Jesus is alive in the Amazon
When he’s not baptising people in the Amazon River, BMS World Mission local worker Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly is living out his dream of making Jesus known and transforming lives in Peru
From stealing a Bible, to communism, to Christ. Pastor Luis didn’t take a typical route to finding Jesus, but thank goodness he found him. He’s since helped train more than 100 pastors at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre (NIMTC) in Peru and he’s determined to continue his mission to share God’s love in the Amazon.
Pastor Luis’ journey to faith began with a stolen Bible. When he was a young boy his priest told him that he wasn’t allowed to read the Bible. Frustrated, he decided to take matters into his own hands (literally). He stole a Bible from the church, and what he discovered changed his life.
“I found that religion doesn’t save a person,” says Pastor Luis. “But actually Jesus saves a person.”
This early act of defiance impacted his life in a way he didn’t expect. As an adult, Pastor Luis drifted from Jesus when he became passionate about communism. Life became increasingly difficult, and hate and resentment ran rampant in his heart. Desperate for some sense of hope, Pastor Luis remembered what he had learnt about Jesus as a young boy. He prayed that God would change his life.
“After I said that prayer I felt this freedom in my heart,” says Pastor Luis. “And this new desire was born to see the whole of the Amazon reached for Christ.”
Pastor Luis’ dream was too big to achieve alone. But today, with the help of BMS, he’s making it happen by helping train pastors at NIMTC – a centre run by BMS mission workers from the UK and from Peru. The centre is a great resource for pastors from extremely rural villages along the Amazon River who have had little or no training and support in the past. The pastors not only get a good grounding in theology, they’re also equipped with skills to help them enable their communities to thrive.
Today Pastor Luis has many reasons to smile. The teaching and training has proved to be very successful, with 116 pastors being trained since 2012. These pastors have left the training better able to share Jesus with their own churches and communities.
The ripple effect of Pastor Luis’ dream is amazing – with more than 100 faithful pastors living for Jesus along the Amazon and encouraging countless others to do the same.
“It makes me so happy to see my dreams of sharing Jesus in the Amazon come true,” says Pastor Luis. “I’ll keep going because I believe this is what God wants me to be doing and I can see God’s glory playing out where I live and work."
Did you give to the BMS River pastors training centre appeal? BMS workers Pastor Luis and Laura-Lee Lovering would like to say thank you.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.