(Photo courtesy Global Advance)
Peru (MNN) ― The way the Peruvian government addressed the global financial crisis resulted in a great deal of optimism.
Nearly half of the population believes their economic situation will improve even more in the next 12 months. The economic boom has also resulted in a growing middle class. Making up the middle class: business leaders.
That's where Marketplace Missions comes in. Kevin Pate is working with Marketplace Missions through Global Advance. "Peru is very strategic for South America, and the dynamics there are just perfect." The economic health of the country, added to a growing and united church body, confirms that. "We think there's a connection between what God is doing there, the rise in the number of Christians, and the ability to have great business and economic climate in their nation."
The population make-up carries that placement a step further, away from Latin America, notes Pate. "Since there are a lot of Asians there, business doors open for them back and forth across the Pacific. So there's just a real great relationship going there with having an Asian population there."
By building on the relationship with Christian business leaders, Pate says a new ministry movement awakened. Since 2009, the impact has grown from a few leaders to over 1,000. As a result, doors are opening for impact in Peru. Pate says this last visit, the Global Advance team told them, "'We've been working with you a long time. We would love to empower you [to] take this type of event, go lead it in a second city without us, and start putting into practice the things we've taught you.'"
The local church took that concept and owned it, says Pate. "This past year, they took that banner and went down to Arequipa, a second city. They did an event; they had their own speakers. We had a couple of us go. We've seen this progression from a small church, into the community and across Peru, start to expand into other cities."
A Marketplace Missions conference combines faith with practical business skills, as taught by successful business-persons. Pate explains that the curriculum provides a model to follow. "While we're sharing the practical how-to's and trying to ‘up' their game, we also share the biblical principles, the spiritual principles. [We discuss] how you manage your business and your employees as a Christian, using Christian principles."
The face of the Christian business person is changing in Peru. Not only is the economy one of the fastest-growing, but it looks to stay on track there. The same could be true of the Church in Peru. Business leaders who've gone through programs like Marketplace Missions have the potential to change the world. It's all the more reason to remain optimistic for a bright future.