From Lake Titicaca to Chiclayo and Beyond
The Spreading Work in Peru
In 2010, the Lord allowed us to extend the work in other areas of Peru that we had not previously entered.
Right after arriving in Lima, Peru, our family visited Sister Marienela, who for almost one year had been studying the Steps to Life Bible studies over the internet with us, after showing an interest through the Prophetic Perspectives (www.propheticperspectives.com) web page. I sent her one study every one to two weeks and followed by a phone conversation to clarify Bible verses and questions. God is powerful—every subject that was covered she implemented and obeyed. For example, after studying the Sabbath, she called the people working for her in her national tourism business to let them know that on Sabbath her office would be closed. This was a challenge, considering how difficult it is to keep an income in Peru. But the Lord is blessing her. She started to assist and be involved in a local Seventh-day Adventist church; her son was changed to an Adventist school, and now she is studying with relatives and trying to reach them with the truth. During our visit we reviewed all the principles she had studied, and the local Seventh-day Adventist pastor agreed to do the baptism; and, by God’s grace, she gave her life to the Lord, and she continues working with friends and relatives and a local Seventh-day Adventist church.
By God still providing the means to travel, I explored a new area at the south end of the country, Juliaca-Puno, responding to an invitation of one sister, where her family has been working earnestly to promote the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. They are one of the most active families in a local 40- to 50-member church in the city of Juliaca-Puno located over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, close to Lake Titicaca and the border with Bolivia. There the weather is cold throughout the year, and one can really get short of breath after few steps because of the high altitude. Some tourists need oxygen in the hotels; others get very sick with headaches, nausea, vomiting, etc; thank God, He allowed me to go to all the places that were planned without getting sick. As in most of the places in Peru, the needs are tremendous since the teaching in the churches is limited to few subjects. The area is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the Lord has blessed them with a rich variety of natural products.
Right after arriving in Juliaca, I traveled 40 minutes to the city of Puno, where there was a space on a local television station to talk about health during the mornings. This I did for one hour, and people were invited to the main event to take place at night in the local theater of the city of Puno. The advertisement was prearranged by Sister Susana. All her family is well known because of her dedication and service. For several nights she did cooking demonstrations of vegetarian dishes followed by my 45-minute presentations about health. Materials were given out each night.
After a few nights in Puno, we moved back to Juliaca for presentations in the local Seventh-day Adventist church, where for three days the Lord allowed me to present some messages. The people were hungry for the truth. I pray that by God’s grace those messages of truth presented helped them to be stronger in their faith and inspired them to continue knowing more of our Father and Jesus.
The brothers and sisters were interested in hearing more of the messages, and the church requested another visit for a longer time and also for us to work the city with the message, so we have presented our plans to our Lord to return in February 2011 if it is His will.
After Juliaca, I went back to Lima, where I met Brother Hector Torres and Bob and Kathy Henricksen, who were joining us from the United States to continue the work. We had on the schedule a program focusing on prophecy and family in two different locations in Lima; one of them was for Adventists in one of the popular districts in Lima, San Juan de Lurigancho; and the other was with a group that had been studying the Bible for a few weeks, preparing for baptism.
The book of Daniel was covered by Brother Bob. Everyone was especially impressed with the study of Daniel 11, as it was new for them. Brother Hector Torres thoroughly covered different topics related to the family, education, country living and holiness. Sister Kathy gave demonstrations of natural remedies and thoroughly explained the underlying principles. All of the subjects were very deep spiritually, promoting reading, searching of the heart and consecration. The brothers in this church followed a very conservative worship service; they are very careful with the music, promote present truth and are very active in their community with outreach activities.
After that, we continued with our trip, moving north this time. We traveled eight to nine hours on bus to the next city of Trujillo. We planned one week of work. The neighborhood where we stayed and worked is recognized for being the most dangerous of the entire city, but our Lord is good. In the mornings we safely moved around and made visits and gave Bible studies, and every day we returned safely. A local school was rented for the public outreach. In the afternoon we offered free medical screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes. At night, two spiritual presentations were given. The Lord blessed them with the presentations; new contacts were made, and our prayers are with those brothers struggling with many new doctrines. The family that accommodated us in their home, as well as other members, made a public recommitment. We thank our Lord for His blessings.
Then we traveled farther north for another three hours by bus to the city of Chiclayo, where we planned another five days of health screenings and nightly meetings. We found that simultaneous activities were arranged by the local Seventh-day Adventist churches, and many members were forbidden to assist in our meetings. Despite that, we were allowed to use a local auditorium for free, which is usually very expensive to rent. We repeated the same activities from the prior city. We had between 30 and 40 brothers present at night. On the last night we had to struggle with a simultaneous Pentecostal meeting. Since we had used the auditorium for free, they were talking about canceling our meeting; but the Mayor arranged to move us to another room large enough to continue with the final meeting, which really impressed people’s hearts; they were very thankful for the encouraging messages that they had not heard before.
Our final event was a camp meeting, which gathered people from several cities. A rural area was rented four hours away from Chiclayo, with no accommodations other than tables, chairs and an area of rustic adobe walls and plastic stretched over the roof for the meetings. We used tents for three nights, cooking with wood. Night watch was advised, because usually thieves come around in the middle of the night, but our Lord is great; He protected each one of us. It was an unusual camp meeting for many. Everybody was surprised not to see competitive sports or inappropriate music; but instead there were prayers, Bible reading, children’s classes, women’s meetings and presentations about important doctrinal subjects, critical to our times. Every presentation was strong, and we need your prayers for those people to become instruments of God, carrying forward the everlasting gospel with power.
The Lord still is providing the means to pay for seven radio programs in different cities of Peru, mainly owned by protestant churches. It is interesting to see that mainly due to the message of the Sabbath, some do not renew our contract after 6-12 months, but the Lord opens another radio station, and the seeds are being planted.
The plan for printing books is expanding also. The family from the south that I visited at the beginning of my trip is dedicated also to the printing business, and as we are looking to work closely, the prices are very reasonable. We are improving the quality of our books with them. At the same time, we have received information from a group of brothers in Bolivia interested in the books, so we are expecting to be able to provide cheaper books. For now, we are working on three more new titles of Spirit of Prophecy books for printing. Your prayers are needed; for the short time available, we need to continue waiting, watching, working and praying for all of the work done in the world.
By Franco Monteza. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Peru is this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Project. To help the work in Peru, send your donations marked “Thirteenth Sabbath Offering” to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.