Last year we wrote about the “plan” we had for CUDA. That plan included bringing three Peruvians (Alfredo, Paty, and Abraham) on board as paid full-time employees. Like all plans, good or bad, they run their own course and the new year found us only able to bring Alfredo on as the Executive Director for CUDA. Though we really wanted to hire them all at the same time the funding simply wasn’t there so we started with Alfredo and decided to work towards a middle of the year hire for the other two. Well we missed that mark as well but thankfully we found ourselves in a position to hire Abraham and Paty on a part-time basis starting in August. So it is with a lot of joy and thankfulness to God that I can announce, officially, that CUDA now has three Peruvian directors working together to bring about justice, wellbeing, and joy in the city.
Megan’s article gives an in depth update in her article this month so you should check it out and pray over all that is happening with the teachers, volunteers, and students involved in the program. On the micro-finance side things are running better than ever. We have added two new groups in as many months and have one new group that just began forming this week. Bringing Paty on board this month has been a huge blessing to the program. Instead of just diving into the middle of things (which is where she already was) she decided to go back to the beginning and re-familiarize herself with all of our plans and practices regarding the loan groups which has led to some healthy questioning of our policies. Abraham jumped right in this month and began the difficult process of becoming familiar with everything we do, every program we have and every person we work with so he can help make all of what the NGO does more holistic. Sometimes we get bogged down with the details and mundane process of running a program that we can allow the spiritual side of our work to slide to the back burner. Abraham’s job is to make sure that doesn’t happen. One thing he did this month was plan and hold a seminar on motivation (a necessary topic for college students who just began a new semester) at Alas Peruanas, a university where we are making connections. Pray for our directors as they learn to work together as a team, ministering to the city of Arequipa.
One last thing to mention and petition prayers for is our continuing education. While on the field we are always learning. Sometimes that learning happens through books or classes and sometimes (often) through trial and error. In September Alfredo will begin a masters program from a university in Lima (via distance learning) in NGO management and I will begin an online program in international development from a university in England. Our hope is that with further education we will be better equipped to serve the people of Arequipa to whom CUDA reaches out.