One man’s obedience transforms a poor community

In this line of work we’re constantly inspired by “every day” people who accomplish incredible things because they obeyed God’s call. Here’s a story about one of those inspiring people:

Pastor Javier says grace with the children before their meal. The children quickly learn a routine that includes hygiene, manners, and prayer. While they eat, volunteers tell them Bible stories and teach them about Jesus.
Pastor Javier says grace with the children before their meal. The children quickly learn a routine that includes hygiene, manners, and prayer. While they eat, volunteers tell them Bible stories and teach them about Jesus.

Families of Los Claveles, in Lurin, Peru live in the most humble conditions. Huts made of adobe and straw mingle with shanties made of scraps of cardboard—the only materials available to the very poor. Dozens of skinny stray dogs wander in packs, tearing through garbage strewn alongside the dirt roads. The community has no potable water source, so the children lack good hygiene; and they have most likely all contracted worms from drinking unsafe water.

Javier Barrionuevo, who pastors a church an hour away from Los Claveles says, “I came here with a friend one day to help him run an errand. While I waited outside, I chatted with a little boy who was playing in the street. He was very dirty. When I began to talk to him about Jesus, the boy asked, ‘What’s Jesus?’ That’s when I felt called to spread the gospel here.”

Pastor Javier acquired a small warehouse-like structure in Los Claveles—a former nightclub—and with help from Cross, equipped it to start a program to feed the many, many malnourished children there. Today it is home of a newly-planted church, Calvary Chapel Vida—The Living Calvary Chapel. He says, “God coordinated everything. In a way, it was already prepared when we got here!”

Today, with support from Cross, Calvary Chapel Vida feeds more than 100 children each day. The church also hosts child and adult Bible studies throughout the week, and holds Sunday School and church worship service on Sundays. It is truly transforming the community for the better.

Pastor knows all about the transforming power of God. He says, “I went through many things in my life. I was abandoned by my father and got into drugs and alcohol. When I hit bottom I turned to God, and he took me out of that. I don’t know how, but I quit drugs. There was a radical change in my lifestyle. I had been a successful businessman. I had money, a car, a good job. But the first thing I did when Christ saved me was to detach myself from material things. I renounced everything and everyone. My ambitions changed and I realized I had felt empty all along.  Nothing fulfills me more now than the smiles of children, and preaching the gospel. Through it all I learned the most important lesson: Walk in faith and trust God.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about Pastor Javier’s outreach in Los Claveles.

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