Teacher – Lima, Peru
Since 2013, HeartCry has been associated with David Barnes in the training of indigenous pastors through the Centros Teológicos Bautistas de Perú (Baptist Theological Centers of Peru), of which he is the director. To continue improving his efforts in the training of Peruvian pastors, David has begun a Ph.D. program through a seminary in Guatemala, and HeartCry has agreed to partner with him to help with these studies. He continues to direct and teach the Bible Academy, while also carrying out mobile bible academies throughout the jungles of Peru.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born into a nominally Christian family, and my parents stopped attending church when I was 4 years old. As a result, the only knowledge of God and his Word that I received in my childhood was through religious education at school. I went to university as an agnostic, but in my second year, several of my friends were converted and started talking about God as someone real and personally known to them. After many conversations about Christianity, they started to convince me of its truth; and I started to read the New Testament for myself, asking God (if He existed) to show Himself to me. I started reading one of the Gospels as a book written by men, but before I finished, I sensed God speaking to me through it. So I started to pray to Him, and with the help of my friends, I came to trust in Christ and repent of my sins.
My worldview changed radically, and God’s peace and joy inundated my heart. I started to read the Bible and bought commentaries to help me understand as much as I could of my incomparable God and his wonderful Word. Shortly after my conversion, I was baptized and received into membership in a Baptist church, and I started to help in the Sunday School and to disciple new believers.
Call to Ministry
Not long after I became a Christian a missionary working in South America visited our church. I was immediately, irresistibly, and permanently attracted to missionary work. I traveled to Peru on a short-term mission project for 3 months in 1988, during which the Lord put the people of Peru on my heart.
After postgraduate studies in the UK, I returned to Peru with the blessing of our church to learn Spanish and Peruvian culture and serve the Lord. I worked for 12 years teaching in private schools, during which time I started serving the Lord as a youth leader, helped plant and lead a church, founded a Christian school, studied in a seminary in Lima, taught in the seminary, got married, and had a son.
In 2001 I started visiting the Peruvian jungle to preach and teach. The Lord showed me the great need for leadership preparation in the Amazonian churches, and I started to travel regularly to the jungle to teach until 2003 when my wife and I felt the Lord leading us to return to England to seek support so that we could dedicate ourselves full-time to this ministry. In 2005 we returned to Peru and we have been serving the Lord in theological education in the jungle, the mountains, and now in Lima. It has been a great joy and privilege to partner with HeartCry in Lima since 2013 through the training of their missionaries and the leadership of the churches with which they are involved.