In 1917, a new school was founded in Lima, Peru. John A Mackay, Free Church missionary, had a dynamic vision for Christian Education and so, for almost a century, Colegio San Andres has been educating young people according to Biblical principles. Today the San Andres community includes over 100 members of staff, 800 pupils and reaches more than 500 families with the Gospel. It is renowned for being one of the best Christian schools in Peru. The Free Church part-funds a Christian worker in the school.
Miss Annie Soper falls into the category of classic missionary legends. In the 1920s she crossed the Andes on mule-back driven by a call to make known the good news of the gospel in word and deed to the small town of Moyobamba, nestled in the foothills of the Andes. The school that bears her name is a ministry of the Moyobamba Presbyterian Church, originally founded by Free Church missionaries who followed in the wake of Annie Soper. The school exists to make known that same good news to hundreds of pupils and their families as it seeks to provide a quality education grounded in a Biblical worldview. Many of the pupils come from poorer families in both the church and the wider community and a scholarship fund exists to provide some help to such children. The Free Church continues to provide an annual grant of £1,600 to the scholarship fund.
The Lima Evangelical Seminary is one of the leading theological institutes in Latin America. Our missionary Rev Dr Donnie Smith is the rector, and in addition to his salary the Free Church provides £6,000 support – with some of this being used for a student bursary scheme enabling gifted men who lack funding to benefit from the training and teaching from the seminary.
As the church grows rapidly in Latin America, there is a pressing need for trained teachers, preachers and pastors. Only 15 per cent of pastors in Latin America have had any formal training. Therefore the work done in Medellin Seminary is of strategic importance.