[From this point on, the team started to refer to the NGO as "CUDA"—the Christian Urban Development association. This series was called "ACDU View" for a while, but soon would become "CUDA View". For the sake of consistency, I decided to label it "CUDA View" now that the switch from ICDU to CUDA was made. - JD]
I’ve mentioned recently that we have brought Alfredo Oporto, Paty Montoya, and Abraham Olivera to serve as a “board of directors” for our little NGO. In their own ways they had already been key to our operations but a few months ago we began to official transition them into decision-making roles. I can’t tell you how great it has been to have them on board. Over the last month we have started a weekly meeting where we have brought them up to speed on current operations and have begun planning for the future. Current works are getting tweaked and/or expanded. Future endeavors will now have direct Peruvian involvement in the planning stages which is absolutely crucial in terms of effectiveness. Overall God has blessed us with great co-workers in Alfredo, Paty and Abraham.
Since we want our NGO to continue functioning in Peru for years to come we decided that we had to go through the hoops in the Peruvian legal process and become recognized officially by the government. During this process (we’re almost done!) we were advised by our lawyer that a name change would be prudent. Our full name was “El Instituto Cristiano de Desarrollo Urbano,” which means “The Christian Institute for Urban Development.” What Mirko, our lawyer, told us is that the government will consider us a teaching institution (that gives out certificates or diplomas) with “Institute” in our title. Abraham also brought up a cultural point that with some “Institute” will carry a negative connotation. Those reasons led us to want to change the name of our group.
As you can imagine by the title of this article we didn’t change the name very much. Instead of “El Instituto Cristiano..” we are now “La Asociación Cristiana de Desarrollo Urbano.” Not a monumental change but worth doing all the same. We’ll more easily be approved by the Peruvian government and also avoid any stigmas that might exist with Institutes. In the coming weeks, months and years our Peruvian co-workers will affect a great many more decisions than just our name. They’ll keep us grounded in what is really important, the Gospel, and how to best communicate it to their countrymen/ women in the projects and programs we execute.
Thank God for bringing us those three. They’ve been such a blessing. All of you who support us through prayer and through your wallets are an equally huge blessing in our ministry. We wouldn’t be here without you and your prayers for our ministries and contacts have been, and will be, powerful and effective. Please don’t stop! Projects will need funding: Go to www.icduperu.org and www.teamarequipa.net to find out how to give financially and what projects are currently needing funds. Prayers need to be raised! Through those same websites you’ll find stories about contacts and church members, projects and loans. Here in our newsletters you’ll see prayer requests and praises. You are all a vital part of Team Arequipa. May God bless all of our efforts.