Lala, the matriarch of the Martinez family, is baptized in the Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy of CC Columbus
Story by Anne Mount
“These things says He ... [Jesus]: 'I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.'” Revelation 3:7b-8a
The small group from CC Columbus, GA, could hardly believe their ears. “Will you please come to my house tomorrow and teach us God’s Word?” Carlos Martinez of Máncora, Peru, had just asked them. It was their first trip to the nation, in 2010. They had traveled to northern Peru persuaded that they were following God’s leading, and the believers were becoming even more convinced.“Since 2003, we had been asking God to lead us to a new place to plant a church,” explained CC Columbus’ pastor, Mark Swift. “We had always supported other missionaries, but we wanted to begin a new work somewhere and send teams to support it. After six years of praying that, the Lord led Eduardo DelRisco into our fellowship here in Georgia.” Eduardo, a Peruvian originally from the nation’s northern region just south of Ecuador, already knew scores of people—including many pastors—in that area. “And Eduardo loves God’s Word,” Mark added. Utilizing the connections formed by Eduardo’s friendships, he and Mark traveled to Máncora in January 2010 to instruct pastors in inductive Bible study. In conjunction with CC Bible College Peru and its director, Pastor John Bonner, the group hosted a three-day pastors’ conference. Bible students translated and led worship music, and Mark taught. Using Paul’s Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus) as example books, he coached attendees in discovering truth directly from God’s Word. Because many of the church leaders possess extremely limited resources, knowing how to study and apply Scripture without much help from aids, such as commentaries, is extremely valuable for them and their congregations.
“Máncora is a beach town known for wild parties and immoral lifestyles,” Mark said. “But it’s also home to many who hunger for God’s Word.” One day the group was passing out Spanish devotional booklets on the streets when two young boys, cousins named Manolo and Daniel, approached. After giving them devotionals, the believers asked if they could talk with the boys’ parents as well. The youngsters introduced them to Manolo’s father, Carlos Martinez, who was already a believer but was frustrated by a lack of Scripture teaching in the area. After responding to Carlos’ request to return the next day and teach the Bible, the visitors discovered a house packed with the Martinezes’ friends and relatives. “There next to their family restaurant, La Tia Lala, we taught the Gospel from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8,” recounted Mark. “Everyone hung around afterward and came back the following two days for more Bible study. It was amazing—God opened that door of opportunity through two little boys who took devotionals and started to scamper off.”
You can find the complete article in the Summer 2012 issue of Calvary Chapel Magazine. To subscribe click here.