One Year in Mission Volunteers Plant a Congregation near Cusco, Peru

Group of Peruvian and Brazilian missionaries exemplify the project’s impact, leaders say.

Liseht Santos, South American Division, and Adventist Review
One Year in Mission Volunteers Plant a Congregation near Cusco, Peru
One Year in Mission volunteers’ efforts in the Cusco region of Peru have led to more people coming to know God. [Photo: OYIM Volunteers]

God’s love was the motivation behind seven young people’s decision to leave their homes for a year to share the gospel wherever their mission called them. Four of them traveled from Brazil to Peru, where they joined three local volunteers.

The seven volunteers — Hélida, Priscila, Flavio, María Eduarda, Karina, Jorge, and María Elena — participated in the One Year in Mission (OYIM) project in Cusco. OYIM is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that invites young people to commit one year to a mission project where there is a need.

Once they settled in Cusco, the group of volunteers launched initiatives through an outreach center, which included free Portuguese language classes for children, teenagers, and adults; painting classes for children; school support in math and communication; and practice of sports and aerobics. In addition, residents received information and assistance on emotional health through free psychological support.

The goal of the outreach center was to meet the needs of the population, leaders behind the initiative said. Thus, it included sharing with them a message of hope, following Christ’s method. As a result of these efforts, leaders reported, volunteers shared Bible truth with more than 30 families, four young people were baptized, and two entire families agreed to study the Bible. Also, an additional seven residents agreed to take Bible studies.

A New Adventist Congregation

Nearby, in Quillahuata, a town in the Cusco region, volunteers planted a new Adventist congregation. The town had hardly any Adventist presence, as only one couple had accepted the Adventist message. After a visit and guidance by Daniel Arana, South Peru Union Mission youth ministries director, OYIM volunteers decided to move ahead with planting a new congregation in the town. “We saw the great need and potential that the community had, so we decided to launch an organized Adventist group,” they reported.

After weeks of effort, prayer, and dedication, OYIM volunteers managed to gather six Quillahuata families every Friday to study the Bible. Out of those families, seven people decided to get baptized, which eventually led to the launch of the official group where members, interests, and guests are meeting every week.

OYIM Call for 2024

Thanks to the work done by OYIM volunteers and under the guidance of church leaders, more people are learning about God and His Word, OYIM leaders reported. “There is still much to do,” the leaders said. “Those interested can contact their regional youth director and enroll to serve.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Spanish-language news site.

Liseht Santos, South American Division, and Adventist Review