Our ministry here in Cusco has been going great! I apologize for not giving you all the details, but it would probably overwhelm you with info. I will try to highlight some of the things that stand out.
The café business has been growing pretty steady since we took over. We invested in some additional improvements such as more dishes, a refrigerator, a larger stove(our chef was using the equivalent of stove that you might find in a motor home from the 1960’s), a beautiful sign to go on the outside of the building, as well as a small espresso machine, and juice squeezer. Many of the items that we added have been such a convenience and allow us to serve our customers better as well as give us more options for menu items. We recently started serving lunches. They are a huge hit. It is a pretty basic menu at this point, but it includes soups such as creamy carrot cilantro, broccoli cheese cream soup, as well as tomato basil. These all look so good that people like them before they actually taste them. Then once they try it, it seals the deal. We also have some amazing sandwiches to go along with the soups. We are continually seeking new options to improve our menu.
We recently had a group of missionaries from our previous mission come up on their vacation to serve in the café. It was great to see friends and have some new energy and smiling faces. They allowed me to take a bit of time off without having to worry about personnel shortages. While they were here, we had the biggest day in the history of the café. We just keep breaking records. God is good!
Even with the cash that we put into the café this month, we are going to be close on breaking even. It could be the first ever month of making a profit since the inception of the café. I am excited to get the final numbers from the accountant (my beautiful wife, Teri). It is going to be close. We are prepared to handle more business now and we should be able to operate without buying many more assets. This is exciting stuff.
As for the Church at The Meeting Place, I have been blessed with the opportunity to preach a few times this past month. I was able to preach on topics such as “coincidences”, motorcycle riding lessons-biblically speaking, and the value of being surrounded by solid friends. It has been a bit intimidating, but God made it work.
Just this past week, Ken Dujay, a young and vibrant pastor from Texas arrived to take over the responsibility of the pastorate of The Meeting Place Church. His sole responsibility is to operate the church. He and his family will be moving to Cusco permanently in October. This will give me the ability to continue in the vision of The Meeting Place to expand the development of additional micro businesses in the area. Ken will also be working as a volunteer in the café which will allow him to connect and draw people to the church. Our plan seems pretty solid. I am excited to see how God will work through Ken and his family to reach the people here in Cusco.
As for our family, our little princesses have been getting used to their new school. They are going to a bilingual school here in Cusco called Ausengate. They teach one half of the day in Spanish and the other half in Spanish. It is a school that comes highly recommended. They seem to enjoy the school so far. They are able to participate in afterschool activities as well. So far so good on the school front; what a blessing!
We have had a few visitors over the past few days. It has been nice to have some family around. Teri’s mom, brother and sister have been spending a couple of weeks with us. The kids have enjoyed hanging out with Grandma, Uncle Mike, and Aunt Rita. Somehow, they have the amazing ability to stay up all hours of the night playing games. They are troopers for sure!
Our family is doing well. We have had a few dental issues with the girls. Not fun, but we have to do a root canal on a permanent tooth of Kayle’s and possibly do one on Emma. We will see this week. Please keep Kayle and Emma in your prayers.
We have a few prayer items to share with you all. One thing that is really pressuring us right now is our finances. We are feeling the effects of changing mission organizations. Many of our donors have either, not changed their support accounts for whatever reason, or they have decided to discontinue. In addition, we have increased our expenses as we are in a more expensive place to live in Peru. The school for the kids, to food, to rent; all of those things are costing us a bit more each month. Only about half of our monthly needs are met at this point. If you are not part of our financial partnership team, I would encourage you to pray about how God would allow you to participate. If you are signed up, pray that others would join. If you would like to sign up, the fastest way is to click here on our link to donate: Support the Englund Family
Pray for the success of the café and church. We want so bad to see this ministry go crazy successful. It has been growing rapidly, but we will soon be in the midst of the slow season. Pray for continued success so we can support our ministry partners and reach people for Christ in Cusco.
We are also looking for volunteers to come down and volunteer from a few weeks up to a couple of years . We are looking for friendly people who enjoy a social coffee shop environment, willing to live in a different culture, wanting to learn a new language, and spend some time in a new and
We also want to thank those of you that are currently supporting us with your prayer and financial resources. We are blessed to have you on the team. Thank you! We are experiencing God’s blessing through you. Blessings on you and your families!
We will have a bunch more to write about next time. We will keep you in our prayers and we ask for your continued prayers for us and our ministry. God bless…
Until next time,