Jeyachandran Family

Earthquakes and Tremors

18 Apr 2014

The cupboard behind me began to shake and then the windows. I waited to see if I was going to need to evacuate the building. I had a quick look around the room to see where would be a safe spot. Soon enough the tremor was over.

In the last couple of weeks we've had several fairly strong tremors. Last week we experiences our strongest tremor so far that came right after a major quake in northern Chile with a magnitude of 8.2. We were at a funeral and we all had to head outside and the swaying continued for what felt like several minutes. Cars stopped and the street lights shook and I could feel the earth moving from side to side. What I find scariest is the noise of windows rattling and the deep rumble of the walls shaking. Soon after, many tried to contact their families but the mobile phone network was saturated.

Geologists in the newspaper warn that the next earthquake could be "the big one". For us life continues as normal. We know that the tremors will continue. We've been more diligent to have our emergency bag ready. Recommended supplies include:

  • water
  • non-perishable food
  • whistle
  • torches
  • radio
  • spare batteries
  • sleeping bags
  • warm clothing

Emergency SuppliesSome supplies from our emergency bag

Our job is to be prepared and at the same time continue to do what we feel God has brought us here to do. We have so many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus in this city and make a difference in people's lives. We are really enjoying being here. Every tremor is a good reminder to pray for safety and to trust our Lord. We also appreciate all our friends who pray for us and emailed after the quake.

You may also want to read:

Preparing for Earthquakes

Christine's Health

04 Apr 2014

It will come as quite a shock to most of you that I (Christine) have recently been diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's Disease. I wish we could talk in person but this will have to do for now. Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system usually affecting older folk.

On the last day of our holidays we received the diagnosis from a neurologist in Lima. After some tests he could immediately see that my left side had a tremor, stiffness and a general weakness in the fingers (the reasons for the visit). By the grace of God I am generally healthy and strong. Most people do not notice the trembling.

We got a second opinion when we got home to Arequipa, this time loaded with lots of questions and also accompanied by our Doctor (who happens to be our Mission Director here). The conclusion was the same. Recently we have connected by Skype and email with an Australian specialist which is very helpful to us as well. I am taking medicine to help but there is no cure for the disease. To help maintain movement in my body and encourage general strength all over the body it is important to exercise. This can slow progress the disease. So now exercising is an important priority of my time.

We would value your prayers at this time as David and I adjust to the prognosis. The Doctors don't think it will advance too quickly (only God knows) so at this point we will not change our focus here in Peru. We love it here and since we can get the medicines, health-care and physiotherapy we will continue in what we feel God has called us to. I even taught my first Bible study in our English conversation class this week (written in early Feb) which was exciting as it involved teaching people who don't know Christ. What a privilege! We pray they will come to know God's forgiveness and love.

The main impact on me is slight clumsiness on my left side and slowness in typing, both of which I can live with. I do not feel sick though I do get tired. Part of me doesn't even want to tell people because I don't want to be seen as a victim or different when I feel so normal but I know that your prayers can do so much. Thank you!

We don't understand why this has come to us and maybe we don't fully understand the repercussions just yet as they seem a bit distant but we know we have a God who is faithful and we are trusting him.
"You (the LORD) will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal". Isaiah 26:3-4

Thank you kindly for your prayers and generosity.

Kids at their Christmas Concert

23 Dec 2013

Hope you enjoy our kids performing at their Christmas concert in their preschool here in Arequipa, Peru.

Samuel appears first doing a dance from the highlands. He's in the second couple from the left. Annabelle then quotes from Isaiah and sings "God rest ye merry, gentlemen" followed by Amelia who sings "O little town of Bethlehem" - both in Spanish.

Merry Christmas from our family - David, Christine, Amelia, Annabelle and Samuel. Hope you enjoy time with family as you celebrate the greatest gift of all time... Jesus.

Intruder in our home

18 Nov 2013

Last night I woke up at 3:40am with a severe sore throat, popped a pain-killer, drank some water and then decided to go to the toilet. As I walked out of our room I heard some movement. I thought it could be one of the kids. When I turned the corner I heard something scuttling out the back door which was wide open. 

I quickly ran and shut the back door, turned on the lights and woke up Christine. We checked the house. I carried a chair assuming it would be better to have something between me and an intruder possibly wielding a knife. The first room we checked was the kids' room. The kids were fine and nothing seemed to have been taken. One by one we checked each room and everything seemed in its place. The obvious things people try and steal like TVs, DVD players and computers were all there. Finally we cautiously went outside out the back door and onto our balcony. The sunshade and rain protector had fallen in and this could have been how they climbed in from the adjacent house. Part of me thought that maybe it could have just been an animal that snuck in through a door we'd accidentally left open. I thanked God that we were all safe.

In the morning we discovered more and confirmed that this was no animal. Our TV had been unplugged from the DVD player and the power cord and our remote control is missing. We've been so fortunate. I've been sleeping lightly and have been in pain with something called "strep throat". But if not for this we could have lost many things - including the TV and the laptop I'm now using. This reminded me of Romans 8:28 where God can use even bad or painful things for good in the end - in our case to protect our home.

Praise God that we're all safe and please pray that God continues to keep us safe. Please let us know if you've got any simple ideas to keep our home safe. 

You never know the impact you might be having?

23 Sep 2013

We serve Jesus in lots of different ways and often never get to find out the impact that we've had.

Today I got a wonderful message via Facebook. For many years I had sponsored a child in Uganda through Compassion. Through the sponsorship he was able to get a good education and support through a local church. His letters were always encouraging and he talked about his love for the Lord. When he finished high school he left the sponsorship program and we lost touch.

Years later my former Sponsor child found me on Facebook - I guess it helps being the only "David Jeyachandran" in Facebook. The fantastic news is that he is now just about to graduate from university with an arts degree in development studies. He is still going strong with the Lord and hopes to work in a child development institute. God willing, he is going to make a difference in many lives. Please read his message below.

Praise the Lord Mr. David, this is Waiswa, your former compassion sponsored child in Uganda. I am so grateful to God for the far He has brought me. This week my final results for my final semester at campus came out and i had excelled. This has always been my prayer to God and finally, He has granted me my heart's desire. Am awaiting graduation which is due in October this year (2013) In the midst of recalling and pondering upon the victory God has given me, i remembered you for the foundation you gave me...perhaps i would have not reached this far, may the good Lord reward you with the very best, you and your family are highly welcome to attend my graduation right here in Uganda.

What a huge encouragement! God willing, as you support us, together we will impact students who will go on to make a difference in many people's lives. You never know the impact you might be having - but we'll share a few stories soon.

Cookies to get students to a conference

18 Sep 2013

In October this year we have our annual conference for our Christian student movement. This year it's in Puno which is a 6-hour bus ride from here. How can we get students to a conference where they can grow in their faith and also get to experience the bigger picture of God's kingdom? One way is to bake cookies and sell them.

Fundraising by Baking Cookies

We'd like to give as many students as we can the opportunity to get to the conference. The profit we make from selling cookies will go to subsidising the cost of getting to the conference. Just the process of getting together, brainstorming ideas to raise funds and then do it together has been a great bonding experience.

This was a great bonding time too for Christine and a bunch of the students.

Please pray that we enable lots of students to get this conference and that they grow in their faith.

Nut Lady!

06 Jun 2013

Today I (Christine) went to the nut shop to buy nuts to make peanut butter. This is how the conversation went.

Christine: Can I have some nuts?
Nut Lady: Sure. Those children must be from a childrens home. (They were well dressed that day).
Christine: No they are mine.
Nut Lady: They must be adopted then.
Christine: No, they are mine.
Nut Lady: But they don't look anything like you.
Christine: They look like their father.
Nut Lady: Yes, they are all looking very similar, him too(to Samuel).
Christine: These two are twins.
Nut Lady: NO, that cannot be. She is much taller. She must be older.
Christine: No the shorter one is older.
Nut Lady: So there is another foreigner who comes here and buys peanuts too. To make peanut butter.
Christine: Could be a friend of mine. Not sure.
Nut lady: Is she your sister?
Christine: No.

I was not too bothered at the time by the conversation but I was glad the kids didn't seem to follow it. It bothered me more in retrospect. Most Peruvians ask me if they are my children so her comments did not come as a shock but her persistent bluntness surprised me.

How must it feel to have adopted kids/ be adopted - having such blunt conversations all the time! Next time I notice an adoption I will hold my curiosity in check.

We're back

04 Jun 2013

We're back in Arequipa, Peru after 3 months in Australia.

It's great to be part of our small groups on campus again. Let me introduce in the photo: Erick, Marisol, Gladys and Elisabeth from our Engineering small group. We meet together to study the Bible, share our lives and pray for each other.

Pray that these small groups will help students to get to know Jesus better and build a strong community that will reach their university and beyond.

Black Hawk Down - When helping hurts

21 Mar 2013

While waiting for Christine at a cafe I casually browsed their second-hand bookshelf and picked up a book called "Black Hawk Down". After reading a couple of pages I couldn't stop reading it.

Black Hawk Down is a gripping true story set in Somalia in October 1993. After a years of civil war and a devastating famine the UN moved in to distribute food and to help stabilize the country. It became very clear that the millions of dollars in food aid pouring into the country would never reach the people in most need when the country was controlled by roving armed gangs. How could poverty be alleviated in these difficult conditions? For some time there were unsuccessfully attempts to engage the warring clans in peace talks. Then on the afternoon of the 3rd October 1993 the US led a daring daytime mission that hoped to begin the road to stability in a country that desperately needed it. The plan was to abduct two senior leaders connected with a Somali warlord and bring them to justice.

Things went wrong! What was supposed to be a quick two-hour mission turned into a bloody battle with hundreds killed and more than a thousand injured. Why didn't the Somalis understand that this team of soldiers were there to help ultimately bring peace? Thousands instead turned up in force, forgetting their tribal differences and united to fight against the US soldiers. The result was terrible carnage. The mission was a success as far as capturing two leaders of this Somali warlord but did nothing to advance peace in the country or alleviate poverty. It created a bitterness on all sides and to many Somalis, a deeper level of poverty.

What went wrong? Why didn't this UN intervention bring real change? Almost 20 years later the civil war continues. Why are people in Somalia no better economically and possibly worse off than before?

Another book titled "When helping hurts" deals with the question "How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor… or yourself". I like the book because it begins with a Biblical foundation. There is one important concept that runs through the book. Poverty is not just an economic problem with an economic solution. There may be some deep underlying problems and economic poverty may be just one of the symptoms.

More to read:


Now it's your turn

What do you think is an underlying problem in Somalia? Is it possible to help?

God is working in Australia

17 Mar 2013

It's been great to visit churches and share what God is doing in Peru. It's also been great to hear what God is doing right here in Australia. Recently we visited a church where we saw 4 baptisms. Three of those baptised were from a Middle Eastern country that is hostile to Christians and is closed to missionaries. Praise God that here in Australia it's possible to reach many people who would be incredibly difficult to reach in their home country.


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