They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42
The weekend of August 26th marked the beginning of Pastor Paulo’s weekend visitations into the community of 13 de Febrero. As mentioned in a previous posting, on an earlier visit into the community Paulo came across an old Baptist church building. After inquiring with some of the local residents, it was discovered that the pastor had vacated the community and the church years earlier, but several dedicated followers were continuing to meet weekly under the leadership of three lay leaders. The meetings consisted of a short message on Sunday, nothing more from what we can tell. This is the same story that we have seen played out for the last several years in church after church in and around that area. There are countless church buildings scattered throughout the landscape-Pentecostal, Baptist, Evangelical Temples (whatever that is…) – but a strong Biblical preacher, grooming a healthy Biblical congregation, one is hard pressed to find. Case in point, on a previous visit we stopped in at the local Baptist Seminary where we had a wonderful meeting with the director, who happened to be an American. He confirmed many of the suspicions that we had after being in these communities and speaking with the leaders, there are lots and lots of buildings, comprised of lots and lots of denominations, but most are severely lacking in vision as to what the church is supposed to be and, for a vast majority, they are ill equipped spiritually and theologically to lead themselves, let alone to grow a healthy congregation. Now, that’s not to say that there are not strong, growing, Bible fearing churches in the area, because there are! Specifically, we’ve visited in the past with a small but growing church, Genesis. This church not only has a vision for its people and its community, but they know the Word of God and proclaim it! Though, from what we have seen, they are in the minority. And that’s not to say that the Spirit of God is not working powerfully in the lives of many believers in the area, because He is, but there is a great need for discipleship and growth in those believers.
As I mentioned, the weekend of the 26th was Paulo’s first teaching session with those lay leaders. And for this first meeting he shared with them about the vision for the church and the fact that this vision begins with a heart of prayer! We intend on grounding these leaders solidly in the bedrock of the Gospel before anything else is done. We are praying that the Lord will raise up His children in this community to do those works that He has called them to do. We know that this will only happen through the Spirit’s work in this community and that time and prayer are needed. Paulo also had the opportunity to preach to a small gathering of residents and visit door to door in the community. No hearts were won to Christ this weekend, as far as we could tell, but seeds were being spread for future growth from the Lord.
You may be asking, what is our intention in this church, long term? Well, it’s not to buy the building or set up Paulo in this church for the long-term. We have no intention of setting up a North American church in the jungle of Peru, NONE. We want to see Peruvian Pastors plant and/or strengthen Peruvian churches for the Peruvian people. Our desire is to see a thriving, Gospel preaching, teaching, sending and multiplying church in this community and communities beyond for that matter. We are asking the Lord to raise up a young pastor from the local seminary to step into this church to take it over in the future, or possibly, the Lord will call one of those local lay leaders into full-time ministry, with proper training and mentoring. When this happens, Lord willing, we will move the next community and begin the process again.
There are several immediate needs that we have in which you can actively partner with us, 1) pray for Paulo and this community. Whenever light attempts to break into the darkness the enemy is not happy. Pray for physical and spiritual protection for Paulo and those fertile hearts in the community. Pray that those Gospel seeds will not be stolen, but will produce, in time, a mighty harvest for His Kingdom. 2) We are trying to get Paulo out to this community every weekend to teach and preach. Each weekend trip costs us roughly $60 US or $240 a month, this includes transportation, food, and boarding. Please consider supporting Paulo’s work by making a tax-deductible donation safely and securely on our website at http://theanswerisloveproject.com/support/ (put Paulo’s name in the notes field) or mail by check to:
TheAnswerIsLove Ministries Inc.
P.O. Box 1084
Gotha, Florida 34734
Memo: Pastor Paulo Support
Thank you all for your continued support, SO NONE WILL THIRST.
God Bless You All