Fruitful Ministry in the Mountains of Peru

February 11, 2021
7 min read

You’ve probably noticed RMCC takes the Word of God seriously; for preaching on Sunday, and as the foundation for everyday life.

The essence of our message is loving Jesus, loving others and that means loving others in our own city … and in other parts of the world. As James 1:27 instructs us, visiting widows and orphans ranks at the top of practically living out our faith in Christ.

Several years ago, our church leadership desired to fulfill that mission. Over time, the LORD directed and opened doors in Peru where we were able to help purchase a home for abandoned children, known today as the Children’s Cottage. Further opportunities to support other ministries within Peru were given to us by the Lord including coming alongside Pastor Albert Smith in Iquitos and, more recently, the AIDIA Project in Abancay.

According to Pastor Blair Butterfield who oversees our missions activities at RMCC, our vision as a church is in developing relationships with the ministers and the ministries in Peru. This focus has brought about the mutual blessings of learning, growing, fellowship and discipleship between our church family and our brothers and sisters in Peru.

Who We’ve Come to Know

RMCC has several connections in Peru based on relationships that have formed and developed over nearly 20 years. We are thankful to God for each one! A few of these include:

  • Mario and Patti at the Children’s Cottage for abandoned children in Chaclacayo.
  • Pastors Albert, Raul and Javier in Iquitos at Calvary Chapel Terminal, along with River Pastor Jose.
  • Pastor Lucho in Lima and Calvary Chapel Gracia.
  • And, more recently, Pastor Luis Cervantes and the AIDIA ministry in Abancay.

What is AIDIA?

AIDIA (pronounced ‘idea’) is a Christian organization located in south-central Peru, in the Apurimac region. The AIDIA association was formed by local church leaders in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The director of AIDIA is Pastor Luis Cervantes and Pastor Luis and his team minister to the Quechua-speaking people who live in remote communities scattered across the Andes.

The acronym translated from Spanish is: Association Interdenominational for Development Integral in Apurimac. Another way of describing it would be: all-encompassing development and discipleship.

The Great Commission in Peru

Before returning to His Father in Heaven, Jesus gave His followers an important assignment to carry out until His return: “Go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The group of believers who serve with AIDIA take that command very seriously. They put it into action, and serve by visiting, loving, teaching and discipling the people throughout the province of Apurimac.

To this end, their many activities include:

  • Translating the Bible into the language the people speak: Quechua.
  • Helping the residents of Apurimac Province learn how to read and write in the Quechua language.
  • Training believers who will grow to become leaders.
  • Reaching out in practical ways to bless the poor and provide food to those in need.
  • Investing in the next generation through education.

Humble Yet Fruitful

“AIDIA is an exemplary mission project with massive influence in the Apurimac Province. Besides Bible translation, which is a huge operation involving at least seven highly educated pastors and translators, they have a Christian school, a full time video production coordinator, three full time staff in audio visual and reading material production, as many as three itinerant full time Sunday School leaders, a church of 250 people and a church plant of 150.” Pastor Blair Butterfield

When it comes to the AIDIA team, there is no doubt that the LORD is their provision, wisdom and strength and they are quick to give God the credit for every step taken and progress achieved.

The believers involved in this ministry have genuine servant hearts, they are filled with fervor and faith and their dedication and sacrifice are exemplary. Even in the midst of the challenges of COVID-19 they continue to minister, meeting in small groups, often outside or in adobe buildings, sitting on wood benches or plastic chairs … or on the ground.

One thing that compels them to carry on with the work is the open door God has set before them; there is a great hunger for Truth and Life among these people.

For example, when a team goes out to visit and encourage the new churches and new leaders, there is a tremendous amount of work, and sacrifice involved such as:

  • Leaving one’s family for several days.
  • Hitching a ride for several hours up winding, rugged roads.
  • Waiting as everyone arrives (many coming on foot).
  • Coping with the uncertainty of where the next meal will be or where to sleep that night.

Yet along with the sacrifice come the joys of interacting with those who…

  • Are eager to learn and grow.
  • Have understood enough to want more.
  • Have placed their faith in the Savior of the world.
  • Are filled with life and hope!

What a privilege to be partnering with such a significant mission. For an even greater appreciation of what the Lord is doing we are delighted to share a few testimonies directly from some of the faithful saints serving with AIDIA.

Written by Heidi Sharp


A FEW TESTIMONIES …

“In January 2020, a group of believers from the Chuquinga community prayed to God, asking for their own land for the church. Everyone was excited, but then the COVID-19 pandemic began, and they were all stuck in their homes for several months. The request for land seemed unrealistic. However, in the final quarter of the year, a Christian brother volunteered to sell land to the church. The believers were very happy, and they now have already celebrated the first open air service on their own land. Everyone was excited and said: ‘God is great; He provided us with the resources to buy our land.’” Rocío Villegas, Facilitator

“The quarantine has been for many a time a time of sadness and tears, with the sudden loss of close relatives from one moment to the next. That’s how it was with me, when during the quarantine I lost my sister to COVID-19. It was sad because we could not go to her wake or to her burial, because according to government protocols, once she died she was taken to be buried without her family seeing her. This saddened me, but on the other hand, I am grateful to God for taking care of my family: my wife and my daughter.” Pastor Bernardino Lancho

“One day my wife and I went to visit a family at their home carrying a basket of food. When we arrived they welcomed us with a warm greeting, a strong hug and handshake, the way we usually greet each other. After talking for a long time inside her house, the Christian woman asked us to sit at the table and have lunch with her family. While she was serving the food, she told us that a couple of days before, the whole family had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and were in quarantine. My wife and I looked at each other in surprise, because at that moment we weren’t even wearing our masks. In faith, not saying anything, but rather encouraging them, we finished lunch. We left a bit worried, but thank God, we were not infected. We thank God for taking care of us.” Pastor Carlos Arias

The Quechua believers are largely unknown to the rest of the world but thankfully we have a strong and growing connection with these precious brothers and sisters in the LORD. Let’s be praying for them, that God would bless them indeed! Let’s support and pray for those who serve with AIDIA, that God would continue to lead and inspire them.

If you have questions or further interest, talk with Pastor Blair or send him an email: blair@calvarychapel.ca. You can also learn more about AIDIA on their website. (It has tabs for Spanish, Quechua and English!) https://www.aidiaperu.com/en/welcome/bienvenidos

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