Colca is tucked away high in the Andes mountains. Remote and unreached, the area is forgotten and trapped in poverty. Benigno lives in this village. His life, torn apart by alcohol, is a common story in this community.
“Alcohol is one of my vices,” says Benigno. “I can tell you for certain that my drinking has come with a cost. It’s brought many problems to my marriage. Things got so bad that I intended on us separating two or three times. This hurt my wife, but also my children. I’m not alone in my drinking. Many people suffer from the vice of alcohol. Children carry a great weight, because they suffer the most from their parents’ decisions.”
Pastor Gaudencio Llantoyo, one of our team members, moved to the village of Colca. Dedicated to evangelism he shares the love of Jesus wherever he can. He saw how great the hopelessness was and started a small house church to gather the people around the Word of God. Pastor Gaudencio says, “Colca is a village that has great need. The problems and difficulties are overwhelming for many, and there are a lot of people here who suffer from alcoholism and poverty.
“It’s in the midst of doing ministry that I met Benigno. Early on, he told me that he knew a lot of Bible principles. He knew biblical ideas, but it was mixed with things he had learned from Jehova’s Witnesses. No one had ever taught him how to really follow Jesus. It gave him real problems in his life.” Benigno says, “I was binge drinking for up to ten days and ten nights, giving myself completely over to the vice. Ten days and ten nights, without even realizing it. It was as if I was in a dream.”
Pastor Gaudencio patiently ministered to Benigno, visiting at his house, inviting him to his home, having many conversations with him in different settings. He’s is not just sharing Jesus, but living alongside the people, sharing the simple and life-changing truths of the Gospel day by day. It’s a slow process, but every day he’s teaching the people in his church to pray, to read the Bible, and to turn to God no matter what they’re facing.
Walking with them, Pastor Gaudencio reminds people often that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to God except through Him.
Benigno says, “My life is changing. Now, when my friends invite me to drink, I don’t show up and I don’t take any liquor offered to me. I also have a Bible that the pastor gave to me. It is very important in my life. I read it. I cannot go a night without reading. What EHC is doing, not a single other church is doing this.
“I thank my brothers here every time they come. They pray for me, and I think I’ve realized how important this is.
“We ask that you would pray, not just for this village, but for the whole community.”
Pastor Gaudencio says, “My heart is here, in this region. There are people who are cold and people who are warm, but I have this conviction: the Lord has brought me here.
“We have sown in the rain and storms, and we will keep sowing. We will continue to disciple and love others. The name of Jesus will be known in Colca and all across Peru.”
EHC has many co-workers around the world, like Pastor Gaudencio, who find the Benignos and walk with them so they can learn to walk with Jesus. They are devoted to evangelism and discipleship and continue to labour faithfully.
We give thanks for these devoted servants and for the Lord’s unending love and compassion for the lost, in Peru and in every corner of the world.