Albert arrived in Iquitos, Peru (the homeland of his mother) in 2004, with a mission to start a church. Iquitos is on a tributary of the Amazon River which floods in season and the poorest live in the flood areas. His original impression, as he stayed at downtown hotels, was surprise at the numbers of children working in the downtown area. As he spent time in this area he came to know many “street kids” and their families, including Rosa and her children who worked watching the motorcycles and motor-cars and keeping them safe.
Other children sold candy and hung out in town. As he came to know these children, his heart led him to start Bible teachings on the street and provide pages to color about the Bible stories. The kids loved the attention and it led to the formation of a Street Children’s ministry which ultimately became more formalized and had weekly meetings at Rosa’s house in the poorest section of town – Belen. He also met several “shoe shine” boys who were attracted to his ministry and started coming to the children’s ministry meetings. Albert on many occasions would take a canoe to pick up the kids who lived in the flooded areas and had no way to access any transportation. It would take several trips of packed canoes to get all the kids who wanted to come.
This fledgling ministry grew rapidly the first year and in 2005 Albert attracted the attention of a group of short term missionaries from Harvest Alliance. This led to the formation of CHILDREN OF THE AMAZON, a ministry partnered with Harvest Alliance which helps support the cost of education, nutrition and medical/dental attention for these “street kids.” (see COTA on previous page for more information)
As a result of his interaction with these “street kids” the church Albert started, El Terminal, focuses on Children's Ministry in partnership with COTA and has been successful in guiding children into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It has branched out into funding school and tutoring for children who could not afford to attend school as well as a nutrition program and medical/dental care.
The goal is to help each gain an education, develop a Christian value system and break the cycle of poverty. At El Terminal, many of the kids in the Youth Group are these “street kids” and the leaders are children who stayed with Albert’s program and grew up in the church. As Albert says, “we are truly blessed to have invested in their lives and see them walking with the Lord.”
For more insight into Albert’s ministry check out his blog: perushope.com