Latin America

Praying for South American Pastors


About ten years ago several pastors were actively teaching in the Bible College and Seminary in Trujillo, Peru. I had the privilege of being able to participate in this process. It was then that I met three of the five present advisers we use to get national trained men into the BIEM pipeline. I was invited to become a board member of BIEM soon after this Peruvian teaching opportunity. This sparked the expansion of BIEM into the S.A. field. Prior to this, BIEM was busy in Eastern Europe.

After presenting the idea and getting board approval, the process was presented, revised, given to the advisors in the field (now five in Peru) and fashioned as a prototype for this area of the world. Several mandates were incorporated:

  • There must be local approval of any candidate;
  • The advisers would not have the ability to make the final choice of candidates, but would defer to the board;
  • Candidates must be a graduate of a recognized school in the targeted country (hopefully, expanding from Peru to other SA countries);
  • Funding would be for a two year block for a church starter who would continue to pastor the church and continued support for the church starter who felt gifted in this position (upon review and approval).

Accountability would be in three tiers:

  • The missionaries and teachers on the ground in the target country;
  • Trips to the field by BIEM board member(s); and
  • By BIEM itself with financial accountability to all who contribute. We pray that the program in SA will prove to be accountable and accepted by all who come under the burden to accelerate the gospel in this very open field.

This is the real advantage of the program: a national pastor/church-starter can be fully underwritten for about 500 dollars per month. They know the language, the country, the diet, the laws, etc. There is no language school, cross-cultural adjustments, and, they minister where their homes and families are. This is a win, win, win situation.


BIEM started with five candidates. Of that group, one man, Segundo Rodriguez, is in church starting and evangelism as well as a teacher of his own countrymen. He came to BIEM fully supported. The second man Joel Gamboa ministers in Trujillo in a drug-infested area of the city. He is a graduate of the seminary in Trujillo and was driving a taxi to feed his family. The third man is Luis Escobar. He is a graduate of the school in Trujillo and is starting a church in Tarapoto, a high jungle city of 68,000 souls in central Peru. The fourth man is David Toribio, ministering in the south-eastern city of Puerto Maldonado near the borders of both Brazil and Bolivia. Here, David wants to start a Baptist Church with a 10 believer core. The fifth man is Parcemon Jiminez. JP is pastoring in a Baptist church in Zarumilla, Peru. He is another graduate of the seminary in Trujillo and, like the other men comes highly recommended by his peers. Future goals include expanding the influence of his ministry into Ecuador, specifically, the city of Machala. We already have the next man in BIEM’s pipeline for support. His name is Ruben Quispe in the Cusco-Calca area of central Peru. Ruben wanted to be a Doctor before God called him into the ministry. He also trained in Trujillo and has taught in the Bible college in Urubamba (the second school that we consider men).


In August, BIEM will again have a presence in Peru. This will be a trip to gather more men for the future underwriting program. Also, there will be an onsite evaluation of three of the existing works. Time will be spent in Trujillo and Urubamba interviewing and gathering solid recommendations.


As churches and individuals get a burden for SA, BIEM stands ready to provide an accountable avenue for church expansion using graduates who are native to their land. The cost benefits are obvious as are the cultural benefits. This endeavor compliments the work of other men and mission boards and is in cooperation with several other Baptist groups for the stated ends. The target is needy, the men are trained and recommended by both peers and missionaries, the cost is very reasonable, and the goal is achievable.