Prayer Request – Strikes in Cajamarca

December 4, 2011

We just wanted to let you know the Lord opened the way and we were able to get out safely! We tried every way to get out, US Embassy, National Police, Missionary Aviation Groups, Military; every one was trying to get us out, but unable to. I thought the only way we were getting out was be airlifted. Friday night the police brought in a bulldozer and cleared the roads. They were blocked with boulders, trees, dirt, tires, rubble, and people! When they have a strike here, they don’t just hold up signs and walk in the road, things can get ugly fast. We had planned on getting our family over to Don and Carla Rich’s house (our missionary friends) as it was a better location for leaving. Saturday morning, with bags packed, we loaded up and moved everyone over to the Rich’s house. They had opened the road block allowing us to get to their house. After being there only a short time, making many calls, confirming that roads were indeed clear, and not occupied again, we decided to drive out. It is about a 4 hour drive to get us out of the mountains, and consequently away from potential road blocks and protesting areas. We made it to Cajamarca from Baños del Inca, seeing many areas where the roads had been blocked, and then made it out of Cajamarca. The main road leaving Cajamarca, had about 50 police all decked out in full riot gear, obviously keeping the roads open. Once passed that areas, we Praise the Lord, as the rest of the trip was clear of all obstacles, with no problems at all! We are currently in Trujillo, and holding out till tomorrow (Monday) in which we will travel to Lima. We are not sure when we will be able to return, much will depend on what happens these next few days. Please continue to pray for our church people, as they will have to weather the storm.

November 29, 2011

Let me start by laying a little groundwork. Cajamarca (our town) is the ‘mining capitol’ of Peru. A new mine is being developed, and the country folks have started to oppose it for fear of their water supplies being polluted, and or depleted. As a result a major strike was planned but not for a day or two, not even for a week, but rather without an end; until they get their way. It started Thursday November 25th (Thanksgiving Day), and was calm with minor problems. Friday again continued, about the same. Saturday, things started to pick up, and we were not able to get to Cajamarca for a church activity we had planned. Pastor Fredy was able to get through with his motorcycle. Sunday we had planned to go to church here in Baños del Inca, and did so in the morning. Sometime that afternoon, they blocked the road to Baños del Inca, and we were not able to go to church Sunday night because the roads were blocked. We live slightly outside of the town of Baños del Inca. Monday I was able to get in and out of Baños del Inca to buy some cough medicine for Charity, however it was time consuming, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get back home. After one more excursion out to the property, I decided it wasn’t safe to take our car out. When strikes get bad, they will bust out car windows, and even burn the vehicle if they are angry enough. Last month they burned $2 Million dollars worth of large trucks at the new developing mine as part of their strike. Nothing is coming in or going out of Cajamarca. There is no more gasoline in Cajamarca, chicken is being sold at a very high price, and 600,000 liters of milk a day is being lost/wasted, while Cajamarca loses milliones of dollars a day with the strike. Stores are closed, and things look as they are going to get bad. Small riots here and there have broken out. We live a little out of town, and therefore are removed from most of this, however we really can’t go out either. Praise the Lord we have a fridge, and supplies, many people don’t. Honestly I don’t see an end in sight, and things look as though they will get worse before they get better. Please pray for our safety. Please pray that this gets cleared up, and for the safety of everyone involved. Please pray that our electricity doesn’t get shut off. We are fine, safe, have food and supplies for the time being, just unsure of how long we will have to hold out and stay shut in. We do appreciate your prayers.