Updated: Nov 18, 2018
Dear Pastors and friends,
We first and foremost wish to tell you, Thank you for following the recent events on Facebook. The tool gives a great opportunity to post immediate prayer requests and urgent notices. However it does not come close to replacing friendships built over time face to face. Which is why I am writing. We are joint-and-hip kind of friends; we have been through a lot together. We feel comfortable sharing some of the details we wouldn't be able to share in a social media format. God Protected us and made it obvious that we were not going to take our family on this trip to Ica. He used three unusual events to close doors. We have no idea what else could have happened if we did not listen to Him. Through it all, the Lord's mercy and grace we sustained us and protected us. Let me tell you now, how deep the Father's love for us.
Our daughter, Rebekah, Joshua and the five grandchildren came to visit us on May 4. We had been planning our itinerary for almost six months. Rose Marie and I scouted the options and made a few trips ourselves to confirm places to stay and eat along the way. In all of our planning, we would never had expected this.
The first week went perfectly. After they departed Denver, they were in transit or layovers for 19 hours. Arriving in the early moments of the morning, we knew they needed the first day to rest and begin adjusting to the new culture. Sunday morning church services were special because the church-plant was having their second year anniversary. Many smiles and stories were shared between our family from the States and our family in Christ. The memory of this is sweet and cherished.
We needed to leave the morning service a little early to catch a bite to eat and head for the airport to catch a 5:30 flight to Cusco. Generally people avoid arriving on a full stomach due to the elevation of the city (the 9th highest city in the world). The hotel we chose is a remodeled 15th century monastery. The buildings on the grounds are impeccably cleaned and maintained by the Franciscans quietly moving about the property. Our visit to the area always includes Manchu Picchu and a small Andean village high above the tourist route we were introduced to three years ago. Even though Manchu Picchu is lower than Cusco, this village rests at 11,482 ASL. Other than little Jacob having possible altitude sickness, there were no problems during this half of their stay. We took lots of pictures and made the sceneries embed in our hearts. The pastoral views are incredible, but our hearts remain on the pastoring for the people of Peru.
We returned for a few days of local scenery around our home and Lima. One highlight I wanted to leave them with, was the villages where we have begun weekly evangelism, and I have access to the public schools for "Religious Instruction" time. One drawback for visitors is the biting gnats. Either they don't like me or I've gotten used to being annoyed by them. However, Rebekah was terribly attacked. By Sunday a bacterial infection on her legs looked like someone had poured acid on them. I took her out of the morning worship service to get her relief and medical attention. The attending physician gave her several injections and prescribed four more over the next two days.
Monday morning was going normal, from our perspective. It's not uncommon for us to be lied to. Ofttimes we don't realize it until we start following directions. The clinic the day earlier recommended that we return to them for the continued shots. The distance from our home and the schedule we needed to keep contradicted our plans. We inquired if the prescription for the injections could be honored at other locations ( ie: closer to home). We were assured it would be no problem.
At 8:00 Monday morning, Rebekah and I went looking for a clinic and left the family at the apartment to pack and prepare for the second half of their vacation. By 9:30 we had been rejected at two clinics for the injections. We returned to the apartment to gather the family and realized that a trip back into Lima was necessary to fulfill the sequential round of shots. Traffic is generally heavier during rush-hour, but I felt we had missed the worst of it. By 10:30, I had cut in front of a taxi and accidentally dropped his bumper to the ground. He was in my blind-spot and I owed him an apology and restitution. His car had been in many other mishaps, it was obvious. The driver had been through this process before too; I had not. This was my first incident since I began driving 18 months ago. In my prayers and preparation, I have been trying to imagine what I would say when the time came. I knew it would eventually come, and so it did. I can Thank God, it was nothing like I imagined. Even Rose Marie's reaction was not what I had braced myself for. Quietly and calmly the man and I exchanged inspection of the damage I caused. His request was for 100 soles. I believe that $33.00 is a reasonable gift for the trouble I gave him. We separated with a smile and a handshake. Normally, a foreigner is charged exuberantly, maybe hundreds of dollars for a similar infraction. I was released by grace, and I thanked my Lord it wasn't worse.
Within 15 minutes I was in another altercation. This time with two police officers standing under a stoplight. Did I see them? Sure! But I did not see that the light was red. I should not have turned right; nor right in front of them. They didn't even need to chase me. The female officer scowled, but only yelled directions for me to pull over to the other side of the corner. Anyone here can tell you, ‘avoid the women cops, they are brutal’. Thank God for officer number two! The young man professionally explained that, though I could not see the light over my head, I merely needed to check the condition of the light up the street and the next block. It would read the same. By God's grace, He cited me because Joshua was not wearing his seatbelt and not for the worst of the two. It would have added points to my license and cost more than $12.00, I could afford the lesser. At this point I had phoned a missionary friend and jokingly said, ‘I need to go home’. (Why didn't I?)
Our three hour trip was now two hours off schedule. My schedule, not God's.
We were thirty minutes out of the city. The crowded avenues lend way to smaller villages. The speed limit relaxes, and 100 kmh feels too fast for me. I drop down from 62 mph to a comfortable 55. In my forward sight, I saw a person moving across the three lane highway from right to left. He is not moving fast, but he does not slow down when I sounded my horn three blasts. He does not turn his head to look toward the sound. I lay on the horn one final long warning. BAM!
I look in the rearview mirror to see everyone turned around and screaming. I still have the voice of Rose Marie crying, " Kris, he's been hit, Kris did you kill him?" In the rear view mirror can see the figure of still, unmoving body stretched in the middle lane. Other cars are bound to come and maybe not see him lying there alone. Throwing on the emergency brake, I left the van running back to the man and waving my arms above my head, jumping up and down so they notice us in time. With God's strength, I pull him to the shoulder of the road. Holding him up, I'm helplessly standing looking at two passerby's and pleading "please, Help!" I received none from man, only from the Lord.
The man has a pulse, I can feel it on his neck. I am dazzled when he opens his eyes and tries to get up! I don't let him, his strength surprises me further. How did he survive? As he closes his eyes, I close my eyes in prayer again, "Lord, don't let this one die!" It comes to me, If he falls asleep he may not wake up, I arouse him several times as he drifts in and out. Is he dying? I wonder. Am I holding a man in my arms that will be snatched into hell? For the third time in four hours, I see that God has intervened His great mercy for 'the time in need', I have amazing grace. I do not feel fear. All is well. I have been contained with peace from above. I know my prayers have been heard. I know God had this in His plans. It couldn't be more obvious. If I had not veered right at the exact time, I would have impacted him head-on. It could have been a fatality and the ramifications are unimaginable, but God is sovereign. Within 30 minutes the scene was swarming with police and medical teams. I'm able to leave him in better hands and slowly walk back to be with my family who were waiting and praying in the van.
The next eight hours required navigation through precarious interrogation and long pauses of watching the investigator type one finger at a time.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
The law requires that the vehicle be impounded. I was escorted outside, where I caught view of my family all waiting in the central village plaza. We all unloaded the suitcases we were taking on the trip; wife, grandchildren and all, sheepishly dragged the cargo to the park-benches. On the way to the impoundment lot, an officer was required to ride with me. It is customary for me to introduce myself, the reason I am in Peru, and conclude by introducing Jesus Christ. The young officer did not look stunned. Listening instead, a smile grew on his face and he said. "You must be evangelico, So am I. God is testing you hermano". God provided the one-on-one help I needed. He warned me of the tactics that would incriminate me and of the corruption to follow the investigation. This is to be my greatest concern. This is why accidents in foreign countries are so dangerously different than accidents in the United States. This is their opportunity to earn grandiose amounts of American cash; illegally and un-reportable. Scenarios like this are what horror stories are made of. The missionaries in Peru, who by now have heard what is transpiring are praying, and praying hard that the worst is not yet to come. I am listening to Spanish vocabulary I have never heard before and they intentionally use it to confuse or distort the transcript. They begin asking me to make donations for the printer because it needs ink. To me, that sounds lame, to them it's standard procedure. All I know is I was tricked once before, about two years ago when I was stopped in a lonely remote dirt road going to Antioquia. I learned my lesson then and I was not going to repeat it. It's not about having experience, or about having an interpreter at your side coaching you. It's about having a Paraclete; God’s Holy Spirit and relying on Him.
While I am still at the police station giving my report and giving a sample of my blood, The victim has been released from the clinic around the corner. Is it too much to presume that when he left the clinic, he had not submitted a complaint, nor submitted a drug/ alcohol test; of which, he would need to prove I was the one responsible. On the contrary, His results would have confirmed the eyewitness report. He was severely intoxicated. There are two clauses that he is convicted of. Beside being unlawfully inebriated, he failed to use the footbridge that was less than 500 feet from the accident. The bridge should have been the tool to save him from this ordeal. But he chose his own way.
The Lord, He is God.
57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:
58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.
59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:
60 That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.
61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.
True, vehicles hitting pedestrians happen in the United States as well. However, consider the following anomalies.
A.) Documentation and corruption
I) The attending officers requested that I pay for the victims intoxication results
a) If I had submitted to making the payment two results could have occurred.
1.) I would have been accused of offering a bribe as an advantage over the test results. ie: I would have hypothetically guaranteed favorable results I paid to receive.
2.) Once I agree to begin to pay for something, for someone else. I would have bound myself to perpetual financial restitution. It would be a never ending, " You paid for this, why not pay for that…and on and on.
B.) The van I was driving was not my own. Our vehicle did not have sufficient room for the nine of us. I will always be impacted by the Missionary who loaned me the vehicle, Tim Chapman. And for the Christian grace and godly mercy he conveyed to me when I called him with the news. I am also in great debt to the Christian Attorney Marcos Arriola. He is also the father of two students I teach at La Molina Christian Schools. I received many emails from concerned parents who have diplomatic connections if the events and turned worse. I also acknowledge the director of LMCS who helped by changing my teaching schedule at an inconvenient time.
To God be the glory. This is an ordeal where we can see that prayer confirmed the recourse of our ministry, your involvement. It is: essential prayer to uphold us not only through progress but also in prevention. It could never be so bad that prayer is futile. Nor so well that prayer is unworthily spent. Prayer is the necessary ingredient which combines all of our words with all of God’s grace.
Under the mighty hand of God,
Kris and Rose Marie Blumer
1 Peter 5: 6-11