If you read my article in last month’s newsletter you know about the big changes taking place here in Arequipa. Some of those big changes have already started to take place. We have now signed a contract on a three story building that we will put to use in a variety of ways. We have also worked out the details of Alfredo’s employment and he will begin working for CUDA full-time in January. Here on the field these changes seem monumental and extraordinary. We are moving from an informal NGO run by two families to having Peruvian leadership and planning two businesses that will begin to generate an income for our organization. Big changes.
I want to use this month to expound a little on our building. We’ll be posting detailed pictures on our site and social media accounts (facebook.com/cudaperu, twitter.com/cudaperu) as we renovate the three floors to their specific purposes. On the first floor we will be opening a cafe. We are in the thick of the design phase with colors, logos, counter/bar areas, and seating arrangements all being considered. The building is located at the intersection of two of the busiest streets in Arequipa. The layout of the first floor will give us plenty of room to create a unique environment. On the second floor we have two spaces. One we’ll use as office space and the other (for now) as a storage area. The office space will come in handy for the usual office needs, official meetings, and borrower group meetings. The third floor is laid out like the second, with two spaces, but the large space is large enough to use as a classroom. We intend to use it just for that purpose and begin offering English and Spanish classes. Being so close to the major university, there will be no shortage of students that need English classes. Our cafe/building manager will live in the third room, thereby offering better security than the security companies can offer. We are excited about all of the things we’ll get to do in this building through CUDA. God is planning big things for our NGO.
Bringing Alfredo on board in January was a key part of the plan for this building. Simply put, our families don’t have the time to carry on our individual ministries and start a cafe and language institute. Having Alfredo devoted full-time to the management of the NGO and its projects will be an incredible blessing. The expertise and passion he brings to the job will make our projects run more smoothly and help us reach new people groups. These last few months Alfredo has been devoting more and more of his free time to the NGO but in this last month, as he is cycling out of his cur- rent job, he has started leading our weekly meetings and taking the initiative in new ways. God has certainly blessed us with a great co-laborer in Alfredo Oporto.
One last thing to mention: CUDA now has a board of directors! We invited a double handful of interested and talented people to join our board, and they accepted. Go to www.cudaperu.org/Blog.aspx to learn more about Monty Lynn, Budd Hebert, David Fann, Ileene Huffard, Sheila Owen and Mark Elrod. They complete, and give validation to, the current board of Greg and I. In January Alfredo will join the board as the Executive Director of CUDA. Pray for them, and us, as we seek God’s will in serving our global neighbors in Arequipa, Peru.