So Sad!

Due to serious concerns, we are no longer raising funds for the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte. Please cancel your payments rather than sending them, only to be returned.

We still care about these girls and want to help them. We feel this is the best way to help them at this time. We cannot continue to support this ministry due to our concerns…unless some drastic changes are made. We’ve tried several avenues of change and so far we seem to be the only ones willing to take a stand.

We are continuing to raise funds for the ARISE Peru ministry as well as for ourselves.

Please join us in praying for the girls, our wisdom, & the necessary changes to be made.

Finally, New Internet!

Now we need updated computers! We had someone donate $250 toward new computers just the other day! If you would like to help with this need, please donate via PayPal and designate that it’s for TF computers…it would be GREATLY appreciated!

The slowest speed of the new is more than double of the old system, at it’s best!

Virtual School is easier with a computer

Here we are, five months into that “two weeks to flatten the curve” thing. Lots of plans have been cancelled, including a long-planned visit by the Wenatchee Church of the Nazarene, who were planning on bringing us some new laptops for the girls to use in their schooling.
Those would be really handy right now, with everyone studying online, due to the lock down in response to COVID. But the trip was postponed, those computers never came, and we have more need for them now than ever. We were blessed with ten refurbished laptops several years ago.

Those are the laptops the girls are still using. Originally operating with Windows XP, but upgraded to Windows 7. They’ve been going belly up, one by one. Hard drives die. Screens go black. And sometimes it’s just software problems. I’ll be trying to get a couple of them up and running again, but right now the girls are sharing two laptops. Yep, just two.
They’re looking more like this now, after 4 years and lots of use by 40 different girls:

Missing some keys, pretty slow, and having to be shared by all the girls.
With everyone studying online now, we really, really need some new computers. We’ve talked about it some, and we’re thinking of buying some desktops, so that the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and even the hard drive are easily replaceable. Besides, they don’t need to be portable, and desktops are cheaper and easier to maintain.
Of course, the problem is that we don’t have money for buying computers. So we’re coming to you, and asking for your help once again. This need is so important at the Torre Fuerte home, where we strive to provide a quality education as one of our chief goals.
We’ve found GoFundMe to be an excruciatingly slow way to get funds here, so we’re asking you this time to just give directly to the regular PayPal account we already have set up.

Please pray about what you or your church or organization can do for this need. Computers cost a little more here in Arequipa, since there are no WalMarts or BestBuys, but I think we can get a solid desktop setup for under $1000, and maybe as low as $800. It would be a great help to be able to get 4 or 5 new computers, and would really help our girls with their learning.
If you have questions, just respond to this post and we’ll try to answer asap. To donate, just click the Donate button to the right (or at the top of the page) and again under the Torre Fuerte logo. And please let us know that you’ve given to this fundraiser, by a message here, or on our fb page, whatsapp, or email as shargrove@yahoo.com
Thank you for all you do to help us, and to help the girls at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte!!

It Felt Stronger!

Public Alerts

Magnitude 4.2 earthquake
Affected countries: Peru and Chile
2 miles from Peru · 1:04 AM
We had the biggest/strongest earthquake last night than we’ve had since we’ve lived here! It scared me….I usually think they’re exciting and cool but this one was different! Nothing fell off of any shelves but the wind chimes clanged (even though the window was closed) and we wondered what action we should take! And then, it was over. We survived and were actually able to get to sleep afterward but we need to get ourselves an emergency pack ready. It might not matter because we would have several stories of apartment building that would fall on us if we get a really bad one but, it’s probably still a good idea!

Forming a Pattern

substances-colorful-towels-scarf-peru-mexico-south-america-color-pattern

These beautiful Peruvian fabrics are used for making authentic, traditional clothing which is now only worn by the indigenous people of the mountains. July is winter here and we’re expecting below zero temperatures. The people who live at higher altitudes are at risk. They live in very primitive housing and the only practical way of protecting themselves from the cold, is to layer their wool clothing three to five layers thick. Please pray these people to survive the severe temperature drop. The government is advising them to stay inside.

The fabrics are not the type of pattern referred to in my title….    the government is not only advising those of us in the region of Arequipa to stay home; instead, it is mandatory. If they had told everyone that it would be a six month long quarantine, people would have rebelled. Instead, they extend it bit by bit, 2 weeks and  then 2 more weeks, then a month, after that…another month and another month….  Remember this calendar???

quarantine calendar

Well, now we need to stay in our homes (except for basic survival outings) until the end of JULY….and when that time comes….we’ll see if they extend it again! I thank my Lord & Savior that HE is the One who is actually in control! We know that we are in Good Hands no matter what the governments of this world decide. It all works into His Plan and we need to trust Him, no matter what!

 

Two More Weeks!

The quarantine is scheduled to end on June 30th. I don’t think it will get extended again because things seem to be getting back to normal…there are many more people on the streets (walking & driving cars) and more businesses are open now!!! Let’s hope & pray that this will be the end of it!!!20200203_184438

God is ALWAYS worthy of our praise and these are only SOME of the wonderful things He’s doing in our lives! (This is one of the many beautiful sunsets we see from our new apartment!)

I’m excited to see how the Lord is bringing good out of a bad situation…during this lock down Scott and I have drawn closer together, worked on our communication skills, and we’re enjoying being together 24/7.

I have used this time to dig deeper in Bible study and prayer which has brought about a whole new beginning. Another big praise is that my feet are almost 100% better!

Scott is almost done with his online course for certification to teach English, he’s revamped our blog, and together we’ve developed new support brochures and business cards which we’ll get printed – once the print shop reopens.

We’re anxious to get back to Torre Fuerte! The girls really need our help with their online classes and it’s frustrating that we can’t be there with them to help :/ but it seems like school is going to be offered only through online classes even after the quarantine is lifted so we WILL be able to help…just, not yet. Hopefully, …only two more weeks!!!

 

Again!

The quarantine has been extended yet AGAIN! This time it goes until the end of June! The President of Peru said they will be allowing some businesses to open for deliveries only. We haven’t gotten all of the details yet but it’s definitely discouraging to hear that we’ll be in lockdown until the end of June! We’re exploring some possible ways to get permission for us to travel back and forth to the girls Home…please pray that we’re granted permission! This is getting REALLY RIDICULOUS…..we’ve been in this house since March!2020-Calendar-Printable

Pickles in Peru!

Scott went shopping for me yesterday and he actually found pickles! It’s the first time we’ve ever seen them here. So we’re having hamburgers and potato salad for dinner tonight! Here’s another example of a few extra steps in food prep here…to make potato salad I first had to scrub pounds of dirt off of the potatoes. Then, I had to wash the eggs under a trickle of filtered water with soap (because they’re not processed). I then sliced and minced the baby sweet pickles for relish. Now we wait for the potatoes and eggs to boil to later make the potato salad. That wasn’t so bad and this time I don’t even need to make the burger patties!

Saturday’s meal will be more work.  I’ll start tomorrow by making the tortillas (make the batter, roll out the tortillas, fry them, cool them, store them). Then on Friday, I’ll make the salsa (wash all the ingredients under filtered water with soap – including the cilantro which then needs to be dried & chopped, peel and mince the garlic, chop tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, & add spices, store for next day). On Saturday I’ll clean & cook the chicken breast, grate the cheese, make the guacamole and then combine the ingredients, grill the quesadillas and serve with the guacamole on the side. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much to some of you, but for me…I’ll be hurting for days afterward but because it’s so yummy, it’ll be worth it!

Ah, The Pizza at the End of the Tunnel…

 

I’m SO excited that the President of Peru might allow restaurants to open next week – for deliveries ONLY! The restaurants have ALL been closed completely during this quarantine. No deliveries, no drive-thru (well that never DID exist here). So we’ve had to make all meals from scratch for almost two months now.

cow milkingWe always make everything from scratch…like, homemade tortillas, removing peas from the pods, pancake mix with flour, baking soda, etc., raw chicken with too many parts and the list goes on…. BUT, every once in a while we like to buy a ready-made chicken or have a pizza delivered. It’s sad to realize that those simple, normal conveniences have now become an exciting privilege!

We have been fortunate enough to buy enough food for a week at a time, but many are struggling. It’s typical for people here in Peru to travel across the city on a daily basis to find the best deals on food items.With fewer buses, no taxis, a curfew at 6:00 pm and shorter store hours people have been forced to shop closer to home. This means less selection and higher prices. If they are able to walk to a larger grocery store, they need to wait in long lines for hours before they can even get inside to shop. Whatever is purchased needs to be carried or pulled in a hand cart all the way back home. It’s a two mile round-trip for us. Just in the last few days, there has been an increased number of buses but it’s still no where near normal yet! SO….I’m REALLY looking forward to having a pizza delivered, as soon as we can! This, by the way, is a very realistic photo…this company DOES deliver on bicycles here with those same insulated boxes!

glovo pizza delivery

 

A WHOLE Chicken!

On Sundays, no one is allowed to leave their residence not even to conduct routine business such as grocery shopping or visiting a pharmacy so today Scott bought enough chicken for two days. Here’s one of them!20200418_172025

Just in case we wanted to eat the eyes, beak, feet, claws, etc! I still can’t get used to this!