News

Indigenous Ministry in Peru Prays Away Pains of the Poor

March 9, 2017

Villagers receiving clothes in Peru.
Villagers are overjoyed to receive donations of clothes in northern Peru.

After the woman he had lived with for three years told him she had found another lover and left him, a young man in northern Peru fell into deep depression. He decided to mix enough poison into a drink to kill himself.

In the semitropical district of Olmos some 500 miles north of Lima, Dali believed suicide was the only way to overcome the pain as, catatonic, he flipped through channels on a radio. On one station he heard someone talking about hope in Jesus Christ. After listening for some time, he called in.

"I was able to explain to him that the Lord has a plan, a purpose for him," the radio evangelist said. "He received Jesus as his Savior. I began to teach him the Bible, and now the Lord has delivered him from death."

Dali is eagerly learning the Bible and sharing the story of his transformation with friends and relatives. The radio evangelist, who leads an indigenous ministry serving areas of Peru, said soon Dali will be baptized.

The radio outreach led to the formation of a church in Olmos town last June, and Dali recently became part of the 19-member congregation.

"We gather twice a week, and once a month we fast and pray for the needs of the congregation," the ministry leader said. "Also, a few months ago several people were baptized."

Once addicted to alcohol, the recovered leader is now well-equipped to reach out to hurting people in Peru. He was raised in a family steeped in witchcraft and idol worship, among the same kind of jungle-dwelling animists that his ministry has reached with the gospel since 1988. The ministry now serves as an umbrella organization for several church-planting groups working in northern Peru's Lambayeque Region.

Teams reach out to ethnic Quechua, who make up 4.4 million of Peru's approximately 30 million people and practice animism and witchcraft, often in conjunction with a nominal form of Catholicism. The indigenous workers rarely find any Quechua who have heard or understood the gospel of Christ. The Lambayeque Quechua are usually more devoted to elements of nature that must be appeased with offerings.

"Among the Lambayeque Quechua people in the Andes, most of the population worships idols and needs to hear the hope in Jesus," the leader said.

While team members regularly expend much time and energy to reach remote tribal people, the radio ministry overcomes geographical barriers in an instant. One listener from Jajan, Freddy Crisanto in neighboring Piura Province in the Andes, called in saying, "Thank you for your radio programs, which are a blessing that help me to grow closer to Jesus Christ."

A young man who had never heard the gospel, Angel Julca, last year visited the radio offices from Chapala village, posing many questions about Christianity. One of the ministry workers talked with him, and he put his trust in Jesus that day. A woman named Gloria called from a shanty town expressing thanks for a daily prayer program from 5 to 6 in the morning, saying it "helped restore my spiritual life, and I am now a different woman and changed by Christ." Another listener, Nery, traveled to the radio station from Yahuangate village and also dedicated his life to following Jesus.

"Now I continue to study the Bible through your radio programs, and I attend a local congregation," Nery said. "Thank you for being an instrument in God's hands."

Ministry workers carrying supplies in Peru.
Ministry team members unload gifts for children in preparation for distribution.

Thus even the radio ministry generates face-to-face contact of a sort typical of team trips to unreached peoples. Ministry teams make regular forays into remote villages to share Christ personally, such as a recent eight-hour bus trip to Uyurpampa village to bring clothes, shoes and financial aid, all made possible by donors to Christian Aid Mission.

Children benefitting from a Christmas outreach to the Lambayeque Region village were all smiles as they received gifts their families could not afford, the director said.

"I only had sandals to walk around in, and when it rained my feet got wet, and I was very cold," said 7-year-old Segundo. "Now with this closed-toe shoe, I will not be cold. Also, the clothes will be very useful for me. Thank you so much for these gifts."

The distribution of basic living items helps open the way for gospel proclamation to both children and adults, the ministry leader said. Thanking Christian Aid donors, he noted how 10-year-old girl named Carmen expressed her appreciation.

"You cannot imagine how happy I am," she said, "to receive this pair of shoes and clothes. This is the first time I have had a gift for Christmas. I thank you from the depths of my heart, and may God bless you richly."

To help indigenous missionaries to meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 245NLE. Thank you!


SC: MIR