Peru's first Holiness Summit surpasses expectations


More than 800 members of the Church of the Nazarene, including pastors, leaders, and lay people, representing 875 organized and mission-type churches from the coast, mountains and jungle met together in Chiclayo for the first Holiness Summit in Peru.

Although there were 800 registrants, more than 1,000 people attended the opening service of the summit, which included a message entitled, “Live in the Flesh or Live in the Spirit,” given by South America Regional Director Christian Sarmiento.

At one point in the sermon, Sarmiento challenged the audience, saying, “We do not want carnal members, churches, pastors, superintendents, or carnal regional directors, but instead men and women full of the Spirit of God that live in the Holy Spirit and edify the church not in the flesh but in the Spirit.”

In another moment, he said that nobody can stop the power of a united church; it is the power of Christ flowing in the church. The key to being united is to be like Christ. The only way Nazarenes are going to win the country is when Nazarenes are united.

Both the national and international speakers in the following days of the summit, which was August 4-7, continued to speak about the need for the church to be filled with the Holy Spirit, about consecration and complete surrender, church unity, peace and holiness, and integrity and commitment to the Great Commission.

“From the start, the intention and plan of God was to have a holy people. Man allied with Satan and fell but through Christ’s death and resurrection there could be a reality that our sins can be forgiven and our hearts made new,” Doug Carter said. “Christ can be our King and Lord, and where Christ is Lord and Savior, there is love, purity, and power.

The secret of God that will revolutionize your life and give life to His church is “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” General Superintendent David Graves said.

“It is Christ living in you. Jesus Christ wants to live the true life through you. The secret, Christ in you is the hope of glory for Peru, your district, your church, and your family. Christ living in you is the hope of glory,” Graves added.

Pastor Hernando Aparicio, pastor of a Nazarene church with more than 2,000 members, told those in attendance to stop being only hearers. God demands integrity of heart and a life committed to his demands. The Great Commission should be the Nazarene lifestyle.

“God will always be our friend if we are willing to obey him. God requires dedication and willingness to give him what we love the most. God wants you to put your dreams, plans, projects, and life on the altar,” said Jorge Julca, regional coordinator of education.

Carlos Fernández, regional coordinator for evangelism, leadership and literature, reminded the audience that holiness is not like a jacket that Christians take on and take off, it is not a promise of nonaggression between Christians—it is not human strength, it is not just a doctrine, nor is it a question of geography.

Holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, Fernandez said. Holiness is beautiful because God is holy. It is a message for those who want to improve themselves; it is not for mediocre people. It is for those who are looking for excellence and want to be like Christ.

The closing service in the coliseum of the Manuel Pardo Catholic School was attended by 3,500 people celebrating the presence of God and participating in Holy Communion.

In his message Graves said, “The great need of the church is not more buildings nor more music... it is that each one of us draw near to God and say, ‘I pour out myself and give myself to your Holy Spirit, fill me with your power, come fill and purify my heart; I need you.’ What the world needs today is a church full of the Holy Spirit.”

Segundo Rimarachín, field strategy coordinator for Peru, said the summit surpassed everyone’s expectations, not only in attendance, but also in the quality of the messages and speakers.

“I see new times ahead for Peru,” he said.

“I am very content for this time of spiritual renewal organized by the National Church,” said Marcial Rubio, Peru Central District superintendent. “We hope that these events will be repeated on a district and local level.”

“It has been a very special time,” said Adan Sánchez, Nor Oriente District superintendent. “It is the first time that there has been a Holiness Summit in our country with subjects that allow us to identify with the Church of the Nazarene and understand the fundamental doctrine to be able to teach our congregations. It was excellent.”

“We are impressed by what God is doing in Peru," added Sarmiento. “We are also impressed by the search for God. Furthermore, this is a vigorous Church, a Church that is going forward with missions.”

Participants witnessed of the action of the Holy Spirit in each meeting, and some even said the summit resembled the early days of the Nazarene church at the start of the 20th century.

-- Reprinted from with permission. Contributed by South America Regional Office.