Missions & Outreach
Peru - Lake Titcaca
Adventist History: Seventh-day Adventism first entered Peru when church members from Chile arrived in Mollendo and Lima in 1898. Four years later Enrique Balada, a Chilean literature evangelist, worked briefly in Lima. These efforts resulted in a few converts, who then requested that a missionary be sent to their country. In 1904 Herman F. Ketring came from Chile and baptized 7 individuals. The following year, Franklin L. Perry arrived from the United States and established the Peru Mission; in 1907 he organized the Adventist believers in Lima into a church. Twelve years later, in 1919, Harry B. Lundquist established the Lima Training School in Miraflores, a suburb of Lima. Meanwhile, denominational publications preceded the arrival of Adventist missionaries in the Lake Titicaca region. Thus, when Fernando Osorio arrived in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca in 1910, he found that four families had already accepted Adventist doctrines.
Soon Osorio also began working among the Aymara Indians in Plateria, preparing the way for Joseph W. Wetphal, who baptised 29 in 1911. About this time Ana and Ferdinand Stahl arrived in Plateria and established a school. In 1916 the Lake Titicaca Indian Mission organized; four years later the mission dropped the word "Indian" from its name. The Adventist missionaries had considerable success in the Lake Titicaca area, with 10 churches by 1921 and a membership of over 3000. Titicaca Adventist Academy, established near Juliaca in 1922, prepared teachers for the many schools, which by 1951 numbered 113, that the mission operated on the Peruvian side of the lake. From Lake Titicaca Stahl moved in 1921 into central Peru to establish a mission station on the Perene River. Siz years later Adventists in this territory organized into the Upper Amazon Mission with Stahl as superintendent. During the 1930's Stahl used a steam launch to navigate the rivers of the region as he pursued his missionary endeavors.
Most of Adventism's growth in Peru up to the 1950's took place among the Indians of Lake Titicaca and central Peru, but after the Lima Training School - which is now called Lima Industrial Academy - moved to Nana in 1945 and a medical clinic opened the following year in Miraflores, new churches developed in several suburbs of the capital city. In 1950 the denomination began broadcasting the Voice of Prophecy over the radio. Economic changes in the Lake Titicaca region during the later half of the 20th century forced many Indians to move to urban areas, resulting in a membership loss in their home territory. As of 2003 the Peru Union Mission, part of the South American Division, had 1310 churches with a membership of about 530,000. Peruvian Union University, four secondary schools, and three clinics were located in Peru.
Click here to download an old May 23, 1918 Pacific Union Recorder article about the Lake Titicaca Mission
June 2014: Even though the the SDA membership has grown large in Peru, the Seventh-day Adventist membership that live on the islands of Lake Titicaca has dwindled to a very small number. When mentioning Lake Titicaca, many people think of the floating islands and the small Adventist floating mission school on the lake. These "islands" are small compared to the land based islandswhich are a 3-4 hour boat ride into the lake, where thousands of people live. In the past, Marantha built some churches on the large landmass islands which are now mostly empty and/or locked up due to little or no attendance. Lake Titicaca is huge - 50 miles at its widest and up to 118 miles long! Friends of ours that recently went to one of the main islands there tell us the people told them they felt abandoned by the church and are eager to have a pastor and learn more of the truths they have forgotten. Currently on the island they visited, there are 3 Adventist churches, 2 of which are closed and a small group attending the 3rd. Our friends held meetings and the group swelled to maybe 60-70 people. Working with the Peru Union Mission we have now paid for a fulll time pastor to be on the Amantani and Tequile islands for one year. However, there are thousands of people on all the islands and more pastors are needed. Previously, the members only had a pastor a few days out of a year who had to travel 3-4 hours by boat, one way, to get there and was only able to stay a few days. They are eager to learn and we believe many more will join the church if we can get more workers, supplies and establish pastors to reopen the churches. Please consider helping this project as we reach out to those on the large islands of Lake Titicaca.
We are currently trying to establish churches on the islands of Amantani and Taquile. Commercial boat service to get to these islands is from Puno and takes 3-4 hours one way. This is why it is critical to have full time pastors on the islands. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Titicaca for information about these islands.
Update 9/11/2015. We're excited about helping a small group of Adventists on this project. To see all the details and progress, please visit the site www.adventmissions.org.