Sept 2023 WMU around the world Peru Photo from Carol Ghattas 1
Missions Discipleship

Peru WMU: 59 Years Strong

Have you ever thought about how it is sometimes the little things that connect us? When asked to share some insights about the work of WMU in the South American country of Peru, I was struck by one fun fact — we are the same age!

Peru WMU president Nancy García, in sharing the history of the organization in her country, wrote it was established in 1964, the year of my birth. Another distinctive mark of the Union of National Baptist Missionary Women of Peru (Unión Nacional Femenil Bautista Misionera del Perú) is it was started in Ebenezer Baptist Church of Miraflores, in Lima, Peru.

So, today, as we look into the work of Peru WMU, let us place our own Ebenezer stone to see how greatly the Lord has helped them:

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”

—1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV)

That first WMU group from Ebenezer Baptist Church is still active today as a result of the work of International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries David and Mariana Oates. In the years following the Oates’ ministry, this group began to multiply as other churches started more WMU groups. The number of groups has grown, and the groups help their pastors and congregations in promoting missions, evangelism, teaching, and other activities. Nancy is so grateful for the role and responsibility God has given women in this important work of the kingdom.

Nancy grew up hearing about WMU through the involvement of her mother, who served as WMU president in her church. Her mother modeled the servant heart of WMU members by working with women in both her church and community. In a time prior to the Internet and cell phones, Nancy remembers letters coming about the activities of WMU.

As she grew, Nancy became involved in her local group and served as president at various times. She then held the role of secretary of the regional and national WMU bodies before becoming president of Peru WMU for 2021 through 2023.

The national organization is made up of leaders from the regional bodies who work and connect with the WMU groups of each local church. WMU leaders use contextualized materials to train women, adolescents, and children to understand missionary work and prepare them for service. Plan Obreras (The Workers Plan) is one set of materials complete with a picture of a worker bee on the front. It is obvious that for Peruvian WMU leaders, understanding missions leads to serving in missions.

After more than half a century in existence, the WMU organizations in Peru are well organized, and many women have assumed more leadership roles. Nancy is thrilled there is now more participation from younger women than in the past, and new WMU groups have been started in local churches. This has led to an increased number of women being involved in the missional tasks of their local churches and has resulted in the planting of new churches as well.

Peruvian women involved in WMU exhibit a servant attitude and work to give their best to the Lord. For this, God receives the glory. Peru WMU is 59 years old, and it is stronger than ever!

As you rejoice with Nancy over the great ways the Lord has used the women participating in Peru WMU, also lift up the following:

    • Pray God would draw people to Himself as the women serve to reach others in their local communities for Christ. Ask that the love they show one another as sisters in Christ would encourage nonbelievers to ask why.
    • Pray the women of Peru WMU would provide strong support for their local pastors and encourage even more churches to start groups, knowing the great impact their presence has within the body.
    • Pray the words of 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (NIV), would encourage the WMU groups in Peru, from local to national leaders, to serve with integrity and for God’s glory through the work they have been entrusted with. This was their focus verse for a 2022 retreat.
    • Pray Nancy would be able to find and train new leaders to continue the important work of WMU for years to come. Pray young women would be encouraged to join and get involved in their local groups.

Carol Ghattas has also known the impact of WMU, from her years in Sunbeam, Girls in Action, and Acteens to serving with the IMB for more than 20 years. Today she enjoys giving back to WMU through her writing for Missions Mosaic. Her latest book is Not in Kansas Anymore: Finding Home in Cross-Cultural Service. Learn more at

This article was originally published in the May 2023 issue of Missions Mosaic magazine.