We received the sad news on Saturday of the death of a faithful servant of the Lord, Hector (“Victor”) Malpartida. After a battle with cancer lasting several years, Hector is now rejoicing in the presence of our King and Savior. His life is a wonderful testimony of God’s grace, of the transforming power of the gospel, of a driving passion to see Christ glorified, and of love and compassion for lost souls. He was a pastor for more than three decades in the difficult district of Ventanilla in Lima, Peru, and was a zealous evangelist. His love and service to Christ’s church will be missed by many. Please be in prayer for his family in the coming days. We look forward to seeing our brother in glory soon. Below, you can read his account of God’s saving mercies in his life:
My name is Hector, but everyone calls me Victor. Sadly, from a very early age, I became a criminal, and I became increasingly worse until finally ending up in a juvenile detention center after being charged with assault and armed robbery. Instead of getting turned around in prison, I became even more worldly and was drawn deeper into the world of crime. When I got out of prison, I became a bodyguard for a drug cartel in the jungle. This cartel was located in a region that was well-known for drug trafficking, crime, and violent crimes against the local population. Many people feared me, but there were also times when I was pursued like an animal by other men who wanted to kill me.
I also worked as a drug trafficker, taking drugs to Lima whenever I traveled there with my girlfriend and my children. I would take the drugs and distribute them to other sellers in Lima, but I had become such a drug addict that I often consumed all of the drugs myself. My addiction became so strong that none of the other dealers trusted me to sell drugs anymore. Drugs had rendered me useless even to them. I could no longer do the job, and because of this, I lost my girlfriend and my children.
After sinking deeper and deeper into this addiction, and after being in and out of several prisons, I found myself in Pucallpa (a large city in the jungle) sleeping in the parks and the suburbs. I slept on cardboard boxes and used plastic bags as a blanket. I remember one day lifting my eyes to heaven and began to pray to God. I told him that I knew that he existed; that I felt him but that I couldn’t see him. I had felt him ever since I was a young boy when I walked out on my patio and looked up to heaven, asking myself many questions about him and crying. There were still so many things that I could not understand. So, I continued crying out to God: “Help me. Please, help me!” I did not know Christ, but God sent an angel named Rene, an American missionary who worked in that city. She not only shared with me about Christ, but she also cared for my needs by providing me with clothes and food. I accepted Christ as Lord of my life.
After I came to know Christ, Rene sent me to Lima where God continued his work in me, using Pastor Carlos Antezana at the Centro Nacer drug rehabilitation center. While I was at Centro Nacer, I surrendered to God’s call on my life to serve Him in the ministry and in the extension of the kingdom of God.
Following his conversion in 1987, Hector later served in the ministry as a pastor and evangelist for more than thirty years. Praise for the way he used this servant saved by grace!