Calvary Trujillo, Peru Part 3
Calvary Trujillo, Peru Part 3

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Trust & Obey—A Pastor’s Letter on Persevering Through the Pandemic

By Cory Kilgus, Pastor of Calvary Trujillo, Peru

This is Part 3 of a three-part series about Calvary Trujillo, Peru. The Calvary Chapel plant has been actively and practically sharing the love of Jesus with their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pastor Cory Kilgus recently wrote this letter to his supporters. To read parts 1 and 2, click here.

Recently, I taught an overview of Church History at Calvary Bible Institute Peru, and a quote from William Carey (considered to be the pioneer of the modern missionary movement) really spoke to me: “If he give me credit for being a plodder he will describe me justly. Anything beyond that will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”

Woman kneeling

A woman bows in worship during a late-April event for Calvary Bible Institute (CBI) Peru students at their campus in Huanchaco, Peru. The night included worship and teaching by a couple from Calvary Chapel Greeley, CO.

This is exactly how I feel one year into the pandemic. There have been so many challenges, so many difficulties, so many mistakes, but we keep moving forward. I know I am not the wisest pastor, nor the most experienced missionary, nor the most capable minister. But (my wife) Danielle and I are still here. We are not sufficient for these things, but our sufficiency comes from God. He is more than enough. We believe in a good, loving, and all-powerful God. By faith we press forward, and God continues to amaze us through it all.

(This article sponsored by Pritchard Websites and Calvary Web. Click here to read more.)

A few months ago, we were talking about how to move forward, and Danielle said, "Well, we just do whatever God tells us, right?"

I looked at her, and I was hesitant to answer. I thought, How much can one man take? Not very much, but we trust God. I told Danielle, "That's what we have always done, and yes, we will simply do whatever He says." Praise God for an amazingly committed wife!

Men talk by lawn

CBI Peru student Jesus Sierra shares the Gospel with a man in Plazas de Armas, Trujillo's nationally renowned city center. Students evangelized, made connections, and invited many to church during the weekend event in May.

Let me share a verse that has become more and more real to us this year:

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24

This is the verse we want to live by. We know difficult things lie ahead in life and ministry, but those are not things that guide nor motivate us. We simply want to trust Jesus and follow Him.

I know this year has been hard on everyone. We are not the exception. By His grace we will continue to move forward, and by His grace we will continue to see Him save and transform lives as we simply trust and follow our Lord. God can make the impossible possible when we have willing hearts.

Women reading book

At the foot of Peru's Statue of Liberty, CBI students share with a young woman about the freedom found in Christ. The woman was deeply moved by what she learned, and poured her heart out to the students, who prayed over her.

Today, Peru is in the middle of the second wave of COVID. Many people have died, the hospitals have collapsed, we are in extreme lockdown, and the recent elections resulted in the worst possible outcome. There is much uncertainty and instability.

Yet, if God is for us—who can be against us?

We're Open

At the end of February, COVID picked up and restrictions came back in force. In March they closed the church in Trujillo completely, and we went to virtual church for about eight weeks. Sunday is especially closed and restricted each week in comparison to other days. We are not allowed to use our car and are only supposed to let one person from each family go out for absolute emergencies.

People hugging

CBI student Jesus Sierra hugs his cousin at Calvary Trujillo's first service after a two-month closure due to governmental COVID-19 restrictions. The cousins, who are Venezuelan immigrants, had not been able to see each other during that time.

We prayed as a team and decided to open on Sunday regardless. In Hebrews 10, God commands us to congregate regardless of the custom of others, and especially when we see the Day of the Lord approaching.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Right now [it is] normal for churches is to be closed in Peru. Many churches have been closed for 14 months straight. There were many reasons not to open. Danger to health, [fear of a] bad testimony, fear of arrest and imprisonment in Peru, and so on. At the end of the day, however, Jesus commands me not to forsake the gathering of the saints. It is like He knew this day would come. As the signs of His return become more and more clear, the normal for many has become not to gather. Yet, the command is clear, and we believe it was past time.

Group photo

Pastor Cory's "Super Team" of church members and CBI students worked hard all week to transform a long-neglected theater into a beautiful new church home. Their faces reflect the unity, diversity, and eagerness to serve among the members of the rapidly growing young church plant.

We got the green light from the theater (an absolute miracle!), and we had a full service. Many were concerned and afraid, but we had a great turnout. We prayed and talked with many people, and God spoke through the message. Then the police showed up.

During the service, a police officer rode up on a motorcycle. He came to a stop at the opening of the theater, listened to what was going on, and all he heard was worship music. He gave our head usher a thumbs-up, and rode away. Praise God for His amazing power and grace!

With that we have decided to be open as much as possible going forward.

People sweeping floors

Volunteers mop Calvary Trujillo's new building as part of "Operation Clean-Up." Animals had been living inside the long-neglected historic building; in four days, the volunteers restored the local landmark to its former glory.

When Jesus [asked] the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to be healed, the man gave a bunch of excuses of why that was impossible. Jesus ignored his excuses and commanded Him to stand up and walk. The man obeyed, the impossible was made possible, and God was glorified. That is what we experienced last Sunday. No more excuses, just obedience. And God did miracles. Praise Him!

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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