Dear Friends,

Happy New Year to each of you!  I trust we’re all coming into this year with flexibility in mind but with confidence in God’s continued guidance.

We had the most wonderful 5 days together with our children and grandchildren over Christmas!  The home loaned to us by a friend was the perfect setting for our gathering, and we had a lovely white Christmas in Eastern Tennessee!  And what more could grandparents ask for than days to enjoy their granddaughters?!

David’s heart got bored with beating in normal rhythm for 3 months and decided to (again) march to the beat of its own drummer.  And that drummer really can’t keep a steady rhythm!  So, David will have a pacemaker inserted on Monday, January 18.  The purpose of this pacemaker is to keep David’s heart rate from going too slow, while allowing him to take higher doses of medications that can control his blood pressure and help his heart stay in normal rhythm.  The little apparatus that goes along with the pacemaker can be plugged into the wall each morning and wirelessly communicate with the pacemaker and then send a report to David’s cardiologist here in the US.  A friend who lives in Peru has this same set-up and his daughter told me this morning the pacer has been a huge help in keeping her dad’s heart in rhythm and his overall heart health monitored and under control.  We ask that you join us in praying for a similar outcome for David.

David is progressing well in occupational therapy for his wrist, recently adding a few wrist exercises to his finger exercises.  We expect the therapy to continue through February.

We are in consultation with our SAM Home Office about our return to Peru.  We think it would be wise for David and me to wait here in the US to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before we return.  Peru is just now entering the second wave of the virus, and just last week ordered some vaccines to be delivered later this year.  Two Peruvian health care professionals who are good friends gave us unsolicited advice to not return to Peru right now and to stay in the US until we can get the vaccine.  We considered this advice at this time as from the Lord to help us make a wise decision.  David and I fall into Group 1C in Michigan for receiving the vaccine, so it may be a little while yet.

I continue to work as the personnel director for SAM/TEAM Peru.  The last week of this month I hope to meet with our newly-formed Personnel Department team, as we look at how to blend our strengths to meet the responsibilities of our department and serve our missionaries well.  Please pray for us as we launch this aspect of ministry together.  Please pray that I will be a good leader.

Thank you for continuing to pray with us as, bit by bit, the Lord makes clear the way before us.


Rachael & David Powell