Winter 2014
Written by T S Ashley Milne - Peru

Going back to the year 2000, a Peruvian couple, Raul Elcorrobarrutia and his wife Rosario, converted to the Lord in Venezuela, had a holy determination that we accompany them to their beloved homeland, in order to bring the Gospel to their relatives. Equally, and shortly after, another Peruvian sister, converted in Venezuela, Alicia de Puerta Ollarves, who was 28 years separated from her father and the rest of his family, understood her responsibility toward the close circle of her own, humanly speaking. This was another link and the idea of going to Peru was gaining momentum. So, with this background, and concluding that the matter was of God, on November 1st, 2002 we set out toward the epicentre of the ancient Inca empire.

With the passage of time, what began as family visits attracted people not belonging to the circle of relatives of the believers already mentioned. This led us to move to formal preaching and renting public places to hold meetings every night. At the beginning, a good number professed faith in Christ in the city of Huaral, almost two hours journey north of Lima.

At this time, the group has been reduced to eight members who hold a devotional (Sunday morning), preaching at night and two more meetings during the week. The fact of not having their own premises has affected the development of the work. Almost every visit requires us to rent a different local site which has brought criticism among the people. They say that we move too much, seeing this detail as a symptom of instability in us.

Between Huaral and Lima is a town called Aucallama. There live the relatives of brother Marcos Salguero (who belongs to the group in Huaral). During our most recent visit, the Lord granted us to preach the Gospel in that town, seeing every night a growing interest.

The urgency of having to go north in order to start the construction of the new hall in the town of La Arena, did not allow us a greater exercise here at this time. Seeing the interest and the hunger for God's word, which some verbally expressed, constrains us to preach in this town on subsequent visits.
Also, in this town, there operates an institution (Blue House), addressing the treatment and help of drug addicts. The director of the institute opened a large door for preaching and it was with great joy that we announced the word to 30 young men on each occasion. One of them, Joseph, interrupted the meeting to confess publicly his faith in Christ. We have the news that there has been significant changes in his life, so there is a twofold reason by which we continue to keep our eye on Aucallama.

South of Lima, in a neighbourhood called "Alfonzo Ugarte," we have preached in two different sites and have had Bible classes for children. The people there are astonishingly apathetic toward the gospel, including relatives of sister Alicia de Puerta Ollarves, who at the beginning, perhaps out of curiosity, heard the message live in that area.

A lady of that family, Enedina de Rivera, professed to be saved and has already been baptized. Also a man of about 60, maintains his profession of faith and has recently converted the living room of their house for meetings.

The elderly father of our sister Alicia lives in a remote village of the Andean district of Huanuco. The village is called Retama and the climate is very cold, as cold as the people are towards God. They cling to Catholicism, brought by Spain to this land, as well as the ancient customs of their Incan heritage. Don Ignacio, father of Alicia, during our last visit not only heard the Gospel but was moved by the message. He is already very old and much in need of being saved. Please pray for his salvation. Half- an-hour from there is a place called Union of Huanuco, where we have distributed thousands of Gospel tracts and hundreds of New Testaments. Even though people receive the literature with enthusiasm, it has not been possible yet to rent premises to publicly preach the word. Three women have professed faith in Christ but, frankly, we are not very convinced of the reality of such professions.
Towards the north of Peru, there has been exercise in the town of La Arena. Twelve believers have been baptized and hold public meetings of preaching, prayer, Bible study and biblical teaching, as well as children's activities. Three boys have been developing their gifts and are active in taking part in the meetings.

There is an exercise about the possibility of establishing an assembly during the first visit of 2015, in the will of the Lord. During our visit this year, significant progress was made in the construction of the new hall and, at the same time, we were moved to see that God has been building the walls of the spiritual house with living stones, as well.

In Catacaos, with a large population, just 40 minutes from La Arena, there lives a young believer, who has started a Bible class for children. Their parents have given consent so that the Gospel can be preached to the adults as well. It is an open door, which we plan, God willing, to avail ourselves of, on our next visit.

Similarly, Tumbes, a regional capital city, twenty minutes from the border with Ecuador, offers the opportunity for the proclamation of the word. The family of Segundo Sernaque, of La Arena, lives in that city and has expressed a desire for preaching. Our prayer is for this to be another open door and our desire is to reach beyond, with divine favor, precious souls for our God.

Brother Gerardo Palacios - Centre

Apart from the above-mentioned, sometimes when the group of visitors from Venezuela has been relatively large, we have been able to reach Huaquillas, a border town with Ecuador with much commercial activity and where the Lord has granted us to do a task of distributing Gospel literature with good receptivity on the part of the local population. We wait on God's guidance as we hope at some point to proclaim the Gospel there in a public way.

It is necessary to say that many brethren and sisters have made a great effort from Venezuela but, as time passes and the economic conditions in Venezuela are deteriorating, it becomes much more difficult to travel. It is time to depend more on the Lord, despite the circumstances.

Brethren Noel McKeown, Alcimides Velasco, Emisael Alvarado and Ruben Mendoza, full-time workers, also helped much. Brother Gerardo Palacios, a Colombian-born preacher, has worked greatly and made more visits to Peru than any.

Finally, Raul Elcorrobarutia, the brother who first encouraged others to go to Peru to speak the word to his family, recently went to be with the Lord. Without a doubt, he occupies a place in the holy service of our God. He has not lived in vain and, certainly at the judgment seat of Christ, our Lord will reward him because He is not unjust to forget.


Winter 2014
Written by T S Ashley Milne - Peru