Juan Pablo was the pastor of “Christ is the Way” Baptist Church for many years in the Santa Isabel area of Villa el Salvador in Lima. In 2016 he began church planting efforts in a village in the mountains near Huaraz, Peru.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born into a family of five children of which I am the third. At the age of 8, I began to go out to work in the streets with my brothers and sisters shining shoes, and from a very young age we learned how hard life is. We also involved ourselves in many vices, and I lived a very empty life full of problems. At home, dad would get drunk on the weekends and beat mom and all the rest of us.
In 1982, when I was in high school, my older brother died at the age of 15 from a sudden illness. This affected the whole family. In this same year a Christian friend from school gave me a Gideon’s New Testament, and every day as we were leaving school, he would talk with me about the Word of God. One day, he asked me a question that made me think about the eternal fate of my brother who had died. He asked me where I thought my brother’s soul had gone. I told him that I did not know. He then asked me where I would go if I were to die. I told him that I did not know. From that day on he began sharing the gospel with me.
One day, my friend invited me to attend a Baptist church close to my house. I listened as the Pastor shared the gospel, and there began to be a struggle within me as I wrestled with repentance. My friend asked me if God had touched my heart, and I told him that he had. That day I surrendered to Christ. I went to my house and shared with my family how Christ had saved me, and a year later I was baptized and began to serve in the church.
From the time that I was converted, I was extremely grateful to the Lord for my salvation. I began to serve in different areas in the church and made myself available to help the pastor out in many ways; teaching children, going on mission trips, etc.
For financial reasons, partly related to the death of my father, I had to join the army during the period of terrorism and civil war in Peru. So, I began my military career. After I had been in the Army three years and had even become part of the special forces, God began to impress upon my heart a desire to serve him in ministry. It was like a fire in my bones that would not relent, so in 1989 I quit the Army. I pursued my theological studies at night and I worked during the day. While I was studying, my pastor left our church and put me in charge. I pastored there until 2000. Since then I have been pastoring the Baptist church in Santa Isabel, Villa (a suburb of Lima).