By JENNIFER BROGDON
Para Su Gloria—For His Glory!
Jhon Chavez moved to Peru with a team of church planters this summer. Jhon is one of the most passionate gospel proclaimers I know. His eyes often fill up with tears when he speaks it. He’s bold. He’s blunt. He presses hard while being full of compassion. He loves God, but he didn’t always.
Jhon, a native of Peru, did not love God in his past because he had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. By not hearing the gospel, he could not put his faith in Christ as “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” (Romans 10:17). It wasn’t until a group of short-term missionaries came to his country and shared it for him to even have an opportunity to believe.
These short-term missionaries were (and still are) serious about the mission of God. They didn’t go to Peru on an adventure or to get a t-shirt. They went to obey the Great Commission—to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Making a disciple is hard work and usually involves walking through the gospel with an unbeliever many times until God opens their eyes to the glorious truth. It involves persistent prayers for their salvation for days, months, or even years. During their trip, Jhon ended up attending their group gathering where he volunteered as a translator. Soon he began translating the gospel story from English to Spanish word for word. He didn’t trust in Christ that day though, and the missionaries left. But God planted seeds.
The missionaries returned home to Brandon. They didn’t forget their new friend Jhon and prayed for him often. They got their church behind them, and for months, Grace Community Church in Jackson labored in prayer alongside them for God to save this Peruvian’s soul.
Over a matter of time, Jhon got in touch with them and communicated his desire to come live in Mississippi. He wanted friends like them that loved each other and talked about God, he said. Jesus told his disciples the world would know they were his because of their love for one another (John 13:35) and this proved right for this group of Christians.
Not only did Jhon believe they were true followers of God, but he wanted to hear more about God himself. Excited for what God may do, they found him a place to stay. Because of what Christ had done for them, they bent over backward to help him, befriend him, and serve him, and so did their church family (Ephesians 2:4-5, 1 John 3:16). God was at work through the means of his people (Ephesians 2:10).
Jhon’s people group in Peru does not classify as an unreached people group. According to Radical.net, the unreached are people groups among whom there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage the people group with church planting. Thus, because professing Christians live among his people group, they do not fit the definition of unreached. However, these professing Christians failed to reach Jhon with the gospel. He heard the gospel through the mouths of missionaries—praise God! And not long after his move to Mississippi, God saved him.
I rarely hear of a person from my state of Mississippi who has never heard the gospel (or never heard of Jesus). Many residents in Mississippi do not trust Christ (or twist the gospel), but they have access to the true gospel because I am a Christian and maybe you are, too, if you’re reading this. If you know a lost person here, should you, gospel possessor, tell them the gospel? No one in Mississippi is unreached as many true Christians who know and put their faith in the gospel live here and could reach them.
In Peru, it is different. According to Joshua Project, 8 out of 104 people groups in Peru are unreached. While that is a relatively small number in comparison, approximately 156,000 people make up those groups and have zero Christians among them to tell them the gospel so they might believe. Jhon does not come from one of the eight groups, but he understands the severity of never hearing the gospel and the abundance of grace in hearing it and believing it.
Jerry Rankin, former President of the International Mission Board, alongside pastors Ryan Sullivan and Dustin Cook prepared Jhon and his team to move to Peru as long-term missionaries. This month, they send out Jhon and Rachel Chavez, Rollins and Stephanie Gordon, and Joe and Laurel Barnes, and each of their children. The very missionaries who first shared the gospel with Jhon now return with him to labor for other souls who have never heard.
You can follow this team’s journey, support them financially, or encourage them by visiting their site parasugloria.org. Pray for them today. Pray that God would be exalted among the nations.
Jennifer Brogdon is a stay-at-home mom to Brooke and wife to Shane. She enjoys running, reading, and writing. Jennifer is passionate about the gospel and desires to evangelize in her community and to people of all nations. She and her husband are members of Grace Community Church in Jackson, MS. Read more at JenniferCBrogdon.com.