Church Planter / Pastor - Sullana, Peru
Carlos is the pastor of the Baptist Church “Christ is the Only Hope,” in one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of Sullana. He is also a teacher in the Baptist Seminary and works in the training of mountain pastors through education by extension.
I thank the Lord for the grace and the mercy that He has shown me. As the oldest of seven brothers, I was born in a Christian home that was established through Christ and in Christ. From my earliest childhood I was brought up in the ways of the Lord. I always attended Sunday School and I consistently participated in the devotional times with my family. But this did not make me a child of God, and because my father knew this, he constantly spoke to us about the salvation that is in Christ. Time after time, when we were children, he told us that we had to accept Christ as Savior in order to have eternal life.
One of the Bible passages that the Lord used to convert me was John 3:16. My father preached to us from this verse, about God’s great love for us. As a child I did not pay too much attention to what he said, but God was working in my heart with His power and by His word. I remember that we always used to get on our knees to pray with my father, and little by little I was coming to see Christ and to understand and know Him more and more.
However, by the time I reached my adolescence I was not living a life that was pleasing to the Lord. I was rebellious toward my parents, and they always needed to correct and admonish me. I realized that I was straying from the Lord, but I was no longer interested in church. Rather, I was interested in my friends and going out and getting into trouble. Even during this time God was working in my heart, and I saw that what I was doing was wrong. One night in October, close to my fourteenth birthday, I got down on my knees by my bed, and with the promise of John 3:16, I trusted in Christ as my Savior and I offered my life for His service. Ever since that time I have had assurance of my salvation through Christ.
After my conversion I got involved in working with youth, and when I was 17 God called me to lead our youth group. When I finished high school I decided to go to Lima in order to work so that I could help my parents, but when I got to Lima things did not go as I had planned. Though my situation was difficult, I began to get more involved in the ministry of the local church where I was attending, and after a year I felt like the Lord was calling me to the ministry. Once I was convinced of this I returned to Sullana in northern Peru, and then went on to the Baptist Seminary in Trujillo, Peru to prepare for ministry.
As I attempted to go to seminary many doors seemed to be closing for me, but I knew that if God had called me to the ministry, He would provide for me. Even though I only had enough money for my bus fare, I was firm in my decision to go. At the last minute before I left, God provided for my needs.
Once I got to the seminary I had very little money on which to live. My parents were not able to provide any help for me. But the Lord had worked everything out, and during my four years of study every time Satan tried to convince me that I could not continue, the Lord would provide for my needs. The Lord prepared and molded my life and my character, and he taught me His word.
Now that I am serving in the ministry I recognize that I need Him more and more each day. I am now pastoring a church in Sullana, and even though there are needs and trials, the Lord is faithful to fulfill His Word. All of this is simply the grace of God in my life. We are only instruments in the hands of the Lord. I covet your prayers that I might stay strong in the Lord and that I might persevere in the ministry to which God has called me. May God bless you.