Hi to you all!

Well, I had it all planned to tell you that we have a really desperate need for rain. The only rain we had this year was the last time I wrote, like real early January. But God answered again and sent a real nice rain all afternoon and evening yesterday and then again this afternoon lots of thunder showers - water all over. It does come in a couple of our windows and under the door but we are really thankful for the rain. Please help us pray for enough for the agriculture, electricity, and water needs for this big city.

January went really fast! Bob, Joe, and I went for 2 days to Camaná, on the coast, where we visited the believers and had a meeting with them. We got to go to the beach there a couple times, which was nice. Joe had to come back early to take care of needed paperwork to get his drone out of customs in Lima. Our school's director's daughter lives in Lima with her husband and she did the paperwork necessary there for this, but it was a real hassle and very very expensive - Aduanas (customs) took almost the price of the drone just to grant permission for Joe to have it while here in Perú. This country's systems are very corrupt. It was quite a problem, but we are thankful it appears to be solved now.

Joe is a real blessing to have here, he takes really nice pictures of our people, the work here, etc. He is working on developing a website for the school now too. He's been here a month and a half and maybe can stay another month. Bob and Joe went to some meetings in early January to some ranching communities near Juliaca. Joe also is accompanying some of the believers from here to the town of Yarabamba where they visit and evangelize Sunday afternoons. We thank the Lord for these outreaches, to Yarabamba and to Polobaya, a town a bit farther on. The brother who usually goes there is now with his family for a couple weeks in his wife's town in the Cusco department, hoping to see some of her family members come to know Christ.

Now I must tell you the hard part - we are still waiting for the approval of the school project in the municipality. Marino, the director, has spent 3 times what he thought he would need to spend for the paperwork for the license, for demolition of the middle building on the school property and then the required extension of the patio space, hoping to be able to eventually build the classrooms needed without taking the patio space. The first architect he went to travelled and did not do the plans right. The second one had a heart attack and was hospitalized, also his plans were rejected. This time Marino is working with the architect from the municipality and hoping - praying that finally this week the plans will be approved by the cultural committee there. We are in what they call the "historical center" of Arequipa. (I call it the hysterical center). It is swell to have transportation accessible from most points in the city, but it makes it really hard to get permission to do anything with properties.

We really thank the Lord for providing this property for the school. Since then (2008) prices have more than tripled for land and downtown properties. God is so good. We know He has plans for the school, building plans for lives - please help us pray for the needed permissions (yes, they are corrupt there too - just want bribes here and there to grant anything - and Marino has fought that all the way, making it harder to get it done). Please help us pray for the needed construction too. God will supply. Time is short as we have the month of February to at least get the demolition, and patio extension done quickly.Thanks to those of you who are helping some of our poorer children by supplying their monthly fees. This is a need for several. We try to keep the fees low for the lower economic class but we need to pay the teachers. And please help us pray for really dedicated Christian teachers this year. Some we had last year are leaving for various reasons and need to be replaced. It is crucial to have dedicated Christian teachers for elementary and high school.

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