The Duke family arrived in Cusco Peru in March of 2008. Our first 3-1/2 years were spent in Pisac, (about 45 minutes from Cusco). Those years were dedicated to learning the language and culture, as well as assisting veteran missionaries, plus helping start a bilingual school.
In 2013, we moved our family into the city of Cusco itself and planted our first church. “El Refugio” Baptist Church began in the living room of a friend, with 8 people attending regularly. Two months later we rented our first building with 20 people. God blessed and we grew to 60 and realized we needed a bigger location. We then moved to our present location and have had to start two Sunday morning services because of rapid growth yet again. On our 3-year anniversary this past November, we had 175 in attendance!
God has given us a dentist in our congregation and we have started a dental clinic that runs six days a week, right out of our own building. There are people in and out of our church building seven days a week.
We are now planning for our future, by looking to hire our first full-time staff member, and to buy property soon. This is where you fit in to our story!
We need your help to buy land and build our first building in Cusco, Peru. This central location would be used as a beacon for spiritual growth, community events, sports outreach, social helps, as well as the principle location for all El Refugio ministries.
The plan is to build a building that would not only be able to sustain itself as a church (which it already does), but also a building that could generate additional income to fund new churches, orphanages and even a school.
Our building will be a multilevel project. The construction will consist of an underground parking area, church facilities on the first 3 floors, 4 floors to rent to families needing housing (3 families per floor), one floor for the pastor and his family as well as dorms for visiting groups, and an enclosed area for basketball/volleyball/soccer located on the roof.
This building will generate annually $75,000, and potentially $100,000. With that money we plan on buying more land strategically placed through our city to begin to multiply our evangelistic reach and presence. With a population of 450,000 the city is large enough to support several of these facilities (another 300,000 in the outlying areas). The next building will be built in a similar fashion with the same passion for Cusco.
Our city, Cusco, was the capital of the Incan Empire, uniquely positioned in the Andes Mountains not far from one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. We are located in a valley, which means that land comes at a premium. One year before we arrived here, 2007, it was named a “wonder of the world”, and things changed overnight. A property that was valued at $50,000 is now valued at $500,000. The average income here in Cusco is under $5000 a year. Even with a giving church, you can start to understand the situation here in the mountains. We need your help! We would ask you to pray about how God might use you to reach the Peruvian people for Christ.