My first steps at PEPE

When I was eight years old, my whole family moved to the north of the city, two blocks from the Iglesia Evangélica Mayorazgo, where I started to be part of the OANS ministry, where I met Jesus. At the age of 10, I took the first step to change my whole life by recognizing Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I was discipled by the brothers Celia and Carlos and, at the age of 16, I was already the leader of the ministry, being responsible for the evangelization of children, teenagers, and young people. Soon after, God led me to the university where I studied Educational Sciences, thus reinforcing my knowledge and giving me a career to follow.

In 2013, I received an invitation from a great friend, the missionary Gwen Quinteros, who was the coordinator of PEPE in Cochabamba, to visit PEPE at her church in the Sumumpaya neighborhood. That’s how this love for PEPE began and I accepted the challenge of our God to be PEPE’s missionary-educator, in the afternoon shift. I remember that I started with six children, but after a few months there were 15, and so we continued to grow. These children helped me more than I could help them, it was a great challenge in my life, because that was when I was able to put into practice what I was learning. I was very happy teaching PEPE’s children!

Thus, I learned more about PEPE by participating in training courses and by studying and using the materials that were available to teach the children. One of the transformation stories that most impacted me was about Briseyda Quillca Ardaya, a charismatic, cheerful, sociable, and very affectionate girl. In class, she always helped the other children with routine and good behavior, she liked being my helper, and, above all, she liked the biblical stories and parables of Jesus. She knew all the songs by heart and excelled in teaching the other children to sing them. She lived with a little brother, mother, and stepfather, who loved her as if she were his daughter. It was difficult at first, but little by little, she managed to accept the idea that he was part of the family. Briseyda, when she got home, told the whole family everything she had learned that day at PEPE, including the songs that were sung by everyone. God blessed that family, the stepfather married her mother, they had a new little sister and, today, they are a beautiful family.

In 2014 I started to form part of the PEPE coordination team, now as coordinator of the Cochabamba area, which made me very happy to understand the purpose that God had for my life. I was very challenged to get to know this program more closely, to be that support for other PEPEs in other churches and help them reach their goals, encouraging leaders to work as a team, in cooperation, and above all with great commitment because PEPE is a ministry that also works with families.

And so, time passed and I discovered that God had much more for me when, in 2021, I accepted the challenge of coordinating PEPE at a national level. It was a very exciting, very challenging moment, and, above all, I understood that God prepares us in many ways, trains us, and blesses us in ways that we don’t understand at the time, but then He accommodates and sustains everything in due time. This news changed my life routine, moreover, I understood the missionary work that must be done anywhere and anytime, but always trusting God and the plans He has for my life.

Therefore, as of April 2022, I started preparing reports, in addition to receiving and knowing all PEPE documentation. But, as of October, I have already started with everything that includes the administration of PEPE Bolivia. I feel challenged to give the best of myself to PEPE Bolivia because I know that God deserves the best of me!

Pray for me so that new PEPEs open in our country and many children are reached for Christ Jesus!

Mary Luz Fonseca Canaviri – National Coordinator of PEPE Bolivia

Translated by Letícia Pedrosa Rodrigues

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