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Lydia DeGozo

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Church embraces strategy to reach Peruvian people groups

ICA, Peru (BP)--The answer to a 10-year pursuit was revealed in a moment for Spanish teacher Rachel Colonna.       She knew God was calling her to do mission work in southern Peru -— her husband Luis' native country -- but she didn't know how to begin. But when she and Luis began attending Life Church in Mandeville, La., in 2002, it became evident that God was showing her the way.       Since 2003, the nine-year-old Life Church has been part of the International Mission Board's Rapid Entry Advance Plan (REAP) in southern Peru. REAP encourages stateside partners -- known as strategy coordinator churches -- to plant indigenous, self-sufficient bodies of believers among specific people groups. As a strategy coordinator church for the Candarave segment of southern Aymara, Life Church has helped plant more than 20 churches and mobilized them to start others in the South American country.       "When we launched our international missions project in Peru," lead pastor Paul Smith said, "we unfurled a Peruvian flag ..."

World Changers lead Ecuadorians to Christ

AMBATO, Ecuador (BP)–The baptism of 11 Ecuadorian believers and the conversion of at least 30 Quichua people were evidence of the eternal impact left by more than 100 International World Changers (IWC) volunteers this summer in Ambato, Ecuador, a city nestled among five volcanoes in the Andes Mountains. The new believers were baptized in front […]

Quiet Quichuas trade fear for freedom

AMBATO, Ecuador (BP)–While bumping along the rough mountain roads leading to one of 1,500 Quichua villages in central Ecuador, missionary David Butts disciples 16-year-old Victor, a new believer. Turning travel time into training is one way Butts has discipled approximately 200 Quichua believers like Victor over the past four years. David brings at least one […]

Alfredo relays ‘simple but profound’ faith

AMBATO, Ecuador (BP)–The sound of a church bell rang throughout the Quichua mountain village in Ecuador as Alfredo Chicaiza swung back and forth in the bell tower, announcing the arrival of International World Changers student volunteers. “[Alfredo] is a natural helper,” missionary David Butts said. “He is quiet but consistent, and he and his wife […]

Looking for tomorrow’s missionaries

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–“Hands On” is “a recognition of the need to mentor a younger generation in missions,” said Chad Stillwell, one of the coordinators of the new initiative. “This is so we’ll have career missionaries for the future, but also people who are active in local churches and have a heart for what God’s doing […]