Renalto lives in a town in the tree-covered mountains of eastern Peru. Since he was little he has attended the Adventist church in town. Renalto loves learning about God.
But when Renalto was about 5 years old, his family had some difficult times. Father wasn’t working, and Mother had to work to help pay the bills. But her job required her to work on Sabbath. So the family stopped attending church.
Renalto didn’t want to miss church. He asked his parents to let him go to church alone. It was close, so his mother agreed. Renalto walked to church every Sabbath. He often prayed that God would help his parents return to church. He continued to invite them to church, even though they would lose their jobs if they didn’t work on Sabbaths.
When Renalto was 8 years old, he asked his mother to let him help the family earn money by selling homemade candies to tourists. Mother agreed, so every day after school Renalto sold the candy his mother had made.
Sometimes Mother asked Renalto to sell the treats on Sabbath, when there were more tourists, but Renalto refused. “I can’t dishonor God that way,” Renalto said. Again he invited his mother to attend church with him. She sighed and said that she wished she could, but the family needed her income to buy food.
One day Renalto met an Adventist couple. Renalto’s family and the Adventist couple became friends. When the couple learned that Renalto’s mother was a good cook, they invited her to open a restaurant in their home. Renalto’s mother was delighted. The couple rented Renalto’s family some rooms in their home in which to live and run the restaurant.
Soon Father found a better job, and the family was earning enough to live comfortably again. Best of all, the whole family attends church again. Renalto is so happy!
Renalto enjoys sharing God’s love with his classmates. Two of his classmates were learning more about the Bible, so Renalto invited them to study the Bible at his house. He wanted the homeowner and his wife to teach the girls, but they said, “These are your friends. You teach them.” And they offered to help him start a small-group meeting for children. So Renalto started his own small group.
Soon six children were attending. They studied a Bible course together, and when they were finished, two of the children asked to be baptized. One was Sandra.
Renalto started another small-group meeting in Sandra’s home. Her parents aren’t Adventists, but they were happy to let the children hold small-group meetings in their home. Sandra’s parents even attended the small group and invited other adults to join them.
Because of the children’s small group that met in Sandra’s home, her father accepted Jesus as his Savior. Now Sandra’s parents worship with Sandra in the little Adventist church. They have started their own small group for adults. The children’s group grew to 25 children—too many to meet in Sandra’s parents’ home, so they now meet in two separate small groups at the church. Renalto teaches the older children. “I’m one of the youngest in the group,” he says, “but they allow me to lead it.”
Renalto encourages the children in his small groups to invite others to come. And the small groups keep growing.
“I’m glad that God kept me close to Him during the difficult times my family went through,” Renalto says. “I’m glad that my family came back to church and my Adventist friends encouraged me to start the small groups. Many are now coming to church because of this work. God is blessing my faith so much.”
We can share our faith with others in our neighborhood and at school. And when we give our mission offering, we’re helping children and adults around the world teach others about Jesus.