Walter moved to Peru from Argentina and is currently serving as a leader in the Church of the Savior in Barranco, Lima. He has also helped translate material from Paul Washer’s study manuals and various Puritan authors.
It has been a year of enormous challenges and great difficulty. Sadly, I must confess that in many ways I have made mistakes, in many ways I have failed, and in many ways I have sinned. But I also recognize with joy that the grace and mercy of God have been abundant, and His providence and faithfulness have been infinite and unmatched. He helped us throughout the past year, and I trust that this year, like every other year, not one of His marvelous promises will fall to the ground; rather, all of them will continue to be a powerful support for our faith and a guide and strength in our daily walk.
During this past month, there has been no lack of opportunities for ministry, service, and evangelism. However, there is one opportunity in particular that I would like to explain in detail, because it was not only significant for me, but it was also a clear example of the desire of God that “all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:4).
At the beginning of the month, I received an invitation to take part in a series of conferences on climate change and renewable energies called COP20. I was invited in order to translate for the event because there would be representatives from many different countries. To my surprise, these representatives were members of political organizations that were meeting with the purpose of establishing agreements and planning goals to generate greater awareness about the world climate. Though politics in itself is not part of my personal interests or burdens, it is however my burden and my desire to proclaim Christ and announce the Gospel to every man. It was for this reason that I gladly accepted the invitation to attend and take part in the conference.
As I arrived early in the morning, I saw that the event was organized by a very well-known politician and several people who carry out important responsibilities within the government of Peru. There were also many representatives of different world organizations. Quickly, my interest was to get to know these people with the purpose of sharing Christ with them, and by God’s grace, I was able to do this with several of them. During the day, I was able to meet an ex-president of Peru and a current minister and ex-congressman of Mexico. I gave each of them tracts and shared the Gospel with them. I had dinner with the Mexican minister and was able to explain to him the Gospel in greater detail and speak to him about the person of Christ and His finished work. During that day, I was given marvelous opportunities to proclaim Christ and to make Him known in the midst of people with a great deal of power and in an environment that is generally characterized by corruption and deceit.
While I considered this opportunity that the Lord gave me, I meditated on the words of the apostle Paul in I Timothy 2:1-4:
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
When the word “evangelism” comes to our minds, we generally think first about very poor people in marginalized places, far off and remote. Without a doubt, the Lord has sent us to go into those places with the purpose of taking the Good News to them. However, we rarely think of people like kings and those who are in leadership and government. It almost never occurs to us that God would want those people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
In the original context of the letter that Paul is writing to Timothy, he was referring to perverse and wicked governors like Nero, who persecuted and killed Christians, even crucifying them and blaming them for the atrocities that were committed in the Roman Empire. In response, the apostle admonishes his beloved disciple that God wants His people to pray for those that are in power, for those that govern us, and that it is a good and acceptable thing before God our Savior, since it is within His will. As I stood before all of those politicians and world representatives, I stopped seeing them only as politicians; I began to see them as those that are in need of the grace of God, as objects of divine mercy, and as part of the mission field. I saw them as those creatures to which the Lord has sent us to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15).
The following day, the Lord gave me the opportunity to preach in a community on the outskirts of Lima. It was a very poor place with great needs. Again, I was shown that our beloved God has His people spread throughout all the world and that He desires to save men regardless of class, social condition, or race. It reminded me of Revelation 7:9-10:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”