As His word continues to be proclaimed through the ministry of the missionaries in Peru, the Lord is saving sinners, edifying believers, and building up His church. In this article, I would like to give a brief overview of some of the ways we are seeing Him do that by relaying some of the highlights from this past month’s reports. I hope this update will both stir your heart to rejoice in the mercy of the Lord among the people of Peru, and provoke you to pray diligently that He would continue to magnify the greatness of His Name in and through the missionaries HeartCry supports there
The Lord is bringing together new groups of believers throughout the city of Lima and in surrounding towns. Eduardo Aricari began sending two young men from his church to visit a new group of believers in a nearby city called Huaycan. These two young men have been discipled and trained for ministry in the local church, and with the oversight of Eduardo are beginning to exercise their gifts in ministry. The group they’re ministering to in Huaycan was started by a young couple that recently moved there from Eduardo’s church. They are both new in the faith—the wife has been a believer for two years and the husband for only a year—and yet they are zealous for Christ and the gospel. Immediately, when they arrived in their new home in Huaycan they began preaching the gospel to their neighbors and the Lord has already gathered together a group of eight families that are meeting regularly to study the Scriptures. Eduardo’s hope is that these two young men that have been sent to visit the church, along with their families, will soon be able to move there permanently and establish a formal church plant.
At the beginning of the month, a conference was held in northern Peru in the mountain region of Pacaipampa. There were several hundred in attendance, many of whom traveled hours on foot or horseback to be present. For the believers throughout the mountains of Pacaipama, this is one of the greatest encouragements each year. It’s a unique opportunity for them to be reminded of all that God is doing across their region as they fellowship together, sing to the Lord (often all night!), and sit under the preaching of God’s word. Under the shade of a large canopy, HeartCry Missionary Jorge Marsano taught the Scriptures for three days. Such a large gathering of believers in Pacaipampa is proof of the Lord’s power to save, considering that just a few decades ago there was no evangelical church there! A region that was so resistant to the gospel when it was first proclaimed there is now home to thousands of souls that love Christ and are faithfully devoted to the cause of the gospel.
Jungles of Peru
HeartCry supports two pastors serving in different parts of Peru’s mountain-jungles. One of them, named Arturo Marin, pastors a church in the town of San Rafael in the province of Tarapoto. The Lord is continuing to open wide doors for gospel proclamation. In addition to preaching in the local church, in past weeks Arturo has been given the opportunity to preach to hundreds of lost souls at funerals, weddings, and even birthday parties. Several people have been brought to conviction of sin and have made a profession of faith, and Arturo is beginning to disciple them in the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith.
Arturo and his wife Gladys have begun discipling a younger Christian couple. The sister’s name is Teotista and her parents are wealthy Catholics who are very opposed to the fact that she decided to marry a poor evangelical Christian. Teotista and her husband are in a very difficult financial situation, and even though her parents give financial support to each of her siblings, they refuse to give financial support to her as long as she is married to this man. In fact, her father made her the proposal that if she left her Christian husband, he would give her fifteen thousand dollars. But Teotista has remained faithful to the Lord and loves her husband, and she has refused the offer, despite her severe financial needs. Though she’s been treated terribly by her parents, Teotista continues to pray for their salvation. Arturo could say confidently that even in their abundance of poverty, this Christian couple is joyful in the Lord.
Jorge Marsano is the other missionary we support in the jungles of Peru. In addition to beginning a church plant in the city of Oxapampa, he also helps many of the churches in other parts of the city as well as in the surrounding mountains. Jorge shared with me a few weeks ago about a man that was recently diagnosed with cancer and was told he had very little time to live. In desperation he traveled down the mountain to speak with Jorge, because he wanted to know how he could be certain that he was going to go to heaven when he died, and not hell. The man had regret for the sins he’d committed in life, but Jorge assured him that regret is not enough to pay for his sins—his sin must be punished. He assured him that there must be shedding of blood as a result our sins, since God is just and must satisfy his justice toward unrighteousness. The man was broken and was brought to the realization that the only option for him as a result of his sins was hell. Jorge then shared with him the good news of the salvation given in Christ, that though our sins must be punished and though we deserve to spend an eternity in hell paying for them, Christ endured the wrath of God in the place of sinners who place their hope in Him. The man was moved to express trust in Christ alone for salvation, and seemed to have been genuinely converted that day. After the conversation, the man traveled back up the mountain to his home, rejoicing in Christ, and Jorge hopes that we will see him with our Savior when we too enter His presence.
Wehrner Pancorbo is a pastor of Grace Christian Church in Cuzco. This month Wehrner shared about a man named Luis, whom he met at his sons’ school two years ago. Wehrner struck up a conversation with him at the entrance to the school, and their friendship developed from there. This man had attended church until he was in his mid-teens, but by the time he was twenty he had entirely left the faith. He was married and divorced by the time he was twenty-one, and from that time on he went through a lot of different trials in his life—financial problems, severe issues with his health, broken relationships, etc. Only now, at age thirty-two, is Luis showing any real concern for his soul. He visited the church two years ago, when he had first met Wehrner, but he stopped coming after two or three visits. Recently, he contacted Wehrner again out of the blue and Wehrner met with him and shared the gospel with him once again. The man was deeply impacted by the preaching of the gospel on that occasion, and since then he has been attending the church faithfully, expressing faith in Christ. He is frequent contact with Wehrner throughout the week to talk about biblical passages and ask questions about the Christian life. He has begun to express a hatred for his sin and his life is beginning to look very different than before. Wehrner and other believers in the church are now discipling Luis, and they’re prayerfully observing what the Lord is doing in his life. Praise God for His saving, transforming grace!