Forging Family from Fire

Pastor José needs the help of a wheelchair to get around the Peru neighborhood known as Los Cedros. It's one of Peru's most neglected areas, where crime is high and modern conveniences like paved roads do not exist. But José is determined to share the Word of God here. "Focusing on impossibilities is not what I do," he says buoyantly. "I focus on trusting God, and caring for others, the way Jesus himself did."

He leads a small group in prayer, people from the neighborhood. He also invites passersby to be a part of the prayer. "Come on in! We love all people here!" he says. They sit in plastic chairs and many have brought their children to hear the Good News. This is a group that has already completed Project Philip Bible studies, they come back for the fellowship and to refresh their faith. Their group also keeps growing. "Pastor José helped me learn how to read using God's Word," says a recent member of this close group. "I learned to read with the Bibles and training, and I finally learned how to pray."

"We are a family," says another member. "We meet here at least two times a week, and we share our struggles with each other." Teenagers also come to the group because it gives them a safe place to escape the streets. One teen puts it this way, "Many young people here are exposed to sex, drugs, and alcohol very early." she says. "I was bitter towards my father because I thought it was his fault that our family didn't have any money. But when I received Christ in my heart, I forgave my father. I feel the love of God and my brothers and sisters here."

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