Hi all!

Yes, February already! Here it is the rainy season. We had a couple days of a lot of rain when we got back Jan. 12, but since that it has not rained. It gets cloudy and very warm sometimes. They say it will rain, maybe ?

The believers here for the most part have done well the first month of 2013. Our prayer still is for the needed elders to really be able to take charge of the main church here in Arequipa. Bob is faithfully preparing them, and they are coming along. Thanks for praying for this with us.

As soon as we got back we learned that the dear sister who lives in our ex guest apartment had a very serious health issue, got trichina in the brain and it caused an aneurism. She convulsed and her little daughter found her that way, in time, praise the Lord. She then had treatment to kill the trichina but then had to have a very dangerous, high risk operation, in Lima, to dissolve the aneurism.

Well, the Lord miraculously brought her through this, and we are all truly thankful. There was a slight problem with the insurance company the airline where she works uses, as it was a very expensive operation. But it finally all worked out. We are all overjoyed and thankful to see Karla back home here. She is still on medication to keep her blood thin, and still hurting in places, but is recuperating, slowly but surely. She too is very thankful to God and more than ever committed to Him. Her former husband was here taking care of her daughters during the whole time she was in Lima, and our prayer request is that this home be restored. The girls really love their Dad, Tito, so please pray for Tito and Karla, and their two daughters (both in our school). Time will tell, and the Lord knows.

So after that praise - and prayer request, we are faced now with another very hard situation. The son of Miguel Mamani and his wife Tomasa, José Antonio Mamani, works for a mining company in Colombia. José, along with another guy from Arequipa, 2 Colombians, and a Canadian with this company, were kidnapped by the National Liberation Army ("ELN") on January 18. Some of you may have heard this news. Anyway, José's Dad, Miguel is a believer who has helped in the work here and in some of our mountain churches. His wife, Tomasa, and some of their other children are also believers.

They are really distraught over this. Miguel comes to pray with us and some of these churches here and in the mountains are rallying around the family and praying for them. José himself came to church here while he was here, but has not yet made a commitment to Christ that we know of. He was recently married and his wife lives in Lima. Please help us pray for José, for his salvation and for his release, along with the other hostages. All this brings back very difficult memories for us, but we know God is in control, and somehow Miguel knows that we do understand and are praying.

This month Lupe and Marino are evaluating teachers for the school year which starts here March 4. Please help us pray for the right Christian teachers - so needed and vital.

This is long, but I must mention one more need for us here. Bob decided (rightly) that it is time to get the church property and our apts. above it out of our names. We plan to make an association for the church, and put the whole front part including the meeting room, store room, etc. in the name of the association of the believers. The apartments will, Lord willing, be bought, little by little, by Karla's parents, Mario and Gladys Soto. This also has to include the Sunday School rooms and Bob's office downstairs, and the guest room, as they are attached to the back part of the property.

The property here is terribly expensive right now, and of course Mario can not pay what it would be worth, but we would not sell it to anyone else really. Mario was an elder here before moving back to Puno, where he was a university professor. He now has a masters degree and a doctorate too, besides being geological engineer and dean of faculty in the university in Puno. Anyway, he is getting his retirement, and the great part of his family lives here in Arequipa, so wanted to buy a place here anyway.

The best part is that Mario will respect the church in everything, indeed he is an important part in it, and the Sunday school rooms and all installations used by the church here will remain for that use. He and Gladys are currently living in the guest room while Karla and family are upstairs. We are a lot of people in this place now, sometimes have shortages of hot water, etc. but all is working out well. However, we ourselves need to move, and eventually when Mario's situation works out in Puno they will have to move here where we live.

They are currently kind of "renting" to buy, that is each monthly they give us of about $275. goes off the sale price. However, they are not able to pay us a lot at once. So our need is of a place to move to! God is so good! Marino and Lupe are very thankful for all we gave for the school and are giving us back all they can. They have begun construction of a small apt. on top of the front part of the grade school, on top of the garage, by the school's yard.

In back of this is the grade school, second and third floors which some of you have helped to build. This light construction for the third floor grade school is almost done! We are very thankful. Marino has run out of funds and construction is terribly expensive, so by faith we are finishing it, Lord willing, praying it will be done by April anyway. Thank you for praying for this with us, we are thankful and trusting the Lord to just lead us step by step.

Last week I went with Bob up the Ocoña valley to visit the believers in two small churches up there. On the way going and back we were able to visit the beach for a little while. That was really nice!! The believers up there are doing pretty well, and wow, did the car ever behave wonderfully!! We went on the very difficult road and dike going, (road in horrible condition), so decided to take the old high road on the way back, and test the 4wd and car's power. I felt like the old song, "you take the low road and I'll take the high road and I'll be in Scotland before ye". Anyway, the car just was amazing in strength and getting up that steep dirt, and we weren't going to Scotland but sure got back faster than the other way. Car even said thank you, I'm sure.

So, thanks so very much, you dear ones.
God's richest blessings for you!
Noél for us

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