The start of a new year!
Hello there I pray that you are well and that you and your family had a special time over the festive season. Jaime and I just returned to Lima from a wonderful two month stay with my parents in Cape Town. We had initially planned to do divide our time there between ministry and family, but once we arrived it really became clear to us that the priority of our trip was to spend time with family and with key relationships in Cape Town. After quite a difficult year last year, this was a real time of “filling up” for me personally and I believe it was an important part of God’s preparing me for the new season that He is leading us in to (more of that to come shortly). When I first came to Peru in 2007, I received a prophetic word that God would use me to help build a bridge between Peru and South Africa, Since then it has been amazing to see how many people have travelled to Cape Town and visa versa. This year it was a real joy to have my father-in-law and brother-in-law, as well as two friends, Andrea and Gabriela, come and spend Christmas with us. It was incredibly special to have both families together and a real blessing for my Peruvian family and friends to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Cape Town. I was also blessed to have the opportunity to preach at the morning service of His People Baxter . I spoke on the “Blessing of Brokenness”, a message inspired by the many challenges that both I and many of those close to me have been through this past year (if you would like to listen to the sermon you can find it at http:// www.hispeoplebaxter.org/other -sermons/364 -the -blessing -ofbrokenness-09h00 ).
As we shared of our work here in Peru and of the exciting new opportunities that God has for us this year, we were reminded again and again of how thankful we are for the team of awesome people who partner with us in ministry and help make all that we do possible. At the end of last year I put together a brief video of some of the main highlights of 2013. Please could you take a moment to click on the link to watch the video. It comes with lots of love and very thankful hearts… http://animoto.com/play/6tzc3BUaLSNIt910m1GCJg A new year is always filled of expectations of what is to come. There are no certainties as to what might be, but we can be certain that God is good, that He is faithful and that He is working out His perfect plan both in our lives and in this world. Jaime and I pray that this will be a good year for you and your family. Thank you for the special part that you play in our lives. We are about to embark on an exciting new adventure in God and in ministry and it is such a joy for us to know that in a way, you are coming with us. Much love, Jaime, Kim and Kai
An Exciting New Adventure…. In July last year Jaime and I were approached by Jose-Luis Ochoa, one of the directors of a small NGO called Renova and Jaime’s former boss, to be a part of a new development project in the Andean province of Cusco. The aim of this project is bring transformation to a local community using blueberry farming as a means of helping the families increase their monthly income and at the same time using it as a vehicle through which we can bring the Gospel. The town of Cusco is well known as the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and is the access point to the archaeological ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the new wonders of the world. We, however, will be working in an area called Yanaoca, which is a two hour drive south of the main town and over 3600m above sea level. Yanaoca has a population of just over 10 000 people, over 36% of which are under the age of 13.
Some background information…. Jaime and I really are exceptionally excited about this opportunity to serve and make a difference! Here is a bit of background information about the area we will be working in so you can have an idea of the reality we will be moving in to….
87% of the population of Yanaoca lives in Total Poverty
55% of the population lives in Extreme Poverty
64.2% of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition
47.9% of the homes are without electricity, 515.5% don’t have drinking water in their homes
Only 3.6% of the population has a higher education.
It is a difficult reality that we will be relocating to, but at the same time we know that one of the reasons we as a family have received so much is so that we can be a blessing to others. It is our hope and prayer that, with time, we can see some of these stats improve.
What we will be doing…. In a nutshell, Jaime and I, will be working with three local families to help them farm blueberries and then sell them in the local market. We will be working together with Jose Luis and a man named Ronal (who is a local and who has the farming expertise). As we do this, there are two main things that we are believing for… 1) that we will gain the trust of the families and as a result, be able to share the Gospel with them.
2) That as other families in the area see the success of the blueberry greenhouses, they will also want to become a part of the project. We are hoping that by the end of two years we will have 5 families on board and that after three years we will have at least ten families who are a part of the project and that there will be exponential growth from there. We trust that as these families receive a greater income and that as we work with them as how to best put that to use, there will be a lasting change in their community. At the same time we will also have our own personal blueberry greenhouse where we will grow in the expertise that we will be sharing with the families that we work with. We are currently renting a small greenhouse in the area and have around 200 blueberry plants that are due to bear their fruit in March. This is very exciting as it is a great accomplishment to have fruitful blueberries in that climate and at that altitude.
Our timelineâ€Ś. Jaime will be travelling to Yanaoca in early February in order to meet the families that Ronal has identified are interested in being a part of the project as well as to check on how our blueberries are growing (the picture top left is of one of our blueberry plants). In March Kai and I will then travel up to Yanaoca with Jaime to look for accommodation and to get to know the area. We are planning the big move to Yanaoca for early May, where we will rent for the first few months as we look for land on which to build our greenhouse and hopefully later where we can build a home for us. By September this year our greenhouse should be ready in which we hope to plant between 1000 and 2000 blueberry plants.
Please keep us in your prayers…. With so many significant changes coming up in the coming months, we so value your prayers for the blueberry project and most importantly for our family.
Please pray for the initial “scouting” trips that we will be taking to Yanaoca—please pray for safe travels and that God will guide us to the right people and places.
Please pray that God will join us with the right people—the relationships that we build over the coming months are going to crucial to the success of this project. Please pray that God will bring the right people across our paths and that we will be able to gain their trust build significant relationships with them.
Please pray that God will guide us to the right plot of land both for the project and for where we will build our home.
Please pray that we will find favour with the local community and that they will be willing to sell us land for the project—Many locals are quite suspicious of outsiders coming into the community. Please trust with us that we will find supernatural favour wherever we go.
Please pray that God will help us adjust smoothly to our new reality— May God give us the extra grace, strength and wisdom we need as we get used to living in Yanaoca.
Please pray especially for Kai— may the change of scene and altitude not be to hard for him. Please trust with us that he will adjust easily to his new surroundings.
Please pray that God will give me creativity and wisdom as I create a new home for our family.
Pray that Jaime and I will be sensitive to the spiritual dynamics of the area.
This really is a big adventure we are embarking on and we need to start it all with prayer! Thank you so much for standing with us in faith as we trust God that we can bring His love and Kingdom in Yanaoca.