It’s time for a big announcement! After 11 years for Heather and 5 years for me of serving at the Iglesia Bautista Internacional here in Lima, we’re gearing up to say our goodbyes. On June 18, we had our official farewell day at the church, complete with tears, hugs, and prayers together.
Over the past year, God has been working in us in various ways, leading us to leave and start a new work here in Lima. Initially, we were hesitant about the idea because we’ve invested so much time and effort into establishing the current work in Chorrillos. However, as God continued to use circumstances to confirm His will, we understood that, though it’s always tough to leave, the church in Chorrillos is thriving and belongs to Him. So, fueled by faith, we took the leap last month.
Peru is quite unique, as everything is centralized in the capital much more than in other nations. Lima serves as the hub for shipping, commerce, money, and government; and its size dwarfs all other cities in Peru. With a population of over 11 million people, Lima alone accounts for about one-third of the country’s total population of 34 million. If we want to reach Peru, we have to start with the capital. Unfortunately, many areas of the city lack solid, Gospel-preaching churches.
That said, God is leading us to start a church on the south side of Lima. We’re considering an area where there used to be a church that closed down during COVID. It’s not far from our house, and it is more accessible than our current location. In addition, due to its central location, it presents a tremendous opportunity to reach a larger portion of the city. We’ll continue reaching people one on one, while leveraging social media, with the support of Christian Media International, to reach even more souls. Our goal is to use all available means to reach and train Peruvians to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with their own people.
As for the timeline, we’ll be heading back to the U.S. for a few weeks at the end of July. Then, in late August, we’ll return to Lima, hit the ground running, secure a property, start Bible studies in the area, and plan for a Grand Opening toward the end of September or the beginning of October.
We’re beyond excited to see what God has in store for us. Of course, we’re also a bundle of nerves about the entire process. We’d greatly appreciate your prayers for God’s guidance throughout this journey; pray that He works out every single detail. We can’t wait to look back in 5-10 years and witness the lives touched and transformed through this new work and to see all that He will have accomplished during that time.
Many have asked how they can contribute financially. We’re aiming to raise $15,000-20,000 to cover the startup and first-year costs, enabling us to jumpstart the process and see results sooner. Some specific items on our list include rent, a pulpit, chairs, a PA system, a piano, materials, signage for the building, a baptistry, and other essentials. If you’d be willing to help with any of these, it would be an enormous blessing.
We deeply appreciate your love, prayers, and support. We’re thrilled to embark on this new chapter of ministry and can’t wait to see the incredible things God has in store. We do covet your prayers, and remember that without HIM, we can do nothing. Thank you so much for investing and partnering with us. We thank God for you.
Serving Him in Lima,
-Josh, Heather, and Joseph Hedderman