Thursday, November 18, 2010

Join our Thursday Prayer Meeting!

Every Thursday the Believers Bridge missionaries here have been meeting for prayer, and suddenly I had the genius idea to include all of you in it by blog.
Here are the requests from today's meeting.

There was a bus wreck here in the province of Andahuaylas. It was the bus going from here to Inca Huasi. (Where the coffee comes from and where we have had to postpone two conferences) 16 people are confirmed dead but only five have been identified. Rumors are flying that someone from our church was aboard the bus, but so far there is no agreement as to who. Please pray for the families involved.
Bill Rowley, President of Believers Bridge, has put his house up for sale and is setting out on a support-raising trip. Please pray for the family in this time of transition. Also pray for his trip to Peru, probably in January.
The family of Miguel Gomez, our son-in-law, is suffering some difficult times. His little niece and nephew have been sick, especially the baby, Mia, who has a high fever and a cough. His sister Patti, is feeling sad and discouraged. Not only are the babies sick, but her husband, who has several times made a profession of faith, shows no interest in Christianity or church. And her father-in-law is in the hospital with diabetes and tuberculosis.
Miguel's parents are also having problems. His stepfather lost his pay--it evidently fell out of his pocket on his way home--and now he and Miguel's mother are having to work night shift guarding the market to get by until his next pay. He feels really bad about this, especially because Miguel's mother is just recovering from the flu. They are both in their seventies.
Miguel and Becky need prayer for decisions that they have to make about their ministry, and prayer for support.
Cayo Cardenas, another BB missionary, needs prayer for his family. His wife, Maritza, and his two children have been struggling with various illnesses.
Cayo also needs prayer for the translation project that he is working on-- a small Bible Dictionary in Quechua. He will be traveling to Cuzco in December to officiate at a wedding.
Tammy is directing the Andahuaylas church choir at the swearing in of the regional government officials, and asks prayer for herself and the choir.
The mayor of nearby town, (Martin) although an evangelical, fell into many problems and wound up in jail. Now that he has come to his senses, he feels that no one will ever trust him again. Pray for real repentance and the strength to start over.
Pray for the progress of our agreement with the IEP (Iglesia Evangelica Peruana). We are waiting for their response to our response to their proposal. And for patience on our parts.
Pray for the couples that we are counseling. Some of them have serious problems.
Pray for the Music and Worship Conference this weekend in Huayrapata. Miguel, Mike, and Cayo will be teaching.
Pray for the upcoming meeting of the Apurimac Synod of the IEP. They will be making several decisions that affect Bible Institutes.
Pray for the families of Chad Barrett and Alejandro Cabrera. Both men have been influential here and their families are struggling with cancer. Alejandro's wife Christy is no longer seeking treatment and they are just looking for the Lord's will as to what happens. Chad's 9 yo daughter Kristina has cancer and the doctors are currently stepping up treatment. Both families need our support in prayer.
Please pray for our son Colin, who is trying to find a place to stay and a job before Christmas. He needs wisdom in making decisions, as well.

Thanks for joining us in prayer for these requests.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fabuluous news!

God works in His own way and His own time, but He will surely perform His wonders. In February of 2005, I met with the leaders of the Evangelical Church in Peru(IEP). This is the largest evangelical and 2nd oldest (Methodists beat them by 2 years!)founded in 1893, evangelical Church in the country. For many years the terrorists, cults, extreme poverty and difficulty in travel have been attacking the church and it is now down to a membership of around 300,000. (Which still ain't chicken feed!)
They knew that they had many problems, not the least of which was training pastors for the countryside. Only 1 out of 16 churches have a real pastor. Many country churches have shrunken, closed or even become cults.
We at Believers Bridge have been working with them since our inception to try to help train pastors and leaders for the thousands of churches in the countryside. However, there had been one serious road block. Years ago, a mission from another country working with the IEP, decided that they wanted to change all of the churches that they were working with to their denomination. This caused a serious breach in the IEP and a distrust of foreign missions.
So, the IEP decided that they would only work with missions with whom they could and would sign a convenio (pact of operations). As you might guess this has not proven easy for either foreign missions or for the IEP. BUT, after 4-1/2 years of work with them, they decided last week to sign a convenio with Believers Bridge. We will be working, initially, in our same area of the Andes. Now we will be giving accredited degrees, and producing pastors who are capable of going to work in the many pastorless churches in the IEP.
Not only this, but they have allowed us to admit students from ALL evangelical churches.
Brothers, this is an unparalleled example of God's grace. Of course now we need - more than ever - more qualified teachers, and the funding for them and for the materials. But what God has begun, I am sure He will finish. Will you pray with us for His provision in these areas of need,
God Bless,
Mike

Friday, October 8, 2010

Is it already October?

Time flies by sometimes. Just a quick recap of what has been going on:
At the end of August we moved both house and office to the nearby town of Talavera. It is much less cold there and the rent is more economical for a house with more conveniences. Talavera is a very short taxi ride from Andahuaylas.
Of course that made getting telephone and internet installed all over again.
We also began teaching a Bible Institute in the church in Andahuaylas, and will start up a second in Talavera this month.
At the end of September we made a trip to Chile for visa reasons. Mike´s sciatica fired up badly and we had to stay in the city of Tacna for a week.
We are in Lima right now getting ready to go back to Andahuaylas.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ocobamba conference illustrates need

Our last Bible conference, in the beautiful but very cold town of Ocobamba, illustrates the importance of our rural institutes and conferences.  The organizing pastor, brother Gabino Gutierrez, was out of communication 10 days before the conference for a week and we almost had to cancel the conference, because we couldn't verify if we had enough attendance.  My Peruvian co-worker, Cayo Cardenas had to go to Ocobamba a few days before to personally see if there would be enough people for the conference (this was a Thompson Bible seminar, and they need to have an absolute minimum of 40 students to break even).
When Cayo got there, it took him all morning to find pastor Gabino.  He was up on a mountain top, fasting and praying for the resurrection of a child of church members who had died of complications of the extreme cold this year.  Pastor Gabino had been fasting, just drinking water, for a week and a half and when Cayo finally found him, Gabino had no voice and was frostbitten.  Cayo picked up the ball and got the preregistration done and we had a 2 very successful conferences there with over 60 pastors in attendance.  Most of them, like Pastor Gabino, men of great desire and love for God, but with no Biblical or doctrinal training.  They have asked us to come back and continue to teach them in a regular Bible Institute.  They need it and we would love to, but we need at least 1 more full-time worker to meet our current obligations. 
Please pray with us to the Lord of the Harvest for more workers to be sent out Matthew 9:38



On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM, Tammy Riggs <triggsorama@gmail.com> wrote:


--
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Tammy Riggs
Missionary
Impact International



--
**NEW -Our website now has current prayer and praise information and news**
Mike Riggs
Field Director
Missionary to Peru
Believers Bridge
www.impact-intl.org




--
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Tammy Riggs
Missionary
Believers' Bridge




--
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Tammy Riggs
Missionary
Believers' Bridge

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thompson Bible Seminar in Ocobamba

Welcome to Ocobamba! This is the site of the Thompson Bible conference August 11-14. We had a few anxious moments preparing for this, as the organizing pastor, Gabino, went away for a crucial week to pray and fast. (He was praying for the resurrection of a dead child from the community.)










This is where we stayed--pretty luxurious for out in the country.














We decided to start a day early with a conference on Church History. We are starting a day early because many people will arrive late, and if they miss part of the Thompson seminar they will not receive a Bible. They requested the conference on Church History because they know nothing about it and are unable to meet challenges from other groups. By the time we started, there were more than enough on hand and registered for the conference to meet the minimun requirement, and the ones who had come on time for the Church History conference were now eager to learn more.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Andean harpist



Harpist and harpmaker Leonardo Cahuana and his daughter Edith Ruby Cahuana visited our friend Cayo Vargas and gave a small concer in his living room. (This is only one song!)
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Monday, July 19, 2010

...to boldly go...

At three A.M. this morning, my co-workers Cayo Cardenas and Walter Ccoicca left for Incahuasi, a remote (even for Peru!) area the other side of the cordillera Blanca (the really high snow-capped mountains). Incahuasi is on the way down into the Amazon Basin and among other things makes some of the best coffee in the world - I am enjoying a cup right now :).
The bus trip, in an old, small, rattle-trap bus made on a converted truck chassis, will take them 13 hours or so, depending upon the weather at the pass and mechanical breakdowns. But that is better than last year until this year you had to go a long way by mule! This area is so remote, in fact, that are still vestiges of the Shining Path Terrorists in the area, another reason that a Gringo can't really go there.
They are going to set up a Thompson Bible conference that will be held there next month. This area is full of churches, but has not got any trained pastors and it is so remote that American missionaries don't usually go there. In fact, the churches that are there are the result of Christians moving to the area to grow coffee and are not the result of church planting. So, it is really a new field in many ways. And because of the terrorists and the difficulty of getting there, I will probably never or seldom go there. But the Lord has brought us Peruvian - Andean Quechua - co-workers and that has opened yet more doors for us here. They can go places that I can't!
They will also be meeting with the churches there about starting a regular Bible Institute there. They have been asking for teachers up there for as long as I can remember and now that Cayo and Walter are working with Believers Bridge, we can meet that need. Cayo and Walter, both seminary graduates with years of pastoral experience are expanding our ministry here to many such areas - places like Ocros, Puquio, Huancarama - that are at very high altitudes or very far from roads or are unsafe for foreigners. Please pray for these men and their families as they pour their lives into the ministry here. Cayo has only got $200 monthly support and that may only be for this year. Walter so far has no support, he is still pastoring a church and can only work part-time and with me paying for his travel. The fields are white, but the laborers are few, pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will provide for the needs of these workers, who are willing to go where no missionaries have gone before.

Monday, June 21, 2010

We'd like you to pray for....

The Bible Institute in Andahuaylas - this is held up by politics and power struggles. Pray for us to have patience and God to smooth the way.

Trip to Lima - time to pick up that passport that Mike renewed. Plus we have a busy agenda of looking for Bibles for distribution, visiting churches that are interested in the work, and visiting our beautiful granddaughter and her parents.

Sullin - the little daughter of our coworker Pastor Walter Ccoicca. She has been suffering from a fever and the doctors haven't yet found the infection.

Maritza - the wife of our coworker Cayo Cardenas. She is suffering from an ovarian cyst and needs treatment.

Thompson Bible Conferences in Ocabamba and Inca Wasi- pray that these get organized so that enough people show up on time the first day. (We are putting in a mini conference on marriage or some other popular theme the day before to help with this.) These conferences are a great blessing but we will not be able to continue them if the local leaders can't get organized.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Festivities (Photos)

This week we have been to two festive occasions--one was the freshman reception of our young friend Medali, who has been helping with translation on campaigns. She is studying Gastronomy at the Arts Institute.
This is Betsy, also studying Gastronomy. She was at the reception with her mother, Victoria. Victoria and Betsy were prayer requests last December when their motorcycle flipped crushing Victoria's legs. Victoria is now walking with a cane. She is a very strong lady and says it only hurts a little.

The other festivity was the wedding of Pastor Wilfredo from our church (a graduate of the Mobile Bible Institute that was here in Andahuaylas). Here he is with his new wife Fany. Willy was also a prayer request--he was one of the missing church planters. Fany is from one of the areas where he was planting churches.
Here is the happy couple along with all the missionaries, Peruvian or foreign, that attended the wedding. (and a little boy who was in every picture :)


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Bibles, salvation, and marriage

People here in Apurimac had plenty of opportunities for conferences here during the last few weeks. We brought the Thompson Bible conference here to Andahuaylas and got Bibles in the hands of 63 leaders here in the local city area.

Also during the same week we were visited by Pastors Chad Barrett and Bard Letsinger. Chad, who presents seminars on evangelism, wound up leading 200+ people to the Lord, training over 400 en presenting the gospel. They came to learn how to present the gospel, and found out that they didn't know what it was! This isn't surprising, due to the confusion and lack of education in the churches here.
Bard presented seminars on marriage and dating--something we are asked to do about once a week and just haven't been able to, so God sent us help! Many lives were impacted, and one result was that a young couple in Nueva Esperanza have decided to tie the knot after living together for three years. Both are new Christians.

It was a great few weeks, and we really enjoyed seeing others get to enjoy the ministry here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A great illustration from our "conferencistas"

We spent the last week hosting conferences by two visiting pastors from Texas, Bard Letsinger and Chad Barrett. Since I was translating for Bard, I have told this illustration once or twice a day all week, and I still think that it is great!
Bard starts out the conference showing the people a little stuffed lion named Leo that his 6yo daughter sent with him to keep him company. He and his daughter play a game with this lion--she hides him and says she can't go to bed unless the Leo is found. Then Bard finds the lion and puts him on his head and says "I don't know where he is. You'll just have to go to bed without him." Then she sees him and they laugh and she gets tucked into bed with Leo, because he is a cute cuddly little stuffed animal.
But what is a real lion like? It's a ferocious beast with sharp teeth and claws. It would rip you to pieces. You would never tuck it into bed with your 6yo daughter.
1 Peter 5:8 says that the devil is like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. But when Satan tempts us to sin, he doesn't present himself as a ferocious beast. Instead he presents himself and the temptation as harmless and enjoyable--something to embrace that will make you feel better. But the reality is that sin is the lion that will devour you spiritually, and ruin your life.
The verse starts out with the answer--be sober and alert. Be on the lookout for the real lion disguised as a cuddly toy. Don't be fooled! Verse 9 says resist and stand firm in the faith. Trust God's word to show you what's right and wrong.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cultural Conflict

"One final question. Will Brother C. give half of his support to Pastor B. because he doesn't have any support?" This question was fired off angrily by the treasurer of the group.
"I couldn't begin to say. I can't speak for him, " Mike answered.
"Yes you can. You are his chief and you can force him to do so. It's only right."

At moments like this you suddenly realize that there is wide chasm in understanding. Two groups have completely different sets of ground rules, and communication as you know it is not going to happen.

The scene was a surprise meeting called between the board of Kausay and us to discuss 7 questions. Most of them had to do with Mike's assistant.

After Mike's heart attack, Believer's Bridge (the new name of our mission board, in case you missed that.) picked up a national missionary to be his assistant. When they had been in Peru the year before, they had met Cayo Cardenas and had been asked by Kausay to consider supporting him. They had prayerfully considered this and decided to put him on as a missionary of Believers Bridge. He has been a great help in getting things coordinated for Thompson Bible Conferences and translating materials into Quechua for the Institutes in the country. He is a hard worker, has a seminary degree, is a good teacher, and speaks Quechua.

What could be the problem?

The problem is that Kausay is a mixture of cultures, American, Spanish Peruvian, German, and Quechua Peruvian. And in the eyes of the Quechua Peruvians it was all wrong. It was wrong to pick one person out of the group--the whole group should have been supported. Since the time of the Inca Empire (and maybe before) their rule has been "share and share alike." Today that concept rules only in the native communities, the group that we are working with in the countryside here. In that society the individual has very little rights or importance--what is important is the community.

To make things more difficult, they didn't say this when the missionary was announced as hired. Instead they suggested a higher salary than they believed he should have, figuring that they would compel him to give up the rest, as is customary in the communities. They do not view this as dishonest.

As God would have it, Believers Bridge has not raised that much support for him, so he is receiving a few hundred dollars a month at the present. Still, this contingent thinks that he should give up half his salary. And if the situation were reversed, they would think that the other man should give up half of his.

Even though the "share and share alike" group is the minority, they are very vocal. This problem isn't going away. And clearly this is an attack of Satan just when everything is getting ready to really happen. We ourselves have been thrown into the "different and bad" phase of culture shock at the moment--and right when we don't need this distraction!

Please pray for a peaceful solution, or at least just peace, forgiveness, and a workaround for the problem. We know God has all power to stomp out the fires of cultural conflict. Pray for everyone to focus on the real work of ministry.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anniversay, and a COLD baptism

Things have been so busy here that it is hard to know where to start.
I just spoke the last 3 nights at the 59th anniversary of the Central Church in Andahuaylas. Here church anniversaries are big deals and last night we had to borrow pews. It was exciting and a blessing - I was given the topics of Baptism, Devotional time and The Lord's Supper.
So it was exciting that Saturday saw us out at a river just a couple of miles from a glacier (Talk about cold water! Winter is on it's way here 2 miles up as well) 11 were baptized, it was so much fun to be out in the beautiful countryside, the smell of Eucalyptus and Camphor everywhere, eating boiled potatoes and chicken, singing hymns (in 4 languages) to a big old harp, seeing the people in the colorful dress. There must have been 300 or 400 folks there. Our camera batteries died, phooey! so we only have a couple of pictures.
Then Saturday night, we had communion. Here we have a big problem. Some teachers came through several years ago and they didn't know the Quechua. So, they taught on communion VERY strongly on not eating and drinking unworthily. The result is that in the average church around here only about 10% take communion.
But the Spirit moved last night and even with members from various churches there (another Andahuaylas tradition) and even with the Elder's deciding to fill up ALL the communion cups (we use several small loaves of bread) - the was only 1 cup not taken.
And no one took it casually! There were tears, people praying on their knees and going to others asking pardon - definitely not normal Quechua behavior.
I will be posting a couple of times in the next week as we prepare for 22 conferences in the next 6 weeks and as the Bible Institute fully cranks up.
God bless,
Mike

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Books for pastors

Mike blogging...yesterday I met with the leadership of the largest Christian bookstore/distributor (libreria Inca) in Peru. We had a great meeting and they are going to work with us to provide a small (7 volume) library for all of our Thompson seminar graduates and for our Bible Institute students at a nominal cost!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We're grandparents!

And Miguel and Becky are parents. Little Abigail Grace made her appearance at about 12:30 this afternoon. Miguel was so excited that he ran into the waiting room just shouting "Ya!" (Already.)
Abby weighed in at 7 lb. 14 oz. and measured 20 1/4" according to our metric conversion. She has a lot of dark wavy hair.
We'll post some pix tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mike is out, and Becky is going in

MIKE
got out of the hospital Saturday. (Just a recap--he had four stents put in and the doctor says his heart should be good for another 20 years). The final final bill was $30,000. His leg is still very sore and weak from where they put the heart catheter in (the tube was in place for four days.) Other than that he is fine and just goes back for a check Thursday.

BECKY
went Saturday to her doctor and her tests showed that she had preeclampsia. The doctor said with that and the other two problems they would have to go ahead and do a C-section. Becky was a little disappointed, since they were praying for guidance on what to decide, they figured that was the answer. She is checking into the clinic tonight. Little Abigail Grace should enter the world tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for your prayers!
Tammy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mike heart update

Mike had the heart catheterization today, and they put in 4 stents. The price will be a bit over $20,000, which we have 6 months to pay.
In the US they usually do the angiogram (other $5000) at the same time, but they can't really do that here, since they are usually expecting cash. This has confused everyone, including us, as we didn't understand how much more the angioplasty (unblocking the blocked arteries and placing the stents) would cost and thought at first that it would all be covered by around $5000.
The clinic is excellent and up to standards anywhere. Although the price seems really high to us, looking at this webpage http://ping.fm/g5nnl I realize that it is just an expensive operation.
Mike already looks more lively, even though he is in intensive care for two days.
Please keep praying for his recovery and God's provision!
Love,
Tammy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prayer and praise update 2/7

Praise for.....
A good and uneventful trip to Lima.
God providing affordable lodgings in Lima even after difficulties developed with our first arrangement.
Mike got good results on his stress echocardiogram here, even though the test showed heart damage.
Mike following Doctor's orders even though he wants to "doooo something!"
Communications with the clinic getting straightened out.

Prayer requests:
Mike still lacks about $3700 for his procedure--please pray for God's provision for this and the added expenses of staying here.

Becky (our daughter here in Lima) is going to have an ultrasound to see if it is necessary for her to have a C-section, as was her earlier diagnosis.

Please pray for the work that is being done in Andahuaylas to get Bible Institute students and classes going in April.

Pray for an end to internet difficulties, I have written several posts over the past weeks that just disappeared!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mike out of hospital, still in Cuzco

Mike is out of the hospital and still in Cuzco. He has to take a stress test in 3 days to see if he is able to travel to Lima.
When we went to pay his bill we got a great surprise! The doctors had requested a further discount on the bill, bringing it DOWN to around $2000. Isn't God wonderful?
We are still waiting to see about the angioplasty price. The doctors are looking for a lower cost for us.
Thanks again for your prayers!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prayer need update Sunday, 1/17

Mike continues to improve and is off IV. This means that the next big hurdle is actually money. He should be discharged tomorrow and I will need to be there with $3000 cash in hand. This really needs prayer!

The next question is the treatment in Lima. They are sending him for angioplasty and the price they have quoted (not officially yet) is $10,000. This is another big prayer request. Also if anyone knows about this please contact me, as there is no cardiologist here to give a second opinion.

An up to date financial needs page is on our website and I will be updating it daily. http://ping.fm/9lRTT

Serving our great God,
Tammy

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oops! and update

First, there was a typo yesterday--Mike's cardiac enzyme level was 200, not 400!
Mike continues to improve. His glucose is high, so they are upping one of the meds he usually takes, not going to insulin.
Another answer to prayer--the hospital is billing us as though we were insured there and the total bill there will be around $3000 if Mike gets out Monday as planned.
Please pray for God's continued provision, as the next step is to go to Lima and a clinic there.
Many thanks for all your prayers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mike in hospital (detailed version)

This is not new news for a lot of you, but Mike is in the hospital in Cuzco after having several light heart attacks while vacationing there.
There was some difficulty getting it diagnosed, as his EKG was normal and he did not present all the symptoms of a heart attack. He in fact went to one clinic on Tuesday that sent him home with cough medicine.
However, about 7 pm he developed intense pain and a phone consultation on Wednesday (after several fruitless attempts to find a cardiologist--this is vacation time of year) with a missionary doctor at Curahuasi led us to a cardiologist who put him in the hospital for tests on Wednesday. The cardiac enzymes were in total 400 (normal is 35 to 150) indicating a heart attack--evidently several, starting probably Monday.
However, thanks to all your prayers and the good care he is getting he is improving rapidly and enzymes are now down to 40. He will be taken off medication tomorrow and will continue in the hospital a few more days. After this he will have to go to Lima for further treatment.
Please be in prayer for his continued recovery and for financial provision. We will have to pay our part of the bill when he comes out of the hospital, and we aren't covered at this hospital. Also the doctor has already told us that the procedure in Lima is a little expensive.
If you feel led to give a gift, please mark it Medical Help and send it to Believers´ Bridge, 4871 Hwy 29, Chelsea, AL 35043.
Thanks again for all of your prayers!
Tammy

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beaumont Bible Visit

Twenty members of Beaumont Bible Church should all be home after a very busy week here in Peru. They came with the intention of forming a sister church relationship with the Iglesia Evangelica Peruana "Maranatha" of Andahuaylas,helping construct the Bible Institute facility, leading a VBS, and conducting a medical campaign.

The Bible Institute facility has run into various snags--too many rocks on the land to be ready to build, too many holes in the roof of the old institute we could borrow--in short, we know we are going to start classes in a borrowed facility, but not WHICH facility. So they wound up painting the office that Kausay will be using soon. Still the Beaumonters managed to impress with their professionalism and love--because they filled the holes in the wall!

On the church front, all went well after a slightly rocky start. The second day of VBS no one showed up from the Andahuaylas church to help. This was the first mission trip that had ever come to the Andahuaylas church and the first VBS held there, so they just never buckled down and organized. However, this was just the wake-up call the Andahuaylas church needed, and the result was a real blessing for the Andahuaylas church and the Beaumont church. The week finished off with an appreciation dinner for the Beaumont team with a lot of tears and affection on both sides.

I have to admit I am a little dissatisfied with one result of this sister church relationship--on New Years Eve the Andahuaylas church, with a great deal of ceremony, posted a sign at the front of the church that says U.T., in honor of the visitors and the "grand fiesta of sports" (National Championship) soon to take place in the US. I wanted to take the microphone and say just two words: "Rooooll Tide!"

On the medical front, all went really well. After the struggle to get the doctors authorized to practice, there wasn't time for the health department to publicize the campaign. This was fine, because we had announced it earlier to the pastors from the country, and they had gone back to their villages and announced it. The result was that we had mostly patients from out in the country (some of whom had never been to the doctor before) and not people from the city who just want to consult an American doctor and get some free medicine. And we had no lack of patients! Four people also received long-needed hernia surgeries, and the surgeon established a good relationship with the hospital.

It was a great time, and a good start on a lot of things.