Local Missionaries in Peru
Peru’s varied landscape is home to a diverse number of ethnic groups, some of which are completely isolated from the rest of society in the dense forest of the Amazon. Approximately one third of Peru’s people live in the coastal region along the Pacific Ocean, where the capital city is located, and around half of the population lives in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.
While Peru’s overall economy has been growing in recent years, extreme poverty exists in rural areas. Many children drop out of school to help support their families. Up to one third of Peruvian children between the ages of 6 and 14 work, often performing dangerous mining or construction jobs.
The Quechua people comprise the largest of the ethnic minority groups in Peru. Descendants of the wealthy and renowned Inca people, the Quechua people battle acute poverty and alcoholism.
Christian Aid Mission assists indigenous ministries working in high-altitude Quechua villages. Indigenous missionaries often travel by horseback, donkey, or on foot to deliver desperately needed food, clothing, and school supplies to these villages. They also provide free medical and dental care and share the message of the gospel at multi-day evangelistic events. Collectively, they have planted hundreds of Quechua churches.
One of these ministries has successfully spread the gospel to entire Quechua families through its feeding center, where approximately 100 children receive a daily nutritious meal—often their only meal of the day—and learn God’s Word.
Another ministry is successfully planting churches among the Ashaninka people who live in the Amazon forest and are fearful of outsiders due to past oppression. When this ministry first began working among the Ashaninka, they discovered a disturbing and pervasive practice. Witchdoctors often accused children of bringing bad luck upon entire villages, ordering parents to abuse their own children or expel them from their village to die alone.
Through the ministry’s compassionate care and persistent witness, many Ashaninka people have accepted Christ as savior, and as they’ve grown in God’s Word and been set free from the fear of evil spirits, they have abandoned their old cultural practice of child abuse. Today, the ministry trains Ashaninka believers to reach their own people for Christ.Sources: Joshua Project, CIA World Factbook
How to Pray for
- Pray that God would open doors for indigenous missionaries to reach Peru’s last remaining unreached people groups—people who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that God would raise up many more missionaries among ethnic tribal groups who will spread the gospel to their own people.
- Pray that God would grant continued wisdom and guidance to indigenous missionaries who are developing curriculum and training ethnic tribal believers as church leaders and missionaries.
- Pray that God would provide the resources requested by indigenous ministries to grow their outreaches, including funding for a mission base and classrooms in the Amazon forest region, boats to reach people living along the Amazon River, support for their workers, and assistance to continue providing the poor and needy with compassionate, life-saving aid.
More stories from Peru
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 driver of a three-wheeler taxi. Though raised to worship idols, Victor believed in no gods as he faced the threat of COVID-19 with each passenger he carried.
A 54-year-old waste collector in northern Peru and his children had long fought with his wife, but he never thought she would leave.
A Sunday morning church service seemed as good a place as any for an armed stranger to begin looking for the man he had been hired to kill.
Inside the church building, he heard the preacher reading from the Bible about someone asking Jesus what the greatest commandment was.
It was the following, second greatest commandment, however, that caught the gunman’s attention: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The children want to learn. The teachers want to teach. But neither the school in the Peruvian jungle village nor the schoolkids have enough money for school supplies like notebooks.
“Children go to school without notebooks, and teachers cannot do their job,” the leader of a native ministry said.
A young boy in one village told his mother that his teacher could not give him assignments because he had no notebook. His mother replied, “Let’s pray to God to provide.”
He had lost the woman he had married 11 years before when she finally decided she had to get away from the violence erupting from his addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Enrique knew his life was in ruins, but the 35-year-old electrician in Peru felt helpless to repair it.
When a neighbor in his village brought him to a native missionary’s church, he seemed impervious to the gospel preaching but liked the worship atmosphere. He returned to the Sunday services for months.