Just so ya’ll know…our family is healthy and the whole gang at Torre Fuerte is healthy, too! Praise the Lord! We all have food, secure housing, running water, electricity, and a God who never leaves us nor forsakes us! We have SO much to be thankful for!
This is a portion of an email we received from the American Embassy:
“Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra recently announced additional quarantine measures, including a gender-based limitation on visits to grocery stores and banks, and other routine business. Men will be allowed to leave their homes only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Women will be allowed to leave on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. No one will be allowed to conduct routine business on Sundays. These measures will take effect starting today Friday, April 3.”
It’s starting to feel EVEN MORE like a police state! It’s my understanding that these additional measures have been ordered because there were places where the people were not following the self-quarantine policy. They were going on with life as usual with full buses, full grocery stores, etc.
At this point, we have 37 confirmed cases here in Arequipa (a city of one million) and a total of 1,595 in all of Peru with 61 deaths so far.
When will it end?!
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am terrified of moths (whether it’s logical or not)! Wait til you see what we have in our freezer!……
You might think….that it looks big because it’s a closeup…..well…..think again!
With some perspective……This thing is HUGE and scary! We’re saving it for a relative for closer examination under a microscope. I just thought I’d share it with you, too! Yuck.
So far, the American Embassy in Lima has repatriated 2300 people from the regions of Lima and Cuzco back to the USA. They are now making arrangements for travelers in the regions of La Libertad and Ica. We live in the region of Arequipa which is further south.
We have no intention of joining the repatriation efforts. As you can see, we live very far from Lima. There are no flights from Arequipa to Lima at this time. The tourists need to get back to their homes and we don’t. Because the border is closed until April 12, I cancelled our flight from Florida to New Jersey which was scheduled for April 7. I’m waiting to cancel our flight to Washington state….just in case it still works out and churches are open again by then….we shall see!
The Peruvian government has extended the quarantine and border closure for another 13 days, until April 12, 2020. We don’t know how much longer this whole ordeal is going to last which makes it very difficult to reschedule our travel to the US.
Today, Scott left the house and walked about 2 miles to buy groceries that aren’t available nearby. Before allowing anyone to enter the large grocery store, they had to have their temperature taken! Almost every person out on the street has a face mask on. This is a city of a million people and the streets are almost completely desolate…it’s really strange! I was against him walking so far from where we live because if the police decide to stop you, it is required that you have the proper documentation on your person and you need to convince them that you have a legitimate reason for being out of your house. Because he saw an increased number of people out and about, he decided it was safe enough and went ahead. He made it back home without incident.
We have been getting updates from the American Embassy in Lima and so far, over 1,000 Americans have been transported back to the US by special arrangement. We don’t feel the need to be repatriated because we are more at home here in our own apartment. If we were in the States, we would only be staying in someone else’s home, unable to speak in the churches we had planned on visiting, and we would feel like an added burden.
Please pray with us for wisdom and peace in rescheduling flights, speaking opportunities, and the selling of our home according to God’s Plan.
We received notification that our flight from Peru to the USA was cancelled and can be rescheduled for another time. Unfortunately, we have no idea when that other time might be! With churches closed all over the country and so many cases of the virus in Washington state as well as the threat of spreading the virus any further, we would be unable to travel (even if we DID make it to the US) to accomplish any of the plans we had made. We were scheduled to speak in many churches in several states. If this drags on for months and we can’t go in person, I’ve wondered if it might be a good alternative for Scott to do an online presentation to update and encourage those churches. It would likely be glitchy and not ideal, but at least it would be SOMETHING. We want to wait a little longer to see how this plays out before we make any alternate plans. Please be patient with us regarding scheduling…
As many of you know, we had planned on working on our houses to prep it for sale. Obviously, there aren’t going to many buyers in this type of situation….so, that will have to wait, also. We KNOW that God’s timing is always best and we trust Him to work it out according to His Will.
Be safe & be blessed!
First they closed the schools and then church services were prohibited. After that, they declared a National Emergency and closed the borders. They also limited who could be out on the streets (we had permission for buying groceries, banking, going to work, caring for the elderly, children, or handicapped). Now taxis are prohibited from being on the streets and they’ve told everyone to stay home, except for special cases.
Pastor Dario was on his way to the Casa Hogar today and they stopped his car and told him to go home. He explained that he HAD to go to the Girls Home to pay the staff and give signed permission slips for them to go to and from working at the Home. The officer told him to go and deliver the documents and return directly home.
We were warned, as foreigners, to not take any chances by going to the Home. So we took that advice and we’re not going out at all. Through all of this, we KNOW that God is in control and He will provide for those who love and serve Him ~ so keep the Faith!
Please pray with us that our travel plans aren’t affected by the corona virus PANIC that seems to be spreading faster than the virus! The President of Peru cancelled all public and private schools for one month to limit the spread of the virus, the store shelves are bare, and the waiting lines are ridiculous! He talked about possibly closing the border!
We’re happy to report that Tracy had her eye surgery and is doing excellent! The first night after the surgery was unbearable and she couldn’t sleep at all. Each day she has gotten better and better. We still need some help paying the bill ($5,000) but we had to go ahead with it because it couldn’t wait without damaging her eyes further! It will be another month before we’ll know what strength of glasses she’ll need, if any! We’re SO thankful that we were able to get her the treatment she needed – God is SO good and He always provides for these girls!
It’s still summer break here (until March) which gives Tracy time to heal before heading back to school. The girls all participated in summer activities provided by the City for several weeks. They did taekwondo, Marinera dance, handcrafts, basketball, and drawing.
So far, we have three teams coming to Peru this year. A team from Texas will be here this month, a team from Washington will be here in July, and a team from Alabama will be here in August. There’s still time for you to schedule your group for this year….any time after August 😀 We’d LOVE to show you around!
We’re so proud of our ARISE girls! They are all getting excellent grades and are very thankful for the opportunity to study at the university level. We have three more girls who have graduated high school that really want to study for a career. However, we do not have the monthly income that we need at this time to commit to getting them enrolled. Please pray with us that the Lord will supply the needed funds to continue with the girls who are already studying and to help these new girls get started! Speaking of education….
The Torre Fuerte Educational Institute opened today!
Even though we’d love to visit each and every one of you, it just isn’t practical for us to drive across the U.S. So instead, we’re planning to fly across the country and rent a car while in Washington which will help us visit many different churches and families all over the state. We have several groups who are interested in (or already are) planning a trip to Peru, so we really want to encourage them. We also want to show everyone who is already supporting us, the Torre Fuerte Girls Home, and ARISE what is happening and how they’re blessing others. We have so many exciting things to share about these amazing girls who are doing so well!
Unfortunately, the reality is that a three week car rental in Washington will cost $2,000 which is almost as much as our flights from Peru to Florida and then to Washington! So now, instead of hoping for a car that we can take across the country, or paying for a rental, I’m hoping to borrow one while we’re in Washington (not to be taken out of state)….I’m trying to keep our costs as low as possible.
We NEED to sell our house, we NEED to raise more funds, so we NEED to do this trip. Please pray with us that the Lord will make a way for HIS will to be accomplished in our service to Him. Well….that’s only the west coast.
We have many states to visit on the east coast, as well. It’s so exciting to see how many people God is using to bless these ministries all across the U.S. and the whole world! Please let us know if you have a car we can use…