Investing in the Church in Peru

  •  July 25, 2022
  • By: Evan MacAlpine
Two girls in red dresses stand together, holding books in their hands.

Compassion partners exclusively with local churches to implement our programs in the world’s poorest communities. We believe the Church is uniquely called, commissioned and equipped by Jesus Christ to continue His mission of “proclaim[ing] good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). Building relationships with more local church partners allows Compassion to open more child development centres and reach more children who otherwise may not receive the practical care and exposure to the gospel provided by Compassion’s holistic child development model.

Compassion Canada is seeking an investment of $90,000 to fund the construction of essential core facilities for a new church plant in Peru and the launch of a Compassion child development centre at this new church.

Name of church plant: The Assemblies of God of Peru- Nuevo Habana
Location of church: Nuevo Habana, a 7-kilometre journey from the mother church in Soritor
Funding required: $90,000

Community in need

Compassion recently identified a need for a local Christ-centred church that preaches and lives God’s Word in the community of Nuevo Habana, Moyobamba province, Department of San Martin in Peru. Located in a mountainous region seven kilometres from the district capital of Soritor, Nuevo Habana is a growing community where around 40 per cent of inhabitants are children, many of whom are growing up in poverty. The community is located in the department of San Martin, where more than 54 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Only 32 per cent of households have Internet access, while 52 per cent do not even have access to basic services like running water, sewage and electricity. Government initiatives to improve the situation have experienced significant delays due to the pandemic, while an economic crisis has left many families struggling to survive. Agriculture is a key source of income for many in Nuevo Habana, but some caregivers work in construction or at brick-making factories. Typical homes are constructed of wood with corrugated metal sheet roofs. The community is close-knit and relatively peaceful with low rates of crime, but there is a pressing need for a gospel-centred church where vulnerable children and their families can learn about God’s love and receive the support they need to break free from poverty.

Vision and opportunity

This church plant was proposed to Compassion by Las Asambleas De Dios Del Peru – Soritor (The Assemblies of God of Peru in Soritor), which will serve as the “mother” church and is seven kilometres from Nuevo Habana. The mother church in Soritor has a vision for planting churches in every town and village surrounding the city; while they have successfully planted 12 churches already, there are 75 communities yet to be reached, including Nuevo Habana. The denomination has more than 4,500 churches across Peru and has been partnering with Compassion since 1989. Currently, 65 of these churches are Compassion church partners in Peru.

Pastor René Ahuanari Canaquiri will serve as pastor of the church plant. Pastor Canaquiri lives in Nuevo Habana and has been working part-time in construction and agriculture while also pursuing his theological training. He is passionate about spreading the gospel and discipling children and families to become devoted followers of Jesus. Pastor Canaquiri is married to María and has five children.

After careful investigation and consideration, Compassion sees this as a strong opportunity to invest in the Church and extend the reach of the gospel.

Investment

An investment of $90,000 will fund the construction of essential core structures for the new church and launch a Compassion-assisted child development centre at the new church. Your funds will help build basic church facilities needed by the congregation and child development centre. The land on which the church facilities will be built was donated by the municipality, and the church holds formal documents to the land.

This investment will contribute to growing the Church in an area that greatly needs the message of Jesus Christ and the care that is best delivered through relationships built in the context of a loving local church. Together, we can build, plant, and equip a new church for effective Christ-centred ministry among children and families living in poverty. Once established, it will be able to welcome boys and girls into the Compassion program where they will be nurtured and mentored, receive nutritious meals and medical checkups and gain relevant life skills that will serve them well as they mature into confident, Christian adults.