Juan, Victor, Janet, and Amelia
On February 14, 1981, my husband and I, and our two children landed in Bolivia, S. A., to begin our missionary work. One month before, a baby boy named Juan was born in a remote mountain village high in the Andes Mountains. Gaze at the picture of the mountain at the top of this page, and try to envision people living at the highest point. That's where Juan and Amelia were born and grew up. They worked on the mountain slopes daily, planting potatoes, and tending to their families' llamas and sheep. Most of the people in the village made their living by selling their potatoes in the city at the bottom of the mountain. The village had no firewood because of being located high above the tree line. Bread was a delicacy rarely available unless someone from the village traveled down the mountain and returned with bread for the whole village. The daily diet of the community consisted of boiled potatoes and dried llama meat.
It was the custom in their village to marry at a young age. Juan was 17 and Amelia 15 when they married. They were both still in their teens when a preacher came through their village on horseback preaching about Jesus. Juan and Amelia and their families accepted the Lord. Juan's father began traveling to other mountain villages nearby to share his faith. Sometimes Juan traveled with him.
There was little chance of change on the mountain, and life was hard. Amelia spent her time tending to their animals––sometimes in the pouring down rain all day. Needless to say, there were no stores to buy boots and raincoats to protect her from the elements. She developed arthritis at a young age. Led of God, Juan moved his family down the mountain to the city of Cochabamba where he found work tending to the cows of a farmer––the year was 1999.
That same year, we began construction on our house and ministry base in a rural area of Bolivia. Juan was living a few miles from our construction site. When the time came to pour the foundation for the house, the construction foreman told us that he needed a night watchman to guard his equipment. We had no idea who we could hire. Later that day, a young man came to ask for a job. That young man (boy actually) was Juan. He started to work that night––just when we needed him. God supplied our need and Juan's also.
A few weeks later, we learned that Juan had a wife and a baby boy, and another on the way. They moved into the little house on our property, and they have been with us ever since. They are family, and they are a blessing to the ministry and us. Juan helps with maintenance and teaching our computer classes, and he's a leader in our Quechua church nearby. Amelia helps with our teen girls' cooking and Bible classes and is active in the community and our Quechua church. She is my best friend in Bolivia!
God guided Juan and Amelia down the mountain, just as He guided us to our place of ministry to begin construction. His plan brought us together for the ministry of Rumi Rancho. How awesome is our God to have orchestrated two incredible journeys such as ours and Juan and Amelia's! He brought us together at the location of His choosing to fulfill His will for the building of His Kingdom in Bolivia.
This sweet family grew up physically and spiritually in Rumi Rancho!
They are missionaries to their own people!
Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go;
I will guide thee with mine eye." (KJV)