Raised to worship idols but believing no gods existed, a 24-year-old driver of a three-wheeler taxi in northern Peru relied on his own strength to face danger every day.
Victor* lived in a slum area riddled with crime, a red zone where he was constantly on edge to protect the small family he had begun. He struggled to support them as a painter and “mototaxi” driver, facing the threat of COVID-19 every day.
It wasn’t long before he contracted the novel coronavirus. As his health deteriorated, his wife became desperate and called a local missionary she had heard about, the leader of a native ministry said. The Christian worker came and shared the gospel with Victor, and he received Christ as Lord and Savior.
“Then the missionary prayed for his healing, and God restored his health,” the ministry leader said. “Victor was amazed at God’s love for him. Now he testifies that he lives completely happy.”
Victor said no one had ever told him about God before, the leader said. After committing his life to Christ, he watched every worship service of the local ministry’s church via Zoom. His wife has also put her faith in Christ, and as pandemic restrictions were relaxed, they now attend church services together.
He still faces dangers – including a treacherous trip to reach worship services – but now while practicing the presence of the Lord, the leader said.
“He rides his motorcycle for about two hours on a very dangerous, steep road to get to our meeting hall on Sundays,” he said. “He mentions that it is better to die going on a dangerous road to learn about Christ than to live a day without Christ.”
Ministry amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the native ministry into further use of broadcast and online channels for its evangelistic outreach, and this led to large-scale acceptance of Christ’s salvation, the leader said.
A relaxing of pandemic restrictions, though Intensive Care Unit beds in Peru remained at 100-percent occupancy due to the virus, gave a further push to gospel advance.
“We carry out broadcasts of evangelistic messages, publish on different digital platforms, and through these digital media, we receive daily requests for prayer for healing and forgiveness of sins,” the leader said. “Likewise, we continue with our family biblical home groups, made up of five to 10 people each, where families gather to worship, pray, and read the Word of God. These meetings are held once a week.”
Radio and social media helped a local missionary in one area start new Bible study groups in 12 homes, half of them among Quechua Kañaris, he said.
“The gospel was preached to them through Zoom, radio and, in the case among the Quechua Kañaris, the preaching of the gospel was done in person,” the leader said. “Six of them are located in one Quechua region and, in that area, the missionary reported 300 people who accepted Jesus as their personal Savior.”
The pandemic has taken a severe toll in many areas, and local missionaries have been praying for coronavirus patients, visiting them at home and calling by phone, besides the prayers and encouragement offered through the radio station. While there have been many testimonies of healing and transformation, COVID-19 took the life of one area leader.
“He was a leader used by God in the missionary work,” the ministry head said. “In that area our ministry has expanded in the last six months, winning 68 souls for Christ, and 100 new children who weekly hear the Word and receive biblical teachings.”
Assistance from Christian Aid Mission donors helped local missionaries give away 340 copies of Bibles and New Testaments in areas where there is a great demand for them, he said. In two trips to Andean areas, workers delivered Bibles, provided training to local leaders and started new Bible study groups.
“We were also able to distribute 100 food baskets in six rural areas,” the leader said. “More than 500 children and people in extreme poverty benefited; they have received food in these months of crisis due to the pandemic.”
Soldier for Christ
In another area known for high levels of crime, a soldier addicted to cocaine came to faith in Christ after a motorcycle accident.
“A month before giving himself to Christ, he even attacked and beat his mother, all this under the influence of drugs,” the ministry leader said. “Then he suffered an accident on a motorcycle, almost losing his right leg. He came desperately to his mother’s house, limping and asking to go to the meeting hall so that the missionary would pray for him.”
The worker shared with message of repentance and faith in Christ for forgiveness of sins.
“As he made the prayer of repentance, he shouted in a loud voice that the Lord forgive him,” the leader said. “It was a very beautiful moment.”
The soldier and the local missionary then prayed for his health, and he recovered not only from the leg injury but from addiction, the leader said.
“Now he faithfully attends services and Sunday school,” he said. “He has a job and helps his mother and his younger siblings. He is a tenacious evangelist among drug addicts. He also shares his testimony with young people on the streets.”
Local missionaries are bringing Christ’s love to such people throughout the country. Please consider a donation today to equip and encourage them.
*Name changed for security reasons