Five Clear Lakers quarantined in Peru

Missionaries in Peru include (L-R): Katie Tofte, Riley Brinkman, Lucas Kirchhoff, Ericka Gonzalez and Mikayla Vanderploeg.  -Submitted photo

by Michelle Watson

We all know the coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic.  We all know everyone is worried and concerned about what this is going to look like in the United States over the coming weeks. But what if you were caught outside of the country?  

Five former Clear Lake High School graduates are quarantined in Iquitos, Peru after the country’s president issued a 15-day border closure to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.  Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima was closed to the public less than two days later.

Riley Brinkman, Lucas Kirchhofff, Ericka Gonzalez and Katie Tofte are missionaries with Zion Lutheran Church in Peru. Mikayla VanderPloeg is also with the group, but is a missionary through Open Bible Church, in Clear Lake. 

Ericka, Katie and Mikayla are staying at a camp located about 10 miles from Iquitos. There are currently 23 people living in the main house and Sukup Safety Homes, which serve as cabins at the camp.  The camp and Genesis Church are run by Bethany and Nelton Noriega.  Bethany is originally from Garner.  

Riley and Lucas have become residents of Iquitos and both have their own homes, but still work for Genesis Church.

“It’s a very helpless feeling knowing that I 

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