|Pastor Freddy Zapata welcomes|
people to the Puerto Maldonado
On a recent trip to the South America Region, Jurisdictional General Superintendent Stan A. Toler saw firsthand the outgrowth of a missionary movement in Peru for planting new churches: a new church plant already averaging 90 in attendance with 7 additional preaching points.
The purpose of Dr. Toler’s visit was to celebrate the dedication, or inauguration as it is commonly known in Peru, of the building of the First Church of the Nazarene in the city of Puerto Maldonado on the outskirts of the Peruvian jungle. This is also the first Nazarene church in the entire province of Madre de Dios. This new church plant, not yet organized, has 47 charter members with an average attendance of 90. In addition, there are seven preaching points that have grown out of this single church plant.
The enterprise that gave rise to the Puerto Maldonado church began seven years ago when the Peru National Board strategized to identify and train the best qualified church planters in their nation. These pastors were then sent out into provinces of southern Peru where there was no Nazarene presence.
|Prayer time around|
the altar at the
Puerto Maldonado Church.
The Peru initiative has partnered with churches in Colorado and California. Extreme Nazarene, a U. S. mission enterprise, has also joined the partnership, creating a movement that is now known as 40-40. A combination of 40 young Americans and 40 young Peruvians are being deployed to plant 120 churches in 4 years.
The Puerto Maldonado church is a sample of the results of the movement. The church was started two years ago in the home of Rev. Freddy Zapata, who intentionally moved to the city for the purpose of planting a church. After the first year, two Americans and two Peruvians joined him in what is now poised to be the launch of a future pioneer district.
“It is a delight to watch these partnerships form and join forces to build the kingdom of God,” Dr. Toler said. “The mission to make Christlike disciples continues with creative initiative and sacrificial commitment. God is honoring it.”