Dec 13, 2003

Back in Maturin

We're back in Maturin after a hectic week in Caracas. I now have a little card stating my visa transeunte is in the works. I should have the actual visa within two months. The visa transeunte is good for one year. At the end of that time, I will be able to apply for a "permanent" visa, good for five years before I have to apply for a renewal.

It's great to be back on the farm and see the incredible amount of work done by the workers. White beans, black beans and corn all have been harvested. Soon the lechosa (papaya) will be ready to harvest. The tomato vines look healthy and are growing steadily. Thanks be to God, the farm has received a considerable amount of rain, reducing the need for irrigation.

Some of the workers have been busy fixing up a house as a dormitory. This will enable more workers to remain on the farm overnight and reduce the need for transportation. It will also augment security, an ever-present need in a country burdened with poverty and a high crime rate. Right now security is provided by the few workers who stay on the farm overnight and by Linda, a large German Shepherd.

Linda means "pretty" in Spanish. Linda likes me. She will bathe in the dirty river water and jump in my lap, confident that I will be overwhelmed by her enhanced body odor (she's right about that). Often she will untie my shoelaces. She thinks this is clever and a lot of fun. She also enjoys biting my arm or leg - not enough to break the skin, just enough to show her affection.

Luz Maria is looking forward to participation in the farm project's evangelistic outreach. She wants to travel to Quebrada Seca with the group of women from Cristo Rey that have meeting with the women there for Bible study two Saturdays per month.

Luz Guerrero, a volunteer sponsored by Woodbury Lutheran Church of Woodbury, Minnesota, had been coordinating this effort. However, Luz returned to her native Colombia to visit her family the last week in October and has not returned. Because of bureaucratic complications with her visa, she has not been able to re-enter Venezuela and her planned one-week vacation in Colombia has been extended indefinitely. We pray that Luz will be able to return and resume teaching English as a second language, but in the meantime Luz Maria hopes to encourage the women of Cristo Rey to continue the Bible studies in Quebrada Seca.

Please pray for continued efforts to help Luz Guerrero return to Maturin and for evangelistic outreach to rural Venezuela.

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