The first time I went to Q´oli it took me fifteen hours of walking over the high mountains from the Arcata mine. But God blessed the trip. Souls were saved, and Policarpio Gonzales, who was converted as a school boy in Cotahuasi, was encouraged to lead the new group of believers there.

It took me a year to get back there, but during that year Policarpio had fixed up an abandoned mining road that got us to within two hours of his ranch.

The second trip took me ten hours in my VW van. Several trips later I started out from Arcata with Policarpio and his wife, who was expecting their first baby.

It was rainy season however, and we would have to dig ourselves out of one mud hole only to get stuck in another one. The first night we slept in the van at a crazy angle with one wheel stuck in the mud up to the axle. The next day we went until about noon when we came upon a large rock that completely covered the roadway.

There was no way to make a road around it and it was too big for us to move. Policarpio and Irene decided to go on by foot (they could probably make it to Q´oli by nightfall), and I was to try to get back to Arcata by myself. The only thing that we had to eat during those two days was a little bit of toasted corn and some bread.

Soon before dark I arrived at an abandoned ranch where a man who was traveling with his llamas had decided to camp for the night. I could see that he was fixing a pot of soup over an open fire.

Before parting, Policarpio and I had decided that it would be better for me not to try to get over the last mountain until the next morning. In the evening the ground would be soft, and at 15,000 feet above sea level the poor VW wouldn’t have enough power to get up the steep hill, but in the morning the ground would be frozen.

So I decided to go down and witness to the man with the fire, hoping that he would offer me a bowl of soup. He did give me a bowl of soup, and I was able to share the gospel with him.

Faustino’s heart was hungry for the word of the Lord. I shared the truth of the gospel with him under the light of the beautiful Andean stars and that little bit of light that his fire afforded. He humbled his heart before God and called upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins.

Before leaving him I gave him a New Testament. I also recommended that he look up Policarpio in Q`oli since his next stop on his two- day trip to his home would be in that area.

Faustino did look up Policarpio, and Policarpio later did make the eight-hour trip to help Faustino in his new Christian walk. A number of people were converted in the area of his ranch and a church was established there. I was later able to visit them in that area and rejoice in what God had done.

Sometimes the interruption of our plans causes our personal discomfort, but later results in the greater glory of God. “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

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We are Bob and Noél Rich, followers of Jesus Christ. We came to Peru over forty five years ago and have seen God do some amazing things. Bob and Noél Rich Visit our About Us page to see more info about us.

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