We write to you from a turbulent Peru in January of 2023. There have been continued protests in many regions of Peru leading to riots and unrest. Airports and highways have been closed by protestors, and a state of emergency declared in many areas, including communities here in Lima.
The protests have been in response to the impeachment of the previous president after he declared a coup late last year. Dina Boluarte, the former vice president, has since been sworn in as the new president. The protestors are demanding justice for the previous president, the new president’s resignation, and new elections across the federal government, including congress. There have been dozens of deaths reported, some of which took place at the various road blockades, but most are reported to be the result of clashes between police and protestors.
For the most part, our community has not been affected by the unrest. Several weeks ago, a demonstration marched a block away from our house, but most of the disturbances affect other areas of Lima and Peru. We are grateful to be able to go about our daily lives and ministry without restriction currently.
The more evident effect is the concern and anxiety the situation has brought to many Peruvians. Some report the protestors are funded by communist organizations outside of the country, and others hold the protests to be a grassroots movement. We have Peruvian friends here who support the protestors, while others call them terrorists. The suffering that many Peruvians are experiencing is heartbreaking, yet the violence that often accompanies the protests is counterproductive and distressing. Our effort is to remain politically neutral while offering hope in Jesus to those with whom we come in contact.
I find it hard to put to words a prayer request for Peru. I selfishly would like the protests to stop and for things to go back to normal, but normal means suffering and starvation for many who are protesting the current conditions. The solution seems so far beyond the political and social accomplishment of man that we revert to praying that the Lord´s will would be done in this amazing little country.
Pray that His Church would do its job in spreading the Hope, that more of the suffering and needy of this land would turn to Jesus as their Hope, and that through it all, God would be glorified above all.
Dave and Aleece Cooper
And their 3 kid missionaries: Eric, Titus, and Lucas