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.
Here’s hoping that the rapidly approaching end of 2011 finds you well. We are experiencing significant success in Arequipa right now and find ourselves prepping for a big year in 2012. However, we have some very specific needs that we are bringing to the people in our lives to seek the support we need to make it happen. We ask that you prayerfully consider making a donation to CUDA by the end of the year or a pledge for 2012 so that we can launch some big changes in the very near future. There is plenty to be excited about around here these days!
It’s official! We can now be found at www.cudaperu.org with a newly redesigned and developed website to better keep you updated and involved in the work going on here. A few things to note when you visit include:
June 2008. That’s the last time I can remember us, as a team, having to purposefully raise funds for our mission work. I do not share this to boast or brag as we have many friends who have struggled to raise funds for the work they have been called to do all over the world. No, I share with you only in thanks for what the Lord has done for our team by setting us on firm ground financially.
If you have been on our website (icduperu.org) recently you may have seen an ad about (and seeking help funding) an upcoming trip for ICDU in October. The Global Missions Conference is a CoC conference held every three years where missionaries and missions interested Christians gather to share ideas and network. Thanks to some connections Greg has we were able to secure an interest group meeting slot for ICDU so we can share about our holistic ministry here in Arequipa—specifically our micro-loan program. Greg and I are excited about the opportunity we have to be at the conference, see some familiar faces, and make new connections in the missional community.
We often struggle with keeping the message of ICDU balanced. Seeking out physical needs to meet and new projects to implement can at times take our focus off the driving force behind our presence and work here: Jesus. So we seek balance. Borrower meetings are coupled with prayer time and at times bible study. New applicants hear about our desire to minister to them spiritually, and Greg has prepared a series of lessons on business ethics from a Christian perspective that all borrowers attend.
We’ve reported before about the ongoing latrine project at Naranjal. How it’s going, how long it’s taking to complete the first 7 latrines, how big of a help this will be for the people of that community. You’ve heard it all before and we see and experience these feelings/thoughts (and more) each and every Sunday when we visit Naranjal. However this past Sunday I was struck again with the importance of what we are doing during a conversation I had with the leaders of the group. We were discussing when to have more materials delivered so we could complete the next latrine and one of the directors (one who I’ve never heard make any comment be- fore) started talking about how important this project is, and how we need to not let the momentum that we’ve gained die out.
I’ve written recently about the changes taking place in our loan program. A number of those changes have been implemented since the writing of that article. I now have a growing stack of applications from potential borrowers waiting for approval, the new website is entering the planning phase and our first borrowers’ group meeting took place last Friday. One new development that I forgot to include in the list was our decision to begin pre-funding loans.
A big significant name change, and all the reasoning behind it.