Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
Rick and Kelly Martinez
Aymara of Peru
Unlike many of the world’s lost, not having the opportunity to “hear” about Jesus isn’t the problem for Peru’s Aymara people.
“Everybody here has heard about Jesus — everybody,” explains Florida native Rick Martinez, who serves among the Aymara in the high plains of the Andes Mountains with his wife, Kelly, from Tennessee.
When Catholic missionaries first brought the gospel to Peru hundreds of years ago, the Aymara blended it with their animistic traditions. The result is a folk Catholicism that reveres both God and natural “spirits” — not saving faith in Jesus.
Rick and Kelly separate worship of creation and Creator by presenting an undiluted gospel message through simple Bible studies coupled with the JESUS film. They’ve launched three new churches so far. It’s a good start, but only a beginning.
“My ultimate vision is to see Aymara going out with a heart for their own people,” Rick says. “Once that starts to happen, I don’t think it will ever stop.”
Ask God to raise up young Aymaran believers who have a passion for sharing the gospel with their own people. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move the Aymara beyond spiritual apathy and that churches will be planted in the cities of Huancane and Moho.