Dear Friends and Family,
It was great to catch up with many of you during our time in the US. We wish we could have seen everyone and spent sufficient time with all of our family and friends, but this was impossible. Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and support in helping us in this next term in Peru!
We have been quite busy since we’ve gotten back working mostly on the radio project. Not having an opportunity to rest upon arriving, we immediately began orienting new short term missionaries, construction of the radio transmission site, assisting the visiting radio engineers, traveling to Lima for the annual SIM mission conference, and working through customs issues with the Peruvian government. All of these things have together been an incredible challenge. We have found the Lord faithful and true, sufficient in His provision of energy, safety, and wisdom.
Three engineers were with us in Cotahuasi, two from the HCJB radio in Ecuador and one from the USA. They brought equipment and put up the radio tower. Unfortunately the radio equipment did not get out of Peru customs in time to install. The shipments of radio equipment from the US ended up taking a month to get out! We had always heard that Peru customs was one of the slowest and most difficult to deal with; we are finding that to be true. So we hope to have several of the engineers back here in April to install the remaining equipment.
In early February we went to Lima for our annual Spiritual Life Conference. It was good to be able to catch up with some of our friends after having been in the states for about 7 months.
The believers in Cotahuasi are doing well even through various discouraging situations. After one obstacle and difficulty after another for many days, it became very apparent that Satan was attacking the believers and the ministry in general. After much prayer and persistence, we finally have seen rest from calamity, sickness, injury, and other mishaps, but we are reminded that we need to stay close to the Lord in prayer, depending on Him for His direction and provision.
Please continue to pray that all of us will be wise and discerning, and that every step of the Christian radio installation will bring God glory. While working to get the equipment out of customs, there have been numerous opportunities to share with taxi drivers in the cities of Lima and Arequipa as well as government officials about why we are here, why we are installing a Christian radio station and why we refuse to “hurry things along” by paying their “special fees” (AKA bribes).
We’ve had well meaning people along the way ask us why we don’t just go the easier route and use one of the radio stations (all illegal except ours!) to broadcast programs. We have always explained that God does not want us to participate in these illegal radio stations nor the bribery that is so rampant here. On January 27, 2008 the government agency that we are working through to get our license (MTC) came to Cotahuasi and shut down every radio and TV station in the Cotahuasi Canyon since NONE of them were legal. Now we have people anxiously asking us: “When are you going to be on the air?” God’s timing is interesting!
It has been a blessing to see believers from different villages in the canyon coming together to volunteer for many hours of hard work in getting the radio tower site up. The outer security walls still need to be finished, but you can see different stages of progress in the photos below. The work has been difficult at 13,900 feet elevation, and it is now rainy season so it is often cold, cloudy and muddy. In fact we have had difficulty getting the building supplies to the sight because of some extremely heavy rains this year.
The last week of March was a very stressful one for us with a number of crises. Due to a death in their family, J.P. and Leslie Biernacki and their 2 children are heading back earlier than planned to the US. They had hoped to stay until June, but will fly out of Lima March 11th. Josue Cusi (Alberto’s son) had an accident at work Feb. 29th where a piece of rock flew up and went into his left eye. We had to send him by bus to Arequipa that day, the bus caught fire, but he had surgery on March 1st which the doctor says saved his eye.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We do want to let you know that our “regular” support is down at this time. We’d love to hear from you! Let us know how we can pray for you and we will lift you up in our family devotion times.
Serving Him together with you,
Brad, Gina, Janelle & Cassandra Shaw