By Barb Whatley—Peru
During our earliest years in Peru, God kept my husband, Tim, and me busy edifying more than 80 works and churches that had sprung up during Peru’s terrorist years. All the traveling was simplified by the fact that God had chosen not to give us children. That changed in 1997. The Lord began to send us seven children in seven years.
Flora, 14, was the oldest of five orphaned Peruvian siblings. Her adjustment to the loss of her parents and the only life she knew were very challenging. By the same token, God’s grace was conspicuous, even to Flora. Once she understood God’s offer of salvation, Flora eagerly accepted Christ as Savior. After completing high school, Flora went to the BMM Bible college in Trujillo, Peru. That is where she met Alex.
A heart for missions
Flora and Alex shared a heart for missions and a passion for the jungle. They were married and completed their Bible school training in 2012. Although they received many exciting ministry offers, God laid it on their hearts to fill in for us during our furlough. We were thankful that Alex and Flora could care for our family home and help in the church plant we were leaving behind.
But God was about to reveal the next step in His master plan. As Alex and Flora were ministering in our mountain area, they were contacted by a missionary who needed translators and evangelism workers for a medical campaign in the jungle town of Pilcopata, where Flora was originally from. Alex and Flora helped with the medical evangelism and were then asked to lead Bible studies and have services in that area. For almost a year, Alex and Flora traveled the 9-10 hours every month to care for our responsibilities in the mountains and simultaneously lead the work in Pilcopata.
New life in the jungle
Once we returned from furlough, Alex and Flora were free to move to the jungle and dedicate themselves to that work. Many decisions have been made in the last three years. Last year, 14-year-old Boris accepted Christ and started discipleship classes with Alex. It was rewarding for us to help Alex and Flora with the Pilcopata Christmas program, performed by Boris and other young teens. Over 70 people were present. How incredible to see Flora’s relatives, some of whom are now believers, attending church! Alex and Flora later took Boris and two other young people to the mountains for a week of Bible camp.
One of the most amazing things about God changing lives is that it is contagious. One life impacts many others!