Gladys is the wife of Arturo Marin, who pastors a Baptist church in San Martin, Peru.
I was born in the city of Lima, Peru, and I was converted to Christ when I was a young girl. I met Arturo in the Baptist Church of Chorrillos. Being two very incompatible people, it is quite impressive how the Lord joined us together in marriage and then called us to missionary work. It was also impressive how the Lord providentially prepared us for the work of missions during the time that Arturo was put in the Lurigancho prison (due to his documents being stolen and used by terrorists and drug dealers to falsify their own identities), the most dangerous prison in Peru.
The Lord used Brother Paul Washer for our call to missionary work, when he preached at Christ Is the Way Church in Lima. That night, Arturo spoke with Paul about his desire to be a missionary, and they prayed together.
When we first moved to the jungle, we saw such a great need for the preaching of the gospel. The people are engulfed in religious traditions and idolatrous festivals. The only churches in the villages were preaching a false gospel, and the pastors of those churches had all fallen into sin, such as adultery and stealing funds from the church. When the people saw us, they said, “These two won’t be any different from all the others!”
We began in a small village called La Libertad and then moved to San Rafael. It hurts my heart to think of all the time we worked without seeing any genuine conversions. We learned a lot about how to share the gospel during that time. After Arturo went to a HeartCry conference in Lima in 2007 with the theme of “The True Gospel,” we realized that much of how we were doing evangelism was not right.
The culture of these villages is highly religious. Pagan festivals dominate the towns, bringing with them a lot of immorality. In general, people are reluctant to hear the preaching of the gospel. However, in the church there are many who have been genuinely converted and are bearing fruit.
One of the biggest challenges that my husband and I have faced is his family. He was born and raised in the jungle, and his family members who live around us hate him, saying that he has forsaken the religion of his ancestors. However, thanks be to God, Arturo’s father has been converted, and his mother is also attending our church services, along with his sister and her daughters. Another group of his family members asked him to come and preach the Word to them. On May 24th of this year, ten members of his extended family came to our church service! After years of preaching the gospel, the Lord is using the things they have heard to affect their hearts, which are so dominated by idolatry.
Personally, I can say that God is using my own sicknesses to mold my character and to teach me more about Himself. I have recently had three different operations, and there are still three others that I need to have. In each of the operations that I have already had, I can see the Lord’s faithfulness, love, and grace; and I can also see His provision through HeartCry and other brothers and sisters. As a native of Lima (which is in a desert), the climate of the jungle is very hard for me. My body feels this, but with joy I bear it, because I feel privileged to serve the Lord through all the difficulties of life in the jungle. In Romans 8:28 it says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
One of my operations in the jungle went very poorly and nearly killed me, but even then I saw the hand of the Lord. When I was sent to Lima, I met Dr. Max Castillo, a brother in Christ and a servant. He looked for help for my situation and found another doctor named Valeria. Now, because of that encounter, a group of doctors comes regularly to the jungles to do medical and evangelistic campaigns in the towns of Panamá, San Rafael, and La Libertad. It is incredible how the Lord uses sickness to bring us blessings! The most important thing in all of this is that we have come to know God more through it, and we are able to serve him better as a family. The trials that we have gone through have drawn us together as a family in a very special and unique way.
I am thankful to the Lord for my marriage. It is a gift from God! My two precious sons (Paul and David) are also gifts from God. For many years we did not have a house of our own, and we were living in the church building. But through a government program in Peru, we were able to build a house for our family. It is not a luxurious house, but it is sufficient for us as a family. I am excited about and grateful for all that the Lord has done for us as a family.
Thank you for your prayers, and thank you for your work on our behalf. On behalf of my family, I send our most sincere gratitude to all those who faithfully support us. May the Lord bless you greatly!
Your sister in Christ,
Gladys Rosa Quispe Jimenez