Updated: Sep 15
To meet Pastor Rómulo Rafael Durán Verástequi and his family, you just may need an extra helping of courage in order to navigate some of Peru’s treacherous Andes Mountains roads (check out this VIDEO). But if you do, you’ll find him nestled just over halfway up the 18,232-feet-high snowcapped Huaytapallana Mountain, in the province of Concepción.
Fishing for trout in the Mantaro River brings tourists to Concepción, where some 15,500 residents reside. Among them are Pastor Rómulo, brand new baby Pedro, Rafael (9), Belen (6) and Helena (3). Life for Rómulo and his wife, Yénifer, is rather busy these days.
When he’s not changing diapers or chasing after Helena, Rómulo is pastoring the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. “LOGOI,” he explains, “is a great blessing and support for my preaching every Sunday and Wednesday. And I am able to get counsel and trustworthy advice from a biblical perspective which impacts my life and teaching every day.”
Growing up, the furthest thing from his mind was becoming a pastor. “When I was in college,” he explains, “my mother died. I was devastated and felt as if life had no meaning. I started to drink which left me even more empty inside. One day out of the blue, I received a letter from my older sister. All the letter said was, ‘Dios te ama’ (Jesus loves you). I can’t explain it, but even though I was drunk at that time, those words pierced my heart. I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to save and forgive me. With tears rolling down my face, I found a Bible and read John 3:16. As I read His Word, I believed. I stood up a brand new creature in Christ. I was baptized the very next day.”
Rómulo has been a pastor now for 12 years. God has enabled him to start a Bible academy, youth ministries, even mission and evangelistic teams. “Right now,” he explains, “the Covid-19 cases have increased dramatically and hospitals don’t have enough room. People are dying in their homes. We ask for your prayers so that our little church will be an example of living in God’s grace and a place where people will find Jesus.”
Will you take a moment right now and pray for Rómulo, his family, and their church? Of course, we thank you for being a part of training, equipping, and encouraging Rómulo (and thousands more just like him) to boldly and joyfully proclaim the Gospel in his community.