The Good Zacchaeus

The Good Zacchaeus

The Amazon river, the thirsty town and the missionary money collector.

The missionary smiles as she collects money from the people of La Union, Nauta. This is a thirsty community surrounded by water. Nauta sits on the banks of the Marañòn River, a tributary of the Amazon, but its water is not safe to drink. And for the neighbourhood of La Union, the water is even more dangerous. The community gets water from wells, contaminated by run-off from nearby latrines. It’s impossible to feel safe when the water you’re drinking could kill you. It’s a life lived with unavoidable risk. But the missionary pockets the money, says thank you, and moves on to the next house.

A wooden building in the Amazon Rainforest.
The people of La Union, Nauta, live with the constant risk that they will drink contaminated water.

Her name is Laura-Lee Lovering. The money collector. She’s been in Peru for eight years. She is a BMS World Mission worker serving at a community and theology facility called Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre (NIMTC). A BMS-founded centre that, apart from all the theological and practical training it provides, helps the community of La Union feel safer. Laura-Lee and our local partners knew they had to work with the people of La Union to get them clean water.

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So they dug a new well together. A clean one, one they knew would be safe to drink. For the first time, people in La Union had water piped into their homes, and they didn’t have to worry about getting ill from drinking dangerous water. A community water committee was created to ensure the new system was properly looked after by the people in the neighbourhood. And the committee elected Laura-Lee as their modern-day Zacchaeus.

Three men digging a well
The community of La Union are working together to keep their water safe to drink.

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Alejandro runs the project like it was always his. He’s a retiree from La Union and Laura-Lee’s right hand man on the project. He knows how to fix things and he’s there every morning turning on the water and is on hand to help with the maintenance. “Just seeing his own sense of pride and ownership of the project is so satisfying,” says Laura. But you can’t fix a leaking pipe with a sense of ownership alone. And that’s where Laura-Lee the money collector comes in. To keep the project sustainable, and to make sure the people of La Union never have to go back to drinking dirty water, each participating household pays a small fee into a central pot. The money contributes to maintaining the pipes and pumps, and it’s cheaper than buying water from the shops. It builds a sense of ownership – the community is fully invested in the project. Literally.

This is why Laura-Lee goes door-to-door and collects the payments from her neighbours. She’s a good Zacchaeus, collecting money with their blessing and permission, and never taking too much. And it’s helped her get to know her neighbours. She’s not just going to collect their money, she’s laughing with them, chatting to them. Witnessing among them.

“It’s been really special to get to know the community and helping them get to know me as well,” says Laura-Lee. When she’s away, she knows the people of La Union won’t need to go back to drinking dirty water. She knows that the project is in the capable hands of the community, of people like Alejandro, and that, with the Christian community at NIMTC there, their access to living water will never run dry.

Whilst the people of La Union keep their water project going with their own funds, Laura-Lee and her team couldn’t be there without your generous giving. Thank you for sending Laura-Lee. Please share this story, and if you want to help Laura-Lee why not support her as a 24:7 Partner?

Words and video by Laura Durrant.

Flourishing: what growing cacao teaches us about world mission

Roasted cocoa beans.

Flourishing

what growing cacao teaches us about world mission

From bible teaching to running businesses, people in Peru are experiencing how following Jesus brings life in all its fullness.

A front-row seat to creation. This is the way that Laura-Lee Lovering, an environmental scientist serving with BMS World Mission in Peru describes life for her friends and neighbours deep in the Loreto region of Peru, a rainforest criss-crossed by rivers where pinapple, banana, guava and cacao thrive. Laura is describing why Loreto is one of the clearest places to see creation’s role in mission that brings every aspect of life under the transforming power of Christ. The land is intimately connected with daily life. The people of Iquitos farm it every day to support their families.

“Do you think the farming work you do is important?” Laura gently asks the pastors on her Creation Administration programme at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre (NIMTC). “How do you think God uses the work you do?” The feeling in response is often one of sheepishness, a sense that farming prevents the pastors from being in church all of the time.

The Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre on the banks of a river in Peru.
Pastors at the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre are being encouraged that each aspect of life is an opportunity to bring God glory.

But, the pastors are encouraged to turn back to Genesis and see how the agricultural work they do gives glory to God. “It’s all a part of being a good witness in the world,” says Laura. When farming is the principal way that these pastors can support their families, and a large proportion of each day must be spent working hard in the fields, this teaching is transformational.

A Peruvian man crouches in a field cutting crops.
Pedro works at the BMS-supported NIMTC. Trained by the Ministry of Agriculture, he helped to set up a cacao-growing project.

Laura-Lee Lovering takes us on a tour of the agricultural project.

Mission is the link between chocolate-making and church; farming and theology. When a plot of land at the training centre needed to be cultivated, it was clear to BMS staff that it should be used to model the NIMTC’s theology of creation care – the Christian stewardship of natural resources. A few harvests later, and the crop of pineapples, banana, guava and excitingly, cacao, was being used to explore chocolate-making businesses, teach conservation and reaffirm local pastors’ belief that this too could glorify God.

Principles such as doing fair business, providing for families and looking after the land are taught and practised with each harvest. Two local women, Marisol and Mariset, have been investigating how to roast and grind the cacao beans and make traditional drinking chocolate to sell locally. The hope is that a small co-operative could be formed, with some of the profits feeding back into the NIMTC.

And while this chocolate harvest is ready for Easter, there are plans for Christmas time, too. Laura hopes to encourage local churches to build community by hosting the Peruvian festive celebration of eating panéton together and drinking hot chocolate. “You cannot separate life here from the environment,” says Laura. “I say to people, ‘Let’s read the Bible and see how important creation is to God. Let’s see how God wants to glorify and bless every aspect of life’.”

Your support is bringing blessing to Peruvian Christians, and encouragement to pastors receiving vital support and training at the NIMTC. Our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are flourishing as they come into contact with BMS projects and workers. Your giving and prayers make all this possible. Thank you.

Two Peruvian women grind cocoa beans to make chocolate
Marisol and Mariset have been investigating how selling chocolate could help to support the NIMTC and their families.
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Pray for Peru: our workers need your prayers today

Pray for Peru:

our workers need your prayers today

The land of Machu Picchu, rainforests and stunning mountains is loved by God and served by faithful Christians. All of BMS World Mission’s workers in the beautiful and diverse country of Peru will value your prayers this week.

Local Peruvian BMS workers America and Jorge are running social and recreational projects, as well as discipleship programmes for children and families in the town of Chincha.

• Pray that America and Jorge receive fresh energy when they are feeling tired.

• Pray they are encouraged in their work, and pray for the children they are serving. Pray they experience joy and form strong friendships.

Denise and Melany run an after-school club at the BMS-founded El Puente Baptist Church in Cusco. We rejoice that a church founded by BMS is now being led by Peruvian Christians and we give thanks for the privilege of partnering with them.

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in Denise and Melany’s lives and ministry. Pray they would feel guided in making decisions, and every day they would sense the joy that knowing Christ brings.

• Pray for Pastor Amilcar at the church. Pray for continued wisdom in his work, and that he would feel God’s strength in his meetings and conversations.

Children wave at an after-school club in Peru
Children at the after-school club at the El Puente Baptist Church.

Daniel and Regiane Clark are based in Lima, working at the Baptist Seminary. They also support children and adults in deprived areas, helping to organise medical check-ups with a team of volunteers that includes a doctor, nurse, dentist and a psychologist.

• Pray for Daniel’s teaching at the Seminary to be blessed and for Regiane to sense God’s presence in her administrative work and with student placements.

• Pray for the medical work they support. Pray that God would provide the resources needed to help people who are sick.

Pastor Luis is serving at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre, where Christian leaders from river communities in the Amazon region are taught theology and biblical literacy, as well as practical skills in caring for their land.

• Pray that Pastor Luis senses your encouragement today. Pray that he feels a fresh sense of conviction in his teaching, and that doors are opened for him to show the love of Christ.

• Pray that supported partner workers Judith and Pedro feel lifted up today, with fresh enthusiasm and energy, and discernment in their work.

• Pray for all the students who have attended the training programme. Pray they would lead their communities wisely, reflecting God’s love for them.

Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly looks at a camera
Pastor Luis is strengthening pastors in rural Peruvian communities.

Baptist ministers Dave and Michele Mahon and their three children are based in the city of Iquitos, in northern Peru. They work with nine churches in their region and support the running of the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre.

• Dave, Michele and their children Jonathan, Ruth and Phoebe, arrived in Iquitos last month. Pray that they settle in well.

• Pray that Dave and Michele find local people to come alongside them in their work, and that Dave builds strong relationships with pastors.

Show this video in your church to inspire prayer for the Mahon family

Laura-Lee Lovering is helping to develop the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. As an environmental scientist, she’s teaching community leaders sustainable ways to care for their land.

• Pray for Laura-Lee to find extra strength this week as pastors from river communities are trained at the centre. Please pray that more pastors attend the training, and that they arrive safely.

• Pray for the pastors training at the centre. Pray they would be inspired by what Laura and her colleagues teach them, and that they would encourage others to come forward and learn.

Life on the Amazon: a behind the scenes tour of Laura-Lee Lovering's workplace

Lori and Neil Brighton are BMS volunteers serving at the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. Lori is helping with the centre’s finances, and Neil is helping to redevelop the training course for pastors.

• Pray for their Spanish language development so they can become more effective in their roles.

• Pray the Holy Spirit would guide them in their work, and they would sense the support of people around the world praying for them.

Thank you so much for praying with our mission workers today, and for your continued support of them.

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Top 5 stories of 2017

Looking back:

Top 5 stories of 2017

Last year was filled with inspirational stories of lives being transformed through your giving. Here are our top five most-read articles from 2017.

Students being baptised in barrels. Young French Christians finding community. Nepali children excelling at school. These are just a few of the incredible things your gifts and prayers have made possible this year, through BMS World Mission. There were so many stories to choose from, but only five could top our news story charts! We hope you’ll be inspired as you look back at what we achieved together in 2017.

1. Big thinking for little minds

Children in Nepal are benefiting from Annie Brown's teacher training programme.

Millions of children in Nepal are getting the opportunity of a better education, thanks to your support for BMS worker Annie Brown.

With her teacher training programme being adopted by the Nepali Government, every teacher of students aged between five and 13 in all government schools will have the chance to receive Annie’s training. They’ll be better-equipped to teach, and Nepal’s children will face brighter futures!

2. Pray for our new mission workers

James and Ruth Neve, who are preparing to move to India to work with us.

Tucked away in our centre in Birmingham, new BMS mission workers are busy preparing for overseas service. For them, it’s daunting, but also exciting, as they get ready to serve God abroad in different ways. From a family heading to Nepal to help with disaster relief, to a couple heading to Albania to teach children of mission workers, there are plenty of things we can be praying for.

Loads of you loved catching up with our new mission workers’ prayer requests, making this our second most popular story last year.

Pray for them today by clicking the link below.

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3. 5 ways you're fighting violence against women

We're working in Uganda to help primary schools devise and implement child protection policies.

For thousands of vulnerable women and girls around the world, gender based violence is a daily part of life. But, thanks to your support, BMS is taking a stand against it. From helping girls know their rights, to freeing women from prostitution, you’re helping to empower women and prevent trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Find out more by reading the story.

4. Baptised in a barrel in Phnom Penh

Students are meeting Jesus in Cambodia! We loved witnessing the amazing moment when Srei got baptised in a barrel and by our stats it looked like you did too. Read about how she and Chan came to find God at a BMS-supported Christian hostel in Phnom Penh, and how, thanks to your support, more and more people are finding Jesus.

5. Feeding of the 400

You’re helping to build Christian community in France – where young Christians often feel isolated and lonely.

Connexion 2017, an event put on by BMS worker Sue Wilson and her team, helped young French Christians realise they’re not alone. Watch the video above to find out about what it meant to the people who were there, and click the link below to read how you’re helping bring young French Christians together.

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Thank you for supporting us in 2017. Your gifts have helped people find God, and have transformed countless lives. With your continued support, we can’t wait to start doing even more in 2018!

Other great stories made possible by you

Five stores aren’t enough to sum-up how much you did last year. So here are a few extra ones we’d love you to read too.

  1. Meet the inspiring Mozambican Christians you’re supporting: they’re bringing justice to abused women and teaching communities their rights.
  2. From witch doctor to church planter: the story of a witch doctor who found God, and then started planting churches.
  3. Baptist church brings light in Uganda: one simple action is raising money, helping people’s lungs and introducing people to Jesus.
  4. Refugees are like you and me: BMS worker Ann MacFarlane has seen God at work in the lives of refugees in Italy.
  5. This is what a life transformed looks like: meet Joshua. You helped give him a reason to smile.

Our workers need your prayers right now

Got a moment to pray? Great! Our workers need your prayers right now

Courage, safety and an improved hospital generator all feature in the latest prayer requests our mission workers have sent us. Please read on and pray with us for lives to be transformed.

Annie Brown

Annie is a teacher trainer working in Nepal with the Kathmandu International Study Centre’s Education Quality Improvement Programme (KISC EQUIP).

Annie’s prayer requests

• Pray for a Nepali teacher friend in Lamjung District who recently got baptised, that he continues to grow in his new Christian faith and is encouraged and protected when making visits back to his Hindu family.

• After ten years of prayer we have recruited a new Christian female EQUIP teacher trainer. Pray that Santona settles into her new work.

Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus

Paul and Sarah Brown

Paul and Sarah are working in Bangkok, reaching out to women who have been sexually exploited or are survivors of sex trafficking. Sarah runs the Freedom Bakery project.

Paul and Sarah’s prayer requests

• Pray for the continued enthusiasm and purpose of the women who work in the Freedom Bakery. They have grown in amazing confidence, and have even begun teaching other women!

• Pray that the women will not be fearful, but will remain confident.

Women working on cupcakes at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Please pray for the courageous women working at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.

LINDA AND TIM DARBY

Linda and Tim are working in Gulu, northern Uganda. Tim is an environmental consultant and Linda has a legal background.

Linda and Tim Darby have asked for your prayers.
Linda and Tim Darby are working in Uganda and would love for you to pray for them.

Linda and Tim’s prayer requests

• Pray for the direction of the agricultural development work which is up for renewal early next year.

• Pray for the appointment of a Child Protection Policy Trainer to help protect children in schools.

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Claire-Lise and David Judkins

David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.
David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.

Claire-Lise and David work in Brive-la-Gaillarde, south west France, with a long-term vision to see a church-planting network take root.

Claire-Lise and David’s prayer requests

• Pray for a couple of ladies who are part of our fellowship, but haven’t yet taken the step of following Christ. Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

• Pray that God may lead our young disciples to ‘people of peace’ who are open.

CLAIRE BEDFORD

Claire is a pharmacist working near Chad’s capital, where she’s continuing the development of the pharmacy service at Guinebor II Hospital.

Claire’s prayer requests

• Pray for the mission workers at the hospital who will be in Chad this Christmas. Pray they would be able to experience peace and joy at this time of year, despite being far from family and friends.

• Pray the hospital would have all the resources it needs to function well.

Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Andy and Jenny Saunders

Andy and Jenny are serving in Kathmandu, Nepal. Jenny is a trained counsellor and uses her skills to train Nepali counsellors. Andy is a Baptist minister and has been teaching at a Bible college.

Andy and Jenny’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and good health for Jenny, so that effective research into mental health in Nepal would bring lasting change.

• Pray for Andy, who is really enjoying his teaching. Pray for patience and good working practices at Nepal Baptist Bible College (NBBC).

Rory* and Catherine*

Rory and Catherine are working in health and development in Afghanistan.

Rory and Catherine’s prayer requests

• Pray for friends and colleagues to pick up on the joy and hope that this season brings us.

• Pray for chances to talk about what real peace is.

Andrea and Mark Hotchkin

Andrea and Mark are surgeons in Chad. Earlier this year they moved from Guinebor II Hospital to the north of Chad to continue their mission.

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Mother and child in the mountains of Afghanistan
Please pray for our work in Afghanistan.

Andrea and Mark’s prayer requests

• Please pray for developing relationships with the new team of nurses and technicians at the regional hospital as we start working there full-time.

• Pray for the arrival of a technician from the capital N’Djamena (1,700km across the Sahara desert) as the hospital generator is weak, meaning equipment such as the X-ray machine can’t be used.

Christine Kling

Christine is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris.

Christine’s prayer requests

• Pray for the work in Gif, that through different events we will connect with new people.

• Pray for the new people who have started to join the church, that we will be a source of encouragement and support in their journey with God.

Christine Kling is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris
Christine Kling has asked for prayers of "encouragement and support".

Simon and Wendy Hall

Simon and Wendy serve in Nepal with KISC EQUIP. They met while teaching in Kathmandu and now work in Lamjung.

Simon and Wendy’s prayer requests

• Pray for a meeting coming up with the district education officer where I (Simon) hope to influence how he allocates and spends a significant amount of Government money on ICT labs/equipment in schools.

• Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Simon and Wendy, in the mountains of Nepal.
Simon and Wendy Hall would love you to pray for their family.

Mary*

Mary is using her skills in palliative care in Tunisia.

Mary’s prayer requests

• Pray for each person who is far from loved ones to feel, as well as know, they are part of a worldwide family over Christmas.

• Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day, that each of us will remember the original Christmas seemed to be an ordinary day too, when in fact our extraordinary God put on flesh.

Daniel and Regiane Clark

Every day I am overwhelmed by the support I know I have behind me from those so faithful in prayer.

Daniel uses his experience and theological training to teach at the Baptist Seminary in Lima, Peru, while Regiane works with low-income communities.

Daniel and Regiane’s prayer requests

• Pray for the ministry of the Baptist Seminary, especially as there is a shortage of pastors in the Baptist Convention.

• Pray as we seek to support the Social Action Department of the Baptist Convention in providing relief and community development resources in Piura.

David and Dorothy McMillan

David is Interim Director at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTSC) in Amsterdam, while Dorothy serves as Managing Editor of the centre’s two academic journals.

David and Dorothy’s prayer requests

• Pray for David as he carries out the role of Interim Director until a new director is appointed.

• Pray for our 40 plus students across the world as they balance family, ministry and study responsibilities.

Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day

Angus and Helen Douglas

Angus and Helen, together with their children Caleb, Charis and Esther, moved to Nepal in 2012. Angus is overseeing the development of a new KISC school site.

Angus and Helen’s prayer request

• Pray for the current challenges of the new site to be resolved, for safety for the construction workers and for some additional funds to complete the project.

Angus and Helen Douglas and their children
Angus and Helen would like you to pray for the development of the KISC school building project.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn moved to Thailand earlier this year and will be using her nursing skills in Chiang Mai.

Kathryn’s prayer request

• Pray for help with learning the language and culture of Thailand. Being able to speak the language helps connect on a deeper level with the people around you.

Judy Cook

Judy, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, founded and manages Hope Home, a home for children with disabilities.

Judy’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and patience during the busy times at the Church of Christ in Thailand’s Aids Ministry and at Hope Home.

• Pray for new staff to join the team at Hope Home with a heart to serve special children and their families. Pray too for the staff to come to know our Lord and Saviour for themselves.

Judy Cook based in Chiang Mai, Thailand founded and manages Hope Home
Judy Cook has asked for prayers for "energy and patience".

Laura-Lee Lovering

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All in this together: prayer requests from our mission workers

All in this together:

Prayer requests from our mission workers

From Albania to Thailand, we’ve been in touch with some of our mission workers and asked for their top prayer requests.

“Without your prayer support, we couldn’t do our jobs.” This is what one couple serving with BMS World Mission in a sensitive location shared recently. None of us doubt this to be true: without prayer from faithful supporters, the life-transforming work of BMS would not happen. Work like helping to find foster homes for abandoned refugee children on the Thai-Burma border, or saving lives and sharing the light of Christ in the heat and the heart of the Chadian Sahara.

Claire Bedford – a pharmacist serving in the desert hospital in Chad

There are times throughout the work in Chad where I’ve wondered how I’ve survived, and I can only put that down to your prayers.

  • Pray for Claire, living and working in heat and dust, and in a new and different culture, for perseverance and strength. Pray for the pharmacy that Claire runs, that as a team they would see a real deepening of their friendships.
  • Pray for the continued growth of relationships with local people, for Claire and the rest of the hospital team.
  • Pray that Guinebor II Hospital would continue to be able to provide life-saving healthcare and also shine the light of Christ in its Muslim majority area. Pray for the medical team as they seek to make Jesus known by serving their community’s medical needs.

Mat and Suzanne Gregory – serving men’s groups and more in Tirana, Albania

We’ve had a sense of reassurance that God’s got this in his hands.

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  • Mat helps run a series of informal church groups called Eat, Talk and Pray, bringing together people from different backgrounds. It’s exciting to see how these have taken off, particularly amongst men in the community, and there is now an opportunity to develop a more structured discipleship programme as part of this. Pray that the right people would be encouraged to join, and that the gospel would take root in people’s hearts.
  • As they return to Albania after home assignment this summer, pray for the whole Gregory family – Mat, Suzanne, Seth and Esther. New jobs and school places will mean significant change for everyone. Pray for a sense of peace and security, that they would know they are in God’s hands.
  • Through the work Mat and Suzanne are involved in locally, vulnerable Roma communities are being reached with practical help and Christ’s love. Pray for the poor in Tirana, and the ongoing BMS work in their communities. Pray that they would have a sense of God at work in their lives.

Brian and Lydia English – serving Burmese refugees on the Thai-Burma border

We’re so grateful for all the support, and have felt so encouraged, supported and loved by churches in the UK.

  • Along the Thai-Burma border, thousands of children are abandoned and are being raised in residential care facilities. Pray for more opportunities to place these children in loving foster families.
  • Brian and Lydia are coming to the end of their service with BMS. Pray for them as they seek God’s guidance on what’s next. Pray that they and their son Jesse would settle quickly back into life in the UK.
  • Pray for the work Brian and Lydia have been involved with in Mae Sot, supporting vulnerable Burmese women and children. BMS continues to support this work. Pray that families living in desperate situations would be encouraged and strengthened, and that we would be able to help children to stay with their parents.

Laura-Lee Lovering – helping to train river pastors in Peru’s Amazon

We’re all together in this work, in this mission. Thank you, and God bless.

  • Pray for the pastors attending this year’s training at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre, that they would be equipped to serve in their villages and share the gospel boldly.
  • Laura-Lee and local BMS worker Pastor Louis help run the training centre. Pray for them, as they serve isolated pastors. Pray also for new BMS mission workers Dave and Michele Mahon – along with Jonathan, Ruth and Phoebe – as they join the pastoral training team in Nauta. Pray for their ability to learn a new language and live in a new culture. Pray that they may be able to build strong and lasting relationships in Peru.
  • There are several BMS-supported national employees who are crucial to the smooth running of the training centre; we give praise and thanks for the work of the administrator Sara who is moving on, and ask for prayer for those who are taking over. Pray for this handover process, that God would give his peace to all involved, and pray that the centre will continue to have a big impact in the Amazon.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Pray for people to come and serve

We need more people. Could one of them be you? Currently, we have a desperate need for:

  • People willing to work in Afghanistan as development and community workers, educationalists, teachers, mental health professionals and project managers
  • Teachers to cater for the school needs of our mission workers’ children, enabling their parents to carry on with important work
  • Doctors and surgeons for Chad, to work alongside Claire in Guinebor II Hospital
  • English teachers and science academics for closed countries in East Asia

Please pray that we would find the right people to come and join us and serve overseas.

Six aspiring Christian leaders get baptised in the Amazon

Video:

Six aspiring Christian leaders get baptised in the Amazon

Watch this video to see the beautiful moment when a group of Peruvian Christians get baptised in the River Marañón, in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.

Have you ever glimpsed a pink dolphin jump out of a river? Or dipped your toe in the muddy-brown water that is its home? Have you ever peeked through the trees to watch, in the tropical heat, six Christians submerge themselves in Amazonian water (alongside the dolphins and a fair few piranhas) as a witness and symbol of their faith in Christ?

If you haven’t, now is your chance.

Watch this video to find out what led these Peruvians to get baptised, and to see the special moment when they take the plunge.

I have come back to my faith and I really want to serve God. That is why I got baptised.

Llino and Leysey are two Christians who live in isolated river communities in the Amazon rainforest – communities accessible only by boat. BMS World Mission has been supporting them, and other Christians and pastors like them, through our Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre.

At the centre, Christian leaders and future leaders get to learn basic theology and how to share the gospel. They also learn ways to practically help their communities develop.

Llino is one of six Christians who recently got baptised in Peru's Amazon
Llino is one of six Christians who recently got baptised in Peru's Amazon

“When I first came I was a bit reserved and I didn’t relate very well to the other pastors,” says Llino. “But with time I have become more open and able to talk. All of the teaching I have received here has been really useful.”

The centre also exists to help these Christians – who have never had any theological training and very little Christian community – grow in their own faith and get to know Jesus and his heart for them better. For Llino, Leysey and the other Christians who got baptised, the centre has been a huge catalyst in their journey of faith.

Leysey says that the centre has helped her grow in her faith
Leysey says that the centre has helped her grow in her faith

“I have come back to my faith and I really want to serve God,” says Leysey. “That is why I got baptised.”

Each course runs over the period of a year, and involves six residential training weeks. The trainee pastors receive scholarships to attend. Llino is really excited by what he has been learning at the centre.

“I feel like I am being prepared to be a leader not only in my church but also in my community,” says Llino. “I am very happy that my learning here is preparing me for leadership roles in the future.”

Our work in Peru’s Amazon is just one example of the way we are working to grow God’s Church and support his children around the world. Please pray that Llino, Leysey and the other Christians we are serving in Peru would remain strong in their faith and would be a powerful witness in their communities.

Thank you.

“I feel like I am being prepared to be a leader not only in my church but also in my community.”

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Meet and laugh with Laura-Lee Lovering, the BMS worker who’s helping to head up the amazing work at the centre, by watching this video.