On a Grand Adventure with Jesus

 

Reed Hoppe

Reed Hoppe

By Reed Hoppe –

If you have ever met Martin Reeves, you will quickly realize this man from New Mexico has a quiet disposition and a huge heart. Soft-spoken and humble, Martin does not tout the amazing ministries he is a part of in Peru, but he is constantly giving God glory for the ways he sees Jesus transforming lives around him.

For the past 11 years, Martin, his wife, Tracy, and their seven children have lived and served in Trujillo, Peru. When they first arrived, Martin had been appointed to train Methodist lay pastors and church leaders. From there he pastored a Peruvian church before planting four more. His days are now filled with all of the duties overseeing the ministries four churches involves, in addition to coordinating the construction of El Milagro Church and a Christian family development center in the poorest area of the city. A typical day can range from counseling a couple considering divorce to helping deliver the baby of a parishioner.

A former United Methodist pastor from the New Mexico Annual Conference, Martin pastored for seven years before moving overseas. His training at Asbury Theological Seminary and the local church prepared him to pastor, train leaders, counsel, and other ministries. But perhaps nothing could have prepared him for the day-in and day-out heartbreak that comes with living in a culture wrought with cycles of abuse and broken systems.

El Milagro is an impoverished barrio in northern Trujillo that the Reeves and their Peruvian leadership team seek to reach. The El Milagro Church and Christian Family Development Center was designed to minister to the felt needs of Peruvians in this region.

Women and children are often the victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse from their husbands and fathers. “A continual shortage of well-paying jobs makes it nearly impossible for men to adequately provide for their families. Often, men feel like failures as husbands and fathers. Many try to bury their pain in alcohol, emotional and physical abuse of their wife and children, and look for comfort in the arms of another person,” explains Martin.

“Women who grow up in poverty and a cycle of abuse and betrayal find it difficult to trust men; and yet they permit the abuse and womanizing because they are dependent upon their husband or partner to provide for the family.

“As a consequence, both men and women feel as though they are helpless victims, unworthy of genuine love. Hungering for love and value, they settle for a poor substitute. When offered Christ’s love and a new identity as a child of God, many feel unworthy and are not able to fully accept God’s love or live as true children of God.”

The four church plants and family center offer Christian counseling and legal advice for abused wives, tutoring and a safe place for children to play, basic medical care, marriage and parenting classes, and job training. Through the ministries of the churches, more than 200 people each week are finding safety, experiencing community, and hear the gospel message to refresh their weary souls.

So far, Martin has seen incredible results as the ministry grows. “We are witnessing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. People are being healed physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” he says. “We recently started a prayer counseling ministry. As people share their pain, repent of their sins, and choose to forgive those who have hurt them, God is healing wounded hearts and restoring people into a right relationship with Himself.”

Although cross-cultural ministry is demanding, the Reeves are blessed by the transformation they see in the lives of the people they serve. “God has transformed my heart, giving me a love for the Peruvian people I did not know was possible,” Martin explains.

“Serving God, bringing others into a relationship with Him, and discipling them in faith is rewarding beyond words,” said Tracy. “Relationships are a key ingredient to lasting transformation. We build the kingdom of God by building personal relationships. Ask the people to whom you are called to minister to share their life stories. Take an interest in their lives. Laugh and cry with them. Find out how God has been working in their lives. Pray and walk alongside them
on this grand adventure as followers of Jesus.”

Martin said, “Unless God gives us clear direction to move, we hope to continue serving Christ and His beautiful people in Peru for another 11 years. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for calling us and using us to make an eternal impact.”

Reed Hoppe is Associate Director of Communications for the Mission Society.

 

Comments

  1. Martin and I met when we were both at Asbury and he was also serving as youth pastor in my daughter’s youth group. I know the long road he had to take to finally become a missionary. I thank God for his perseverance. I am blessed to know him and rejoice in this article that highlights what God is doing through him. I hope others will join me in prayer for him. We can also support him and other Mission Society missionaries financially.

  2. John R Biswas says

    Incredible and blessed. Amen .

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