(some highlights)



In January, Melania received the kidney that she had needed for about 6 years.  She had patiently endured 4 daily dialyses that kept her from living a normal life in school. The kidney was an almost perfect match, and there seemed to be no problems.  She would need a clean environment, daily medication and reasonable care.  But she left our care believing that she could cope by herself.  Before long, she realized that she was not prepared to enter the work world, and that her needs were not being met.  She ended up back in the hospital with severe depression where she stayed for almost a month.  Her social worker contacted us, and Humberto traveled to Lima to bring her to us in Arequipa.  She is beginning to settle in, and we are hoping that when school begins after the Christmas vacation, she will have enough to do and that she will grow to be the woman she desires to be.  We definitely feel that God would not have us abandon her now, after bringing her this far.  She needs (and we need) much prayer.


This was the year that we did major construction on the house, with all the accompanying dirt, dust, noise, inconvenience to us and to the neighbors.  We tore out an old bathroom off the patio, and a makeshift pantry, and made it into a bedroom, a bathroom, and  another bathroom big enough for Victor’s wheelchair, tiled in blue, his choice of colors.  We had to enlarge two doorways inside the house as well.   The drains under the house were old and cracked, some just ditches; all that had to be made decent.  Upstairs, over the new bedroom/bathroom, is a large room with its own bathroom.  But the star of it all is the new study room.


During the vacation, which is from Christmas to the first of March, the kids went to a church camp at the beach, learned to swim, and did vacation Bible school.


Two girls from Lima came to stay with us.  Their mother had died 8 years before and their father worked in the jungle, away from home 3 months at a time.  Three older brothers lived in that home, the neighborhood was bad, and the school was no good.  The younger girl was in trouble at school.  Carmen, our friend, was so concerned about them that she asked us to take them, and of course, we said, yes.  They are both doing well.  Their father helps a little.


Then, the year before, a local orphanage that only has very young children had asked us to take a girl who was over age.  We pursued the matter, and got Noelia, 13, this year.  She has some disability, so we enrolled her in an alternative school, where she is very happy.


It is our joy and privilege to make blankets available to people in the Puno area during the winter.  At that altitude winters are devastating, even killing llamas and alpacas.  This year we took $1000.00 to Juliaca to buy the blankets and give them out.  Pastors came and shared in the event.


In June, 10 Korean-American young people came on a mission, and 4 girls stayed with us.  They were delightful, and at the end we all got together with the rest of the group at another orphanage for a little celebration.


We are blessed to have a young man, Renel, who came back to us after working in the mines and who wanted to help us with Victor, getting him up in the morning, bathing him, and  putting him  to bed at night, and he has proved to be more help than we ever expected.  He works and studies, but he helps Adela, the housemother with shopping and other things.  He has made himself a friend to Victor, and Victor is actually blossoming.  He is painting and enjoying life.  He turned 20, and that is older than his brother was when muscular dystrophy claimed him.


We had 3 elderly people in our house in Chiguata, but it was impractical to keep them there, so we brought them down to the house in Arequipa, where they are much better off.  They are all blind, and their first language is Quechua, although they speak and understand Spanish.  Renel helps with their hygiene, Adela speaks Quechua, and the shopping, cooking, and caregiving is much more streamlined.


So now with Melania in the house we have 9 kids, 3 elderly, and Adela.  Renel and the cook eat some meals with us, and we serve more or less 42 meals a day.  School is out for the year, and I have indicated that the kids should learn English, with proper pronunciation, do a sport (probably swimming again), help with VBS, and we’ll see what else.  Melania and Noelia will continue with alternative school during the vacation.


We have many needs but so far, God has been very good to us.  We have lacked nothing, but we still want good people to come and be aunties and uncles for our kids.


We wish you a merry Christmas, and blessings in the new year.




(Card:  Off to school, left to right:  Rosalia, Rut(h), Cesar, Esther, Victoria, and Soledad.  Not shown:  Melania, Noelia, Victor, Adela and Renel, and our three elderly.)


View more past events:

Click here for 2015 Christmas Letter

Click here for Past Events

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