LIMA, Peru (BP)–Gary and Nancy Green celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in an unconventional way — serving God on a short-term mission trip to Nancy’s hometown of Lima, Peru.
The couple met in Peru in the early 1980s when Gary worked as an oil field construction worker stationed in South America. After Gary’s initial impression that the office worker “sure is cute,” he shared his heart -– and his faith — with the Peruvian woman. Nancy accepted both the marriage proposal and God.
Now, Gary teaches and Nancy translates for their Sunday School class of Spanish speakers at McClendon Baptist Church in West Monroe, La.
McClendon is one of 10 churches that have sent volunteers to work in Pachacutec, a poverty-stricken village where wooden pallets are the basic building material for “pre-fab” homes.
Missionaries Kevin and Pam Shearer from West Laurel Baptist Church in Laurel, Miss., work with volunteers like the Greens and with Peruvian pastors to reach the squatter villages created by the steady migration into metro Lima.
By holding a Vacation Bible School, organizing nightly evangelistic crusades and prayerwalking through the dusty hillside village, volunteers made inroads for an indigenous church in Pachacutec.
The squatter villages, though, were an eye-opening experience for Nancy, who had never seen that side of her Latin American hometown.
“Growing up in Lima, you don’t see this,” Nancy says. “The Lord has opened up doors for me to see them differently.”
Dea Davidson covered this story as an overseas correspondent with the International Mission Board.