By Mary Beth George
PERU – The Lord leads and guides in mysterious ways. Sometimes our dreams seem forever lost and then, in the twinkling of an eye, they come to fruition in ways we never thought possible. It was this way with our dream to move to the Peruvian coast.
When I came to Peru as a long-term missionary in 2008, the plan was to do church planting on the coast with Jim and Vegas Dargatz. They say flexibility is an important quality in a missionary! At that time, the Dargatzes were suddenly needed to give leadership to Camp La Joya instead, so I decided to live in the big city of Arequipa where I would have a support team. There was plenty to do!
Allen and Amy’s coastal church planting dream began after they couldn’t find a church to attend while on a family vacation during the summer of 2010. They decided to wait until the kids were out of school before pursuing a solution to this problem. Allen was field director at the time and there weren’t any good schools for the kids to attend in the small coastal towns. Then Amy passed away, closing the door on a season and bringing Allen’s future plans under evaluation.
When we started dating, one of the first questions Allen asked me was how I’d feel about doing church planting on the coast! Neither of us knew about the other’s dream. For me, our mutual perspective was evidence of the Lord’s careful tying together of our lives.
Last July, after dropping off our youngest son in Michigan at his aunt and uncles’, Allen and I started praying for a team of Peruvians to join us—particularly a couple willing and trained to pastor a church plant. In December, a friend of ours remembered a young man who had just graduated from seminary and suggested him as a possibility. We talked to the young man’s pastor at Las Flores Baptist Church (Peruvian church protocol), and he was instantly enthusiastic about our proposition and methodology.
After much prayer, thought and an exploratory trip to the coast, seminary graduate Pastor Elvis and his wife Rosita have decided to join the team! His congregation has been very involved in their decis ion-making process over the last few months and are eager to support the plant as a daughter church.
They plan to s nd evangelistic teams to visit the chosen location once a month while we are on home assignment from June 2021 to February/March 2022 and the couple will use this time to fundraise so they can dedicate their full energy to the plant. When we return, Elvis and Rosita will move to the coast with us to officially launch the church.
We see the Lord’s hand moving strongly in these prayerfully-laid plans and we know that he will take care of the unknowns. Your prayers are also greatly appreciated as we take the gospel to a very unreached part of Peru.
Mary Beth and Allen George (Blumenort Community Church) are with Serving in Mission in Peru.