This is the letter we wrote before we moved to Peru. Of course, we are in Africa now.
Many of you know that serving the poor in the third world has been a goal and a prayer of ours for a long time, and we are happy to report that God seems to be sending us out at last. Our hope is to serve at Diospi Suyana Hospital in Curahuasi, Peru. Diospi Suyana (which means “We trust in God” in the Quechua language) is dedicated to reaching out to the highland Indians of Peru in obedience to Matthew 25 and Luke 4. The mission desires to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ among the Quechua people and to give an example of God’s love for the poor by working to alleviate human suffering. The Quechua are the descendants of the Inca people who were conquered by the Spaniards. Since that time, they have been on the bottom rung of the social ladder, suffering from racial discrimination and prejudice. Their social and health statistics are dismal. The average annual income is less than 900 US dollars and almost half the Quechua population is undernourished. Over ten percent of their infants die during the first year of life and twenty-five percent will die before their tenth birthday. Average life expectancy is only 55 years. The number of medical doctors in the mountains where three-quarters of the Quechua live is as low as 2.8 physicians per 10,000 inhabitants. Children are abandoned, orphaned, and many live in remote areas without schools. A high school education is a luxury, and very few of the youth advance to higher education. The Quechua have been victims of both a program of forced sterilization enacted by the government leaders in the 1990s and the Peruvian civil war in the 1980s. They are spiritually oppressed as well, practicing a syncretistic faith comprised of mountain gods, Catholic saints, some Christian traditions, and pagan rituals.
But God is always working, and several years ago He sent two German doctors to manifest His compassion for this overlooked group. Dr. Klaus John (a surgeon) and his wife Tina (a pediatrician) had a desire to reach out to the underserved in another part of South America after working in Ecuador. God granted the Johns enormous favor in the hospital’s location, funding, and governmental approval. The result is a beautiful modern hospital that serves as a provider of healthcare for all of southern Peru without regard to a patient’s ethnicity or ability to pay. With 100 Peruvians and 30 expatriate volunteers on its staff, this hospital has already helped 80,000 patients since 2007. Diospi Suyana is a beacon of truth where the Quechua hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive personal prayer as well as physical healing. Now the mission is planning a high quality school to educate 500 children in the indigenous population as well as the children of families who work with the hospital.
The hospital desperately needs doctors and Will is a wonderful fit. They have the capacity to see up to 100,000 patients each year, but only see 25,000 because of the lack of doctors. Allison already speaks Spanish and was a Spanish teacher in her pre-motherhood life. She has an interest in working with the school being built. Our kids support this new work that awaits us. God willing, we will enroll In language school in Costa Rica this fall and move to Peru as soon as Will feels comfortable with his ability to practice medicine in Spanish.
You may be asking yourself “How can I help?” We hope that you are. Please pray for our family as we prepare for our service. We are ready and willing to go, but this is a very poor community and it cannot support physicians or a hospital. Our time in language school and in Peru working at the hospital will have to be fully funded by individuals and churches. Raising financial support for outgoing costs, language school tuition, and living expenses is our next step. We cannot go without a team of friends who will labor alongside us in prayer and giving. We are praying for people who feel moved to help spread the glory of God by serving the Quechua people. We need people who will encourage us by remembering us and keeping our family in their prayers.
If you are interested in learning more, the informative website for the hospital is www.diospi-suyana.com/en/. The website for our sending agency, Christian Health Service Corps, is www.healthservicecorps.org. If you want to make a tax deductible donation, you can go online to the Christian Health Service Corps website, and under the HOW YOU CAN HELP tab click on MISSIONARY GIVING and find our names. From there you will be linked to an online donation page. You can also go directly to the page at https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=4f65bc. If you wish to donate by check, please make it out to the Christian Health Service Corps and put our account number 103 on the memo line of the check. Send it to Christian Health Service Corps, PO Box 1882, Boerne, TX 78006.
Feel free to pass our information along to anyone you know who is interested in medical missions, South America, the Quechua people, or giving to support Christian work. We would enjoy speaking to any church groups or Bible studies that you think might like to hear about this work of God.
Will, Allison, David, Peter, Annie, and Sarah Caire