COVID Infections – Please Pray for Us
I hope this brief newsletter finds all of you doing very well and that you are in good health! You are all good people and have been so kind to us, down here in Arequipa, Perú 🙂
I wanted to write you in a few more weeks for a number of reasons. But our present circumstance, as of today, necessitated that I write you at this moment.
Our city of Arequipa is the COVID Red Zone of our entire country of Peru. We are losing some 42+ lives per day to this illness. That amounts to over 15,330 lost lives per year. This has affected so many close friends that I know in our city in one way or another – both the illness all the way up to the loss of life.
While we have tried to take precautions in our home to make sure that this illness stays away from us, it is so difficult to prevent it without being in a constant state of quarantine and basically have life come to a complete standstill for all of us. We have had to figure out how to protect our family and, yet, go on with life as normally as possible – if there is such a thing anymore in Arequipa.
Today, I wanted to write you all to ask you for your prayers for our children, staff, and me. Just today, we have found out that COVID has now infected 2 of our children. What started off as a normal day of virtual schooling, homework, plus administrative work quickly got turned upside-down before lunch was served.
One of our girls had, what looked like a common cold. Sore throat, low fever… Nothing that called much attention being as we are in the cold and flu season here. Late Fall. But, just to be safe, we hired a private testing company to come to our home and administer a nasal COVID test. Within a couple of hours, we got a call stating that our 12-year-old Karla has COVID. We then asked them to come right back and test all of us – staff and kids. One more girl turned up positive.
As you can imagine, we are now greatly concerned as we have to stop the spread of this virus in our home right now, before it evolves into an even bigger problem.
Fortunately, we have an extra bunk bed in storage that we were able to set up and place into an isolated room on our property, away from all the kids. Our first-floor guest restroom will now be these two girl’s exclusive restroom. Another girl is saying that she also has back pains and a sore throat. She probably had a “False Negative” test result today. So, the testing specialist will return in 3 days to take another test to see if she actually does yield a positive result or not. Hopefully a negative test result. In the meantime, her new residence will be in isolation in our second-floor family room as we also consider her with COVID until the test results tell us otherwise.
People will always ask if we are getting vaccinated. Pfizer is arriving in Arequipa now, but only in drips and drops, so to speak. Both Sandra Meza (our director and my right-hand person) and I have been vaccinated. Arequipa has been vaccinating people who are in the 60+ year age range. Both of us are over 60. All the Pfizer controversies aside (I have spent months studying them), I do hope that this new technology actually does its job in stopping all the severe COVID illnesses and deaths in our city. Just recently, the Brazilian and Indian variants have arrived. Our city is unique in that the contraband in tractor/trailer vehicles, vegetables, and other goods flow over our borders that are common with Brazil, and Bolivia. The highways leading out of those countries flow right through our city on the way to Matarani, our closest port city down on the coast. In our city, many goods are also offloaded thus leaving the virus variants in our city. Additionally, we host a sizeable industry of bringing agricultural goods into our immediate area.
There will soon be a flood of more “vaccines” arriving. Arequipa is now of very great concern to our Peruvian government’s authorities. For the overall health of Southern Peru, this virus has to be stopped. Our health system’s ability to handle the COVID crisis has collapsed here.
There is so much more that I can write about our current health crisis. But, what I do ask of each of you is that you do pray for our children and staff and even me. Please pray that the spread of COVID is arrested in our home and that our Lord will continue to protect us and provide for all of our many needs both in this present time and well into the future.
We firmly believe that God will continue to care for and protect us, and most importantly – our children! But, we all have a spiritual responsibility to pray for one another. This is our Lord’s way.
Thank you so much for taking the time to care and to pray for us 🙂 And, humanly speaking, you have helped make our wonderful family into reality! I wish you could actually see for yourself what you are helping make possible! Our staff and I certainly do not have the financial means to keep our children safe, protected, and fed. All of you who have prayed for our home, who have contributed financially, and have kept us encouraged to keep marching ahead with this project even in the face of many challenges, YOU are the ones who have helped make our children’s home into a reality for them!
With warmest regards,