Latin America

Urgent Prayer Request

Thank-you for praying for our brothers and sisters in Peru which is
experiencing floods and mudslides of historic proportions.   A "state
of emergency" has been declared for 1/2 of the country.

Our missionaries are attempting to assess the damage; however, heavy
rains are expected to continue for 20 - 30 more days. The
missionaries expect overall repairs and replacements to total tens of
thousands of dollars. Medical needs are expected to arise in the
coming weeks. Drinking water and food are in short supply at best.
Cell phone service is spotty.

We value your prayers for our missionaries and their congregations in
this time of great suffering. Those desiring to help with these needs
should designate funds "PERU RELIEF" via BIEM.

Andrew Counterman


The first Challenger of 2009 unveiled a new program geared to jumpstart church-planting in Latin America, the continent where BIEM founder Peter Slobodian accepted the Lord. The plan is to provide limited support for two years for Peruvian Bible school graduates who are eager to plant churches. BIEM's Latin America Field Director, Andy Counterman, provides this news from Peru.

Just before the annual BIEM Board meeting in Indianapolis, I had the privilege of attending a pastors' meeting in the high jungle of Peru. After flying into the city of Tarapoto, I met the president of the seminary in Trujillo, Enoc Principe, and the next Peruvian church-starter for BIEM, Luis Escobar. We had lunch in Tarapoto, and Luis showed us where his church is meeting and introduced us to his family. His dirt-floor church is not uncommon in Peru. This quiet man, a product of the Peruvian army special forces, now holds his child, and in a voice full of excitement shares his vision of a room full of believers. 

From Tarapoto, we traveled into the jungle to a small town called Chazuta. This dirt-road town houses a church of over 100. The humble house of God looked primitive in contrast to the Catholic church in the center of town. Yet, in another sharp contrast, this humble meeting place of believers was alive! Over 100 pastors and missionaries from the jungle as well as other towns and cities of Peru met there for instruction and encouragement throughout the week. 

I had the privilege of preaching three times and conducted several "side-bar" meetings throughout the four days we were there. I was also able to do follow-up with Segundo Rodriguez, Luis, Joel Gamboa, and strategic planning with Enoc. 

As we reflected on the wonderful possibilities in Peru, we ran some numbers. The average seminary graduate in Peru is able to go full-time in ministry for about $6,000 per year. BIEM underwrites these men for two years of full-time ministry. If we do the math, for less than a purchased cup of coffee, five days a week for two years, 20 people could start churches in Peru. Perhaps I could be so bold as to suggest you invest a "cup of coffee" per day in Peru as we open all of South America. Souls are being saved, and churches are being started in this wasteland of empty religion. You can make a difference! Oh yes, as you invest a cup for Peru, pray as you enjoy your cup each morning. 

Is the Lord prompting you to help place a church-planter on the fields of Latin America? If so, please designate your gift "Latin America."


Teodoro and Esperanza Berna

Location: Chepen, Peru

Location: Chepen, Peru


It is a delight to have the opportunity to share what our God has allowed us to do in His work here in Chepen, Peru. Currently we have 24 people attending our church—8 are baptized, and 12 remain to be baptized. Four are visitors. The Bible Club is made up of around 25-40 children and young people.

Two couples are in marriage counseling, and another couple is going through pre-marriage counseling. We are in the process of discipling two men and two ladies. On the weekends we conduct Bible studies at three members’ houses with the purpose of reaching their neighbors, and we go on visitation to members’ homes to encourage them. We hold a prayer service each week at the church, a once-per-week edification service, and on Sundays we meet to worship together in mornings and evenings. We are always taking advantage of opportunities to evangelize. So, as a small group we are dedicated to evangelism, discipleship, ministry, mentoring, and worship.

We never have to wait for the enemy to attack as he tries to derail God’s purpose for the people to whom we minister. However, God gives us strength as we continue on and stay faithful to the work He has given us. As we remain diligent in our service, the Lord will grow our church and will add to us those who are to be saved according to His promises. 

The church owns its own building. The lot is 7 x 30 meters, and we have completed 65% of the construction work. We ask for your prayers as we endeavor to finish the rest.

We ask for your prayers for God’s work here, that people would receive the Gospel. They recognize their sin, but are unwilling to make the decision to surrender their lives to Christ as their Lord and savior. They are stuck in their religion, traditions, etc. Let us pray that God would work in their hearts. We also ask you to pray for our holiness and for my wife’s health. We again are grateful to you all for supporting our ministry, for your prayers, and for your financial support. Our work in the Lord is not in vain. May God bless you!



Ruben and Laura Villar

When I was 13 years old, I went to a camp from my church. God used that camp to call me to serve Him. It was really amazing, because in that camp God was talking to my heart, saying, “You can serve me.” On the last day of the camp, I said, “God, use me however you want. I don’t know if You want me to be a pastor or a missionary.” The only thing that I said was, “God, here I am; use me.”

I’ll never forget that when I was between 14 and 16 years old, my relationship with God was very bad. Although my body was in the church, my heart was far away from Him. However, when I finished high school, I started to think about my life. I recognized that I needed to follow Jesus again and began to renew my decision to serve Him.

In 2008 I made the decision to prepare in a seminary. I studied for a year and a half in Lima. However, I thought to myself, “If I plan to serve full time, then I need to prepare full time too,” because I was working a lot during the day, and I had just a few hours to study and do my homework at night. For that reason, at the end of 2010, I decided to go to Trujillo to finish my theological studies at Peru Baptist Seminary.

Ruben graduated from the seminary in 2014. He considers his primary gifts from the Lord to be preaching, teaching, and counseling.


Omar Munoz

Location: Suba, Bogota, Colombia.

Location: Suba, Bogota, Colombia.

I attended the church for six months, but I was not really saved. One day I was going to work and the Lord touched my heart, and I understood that I need Christ as my personal Savior. From that day, my life changed. I began to know God more and to grow spiritually, desiring always to please Him and to always be a good testimony. Having spent 37 years in the world, I now want to spend my life doing the Lord’s work, which is truly worthwhile.

Omar was baptized in November of 2001. Concerning evangelizing the lost, he states, “It is a constant burden, to preach the plan of salvation to others. Seeing the lack of churches and so many souls without Christ, I recognized the need to preach and to plant churches.”