A Year in Review: Feeding Locals in Peru
A Year in Review: Feeding Locals in Peru

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Peruvian Calvary Chapels Feed Starving Locals and Migrants

Story by Carmel Flippen
Photos courtesy of Alessandra Salazar Gutierrez

As the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, Peru experienced some of the world’s most stringent lockdowns. Many Venezuelan refugees and Peruvians are in danger of starvation. Calvary Trujillo, Peru, pastored by American missionary Cory Kilgus, provided bags of goods to those in desperate need. For many families, the weekly delivery—known as “Bolsas de Amor” or “Bags of Love”—is the only thing standing between them and starvation.

Pastor Cory has received many notes of heartfelt thanks in response. After receiving formula for her newborn as well as several bags of food, one woman wrote, “Thank you! More than just the food, His Word has touched the heart of my husband and comforted my soul.”

Team with masks getting food ready

Bolsas de Amor (Bags of Love), a ministry of Calvary Trujillo, Peru, prepares food for those starving in Peru.

Before the pandemic, Calvary Trujillo, a two-year-old church plant on Peru’s north coast, partnered with Calvary Bible Institute (CBI), Peru, to feed the hungry. CBI is a one-year ministry preparation program birthed out of Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, CA. Half of Calvary Trujillo’s nearly 100-person fellowship—including five CBI students—are Venezuelan refugees. Many refugees were already struggling; once quarantined, their lives were in jeopardy. Pastor Cory declared, “Throughout history, difficulty has not defeated the church, but rather witnessed her jump into action where needed most. That same thing is happening today in Peru.”

CBI delivers 400 pounds of food per week—including beans, rice, and oatmeal—mostly via foot or bicycle. “Whether it is seeing the faces of children realizing that God is providing for them, or witnessing mothers receive formula and clothing for their newborn children, everything is done in the name of Jesus Christ,” Cory reported. “Each family receives encouragement and prayer.”

Pastor Cory and kid with food

Pastor Cory Kilgus, director of CBI Peru, prepares food for Bags of Love with his son Noah.

Roughly half of the food is distributed to refugees; the rest is delivered to a Peruvian slum. Built on top of a trash dump, the slum has no running water or bathrooms. Before quarantine, kids looked forward to when a bus would arrive from the church. Christians would clean them up, feed them lunch, and bring them to the church. Cory misses seeing 40 smiling children pouring out, excited to learn about Jesus. “We now give around 100 child’s Bible studies to the kids in the slum and refugees families,” he said. “The studies include juice boxes, cookies, and crackers.”

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:40

“I love this ministry,” said CBI student Yeni Yamarte, “because each family gets to see the love of God in a practical way, and they know this comes from Him and not us.” Yeni and her husband Angel, also a CBI student, coordinate the Bags of Love ministry. While they were believers before leaving Venezuela, their faith caught fire at Calvary Trujillo. They believe they are called to be church planters in Venezuela, preparing at CBI to return to their country with the Gospel. Ultimately, Cory dreams that CBI students will start a Bible institute in Venezuela.

calvaryperu.com

Man packing fruit

A volunteer sorts fresh produce for hungry families. Many of those in desperate need are refugees from Venezuela.

 

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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