Sending Church: Colonial Baptist Church—Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ministry: Editorial Bautista Independiente
Early in his Christian life, Marco sensed God wanted him serving beyond his home church in Lima, Peru. What “beyond” meant, he didn’t know, but all he needed was faithful obedience. God would make sure Marco’s future unfolded as He desired.
Around age 10, Marco had received Christ after his family began attending a Baptist church in Lima. He soon developed a heart to serve. By age 15, he was helping at a camp, working alongside Aaron Cochrell, a BMM missionary then serving with BMM’s Arriba internship program in Peru.
Marco was to meet many more BMM missionaries in his adulthood. When his pastor’s daughter established a Spanish language school for new missionaries, Marco signed on as a teacher. Two of his students were then-BMM missionaries Bob and Becky Bass. Marco eagerly accepted their invitation to serve alongside them in jungle ministry and in the mountain town of Cusco. It looked like the opportunity he was waiting for, but after serving short-term, Marco found God closing the door. He returned to Lima and pursued a degree in software engineering.
In reality, God was preparing him for his “beyond” moment. While Marco was still in Cusco, he met new BMM missionary Lydia Whitelam*. A relationship seemed impossible. She lived in Cusco, and he had moved back to Lima—a nearly a 24-hour distance apart. But nothing can stop God’s plans. Right after they decided to not pursue a dating relationship, the language school in Lima closed, and Lydia (who was completing a master’s degree in Spanish translation) was asked to move to Lima to teach the remaining school year.
Marco and Lydia married in 2019. As they sought ministries together, they found the perfect fit: Editorial Bautista Independiente (EBI), BMM’s Spanish publications’ ministry. Lydia had translated many materials in Peru and saw that churches and Bible school professors greatly need the materials EBI provides. After the Garibaldis move to Sebring, Florida, to serve at EBI’s headquarters, Lydia will help translate and edit materials. Marco’s computer skills are just what EBI needs to expand its ministry. Although Marco misses his homeland of Peru, he and Lydia are excited to have an impact for the gospel far beyond Peru—reaching into all of Latin America.
* Lydia joined BMM in 2013.