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COVID Infections – Please Pray for Us

Dear friends,

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, Per√ļ ūüôā

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 Рboth 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 ūüôā 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,
Rick Daviscourt

Our kids looking on while one of their sisters gets tested.
The testing specialist is giving our children and staff orientation as to how to help stop the spread of COVID in our home.
Our New Van – The Unofficial Reveal
Well, I must admit that this is less than a stellar photo of our new van for which we have been raising funds for some 19 months Рway before our entire world has changed. Let me explain!

As many of you already¬†know, we originally had our heart set on purchasing a Toyota van. They are like the Land Rover of vehicles. But, after 3 months of trying to get my hands on one and being told that “Perhaps” this coming October – perhaps we might be able to get one. Maybe… I gave up and went looking for another rig. After checking the prices for Nissan (expensive and not attractive – Peru model), Renault, VW, and¬†Peugeot, I could see that getting into a van with the monies we had raised was going to be a challenge. So I did go back up to the dealership that sells Chinese vans. Some Chinese vehicles just don’t hold up very well. But, this one is different. Its brand name is Foton. Not known in the USA, but it has a very good reputation amongst the transportation companies here in Peru. Actually, they look to purchase this brand and same van because it not only has the power to go up the Andean roads and highways, it also is reputed to actually be a quality vehicle. Not only that, but what really sold me on the vehicle is that it has a Cummins Turbo Diesel under the hood. Those of you, who know about and appreciate truck engines, also know that it is very hard to beat the quality of that particular USA brand of¬†engine. They just go and go and go and enjoy a solid reputation.

This van actually cost us more than $5,000 under our budget! So, what are we going to do with the leftover funds? Actually, this was a blessing for us. Truly! With these funds, we are able to get attractive vinyl seat covers installed over the stock cloth seats. Also, a back-up alarm, anti-theft alarm, security wheel nuts so that our nice stock rims are not stolen. Additionally, we now have available funds to purchase vehicle insurance and also a fund to keep the vehicle maintained for a while.

Not only all this, but you made it possible for us to purchase an upgraded vehicle, and not the barebones version!

So, why the not-so-good photo? Well, if you look closely, you can see that it has no license plate on the front. COVID has greatly affected our Department of Licensing’s ability to do its job. Their offices are not well staffed at this moment. It is taking upwards of a month to issue a license plate. So we wait. In the meantime, we hired an upholstery company to make us those¬†very nice¬†seat covers and have the extra equipment installed on our new van.

And, why is the van now crammed against the wall at the back of the dealership and surrounded by other vehicles? Common sense really. This is¬†due to¬†our very heated presidential elections down here. Once the very close final vote is counted and announced, there are expected to be riots in the streets. Peru is famous for its rioters marching down its¬†avenues and streets throwing stones¬†and breaking anything that moves them to break – including these vehicles. The dealership is located on the main highway leading northeast out of town. The fringe communities these rioters walk from are several miles up the road and these folks¬†are not in very pleasant moods when they take to the streets – especially those who live in Arequipa.¬†Kinda sounds like ANTIFA doesn’t it?

I wanted to present a nice photo of the kids in their new van. It will have to wait until the next newsletter!

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who have made the purchase of this van possible for our home. We really need it Рand even more so once life gets more back to normal down here. This 16 passenger vehicle has been an object of prayer for quite some time.

By the way, even though it is a 16 pax van, between it and our red minivan, we will get along just fine. And, we can get all the kids into the new one for school once they open up again.

This photo is for those of you who have an appreciation for truck, boat, and industrial engines ūüôā This is what is proudly displayed by the manufacturer on the side of the van.
Please Help Us With Our Children
Our children enjoy the care, love, and safety that they receive¬†because of people just like you!¬†These three¬†girls, like our other girls, have been rescued out of some very difficult circumstances. We do not have a large base of donors, as you may think. As such, we would like to invite you to join us in order to assure a positive future for our kids – one that is filled with hopes and possibilities. With all the negativity that has fallen upon their city and society due to COVID-19, let’s work together to give them the hope that they will continue¬†to be raised in our home which they love very much.¬†Let them wake up every morning knowing that they will always have us, as their family – that they will not have to return back to the negative lives they had before being placed with us. The vast majority of our kids are permanent, such as these two girls, Sayda and Ana Paula who are doing their homework together.

All of us can do something, even if it is just a little bit. These children are a wonderful investment Рan investment that is full of so many great potentials to positively impact future generations.

Additionally, you can help us to get the word out to others. One way would be to share this newsletter with others. Then, there is always social media. You can help spread the word about our home and children this way.¬†Another way would be to put me, Rick, into contact with someone, a business, civic organization, church, or synagogue, etc… that you could recommend us to. Networking. I am open to your ideas!

My contact information is: Rick Daviscourt / Tel: +1.509.845.4929 (USA) / rdaviscourt@rhintl.org or rdaviscourt@restoringchildren.org

Another option is that if you make purchases on Amazon.com, you can opt to have part of the proceeds of your purchase amount go to the care of our children. This is through their smile.amazon.com program. We are registered with them as Restoring Hope International Foundation. If enough people participate in this, it will indeed help us. I make my Amazon purchases through this program. Please consider checking them out. This is the same Amazon that you may be familiar with. You may get signed up at https://smile.amazon.com/

So, how about it? Let’s work together so that these special children¬†can realize their hopes and dreams!

Restoring Hope International Foundation / Restoring Children International is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization as registered with the IRS and the State of Washington. EIN: 26-2265149

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