Hi to you all!

Yes, it is May, hope it is a nice one where you are. Here we had a few shakes (earth tremors) a couple weeks ago. They did not do damage here in Arequipa city, but out in the Camaná area, Quilca and around, they were a little stronger. Reminds us that God can shake up in a big way whenever He wants, and we need to be ready. We pray we will be steadier, not only physically but Spiritually too.

We thank the Lord that even though there have been more deaths from Covid recently, the ones we knew were indeed believers in Christ and are with Him. One dear sister was a young, healthy mother of 3 small children. She was fine one day and the next got Covid really bad and died. Her husband, Nicanor, was of course very saddened. The church here helped him and family and he is grateful. This is in the area of Agua Buena (annex of Polobaya) where Vicente and family have an outreach and have seen a group raised up there for Bible studies. Pilar and Nicanor were converted and baptized last year.

Another sister from a sister church here in Arequipa also died in April. We thought she was getting better but when they took her off the oxygen I guess it went to her heart and she went to be with the Lord. Her children are grown, and her husband recovered from covid, but still, these things are hard on the families.

And yes, the sister from the Moquegua area whom I mentioned last time also died (of cancer). She was a true believer, and some of her children follow the Lord, as does her husband. Thank you so very much for praying with us for these grieving families. Our comfort is in the Lord and His Word and promise for eternity.

True, the "second wave" of this coronavirus is hitting hard at Arequipa. Restrictions remain and new rules are: the wearing of 2 masks and use of a "facial protector" (plastic over your face, very annoying) for going into stores or riding in public transportation, new cases every day and the death toll is high.

Better news: another one of our churches had a baptism here in our meeting place (we have the baptismal) and we are thankful for these new believers, one, the daughter of believers and the other, the husband of a lovely Christian. So we thank the Lord that even in sad times, new life is blooming. Bob is able to travel and is now in Espinar, the mountain area belonging to Cusco but close to here and we have several small churches in the area. Bob has found that the groups up there are doing well and are encouraged in the Lord. Thank you for praying!

Today, May 1, is "labor day" here in Peru. So it is a holiday. It is also the day of the "guardian" of Arequipa, the "virgin of Chapi". Yearly thousands go on pilgrimages to the sanctuary in Chapi (about an hour and a half out of Arequipa). There is another sanctuary here in town and both these places usually are full of folks devoted to this image. Last year and this year all these gatherings of people are prohibited, so the R.C. bishop put the image in a helicopter and flew her (it) all over Arequipa so the faithful could know she (it) was watching them. We could all go to our roofs and wave. Ha.

We live between the back door of a cloistered nuns convent and the soccer field of the big Catholic boys school, Don Bosco, and when the helicopter flew over they shot up a lot of firecrackers. (These virgins just love firecrackers, all of the Catholic feasts are full of them). Oh well, it is pitifully true that this city is very idolatrous.

The second round of presidential elections is June 6. The two runoffs are a communist and the daughter of a previous president who is processed for corruption. Not too hopeful for anything better here, but yes, we trust the Lord, not human governments. We wait for His perfect, righteous kingdom. Thank you all so very much for praying with us and for all you share for the Lord's work here. For all you Moms, have a very happy Mother's Day.

Our support address (with a note: For Bob Rich, Peru) is:

Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc.
P.O. Box 13,
Spring Lake, NJ, 07762-0013

Thank you and many blessings for you, Noél for us

Hi to you all! Well, April is here! Spring for you, and supposedly starting "Autumn" for us, but it is quite warm. Supposed to rain, every day they say that, and it has rained and snowed on the mountains around us, but not really in the city.

March was a busy month, in spite of restrictions because of the covid pandemia. We were able to visit and encourage many of our believers. We still cannot have full house meetings, and still have a Sat. afternoon meeting in order to reduce the crowd on Sundays. This has helped some, but most of our people really want to come Sunday mornings, so in spite of all our protocols and efforts, we probably are in the "outlaw" category.

Many of our outlying churches are meeting normally, especially the brothers in the mountain churches where there is very little coronavirus. Here in Arequipa people keep dying daily of covid-19. Sad, and there are lots of new cases. People here just can't stay away from each other. There are crowds, and contact, even though most do wear masks. Some do not keep it on right, but at least they have it. Well, enough of that. No, vaccines are not available for us here yet. Maybe some day.

As for school, it indeed started early March. Our teachers are just as dedicated as last year and are really working over time. It is all virtual still, but hopefully and prayerfully by early August, the second half of the year, second semester, we will be able to go physically at least semi-presencial. We will see how that works out.

I am not yet teaching the OT as I had hoped, but can start it in August, Lord willing. Till then, I can give the devotionals once a month for the primary school (1st thru 6th grades). I gave one last Wednesday, and will do the next one April 12, Lord willing. These have to be only up to 15 minutes, and it is by google meet. A dear teacher helps me get on and it is truly fun to see the kids, their little faces just a bit on the screen. Not at all the same as being there in person, but this is what it is for a few months anyway.

Please help us pray for the school. We are so thankful to be able to keep going, and have several new ones registering too. We are thankful for the freedom to teach God's Word. Of course Bob is literally preaching his heart out, recording messages every week, live streaming Sunday mornings - we can record some singing too, our brothers and sisters are very thankful we are here for all this.

Bob would like to travel but has been restricted so far. Hopefully later in April he will get up to a baptism in a community near Espinar. There is a baptism Monday in a far away mountain area but we are under a lockdown till after Easter so he really should not try to do that one. So, he is actually working on the second part of his book! Hope he can get it done and printed, adding it to the first part. We are giving away many of those, as we are not selling very many. Bob is selling Bibles though, and some songbooks. Several are wanting to get right with the Lord and Bob continues to counsel on the phone, pray with people here, and visit when we can.

Our youth here had a really good "congress" in March. (Virtual, with speakers from different parts and videos and reports from the missionaries the church here supports, and a drama and other commentaries, good!) We thank the Lord our youth are reaching out to outlying communities with God's Word, teaching children and sharing clothes and other items with the folks up there. Some of them have home Bible studies too. We have one on Tuesday evenings.

Another family reaches out weekly to the town of Polobaya and its district Agua Buena. Jeff and Angela are working on getting a small house built on their property out in Uchumayo, where they also have visited and seen the Lord work. They have had their first baptism there, and are looking to start a church, as there are none around. Our harpist, dear brother Julian, married a sweet Christian gal from the Majes valley and they are living there now and reaching out all up and down the valley, encouraging believers and witnessing to others, helping immensely in the work there.

So, God is indeed at work here in spite of all the restrictions. Of course, there is some sadness, some have died, not only of covid but of other things too, even today a dear believer from Moquegua is dying of cancer, her daughter and son in law are a family from our church here. God has our times in His hands, these are difficult sometimes but we trust HIM. Next Sunday, (April 11), Peru votes for a new president and congress. Probably there will be a runoff but please help us pray for this, former governments here have been so very corrupt.

Thanks so very very much for praying for the Lord's work here and sharing as God leads you. Our support address is:

Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc.
P.O. Box 13,
Spring Lake, NJ, 07762-0013 with a note: for Bob Rich, Peru.

As we remember especially our dear Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross for us, and HIS resurrection, may we give Thanks eternally. Many blessings for you and yours, Noel for us

Hi y'all, well, March has started to March. Supposedly February was rainy season but we had very little. Now, March is starting very cloudy and threatening, but not much rain yet. We had a few thunder showers yesterday - not enough. Anyway, we still have water, for which we are thankful.

Mid February also brought another quarantine for Arequipa, curfew from 6 pm to 6 am and again a lot of businesses closed, more restrictions, etc. We were declared in the "extreme" category, with high death rate and lots of new cases of covid. But now March 1 we are again declared "high risk" but not extreme. So curfew is from 9 pm till 4 a.m. Better - and most businesses can open.

Many have had to close because of the economy going down so far. Vaccines have started to come for the healthcare workers. It seems it will be a long time yet before enough come for the rest of us, but there is hope anyway. Our hope is in the Lord, and we are truly thankful He has kept us healthy so far! Some of our believers here have, or have had covid, but most have recovered.

Also during the lockdown last month we were able to again get permission to distribute food, so we would buy bags of fruit and give them with monetary offerings from the church here for some of our needy believers. God does provide. However, work is scarce, we have a carpenter brother who is elderly, his sons work with him, and they have families. But none of them have found work for over a month. People want their doors and furniture made but do not have money now to pay for it. We do need prayer for our believers in this. Many work in sales and sales are down too, folks do not have the buying power they did before.

School starts for us March 8. It will be virtual for a few months anyway. I have decided not to teach my O.T. course online. We thank the Lord for some new Christian teachers, some from another rather large Christian school that had to close temporarily. We are saddened about the private schools forced to close and thankful ours is still going. Marino and Lupe work around the clock, literally some times, to fulfill all the govt. and Civil Defense require.

There is hope that second semester, starting early August, will be in person. I would have more hours and more students and more freedom then to continue teaching, and we pray it will indeed happen. Thankfully more are registering now and though many do not have enough to pay fees, some of you dear ones are helping in this need. THANK YOU!!

Bob has not been able to travel for some weeks, but now is allowed to again, so we will see where the Lord leads. We had to close the church for the past 2 weeks too, but are now free to again have meetings here but only with 20% capacity. Bob and the leaders here are right now discussing how it will work, we probably will have to have 3 services each weekend, one Sat. aft., one Sunday morning and another Sunday afternoon.

Bob will leave off teaching Romans as he was Sunday evening and may have to do it another day. We truly are thankful that we can meet together again. Of course we will use masks and try to have social distancing. Please pray for us in all this, for safety, protection, wisdom, and God working in our lives and service here.

Again, thanks so much for standing with us. Our support address is: Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc. P.O. Box 13, Spring Lake, NJ, 07762-0013 (with a note: for Bob Rich, Peru) Thank you!

Many blessings, Noél for us

Hi dear ones,

Well, February 2, groundhog, be wary. As far as the weather here it has been amazingly nice these days. Rainy season started out a couple weeks ago with downpours, really like the sky was falling, and plaster fell from part of the ceiling of the church meeting place.

A brother from here has painted, re-enforced the whole church roof with Sica so we should not have more problems with water filtrating through, but we still have not fixed that part of the ceiling, we should get that done soon. And it probably will rain more here, our mountains get snow often on the peaks but at least from our "Misti" it melts off in the sun.

God blessed with another baptism here, just one sister, but we are thankful we could do that. We had started meeting again together but just as of Feb. 1, new restrictions are in effect. Churches cannot meet together at least for 2 weeks, we hope it won't be extended very long. Peru is in a second wave of the coronavirus and once again the death toll from this is higher and there are hundreds of new cases detected in Arequipa.

Our region is high risk, so curfew starts at 8 p.m. - goes to 4 a.m. No private vehicles allowed to circulate Saturdays or Sundays. Beaches and other public places are closed. (And I had wanted to go to the beach for our 55th anniversary, and also visit the brethren there in Camana. It didn't happen.) Maybe we can try again in a month.

This second wave crisis also has caused the hospital systems to collapse. There are no more ICU units available and oxygen is scarce. Ambulances are screeching around us again. So far they have not had to close all businesses and markets. Peru's economy really could not take that again. So many businesses have had to close or go out of business, losses are great.

Countries all around Peru are vaccinating against this virus but none of Peru's rotating presidents have been able to get it here yet. A vaccine has been promised for this month. We know there is much controversy over this, We trust God to care for us in all of this and we try to be prudent, and yes, to obey the authorities as much as possible.

This crisis also means that definitely we will need to start school only by virtual, not with students present yet. Hopefully by mid year we may be able to have in person school. I need to learn to teach my OT course by Zoom. Seems it may be possible, but please pray for me in that. It's sure not the same, I was stimulated and blessed by seeing their faces as I taught! And many parents cannot pay the school fees. The directors have lowered the fees but still it is difficult. We also need a few more sponsors for some who honestly cannot pay. We are so very thankful for all those of you who help in this way. Thanks!

Our daughter, Terri, and her husband, Josué, have had Covid-19. Our son, Joseph also had it. Joe and Josué had it worse than Terri, but we are so thankful that they are all recovered now.

Bob travelled again to Chuquibamba. The problem I mentioned before has shown its very ugly head again. Bob should be back Fri. afternoon but really needs your prayer for dealing with this, this week. Thanks!

Bob has not had time to work on the second volume of his book, but we have given out many of the first book to neighbors and other contacts. They have been very thankful, and we hope they do indeed read it as it does present God's Word and Who Jesus really is! (Many say they are reading it.)

January 13 I had the nails and wire removed from my elbow, and yesterday the Dr. came and took the stitches out. Yea! My itches and red spots are better, but still not totally gone, but they will be. God is certainly able to keep me from falling, (both Spiritually and physically.) Thanks for praying this for all of us.

Yes! Thank you so very much for all your praying for us and sharing as God leads you.

Our support address is: Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc.
P.O. Box 13,
Spring Lake, NJ, 07762-0013 (with a note: for Bob Rich, Peru)

Thanks truly, God's RICHest blessings for each of you, Noél for us

Well, here we are, 2021, Happy New Year. Sometimes we wonder if it will be any happier, but 2020 was not a real fun one. Hope for the future, in God's hands. We surely thank Him for taking care of us and bringing several to faith in Christ and hope for glory with Him.

Bob is getting ready for a trip to the mountains, to a Quechua area near Juliaca. He should leave by 4:30 a.m. with one of our youth who wants to serve the Lord. Bob hopes to be able to disciple Daniel Quispe some and also encourage the believers up there in their special New year's meeting.

It is rainy season, so they for sure will have to go through some mud and we pray the car will work fine. We do not have 4wd on this car which may make a problem, hopefully not. It started out a warm summer but quickly got very cool. Here in the altitude the rains are cold cause the sun is under the clouds. The tops of the 3 volcanos around Arequipa all have snow. They come out for a few minutes of sun in the mornings, then go under darkening clouds. So it was a white Christmas on the tops of our mountains.

We are thankful we can have church services, but there are limits. We can only have 30% of our capacity at one time. and of course alcohol hands and disinfect all surfaces, hands, etc. And wear masks. Well, God is giving us this freedom and we thank Him for it.

Also we have had 2 weddings in the last few weeks. One, Julian and Paola, were married in the Majes valley, outside in a believer's orchard. So there was enough space, but as it is hot down there, there were a lot of bugs, little stinging gnats. Still, it was lovely. We are glad for them. The other wedding was a couple who were already living together and have a couple children. We are glad when these couples obey the Lord and formalize their marriage. Bob preached at both ceremonies and we sang and we think the Lord was glorified. Some family members present were not believers yet, so we pray for them that they may realize their need of Christ.

Bob's book is out! It is good really. We have given several as Christmas presents to our neighbors and other friends and service people we know. The Christian bookstore is promoting it. It tells the Christmas story, clearly presenting Christ the Saviour, so is really adequate for this season. Thank you for praying for all this. And for Bob as he wants to get the second volume out as soon as possible. It may be a while as there are now many interruptions as we have freedom to meet and vehicles are allowed to run. Bob has his Bible studies in the different places and visits and people come here for counsel, Bible buying, etc. We thank the Lord for His care and for those He is working in.

Thanks so very much for praying for us and for God's work here. Thanks for sharing as the Lord leads you. We pray each of you will have a very blessed 2021, serving the Lord. His kingdom will prevail, and our service for Him is not in vain. It will be worth it all when we see Christ.

Our support address is: Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc.
P.O. Box 13,
Spring Lake, NJ, 07762-0013 with a note: for Bob Rich, Perú

Thanks and many blessings, Noél for us

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