Note: IBEG refers to the church plant, Iglesia Bautista Evangelica de la Gracia
Why does the church need to buy property?
With a growing church body, our major need right now is to purchase property and build a building or remodel an existing one for the following reasons:
Need for Space – We are outgrowing our current facility. Acquiring an adequate building will give plenty of room for future growth. We need an auditorium that is between 1,500 and 2,000 sq. ft and has at least 3 children’s classrooms.
Need for Permanence – In Peru, many “evangelical” (the name given to any non-Catholic church) groups rent a facility and then disappear quickly. However, owning property gives a sense of permanence in the community and security to its members.
Need for Stability – Rent can be increased yearly, or the meeting place can be sold (which will probably be the case in our current location) and the contract is renegotiated yearly. This makes it unaffordable and often unfeasible to stay in a rented facility for many years.
Need for a National Pastor – Once the church is alleviated of the burden of a rental contract, it will then free up funds to help pay a national pastor’s salary. We want the church to be prepared for this as soon as possible.
What are IBEG’s objectives in purchasing property?
Give room for growth – The church needs an average attendance of about 200 people in order to afford to pay a national pastor. This mean the auditorium should be approximately 2,000 sq. ft. with at least three separate children’s classrooms.
Establish a permanent presence in the community – The fact that a church owns its own facility lends credence to its mission within the local community. The building and sign serve as a constant witness in town, and will serve as a place to point the many tribes and visitors to when they visit our town, which is the state capital.
Exercise wise stewardship of our resources – Large loans are not only next to impossible to obtain in Peru, but their rates are exorbitant and can run 30% annually or more. Renting offers no long-term solution to the churches financial challenges. Peru’s economy is stable currently, but there is no guarantee of it staying that way, which in the past has caused runaway inflation, affecting rental costs.
Prepare the groundwork to hand over the work to a national pastor – Within the framework of a stable, growing church that owns its own building, the leadership can focus on identifying and possibly training a national pastor who would take over, or calling one from another part of Peru. At that point, our family will be free to begin the full time river ministry, plant additional churches, and Lord-willing reach one of the unreached peoples.
As an American, why should I give toward this need?
We believe that God’s financial blessing on one group of His people is a test of the heart, and should be considered a reason to advance the cause of Christ in other places around the world.
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:33-34).
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality (2 Corinthians 8:14).
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Is buying land or building a building with US dollars a violation of the indigenous policy?
We strongly believe in establishing indigenous Baptist churches through Baptist church planters. However, an “indigenous Peruvian church” describes the goal, not the process. You may have heard good arguments for indigenous churches, but you must realize that a foreigner moving into a community to begin speaking about an unknown God is in itself, not indigenous. The very fact that we, as North Americans are here, receiving support, buying, selling, helping, passing out tracts, street preaching, witnessing, discipling, and baptizing means that the process is not entirely indigenous. Jesus Christ commanded us to go to all nations, and the idea of missions is traced throughout nearly every book of the Bible.
We believe that providing a permanent facility for a young church plant, in order to protect them from unfair usury related to financing through national banks or ever-increasing rental agreements, is a wise stewardship of the resources that God provides for His children. This short-term giving project will result in a measure of stability for the work that God has established in this country that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.
Many church plants in urban centers are either unable to afford a property, purchase something very limiting over the long term, or move out of their target area for lack of financial ability. Were the Peruvians to wait and save the needed money they would be limiting themselves and their growth for many years. If they were somehow able to take out a loan they would be paying astronomical interest rates on top of a nearly unachievable property price.
Are the Peruvian nationals giving toward this project?
The church folks here are actively involved in raising the necessary funds for this project. They have donated roughly 30% of the amount currently raised. This is especially exciting, because many of our folks earn 7-10 dollars per day: some have truly sacrificed.
We are well aware of the dangers of breeding dependence on foreign funds and I want to assure you personally that has not happened in this church plant. The Peruvian offering currently pays for the rented facility as well as all additional expenses for the same.
Is IBEG looking to purchase land or a building?
We wish to purchase an empty lot costing about $88,000 dollars, and subsequently build a simple but attractive place to gather.
Does IBEG have a national in mind to take the pastorate?
We are praying that one of the church leaders would be the future pastor or that the Lord would provide a family from another part of the country. We are in touch with several seminaries, churches, and pastors who will be able to help us find God’s man. This is something we have been praying for since the time this church plant began. The church needs to be in the best position possible to take on that man when it is God’s timing.
What about the building?
As soon as we purchase the property, we will be ready to host work teams to work on the building! If you or your ministry would like to help with the construction phase, please contact us! We plan to have joint labor among our church members and U.S. teams who may come. Lord-willing we will be paying very little in labor, keeping our costs down.
You can give quite easily using a paypal page set up by our mission here
Or if you would like to give a larger amount through BWM with no fees for you or us, you can do so here