How a Peruvian Soldier Went from Persecutor to Pastor

The gospel and ABWE’s Bible Institute transformed Josué from a persecutor of the church into one of its pastors.

Filmed and produced by Allison Basye
Josué, a first corporal in the Peruvian Marines, was on a personal vendetta against Christianity.

As communist revolutionaries threatened Peru, officials sought to thwart terrorist activity by shutting down public gatherings, including churches. Josué, the embittered son of a pastor, barged in on worship services, dispersed congregations, and hassled church leaders under the guise of following orders. This was his chance to get even.

But during one such bust, a Christian woman uttered a strange prediction.

“One day, God is going to reach your heart.”

Josué didn’t think much of it. But some time later, he was unexpectedly sent home to his family, from whom he had been estranged three years. Back in Iquitos, Josué learned that his mother had kept his childhood belongings in pristine condition—including a New Testament.

That same week, he attended church. Singing “Just as I Am” and broken over his anger at God, Josué surrendered to Christ.

Now, twenty years later, churches are shut down again—but this time, Josué is risking his own well-being to serve believers.

Trained at ABWE’s Baptist Bible Institute and graduating as a top student, Josué now pastors a church of 120 in a neighboring town. He also teaches multiple courses at the institute.

“The institute is where God began to work on my character,” Josué reflected. “It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my Christian life.”

When the global pandemic struck, Josué’s church canceled in-person services, but he didn’t slow down. Josué visited congregants’ homes to deliver food and offer pastoral counsel, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask throughout it all. But despite these preventative measures, he became sick and was confined to bed. Now he is recovered and planning wise and creative ways to continue ministering.

“It was God’s unending grace that changed my heart,” said Josué. “There is no other reason or explanation.”

The Global Gospel Fund

The Global Gospel Fund enables ABWE to serve missionaries in places like Iquitos to train leaders and multiply churches. Help us empower national believers to make disciples by becoming a partner today.