I traveled this month with pastor Silvio Valdez to a place called Pueblo Nuevo in Playas de Romero. It’s about five hours away from Sullana, in the rural mountains near the border with Ecuador. We got there Saturday, and that night many believers and other people from the town came to the church. I preached a sermon on the agonies of hell and was able to share the gospel with everyone that was present. I also had the chance to talk with a lot of them afterward, and sadly, for many, I found what is so common in the human heart: self-righteousness. The people in the rural towns boast because they think they are not as bad as the people in the city, and therefore. they think that everything is okay for them. Thankfully, God has given us His word to tear down every self-righteous argument we make and He gives us the ability to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
The next morning there were even more people in attendance, with more people coming from other churches in the region. I’m always surprised after we travel through the mountains to a town and see so few houses, how many people come from different places all throughout the region in order to celebrate the Lord’s Day together. I met brothers and sisters from both Ecuador and Peru.
We met one brother named Curipuma, who is going through a time of trial. Three years ago he lost his oldest daughter to cancer and now his little grandson is constantly sick. I felt a lot of compassion for this man and I encouraged him in the Lord. I couldn’t hide my tears as he told me about the things he has gone through these past few years. We finished our conversation by praying with one another, and then we had a special time of prayer with the whole congregation for him and his family. May God continue strengthening my brother and cause him to grow in faith.
A week prior to my trip with Silvio, I also went to the town of Chipillico where we had a fellowship with other HeartCry pastors. The Lord gave us more opportunities to preach the gospel. We went out to begin evangelizing at six o’clock in the morning when the agriculture workers are beginning their workday. I don’t think I’ve ever shared the gospel that early in the morning. I was able to share the gospel with two people, but the other people we tried to speak with refused us. Still, we continued sharing about Christ with anyone who was willing to listen, and the Lord kept us from getting discouraged.
We finished that day by visiting a brother in the faith who is very advanced in age. He wants to go to church, but his health doesn’t allow for it. So, we decided to spend a long time with him encouraging him with the Scriptures. Not only was he encouraged, but I was too, by his love for the Lord and his strong love for his brothers in Christ. He was an example for me.