Pictured above: Connecting with Peruvians and learning their culture
People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. For missionaries Jim and Mandy Wells, that statement couldn’t be truer as they have spent more than a decade in the international mission field sharing the gospel.
“Building trust and learning the native culture are vital aspects of sharing the gospel in Peru,” said Jim Wells, a graduate of the Baptist College of Florida.
Cult groups have evangelized in Peru and caused many to distrust outsiders who speak of the gospel. The Wells, who call Grace Church in Bonifay their home church, have spent months breaking down barriers in Peru by getting to know the people, asking questions and learning abut their history and beliefs. They have created a friendly environment by sharing the Bible through storytelling.
The Wells seek to cast a vision for the lost in the eyes and hearts of Peruvian believers. The missionaries show believers unreached people groups where the love of Christ has not been shared and mobilize them to plant churches in these areas.
Building trust and learning the native culture are vital aspects of sharing the gospel in Peru.
Both Jim and Mandy were called to long-term missions early in life. Jim felt called as a college student during a summer opportunity in Peru with the International Mission Board, and Mandy, after a business trip with her father to India when she was a young teenager. After college, Jim worked with the IMB for two years, and Mandy began as an IMB Journeyman. They met on the mission field while working in Peru.
Together, after their appointment as IMB missionaries in November 2014, their call first led them to Mexico where they spent seven years serving on mission and raising their two children. Then, their call to missions came “full circle” as they transitioned to serve in Peru together. Leaving their ministry and the people in Mexico to begin serving to Peru was a challenge for their entire family.
“We were taking on a greater responsibility in Peru, and it was an incredibly difficult decision. It was difficult for our kids to leave their home and friends, but the Lord has been extremely faithful to us,” said Jim Wells.
As the family began the transition to Peru and all the unknowns of their new opportunity, Jim Wells preached in August 2021 at First Baptist Bonifay, saying that he realized, “God, this isn’t about us. This isn’t anything we can accomplish. This isn’t something we can do. We need You.” He stated that they also needed the prayer support of fellow believers.
The Wells have seen the Lord move in their Peruvian ministry through new believers, growing the faith of other believers and more people accepting the call into the ministry.