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Gumercindo Benavides, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Updated: Feb 20



Our Missionary of the Month comes from the culturally rich and geographically unique Bolivian Andes region that surrounds the capital city of La Paz.  


“I am an agronomic engineer and for over 30 years, I worked in areas of soil and crop production with the Aymara and Quechua communities in Andes,” says Gumercindo Benavidez, a proud son of the Aymara indigenous nation. “I have also been a university professor for 20 years. Today, while I occasionally teach at the University of La Paz, I’m happy to say I have retired from my professional work so I can focus my energy and time on my service to the Lord.” 


Gumercindo is married to Maria Lidia from the Quechua nation, another indigenous group from the South American highlands. They have raised five children who are now married, professional adults with families of their own.  


Gumercindo’s parents sadly died before he was five years old, and he grew up as an orphan, spending some time in Chile. “Even so, it seems God was always present in my life,” he explains. “I didn’t understand everything that was happening to me, but God’s presence is the only way I can explain how I could focus on my studies and move forward with life. Over the years I had many encounters with the Lord in various ways until in 1971, I truly understood the Gospel and believed in Jesus. I continue my professional career by being active in our local church.” 


Because of health issues, Gumercindo and Maria Lidia relocated to the more temperate climate and lower altitude of Cochabamba, where they continued to serve and even supported the founding of the Nazareth Baptist Church. 


As he became more involved, Gumercindo became increasingly aware of the needs of his country’s peasant and indigenous people. “Our church began a mission work to assist them and proclaim the Gospel to them,” he says. “It has been an important ministry for me ever since.” 

Today, he belongs to the Bolivian Baptist Union and  serves as the national leader of Cooperación Misionera Bautista (COMEBA). His main task is to train and mobilize national church leaders to transcultural missions—taking the Gospel to the indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon.


“They know little about God, and we have the joy and challenge of bringing the Gospel to them,” Gumercindo says. “Our group has very little experience in this area and so we are training ourselves in Bible, theology, and missiology using LOGOI’s excellent Bible courses and resources as well as other materials.” 

 



Would you take a moment right now and pray for Gumercindo? Specifically, he asks for prayer that the Lord would give him strength and health as the pandemic “has left its consequences on my body.” With a heavy heart he adds, “Also, please pray for my wife's health. We tragically lost one of our children from COVID-19 and my wife's health collapsed as a result. But even as we mourn our loss, we are eager to live this new period of life more dedicated to the enlargement of His Kingdom and ask for your prayers as we proclaim the Gospel throughout the Amazon.”





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 the Gospel and make disciples all over the Spanish-speaking world.





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