How it all began.... A Peruvian pastor named Miguel was a pastor of a Pentecostal church in a small jungle town but his denomination told him that he had to move to another town in Peru to pastor a different church. His denomination does this every 2 years. This devastated his family and the church. When he was at his new church, he studied the Scriptures continually and soon came under conviction that some of what he was taught in the Pentecostal church was completely wrong. He continued to study and conform to the Word of God and found the doctrine he was taught was much different than what the Bible taught. Because of his understanding of Scripture, he left his church and found that how he understands the Scripture aligns with Baptistic beliefs. Miguel met Scott Dollar in Jauja and told him about his new convictions and his desire to start a church in the jungle town of Satipo.
Scott kept in contact with him and then decided to meet up with him this December to explore the possibility of working with him in the jungle. Scott brought him a MacArthur study bible and some great resources from Paul Washer. We then went with him into the jungle and when we came out we learned some amazing things.
The first thing we learned was that he was pretty solid in doctrine and his idea for church planting in the jungle was amazing. Miguel and his father in law already had went into 8 villages, gained permission to teach and began to teach them a little. Miguel's father-in-law, who has a little farm in Satipo, taught the villages to grow and harvest coffee to make money to sustain a church. He bought the harvest from them and sold it on the market. This was amazing to us because these 2 men were already laying the foundation for self-sustaining and self-replication churches in the jungle.
We also learned how the gospel was brought to these jungle villages. It is not clear but either Peruvian or Brazilian Pentecostals planted the churches a long time ago but then abandoned them. After the bad doctrine began to play its course, the churches fell apart and lost most members. This was a blessing because only the true Christians remained. Now is the perfect time to teach solid doctrine to these few remaining believers.
While we met with these men in the jungle, each tribal representative told us their needs. They all stressed that they wanted us to come teach them as much as possible and to supply them with materials that they could study and teach the tribe with when we were away. Others had small needs for their church "huts" like tin for a roof or gasoline to cut wood for walls and doors.
We are partnering with Scott Dollar to meet their needs of teaching the Word of God and to supply materials. Scott's church, The Way, is also going to support Miguel financially so that Miguel can start the church in Satipo. Satipo will be the launching point for the work with the villages, even though it is still 150 miles and bad roads and an hour long boat ride away. Our team is also going to take part of the burden in supporting Miguel, starting in January.
Our team in Cuzco will be going with Scott back into this village in May to teach and preach. After our trip in May, our time will be returning to teach and preach every other quarter and Scott and his team will be going in the opposite quarters. This way the people will receive training and materials every quarter. We will eventually go much further into the jungle to the villages of the other leaders.
Below are the pictures of Miguel (the pastor we will be supporting in Satipo) and the leaders of each village we are working with:
|Pastor Miguel starting a church in Satipo...population over 40,000 with only two small evangelical churches.|
|Pastor Eli of the River village of X...15 believers with Population of 120|
|Eliazer...Pastors River Village of XX...population 42 with 12 believers...Eliazer has been a Christian for about 6 months|
|Juan...Pastors river village XXX which is on the X River...28 people in village with 10 believers|
|Pastors river village XXXX...population 48 families with 4 families that are believers|
|Teofillo Pastors river village of XXXXX...population 30 families with 6 people that are believers|