claus came as a surprise visitor and brought presents for all the 45 children there. The “Olympic Games” ensured that there was not a dry eye in the house. The group honoured seven exceptional athletes for their excellent support over the past years: Dr Will and Allison Caire, Harry Dürksen, Patti Piepiora, Simon and Belen Giesbrecht and Dr Marlen Luckow all of whom are finishing their multi-year working-stints at Diospi Suyana. Thus drops of sadness mingled with the joyful atmosphere. But we as Christians believe that we will see each other again one day.
The bigger a mission gets, the harder it gets for it to maintain it’s Christian character. Please continue to pray for Diospi Suyana and its work in health care, education, and evangelism. From the website.
The Work Force Grows Every YearWe are still a medium-sized company, but not for much longer!
According to the official German definition a medium-sized company employs up to 250 employees. Currently Diospi Suyana employs 240 Peruvians and missionaries in its manifold areas of activity; the employment trend is steadily heading upwards.
Of course our missionary work is not a company in the classical sense. Naturally supply and demand play their role – we want to help alleviate the huge human need – but Diospi Suyana does not focus on a black figure on its bottom line. Our patients pay only a quarter of their respective true costs. A network of solidarity makes it possible for us to offer our services on the basis of charity. It is amazing seeing how well this system works – here we experience real examples of God’s faithfulness.
Due to the size Diospi Suyana has currently reached, it has lost some of its original familial character. Over this weekend several missionaries and their families are on a retreat at a hotel in the Inca’s Holy Valley. 107 grown-ups and children play and sing together and a Columbian pastor-couple are providing the biblical inputs. Pastor Carlos Supelano and his wife Miriam Suarez started yesterday’s workshop with radical and honest confessions from their personal lives: what an atmosphere to experience!
On Monday we will dive back into reality. The patients’ queues grow yearly, the school is growing and the media centre has placed great expectations on itself. There is no lack of hard work. But for two days we do not want to think about that.
Top foto: After a city parade on November 25 some of our co-workers line up for a foto.
The hospital retreat is an event looked forward to every year by all of us. Last weekend we went to Yucay in the Sacred Valley of Peru. It is a 2 1/2 hour trip from Curahuasi which ends in arguably one of the prettiest parts of Peru. We left the hospital on Friday at 2:30 after rushing through a lightened patient schedule, and then returned on Sunday afternoon. Every year there is a speaker who works to encourage the missionaries in their faith and perseverance. Saturday afternoon is spent playing games, going on hikes, or simply talking. It is a blessing to have this weekend each year to work on our friendships with one another to be refreshed in remembering our purpose.
Can you imagine a school without running water? That has been the situation at Colegio Diospi Suyana for much of it’s existence. If you have read our blog you know that the town of Curahuasi has water problems. In our home last week, we received water only one day. In fact we are in Cuzco now to renew our kid’s passports, but also so we can wash clothes and take showers at leisure. But a school without running water is simply gross. And that has been the case much of the time due to the lack of fair water distribution in town. Thankfully, Diospi Suyana has had success with drilling a well. We are thankful and praise God for his providence. Here is the article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website.
Crystal clear water gushes from our well at the school
Email from Peru 2 p.m. CET: The well drilling was stopped at a depth of 71,40 m due to extremely hard solid rock. The installation of the pipework went smoothly. At 8 p.m. last night a provisional pump started swilling the well. An hour later the water was “as clean as possible” so that the filter gravel could be built into the aquiferous layers. Our own measurements showed that 6,000 litres of water could be pumped in an hour.
Today the pump is going to be installed 5,00 metres lower, as last night everything had to be done very quickly. The solid rock has made the drill completely useless. Perhaps will be able to exhibit the drill in the school at some point in the future. Best regards, Oebele + Udo.
Email from Peru 6:06 p.m. CET: Crystal clear water is now gushing at a rate of 150 litres/min = 9,000 litres/hour and is tasteless. Greetings, Udo.
Email from Peru 8:19 p.m. CET: I attach two pictures of the drilling head. The diamonds are totally spent and parts of them are broken away. Normally they can drill between 500 and 600 metres; in Curahuasi they only managed 70 m. We were told they were new! It is impossible to put the diamonds back into the drilling head. Greetings, Udo
Our friend Ari Cale is a doctor in the hospital. She is married to one of the teachers at the school. David, her husband, is the homeroom teacher for our daughter Annie. Recently Ari posted a long discussion on her blog about her discipleship group as well as a weekend retreat David had with his class. The post has a lot of pictures, and gives a different view of life in Curahuasi. You can read it at her website at this link.
We had some students from Abilene Christian University with us this last week.
They were an entertaining group of young women with one lonely young man. Their sponsors were El Profesor Harland Rall and his esposa Katherine. These students are spending a semester in Montevideo, Uruguay with ACU’s study abroad program. During their semester they had a chance to visit Macchu Picchu, and since we are just a couple hours away, they came for a visit. We were blessed. I was all smiles watching Annie and Sarah dance in the kitchen with a bunch of crazy college girls, while Harland tried his best to keep everyone on time and under some bit of control. We showed them some of the sights of Curahuasi, and then they helped in the school with some games and conversation in the English language classes. Click on the pictures above for a bit more information. We were blessed to have them, and once again we are thankful for ACU!
Just over a week ago we had some interesting experiences in Curahuasi. There has been a talented artist volunteering at the hospital, and she had an art exhibition to show what her students had learned. At the same time she had on display a mural she had painted for the school. Then just after that a very talented musician from England who is using music to share the gospel in the rural parts of Peru came and gave two concerts. All of a sudden it felt sort of artsy in Curahuasi! Here is the article from the Diospi Suyana website.
But not politically correct
If you had asked someone to describe Curahuasi to you ten years ago, anis fields and impressive panorama would have come to his/her mind. The village in the mountains did not really have much else to lure people to it. Diospi Suyana has changed Curahuasi – also in the cultural sense. Some events held both in the hospital and in the school deserve to be called “highlights”. The art exhibition last week was one of these highlights, as were the two concerts with their expression and flair.
The main actor Armond Anderyassian-Aznavoole is from England. The Armenian, who plays the guitar and the piano, has performed in and around London for several years with the goal of sowing the seed of hope. He is a Christian and he is on fire for God. On the t-shirt he was wearing you could read: “Every tribe, tongue and nation” quoting the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians – the greatest missionary of all times prophesied: “One day everyone without exception will declare: “Jesus Christ is Lord.”” Everyone from England, China, Africa and Europe.
We are pretty sure that this sentence is not politically correct and does not fit in our postmodern society. Damaris Abiguial does not have an issue with this statement. She also sang a couple songs as part of these concerts. When the Peruvian starts to sing even the coolest macho gets sentimental. For many years the young woman from Cusco had to battle with the fact that her biological parents rejected her. Her adoptive parents told her about God’s love which is for every man and every woman. Hence it is not surprising that the focus of Abigail’s songs is God’s faithfulness shown through Jesus Christ. Her belief is no philosophy, but the foundation of her life.
Without a doubt if the main message of a culture is hope it touches the heart and fills the soul. Johann Sebastian Bach was of the same opinion.
Annie’s class is blessed with a super committed Christian teacher. David is creative, active, inclusive, and energetic. He loves training his class to do dramas. He has been the catalyst for a complete 180 degree turn in both Annie and Peter’s attitudes towards math–now it is their favorite subject. He has invited his students to ultimate frisbee nights, where they share a devotional every week; a one-year discipleship course; and their moms to his wife’s Bible study group. Some of our regular blog readers will remember a little boy Dany who was missing. David was tireless in searching for him. There was another kid in Annie’s class who needed lots of love and discipline. David attempted so many creative approaches to help him stay in school and succeed socially. I think he could write a book on strategies to reach the seemingly unreachable. It is a daily blessing that our kids get to sit under his tutelage.
Profe David decided that their class needed some bonding time, so he planned a sleepover. But this wasn’t a sleepover like you’d imagine, with pizza and Coke and giggling over secrets shared from sleeping bags. During the school day, Annie’s class visited three schools and shared the gospel through dramas and wordless books (colors that tell the major points of the good news). In the afternoon, they went on a treasure hunt with the Scouts-type club we have at school followed by stations of games/ values teaching. After a cookout dinner, they had a devotional and the director shared the gospel with them. In the morning, they ran and prayed, then played interactive games with their parents. David had the parents divide up in groups to plan the meals, so we got to know one another a bit better as well. I had the privilege of taking a group of kids in the car while they shared their dramas. Visiting public schools in the area was eye opening. Watching the kids share God’s story gave me goosebumps. Seeing their confidence was inspirational. We love you, Profesor David! (Click the pictures below to see them larger.)