March 10, 2012
Dear friends and family,
Mardonio and Liberata came for membership in the Calvary Baptist Mission-Church, the newest mission work that I am currently pastoring. This couple clearly represents a new socio-economic phenomenon that has developed in Peru during the past ten or more years. For centuries the Quechua speaking, Andean Mountain people have been dedicated to agriculture. Their custom is to live in small rustic villages with common wall, condominium style homes built out of adobe mud bricks with small windows and doors, covered over with a tin roof. During the day, they go out and attend to their “chacras” (small farms) that surround the village. In the region of Huánuco, the main agricultural crop is potatoes.
About the time Anita and I came to Peru in 1983, the government began trying to build elementary schools in these rural areas, all over the country. The government mandate was that the teaching given in these schools must be in the Spanish language and not in Quechua (the ancient Inca language). Soon the idea of speaking Quechua was considered “lower class” to these dear folks and they do not want to be heard speaking Quechua when in the cities. All parents want the best for their children and soon the mountain folks began leaving the “chacras” and moving to the bigger towns and cities for better education opportunities for their children. The socio-economic phenomenon is that Huánuco and many other cities like it are growing rapidly during this transition period. For those of you that have been to Huánuco in the past the mountains that surround our town are being covered in adobe brick homes. I would guess another five or six years and they will reach to the top of the hills.
Along with the population growth comes the hunt for jobs. It seems that most of them find the quickest way to make a living is investing in the small, three-wheeled taxi vehicles imported from India. The streets of Huánuco are now seemingly impossible to cross because of the constant traffic and lack of traffic enforcement. The noise level is at an all-time high.
The good news because of the growth is that there are more people with which to share the gospel! I now see the feasibility of several more churches strategically located in the mountains surrounding Huánuco. Remember us in your prayers as the Lord brings us to mind. The field is still white unto harvest and the laborers are still few.
Two have trusted Christ this past month at the Calvary Mission. One young man named, Hitler, trusted Christ and has been very faithful in his attendance. He had a motorcycle accident about a month ago and the operation to fix his foot was not done correctly, so now poor Hitler is waiting for a second operation to fix the first operation. It sounds strange to ask people to “pray for Hitler”, but that is what I´m doing!
My counseling load has increased a lot lately and one young fifteen-year-old girl trusted Christ as her Savior last week. She made a serious attempt to take her own life recently and ended up in the hospital for three days. I had not seen a smile on her face in a long time but when she gave her life to Christ the biggest smile appeared! It was beautiful to see. I am seeing more cases like hers all the time. Christ is the only real hope for inner peace and joy this world has. He continues to change lives here in Peru just as he does all over the world. Serving the Master is a very rewarding life!
Thank you all for your constant prayers and support for this part of the Lord´s work here in Peru, South America. We are seeing much fruit as a result of the labor and you folks make the labor possible. Anita and I are looking forward to seeing you soon when we come to the States for furlough in May. God bless you all! Until next month.
In HIM by HIS grace,
Sheridan and Anita Stanton
Apartado Postal 140
sestantonperu[at]hotmail.com – Sheridan
arstantonperu[at]gmail.com – Anita