Renalto and his parents live in a town on the beach in northern Peru. When he was 8 years old, his mother lost her job. The family faced difficult financial times. Renalto’s younger brother was sick, and Mother had to stay home with him. So Renalto walked the few blocks to church alone. He prayed that God would help his family be able to attend church together again.
Then an Adventist couple moved into a home on the beach near Renalto’s home. They learned that Renalto’s mother was a cook and invited her to open a restaurant on the porch of their home.
You can even rent part of our house, the couple said.
That way you’ll be close to your work and your children.
The family moved into the couple’s home, and his mother’s restaurant has become well known among tourists visiting the beach. Father completed his studies and found a better job. At last Renalto and his family could attend worship together in the little Adventist church in town.
The Adventist couple invited Renalto to study the Bible with them, and he accepted. Renalto invited some of his classmates to study the Bible with him. But when Renalto asked his Adventist friends to study with his classmates, they urged him to have his own small group.
We’ll help you, they encouraged.
Renalto began studying with his friends. More children came, and the group grew. When the studies ended, Renalto and Sandra, one of his classmates, were baptized together. Sandra invited Renalto to start a small group in her house. Soon another small group had formed.
Sandra’s father was not a Christian, but he had seen the changes in Sandra’s life. He listened to the children’s small-group discussions, and in time he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Sandra’s parents began worshipping in the little Adventist church too. Her parents invited some of their friends to the children’s small group, and soon it had more adults than children. A woman in the church offered to lead the adults in their own group. Today 15 to 18 people attend the adult small group every week.
Renalto and Sandra’s small group has moved to the church, where 25 or more children, many from the neighborhood, attend every week. Renalto helps lead the group, though he is one of the youngest there. He tells them,
Remember when I invited you to the small group? Now it’s your turn to invite your friends to come. And in this way the group has grown.
In 2012 part of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped provide teaching materials for children who lead small groups in Peru. Thank you for making it possible to share God’s love with others through this successful program in Peru and throughout South America.