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Dear Pastors and Praying friends,
We are excited and sad to be back in the States. The last month has been a flurry of activity. August started with Pastor Erik moving to Cajamarca. Praise the Lord, that was a blessing for us. We then had to start searching for tickets to the USA as well as tickets for our survey trip to Italy. Next up was our daughters 15th birthday party. The traditional ‘Quinceanera’ is a big deal in South America. Given Rachel & Rebekah had spent most of their lives in Peru we decided to celebrate their 15th birthday the traditional way. We didn’t invite a lot of people by their standards, however hosting 50 people for their birthday party was a lot for us. It was quite a formal todo with all the trimmings. There were invitations, formal dresses to be worn, decorations to put up, dinner, music, formal presentations, as well as cake. It was a big production and enjoyed by all.
On Sunday the 24th, we installed Eric as the pastor of the church. It was the last time that Shane preached at the church. Leaving the church with the message of moving forward, and not living in the past. The following Sunday, the church had a short farewell time for us. It was a time of many tears. Missionaries do not enjoy saying goodbyes, and yet so often we must say goodbye. We had to say good bye to family to go to Peru, we now were saying good bye to the people we had grown to love after almost 9 years of ministering in Cajamarca. Scanning their faces, we remembered how they had arrived at church, how they had been saved, and baptized, and the many battles that had been won. Then there were the absent faces, those who had fallen in the battles, and veered away. Would they return? Could we regain them? Yes it was hard to leave these people, knowing they were but babes in Christ, with much to grow. Yet, God has other plans for us… this chapter closes and a new chapter is yet to be written.
After everything died down from the birthday, it was time to get serious about packing to leave Peru. When we arrived in Peru about 12 years ago, we had a total of 26 bags packed at 70 lbs with only 4 children then. We now were leaving Peru with 6 children and 22 bags all packed at 50 lbs. It took us a full week, and down to the last hours of packing to get it all situated. We left many things behind, but we pray the biggest thing left was a testimony that pleased God.
Our travels back to the USA were long, but all went well. Praise the Lord we now have a van, moved our belongings into a house, and are planning on visiting family for the next few weeks before our survey trip to Italy. We covet your prayers as we have much to do, new prayer cards, a new presentation, meetings to setup and we must start home schooling our children too. Please continue to prayer for safe travels and for a full schedule. If you would like us to come present our work please call us.
Shane & Kathy Rice
Rachel, Rebekah, Moriah, Micah, Charity & Christina