Juan Pablo was pastor of “Christ Is the Way” Baptist Church for many years in the Santa Isabel area of Villa el Salvador in Lima, Peru. In 2016, he began church-planting efforts in a village in the mountains near Huaraz, Peru. Here he gives us an update of recent events and shares the testimonies of some recently baptized believers.
By the grace of God, my family’s health is recovering. My daughter was sick with hepatitis; after a trip to the hospital, though, she is now recovering through treatment. Here in Huaraz the rains and thunderstorms have started, which means the roads are now dangerous. The other day, I almost wrecked my car because of the rain and fog. I am thankful to God for strengthening us to continue moving forward in the work of His kingdom, and we are thankful to all the brothers and sisters that pray for us.
The missionary work here in Callejon de Huaylas, Huaraz, is advancing step by step. Almost daily we are going out to share the gospel in the communities surrounding us, and we are holding Bible studies wherever there is an open door. On Sunday, November 19, our heavenly Father was pleased to allow the baptisms of our brothers and sisters (some of whom are family members) Liliana, Maria, Zulema, Ruzbel, and Noe (testimonies below). We are praying for their spiritual growth and for their service to the Almighty.
I thank God for the brothers and sisters that He is raising up who love God and are helping with the work of the Lord here in Huaraz. Recently, we assigned a brother the responsibility of caring for the group of believers that is now meeting in the city of Huaraz. Another brother has been assigned the responsibility of serving in the community of Tumpa. Two sisters are discipling other women in the city of Carhuaz, and another brother is working alongside them. I am currently leading Bible studies in the communities of Copa Chico and Yungar. I have found that I need to better distribute my time to be able to work more thoroughly for the Lord in each place. Please pray for me to that end.
I am 32 years old, and I have two children. Before coming to Christ, my life was very bitter. I was resentful because life seemed to be meaningless, even though I was committed to the Roman Catholic religion of my parents and participated in all of the saints’ festivals. As a young woman, I had two children; after living some time with the father of my children, I was left alone as a single mother of two. All I could do was work and try to survive.
Three years ago, my mother died in an accident with a drunk driver; my whole family was very affected by it. I was like a madwoman; I couldn’t sleep, and the memorial services held for my mother didn’t bring me any hope.
At that time, a Christian named Mariana reached out to us, and she brought us a Bible. Some time later, Pastor Juan Pablo and another Christian visited us and started to study the Bible with me. Through our Bible studies, I came to understand the gospel, and I called on the Lord Jesus to save my soul. He brought peace, comfort, and meaning to my life.
My life was always characterized by sadness. From the time I was a little girl, I worked in the fields, sowing and harvesting the crops in order to stay alive. I was a faithful Catholic like my parents and my siblings. In my youth, however, I enjoyed a sinful lifestyle.
Shortly after my second son was born sickly, my children's father abandoned us. With the help of my parents, I was able to take care of my two sons—until the tragic death of my mother. After she died, I fell into depression.
That was when Mariana visited us and encouraged us. She sowed the word of God in us, but I still did not give my life to Christ. Later, Pastor Juan Pablo and another brother began to study the Bible with us in the home of my brother, who had already become a follower of Christ. We started to attend those Bible studies, and the Word of God reached my heart. I surrendered to Christ, and since that time He has been my Lord who is with me. Even though I still have hardships in life, God is helping me to continue in His ways, and He gives me peace and joy.
When I was born, my father rejected me and left our family. I never met him. When I was twelve years old, my mother died; my sister and I became orphans. We were helpless, sad, and bitter; and we had so many questions about life and death. From that time we have lived with our grandparents or our uncles.
I looked for answers in the Catholic church as well as among Evangelicals, but I couldn’t find any. Three years ago, my grandmother died in a traffic accident. My aunt and uncle had become Christians, and they shared the Scriptures with me. I came to know Christ as my Lord and began attending the Bible studies in their home. Now with Christ I am growing in the knowledge of the Lord. He has filled the emptiness of my heart, and I know His love and peace. I have been baptized, and I want to follow His ways.
I am 14, and I live with my parents and my five siblings. We all work in the fields, and we also raise sheep. I also go to school, along with two of my siblings. In our village, there is a Catholic chapel that is only open once a year during the town’s saint festival. Life at home is very hard.
Last year, Pastor Juan Pablo and some other brothers started coming every Friday afternoon to talk to us about Jesus Christ. I have believed in the Lord, and I want to serve Him. I am helping the pastor with the ministry to the children. I am happy that the Word of God has come to my town.
I’m 24 years old. I’m unmarried, and I study accounting in the university, which is why I live away from home in an apartment in Huaraz. I was born in the province of Yungay, in the mountains of Huascaran. As a child, I attended a church with my parents; but I only went because it was our custom. When I finished school, I came (with my parents’ help) to the city of Huaraz to study.
Three years ago, some people from a local seminary invited me to a teaching module they were hosting. There I met a man named Ruben, and he explained the gospel to me, clearing up a lot of misunderstandings I had. My life changed at that point, but I still wrestled with some of the wrong things that I had been taught in the past. Later, I met Pastor Juan Pablo and some other brothers and began attending the church they had planted in Tarica. Since then, I have been meeting with the church there and growing in the grace of the Lord. With joy, I now speak to people in my university about Christ, and I serve in our local church.