16 July 2009 – 150 people are gathered in the hospital’s church. Two choruses are sung, followed by a brief devotional. Some people are watching the light reflexions the sun sends through the window glass. Suddenly, all of them are wide awake.
Willem’s stories from his childhood go under your skin. „At times, my dad would beat up my mum so badly with his fists that we as children thought she was dead. As a kid I often feared for my mum’s life. At the age of 8 I wanted to kill myself because I couldn’t stand it anymore. It was mostly when he was drunk that my dad turned violent.”
While talking Willem furtively wipes away a few tears from the corner of his eye. Everyone in the auditorium is hanging at his every word. There is no masquerading here as someone is sharing from the bottom of his heart.
“After becoming a Christian seven years ago, I also led my father to trusting in Christ. God forgave my dad everything and Jesus is helping me to overcome the past.”
Willem Benites Carrion grew up in a mountain village in the Peruvian state of Apurímac. His parents ran a cattle-breeding farm. He has six siblings. Willem worked in the hospital’s administration for two years before he began his theological studies in 2010. As a pastor, he would like to preach about the hope he has experienced himself.
And Jesus said: „Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.“ Mt.11:28.