Peru Conference Report
We recently returned from our first trip to Peru since 1993. At that time we held a conference high in the Andes at a village named Pachas. We distributed over 100 copies of the Basics in Spanish at that time. Since that time I have been praying that God would rise up at least one man whose life and ministry would be changed by the doctrines taught in the book. On this trip I was able to meet that man.
Julio Cesar was on his way from Peru to Brazil to go to seminary 13 years ago. On his way through the jungle region he met a pastor who had a copy of the “Basics” in Spanish. After looking through it, Julio begged the pastor to let him have the book. As he told us when we met him, he used the book throughout his seminary training, then taught the contents of it in over 500 churches in Brazil. It was after finding the Basic Training Bible Ministries web site that Julio contacted us for more books, and to request that we come to Peru for a conference.
We found that Julio and his lovely wife Beatrice had done a great job of organizing the conference. Well over one hundred pastors and their wives, along with many church leaders and evangelists, attended the conference in the town of Chulucanas. In all the years I have been involved in training pastors I have not found a group who were more humble, teachable, and hungry for the truth. These men were eager to learn, willing to be corrected, and excited that someone was willing to come to an “out of the way” place, where no conference had ever been held.
We gave a copy of the Spanish “Basics” to each of the attendees, and used it as the course manual for the conference. Many questions were raised, and the men and women were excited to see what Scripture had to say on these topics. The necessity of “rightly dividing the Word” was stressed in connection with context and proper rules of Biblical interpretation (Hermeneutics). The group became very excited as they began to apply these principles themselves, to discover new truths, and work out passages that had been difficult for them in the past.
Our translators were my sister Cindy Garcia and Joan Wainer, who has assisted in many conferences in El Salvador in the past. They both had their hands full, as afternoons involved split sessions for men and women. Nan and Cindy both taught classes that were relevant to the ladies. These women could not believe that special sessions were dedicated to them and their needs, and were so appreciative of the topics covered.
Our team also included the intrepid duo Logan and Desiree Carnell from Amador Bible Church in Jackson, California (under Pastor Bill Puryear). Logan and Des were helpful in many ways, praying during the sessions, running errands, keeping the team supplied with water, etc. They will both accompany us into Papua New Guinea in January, and Logan will teach the course on Personal Spiritual Life. Des will serve with Nan in the women’s and children’s classes. We also enjoyed the company of Jack Jeffries from Arkansas, who attended Harlan Park Bible Church as a boy during our ministry there. Jack, who is six feet three inches tall, was a real hit with all the Peruvians because of his outgoing personality. He is also a gifted evangelist, and never let an opportunity to share the Gospel pass him by. We are thankful for each team member as a gift of God to our effort to proclaim the Gospel of Grace and sound doctrine in Peru. Plans are already underway for a follow-up conference next fall, with additional new conferences in even more remote mountain or jungle areas. Please uphold Julio and “Betty” as they continue to travel and teach to those who attended this year’s conference. Julio has since written to say that pastors are coming daily to his home to say that they have never felt so appreciated, or been so encouraged in their work, as during this time we spent together. Pray that God will continue to build the faith and bless the work of these precious fellow-soldiers for the faith.
Every mission trip is a product of God’s grace working through the lives of His children. We thank each of you who faithfully pray and support this ministry. Through your participation the Word of Truth is being proclaimed and lives are being changed for His glory.