Welches in Peru

Welches in Peru
Our family (November 2018)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A Miraculous Recovery in Lima

07 June 2016

Firstly let me apologise for the delayed blog updates.  In fact I have back-dated this one to the time of this next event so it makes chronological sense.  It has been a whirlwind since we have arrived in Lima along with a lot of cultural and geographic adjustment.  More on that in the next post or two.

After on-sending half of our luggage to Curahuasi where we will see it again in 3 months when we move there to set up house, we realised we were one bag short.  Bag #1 would you believe!  So we had to report it missing at the Lima International airport.  That meant a taxi trip back the next evening.  After catching a train and then a bus, we hailed down a taxi in a dodgy part of town.  What happened next was primarily due to both circumstance and fatigue on my part, whereby I had to pay cash for the taxi to fill up at the fuel station as part of my fare (I believe a common requirement here in Lima), and as I did not get out of the vehicle I consequently left my wallet on the seat where it remained when we got out at the airport.

Now anyone who knows Lima will be aware it is not a city known for its integrity or safety.  In fact I have read that more mobile phones are stolen in Peru than any other part of South America – about 2.2 million phones a year out of a population of some 30 million.  I have not seen more alarms, high walls (probably a Spanish architectural trait), bared windows and doors, electric fences and alarm systems in my life than in Peru.  I think you get the idea – the odds of seeing my wallet again were not good.

But then I prayed earnestly that night before filing a police report that it was missing.  And I asked others back in Australia to also pray.  Yes I had made a mistake, but in the circumstance I had done my best.  I left the rest up to God.

I had made an appointment to visit the Australian Embassy in Peru to introduce ourselves as a family and let them know what we were doing in Peru for the next three years.  They were very impressed with our family’s commitment to the cause and assured they would help us in any way they can.  Along with providing all our contact details, I also noted my wallet went missing in a cab the night before.

The next morning, I received an email from the Australian Embassy (because they then had our details), saying the taxi driver had located my wallet and contacted them with his mobile number!  UNBELIEVABLE the locals have told me – this NEVER happens in Lima let alone with a random unidentified taxi at night in a dodgy part of town.  I promptly called the guy and within an hour and a half, he had delivered it back to our door at the Diospi Suyana Guesthouse!

I will let you draw your own conclusions on that one.  But as for me, I gave thanks to God for His amazing faithfulness in looking after us on this trip.

I have attached a few proof shots to help visualise the recovery situation.

My miraculously returned wallet

Me with our Lima taxi driver returning my wallet, pictured with Sam and Guesthouse caretaker Jose who were with me when it was left behind on that fateful night

Thanks for following our journey and for those that are praying with and for us,

Chris

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Our Amazing Arrival in Lima

04 June 2016

Well we are here in Lima!  The Diospi Suyana guesthouse is fantastic and located in a good part of town.  Although Lima is a crazy place (a lot like Cambodia in my experience).

We have an amazing testimony getting through Peru airport customs – after explaining what work we are coming to Peru to do, and staff impressed with Sandi’s mothering capability and our lovely newborn Stacey, the staff at decided to wave us past the checkouts without inspection of our 94 items of baggage.  This was right past everyone else getting their bags pulled apart and strewn everywhere per normal process!  Unheard of for the locals who could not believe it (needless to say multitudes of people are praying for us to realise such incredible favour – thank you for your prayers which are certainly being answered).

We also have many other testimonies, such as the one regarding how our Lord looked after us regarding 3 of our bags that suffered ill fate during our trip.  Sandi is posting this story on her Facebook page now.  And the breakthrough only days before we took off with the provision people and trucks at the Lima end to pick up our luggage which would have otherwise left us stuck with an unmanageable pile at the airport.  Moreover it was at no charge to us as our commitment to Peru has touched the hearts of those involved in Lima.

Below are some photos of our family at the airport and arriving at the guesthouse with our luggage.

Arrival in Lima Airport Immigration

A section of our 94 items of luggage in Lima airport

On the free side of Lima airport with our friends' cousin in Lima managing a team of local helpers moving our luggage

Finally unloading our stuff at the Diospi Suyana guesthouse in Lima

We are thankful to Ursula who travelled down from Diospi Suyana Curahuasi helping us get our Peru legal documentation / working visas sorted in Spanish.  We have undergone the normal process with the local Notary Public to create Spanish certificates and then with Interpol which was an experience in itself (the facility was dated like something from a 1950’s war movie).

It has been full on since our feet touched the ground here and the kids have coped amazingly thus far with all this and our lack of one on one time with them.

Blessings,

Chris & Sandi

Midnight Friends and the Bag Lady

31 May 2016

We are so blessed by our very special friends who have helped us with the not insignificant amount of logistics to move our luggage to Peru.  This included the acquiring of some 18 donated suitcases by our “bag lady” (as we came to affectionately call her J).

And then the friends that came again and stayed back to midnight and beyond to help us get ready moving out of house (including finally departing our house at 4:30am!), packing cases and boxes (one friend coming interstate just to do this), cleaning our house, cooking meals, looking after our kids to free us up, and taking ownership of the endless logistic details needed to see this operation succeed.  The bond of friendship we have with these people goes without saying of the gratitude we have in our hearts.

Then the team of movers with trucks and trollies to store at a friend’s lockup garage and then deliver some 75 items of book-on baggage plus our 19 items of carry-on to the airport on the Tuesday morning.


THANK YOU ALL (you know who you are!!!)

Sandi the wee hours of the morning moving out of our house.

Check-in at Sydney International Airport

Our logistics co-ordinator in action!

Love,

The Welch Family

Our Amazing Supporters

30 May 2016

Here we are at the eve of our departure and have been advised that our support level has been sufficiently reached (Pledge budget at 97%) and we have been given the green light by Pioneers.  This was another faith provision for us as intentionally we had no Plan B.

How do we say thank you from the depths of our hearts with just words?  Our family and friends and especially those in our Life Source Church - you are amazing beyond words!  Not to mention the incredible honouring we received on our last Sunday morning for 3 years at Lifesource.  THANK YOU for sharing in our calling to help the Quechua people, to tell them the good news of Jesus.  They will be impacted eternally as they hear the Gospel over the radio and see it on their television screens.  They will also be impacted physically as health and educational programs equip them with needed health and wellbeing information.

It is written in Isaiah 55:11 – the Word that goes forth out of my mouth will not return to me void.  The Word is true and we know there will be a mighty harvest of souls.  This harvest extends further throughout Peru and potentially beyond. 

We have been overwhelmed with the love, support, encouragement and incredible generosity that you have extended to us.  This has been nothing short of the personified love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ - which is of course what we are going to extend to the Quechua people in partnership with you.

To be honest about this - it has been an exciting but also a difficult and challenging journey for our family as we prepare to go.  But God has been there at the right time with the right people all along the way.  This has given us the assurance that “God’s got it!”.  It has been a faith journey for us from the beginning, as we are convicted from Hebrews 11:6 that we cannot please God without faith and as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

We look forward to sharing the journey with you along the way in words and pictures yes, but most importantly - from all our hearts to yours.  We want to be an encouragement to you as to what God has done, is doing and will do not just in our lives but in yours.

Love in Christ,

The Welches

Our Lifesource Church Commissioning on our final service there for 3 years – Sunday 22 May 2016