Dear Friends and Family,
We are still here in Curahuasi working. The last couple of months have been a world wind with the end of the school year. We are still waiting on David’s visa, so I am still working full time in the hospital. Right now, the school teachers have their month of planning before the school year starts. David is helping out as much as he can. We are hoping to come to the USA soon, so he hasn’t been assigned a class this year. Please be praying for the visa, because timing is important in this transition.
Here’s a quick glimpse of our last 6 months here in Curahuasi.
Still going strong. We’ve continued to invite various different missionaries and Christians in at Diospi to share each week.
Above: Tibor (makes dentures at the hospital.
Below: Josch (caretaker of the Diospi Guest House in Lima).
Above: Wilmer (IT at Hospital Disopi Suyana)
Below: Monica (Guatemalan dentist)
Above: Isabella (German-American-Columbian volunteer).
Below: Debora (Social worker for the school).
Above: Caroley (works in Diospi Radio and TV)
Below: Esther (psychologist for the school)
Above: Lillie (elementary school teacher)
Below: Jens (OB-GYN)
This year in October we had another Ultimate Frisbee tournament. This time the youth nominated peers they respected to be the captains of the six teams. The mid-tournament message was given by Rene (social worker for the hospital) about being a pleasing aroma for Christ.
Above: First place.
Below: A tie for second place.
This time the prize for the first-place team was a frisbee for each member of the first-place team. Because our team won and Dr. Tim (the orthopedic surgeon)’s son was also on our team, we decided to give 3 extra prizes. In line with the message of being people/Christians that have a “sweet aroma” that others want to be around, we asked the youth to nominate their peers that fit this image: Team players, who play hard, play together, and don’t complain. Then each youth had one vote. Above are the three youth who were recognized by their peers to be sweet aromas (ABOVE from left to right): Marleen, Rauliño, and Igor (who also received frisbees).
Pemphigus Foliaceus is similar to pemphigus Vulgarus but endemic to South America. Recently I’ve diagnosed four cases and am learning to treat it. The first time I found this disease was by accident. I biopsied a lesion and the pathology returned with this diagnosis, so I had to learn all about it.
Pemphigus Foliaceus, pemphigus Vulgarus, Bolus pemphigus are genetic/autoimmune diseased where the skin no longer sticks to itself and so peels off. Bolus Pemphigus affects at the deepest level and so forms tense bullae. Pemphigus vulgarus is the next most superficial, so it forms bullae that rupture and open with very little pressure. Pemphigus foliaceus is the most superficial and does really even form bullae. It starts like cradle cap and then spreads down the face, back, and rest of the body.
The treatment are immune suppressants. Unfortunately, the only ones that are affordable to our patients that we have to work with are Methotrexate and Prednisone.
Santos was the patient of another doctor here. When he left, I took over and recognized the wounds. I took a biopsy which came back a couple weeks later actually as Pemphigus Vulgarus even though clinical appears more like pemphigus foliaceus (though it is the worse case I’ve seen so far). Santos got tired of being in the hospital so we let him go home, giving him an appointment for a week. He didn’t come. When David and I were able to take a couple days off we went to find him.
He lives in village 3 hours from Cusco. He was in his bed. He’d stopped taking his medicine. We talked to him and his family, gave them appointments for even his family members to come for more medicine….they’ve not come yet. Please pray for this family. Santos is a Christian, young, in his 40’s with five children, the youngest is 9 years old.
SIXTH GRADE GRADUATION DINNER
The end of the school year in December was bitter sweet. David has been the teacher of these guys since 4th grade. December 2017 they finished sixth grade and will enter secondary school this year in March. Part of the end of primary school is a dinner where they received their diploma, a photo album, and a teen bible (thanks to gifts from the USA).
David’s kids love to dance. This year they danced the Saya (which is from the Puno, Bolivia area) to Christian lyrics.
Above: We had a visit from Dr. Lance from World Medical Mission (Samaritan’s Purse).
Below: Cherri and Jen (friends from Family Medicine Residency) came. They gave several lectures to the doctors and residents (left above). They helped with the Sunday School outreach at church (above right and below left). They joined us that the local Chinese restaurant while we rooted Peru on to the make it to the World Cup (below right).
September through November is Springtime. When we go out to run we always find lots of baby animals!
SKIN CANCER that looks like a WART
One of my patients presented with this growth on her hand for a couple of years. At another hospital they told her it was wart. To me it looked like and smelled like cancer. The surgeon cut it off and put skin grafts down because it was so large. Everything healed well and the pathology came back “cancer” with clear margins.
A beautiful sunrise (above). (To the right) Marcus, Diospsi’s traveling pastor (who visits patients in their homes and communities), and his friend Heidi, who joined us for a morning prayer run.
DIOSPI’s 10th ANNIVERSARY---The President of Peru Came to Celebrate
For Diospi’s 10th anniversary, PPK, the current Peruvian president was invited to celebrate. He arrived in helicopter and took a tour of the hospital before addressing the 4000+ visitors present. The anniversary was designed to attract attention and then use the opportunity to glorify God and His strong hand in building Diospi into what it is. The advantage of inviting the president, it that unfortunately the bureaucracy and corruption of Peru is still a major barrier in the operation of Diospi. Having the support of the President helps open a lot of doors. Unfortunately having the president here has made Diospi more famous, and has attracted more rich, well-to-do patients making it harder for the poor and Quechua people to get seen. Even though both populations need God, they mission of the hospital is to help the poor. Please pray for God to help us to not loose focus on our mission: to help the people know the love of God, and the poor to have access to good medical care.
(Left) Two Diospi preschool students waiting excitedly for the President to arrive.
(Right) President PPK addressing the crowd.
Diospi Suyana Primary and Secondary School Teachers and Staff
This year will be the fifth year since the Diospi School has opened. They will open the 5th and last year of secondary. So now the school extends from 3 years old (preschool), until 11th grade (the end of secondary school in Peru). The demand has reached more than the limit of students. The school is now turning away students who want to study at Diospi. Unfortunately, the limiting factor now is teachers. In the Hospital they higher Christians and non-Christians. But in the school, they are very strict: all staff and teachers have to be Christians with evidence of their faith in how the live and act because of their daily interaction with and impact on the students. Please pray that God continues calling and sending his children to serve at the Diospi School.
SIXTH GRADE EVANGELISTIC OUTTING TO A RURAL SCHOOL
David has been with most of this group for the last 3 years. Jesus was with his disciples for three years, and then they were on their own with only the help of the Holy Spirit. But even during their training Jesus sent them out and taught them that they were meant to share with the world as Jesus had shared with them: his love and his teaching.
The last six months of the year this was they focus with David’s students. Teaching them how to continue what David had started in them.
These are pictures from an outing to a village, Ccocha, an hour drive from Curahuasi (its higher up than Curahuasi, in the picture you can see Curahuasi down below in the valley, upper right). They arrived Thursday morning. Presented several of their evangelistic skits to the students of the primary school in this village. Played several games with the students. Had a camp out. Went on a morning run to a quiet spot to pray in groups. And then walked back six hours the next morning to Curahuasi.
The teens and young adults from our church shared a dinner with the young adults from a church in Abancay for songs, games, and dinner.
YOUTH OUTREACH---AS A UNIFIED “CHURCH”
As Diospi grows its fun watching God bring more and more Peruvian Christian leaders to serve as missionaries to their own people. Because Diospi doesn’t represent one denomination, it allows Christian brothers and sisters to unite under Jesus’ name for his mission, instead of constantly fighting among one another as the denominations tend to do here (and everywhere).
Here they have unified together to reach out to the youth. The churches are very traditional here and many times to make any effort to attract the youth, and so they lose them to the culture. But events like this with singing, games, and a message that is applicable for their lives, help the youth realize that living for God doesn’t have to be boring.
CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTREACH
Jorge and Janet, teachers from Diospi, have created a side business, WasiChay. Together with their students that have songs, dances, and skits. People can contract them for parties, but they also spend a lot of time in communities and churches attracting children to God.
They visiting our church for free to help build of the numbers of Sunday School. They sing Christian kid songs and reenacted the story of David and Goliath.
LUCMOS KIDS CLUB
This year they studied Acts. Below are pictures of them enjoying games.
One thing David has brought to the Diospi students is a desire to be the best that each one can be for God. Not just learning the minimum, but personally challenging themselves, to reach their full potential, to glorify God and also to open more doors for their future.
David started Math circle for fourth, fifth and sixth grade. His friends Alvino and Abel start math circles for high school. Math circle is for those who are talented at math but what to become even better.
All year these kids dedicated themselves to math one afternoon a week. In October the teachers took the best of each grade level to compete in Cusco at the Conamet (a national math competition). The sixth best in each grade level for the Cusco area won the opportunity to compete in Lima for the best of the country. The winners of the last two years of high school win scholarships to study in a university in Lima (which would be a dream from anyone coming from a small village like Curahuasi).
We tell the kids they don’t have to be the best, they should just do better than they did the year before. And they did! Last year no one was better that 15th place for the grade level. This year, many of them were. And three of them won the chance to compete in Lima!