A couple sits in front of William and his wife, Ruth. Tears stain the woman’s tired face, while the man looks down in shame. The boyfriend and girlfriend have cheated on each other several times, but they share three young kids. Neither of them grew up in a two-parent household.
This is a common conversation for William and Ruth. They’ve become the go-to role models for a good, healthy marriage. Everyone wants to know what their secret is.
Their response every time? “The bible.”
From Troubled Boy to Pastor
William Evaristo grew up in the beautiful and historically rich country Peru. He had a troubled life and lived in a rough neighborhood. His single mom tried her hardest to raise him and his brothers, but he ended up getting involved in drinking, drugs, and fighting. When he was twenty years old, an evangelistic campaign was happening in his area. His Christian friend encouraged William to go to this campaign with him, and even helped him shower and put on clean clothes. At that campaign, William accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. God took William out of his dark place, and eventually he became a pastor.
Working with Impoverished Children
William pastors Baptist Church Cristo Vide. His congregation has over a hundred people. Beyond his church, he has two important ministries: helping impoverished children and marital counseling.
There’s an area not far from Cusco that struggles with poverty. The conditions are difficult and cold as it’s 5,000 meters up, but the residents often don’t have shoes to bear the weather; they only have sandals. This includes small children.
William’s ministry meets three different needs for the children in this community. One is providing school supplies like pencils, notebooks, backpacks, uniforms, and shoes. Two is raising money for food. And three is giving presents during Christmas. “These kids are suffering,” says William. “We want to help give them moments to forget their circumstances.” Mark 9:37 inspires them – ““Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Like many countries, divorce, single-parent households, and living together outside of marriage is common in Peru. This harmful cycle repeats throughout generations. Many Peruvians have not grown up witnessing healthy marriages and find themselves falling into sins like adultery or not wanting to get married at all.
But many see families like William’s and want that too. “People are shocked to see our marriage,” says William. Once he and Ruth started their marriage ministry, more spouses started attending their church and even bringing their entire families.
Shepherding Pastor and Wife Couples
Sadly, the culture of marital sins has crept into the Peruvian church as well. Adultery is not just a problem with non-believers, but pastors as well. The hypocrisy is a bad witness for non-believers. They see people acting as Christians at church, but not at home.
That’s why William and Ruth also work with pastor and wife couples. When pastors commit these types of sins, people don’t come to their side.. There’s often no restoration, and people are cruel to them. To make matters worse, the children of these pastors often leave the church out of shame and then leave Jesus behind all together. “Pastors and wives have a lot of problems, and no one helps them,” says William, “No one prepares them for marriage.” He and Ruth are tackling this issue using their eighteen years of marriage as a witness.
Restoring Broken Homes Through the Gospel
William’s dream for Peru is to change the lives of broken families through the gospel. He loves his country. It’s a beautiful place with incredible food and ancient sites like Machu Pichu. While most Peruvians are Catholic, a Christian presence is rising. He’s seeing revivals in his church and more people worshipping as a family. “Scripture can change lives,” he says, “The gospel can help people live an authentic and harmonious life without hypocrisy.”
Please pray for William to take advantage of any doors God opens for him. Pray for his and Ruth’s marriage ministry and for integrity in their marriage and family so that they can be a witness to their congregation and non-believers. If you’d like to support his page, you can do so here.