Paul* and Mary*, missionary partners of ANM in Peru, wished they could introduce Angelo to Jesus. For months, he had been doing handyman jobs around their house.
One day, as Angelo was working in their home, the couple gave him a Bible with a silent prayer in their hearts that, in God’s perfect time, He would nudge Angelo to read it.
God’s perfect time came. The COVID-19 pandemic is gripping people’s hearts worldwide with great anxiety and fear, including within the country of Peru. People are seeking hope.
“Señora, I’m now reading the Bible you gave me a while back. And I am finding prophecies there that are being fulfilled now!” Angelo excitedly shared with Mary not too long ago.
In a recent email to ANM, the missionary couple wrote, “We are considering [the COVID-19 pandemic] to be a three-fold ‘blessing in disguise.’… (1) [This pandemic] is forcing many people to turn to God, (2) the social restrictions are causing many people to strengthen their family bonds (by having to spend more time together at home), and (3) many Christians are now spending more time in prayer, crying out to God for His intervention.”
Moreover, Paul and Mary find great encouragement in Psalm 91 with its promise, among others, that God will protect those who take refuge in Him so that not even plagues will harm them.
Crisis leads to new ways of doing ministry
The Peruvian government, just like many others, has imposed severe travel restrictions. Hence, Paul and Mary have more time for Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and projects that had been put on hold.
In a time when gatherings and meetings are not allowed, ministries are relying more heavily on online resources and apps to carry out their work. Internet technology has become an even more valuable and convenient tool by offering a variety of ways for people to connect with one another without having to be physically together in one place. Paul and Mary’s ministry is able to hold virtual congregational meetings twice a week in Lima, the nation’s capital, without anyone leaving home.
A number of young people have expressed their desire to minister to native villages in late July. However, they need to be trained. As in-person training is currently impossible due to the pandemic, they are receiving online instruction. Paul plans to take some of them on a short-term missionary trip to a few of the Ashaninka villages where their missionary co-workers are serving the Lord. They hope and pray that the coronavirus crisis in Peru will have ended by then.
In the midst of this pandemic, God is causing people to pause, reflect, and take stock of where they are spiritually and to seek the Truth. Angelo is one of them. Pray that God will illumine his mind and open his heart — along with the minds and hearts of other Peruvians — to understand and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.
*True names withheld for security reasons