What We're Doing
Community Development/Outreach -
IBC Arequipa (IBC stands for: Christian Bible Church, a TEAM church plant) has begun ministry in the poor community of Ciudad de Dios "City of God" located just outside of the city. It is a spiritually dark and needy part of the Peruvian Andes, where tradition and mountain isolation have made evangelism and the making of disciples a difficult and lengthy task. When first planted 17 years ago, IBC Arequipa laid out the goal of multiplying itself and planting a daughter church. Peruvian members of the church had been serving in Ciudad de Dios twice a month for a few years prior to when we arrived. They were laying the ground work for a church plant in a community that has no evangelical church.
We get the privilege of assisting IBC Arequipa in doing this community development and church planting work. Over the past few years we have seen the church go through ups and downs, but we have also seen IBC Ciudad de Dios growing. There are now around 10 regular attendees for Saturday night worship services and an average of 25 kids on Sundays for Sunday school hour. We have a faithful group of 8 Peruvian volunteers who serve regularly in the church. Our desire is to eventually turn over the role of pastor to a Peruvian as it has never been our desire to be the "pastoral head" of the church plant.
Church Planting -
We are a part of a church planting team. Our primary focus is to plant churches among the urban middle class. As the church grows and develops, the desire is to train and equip Peruvian leaders to lead the new church plant. Within our first term here the IBC Arequipa has been led entirely by a Peruvian pastor and the missionaries that planted the church are no longer a part of the leadership team. This hasn't necessarily been an easy adjustment, but its one that was planned since the church was planted. TEAM also desires to see their church plants reproduce themselves.
Our long term focus will be the planting of additional churches in the local, urban community which in reality Ciudad de Dios is growing into that. The urban, middle class is the most unevangelized group in all of Latin America. It is also the most influential. This will begin by building the trust of individuals through the establishing of relationships. We are asking to see God do a great and transformational work in the city of Arequipa.
This is only a brief summary of what our assignment will look like. For additional information please visit: peru.team.org