July has been a good month for ICDU. The latrine project was kicked off the last weekend of June and each Sunday this month we’ve gone out to work on the holes. The digging goes rather slowly, even with a jackhammer, because after the first foot or two the ground is basically solid rock, but our increased presence in Naranjal has already had noticeable benefits. Aside from making good progress on the holes (each of which is about 1.5 meters deep), we have also been able to spend more time Julio and Glerida, the first two families we started with, which has led to more of a friendship rather than acquaintance relationship. I look forward to getting to know the other members of the first group even bet- ter. Rachel has taken a good step towards making friends with the community by starting a children’s bible study. For about an hour while we work, she gets the kids of Naranjal (about 10) together and studies, sings, prays and colors with the kids. We want our presence in Naranjal to be about more than just a few development projects. We want to be friends to, and members of (as much as possible), this community. Investing in times of study and fun (like watching the World Cup Finals with them) while we work is a way
to achieve these goals.
The other key development for ICDU in July has been our new loan opportunity. After making our first two loans last year, both of which are going really well, we had been looking for another chance to bless someone with a no-interest loan but hadn’t found anyone. Finally Glerida, a member of the first latrine group at Naranjal, approached me and told me about her clothing store and how she could really use a loan to purchase more merchandise and mannequins. After consulting the team we decided to make the loan to Glerida, and she is now in Lima purchasing the new items for her store so she can be ready for the increased business that the upcoming vacation time brings. While working out her contract, Glerida and I had a good long talk about her life, family, and spiritual life. She has lived a hard life, like a lot of Peruvians and she has come out of it strong but still needing something. Shortly after making the loan, Manuela mentioned that Glerida has expressed interest in participating in a small group or a bible study. My prayer is that we can be the friends that she needs in her life going forward.