He’s given his life to serve God and other people. But last year, his own needs could no longer be ignored. 

Jerry and his wife Elva have raised three kids and are now grandparents to eight. 45 years ago, Jerry began in the ministry as a pastor, just two years after he made the move from Peru to the United States, and today, he does mission work.

Having lived in their current home for 23 years, their repair needs had built up: ones that not only affected the look of their home but the safety, too.

“The wood on the front door of our home had gotten bad on the bottom; we were told we really needed to replace the whole door – but they’re very expensive. We also I had a problem with the deck and it had gotten real bad,” he said. “It was, I would say, to the point of being dangerous.”

At the time, Jerry and his family were in the midst of starting a brand new church, a situation that kept time – and money – tight.

“We were planting a church during COVID, and [during that time] many stopped coming to church or gathering at all,” he said. “And financially speaking, it was very challenging. Plus, the people I knew [who I would have asked for help] work both during the day and on the weekends. 

“But then I heard about Home Repairs Ministries through someone at Perimeter Church. They told me there was a group that could come and help us. 

“People suggested that maybe if we provided the materials ourselves that Home Repairs could provide the labor. But even for just the materials, it’s pretty pricey. Wood and other material prices were really up.”

It took getting outside his comfort zone for Jerry to receive the help he needed. And even once the process was in motion, he had his doubts that they’d be able to finish the job considering the needed expenses. But things turned out even better than he expected.

“As a pastor, we’ve always helped people throughout the years – but we have not really asked for help,” Jerry said.

“I got a hold of Mark [Wolfe, HRM’s executive director], and soon after, Home Repairs came and evaluated our home’s situation. But I told even them that we probably will have to just trust in the Lord and wait a little longer before our situation would change.” 

Jerry credits God for the help he received from Home Repairs, as well as a group of friends and kind strangers who were looking out for him.

“Later, Home Repairs called me back and said they’d found people who were willing to provide the materials we needed,” he said. “Then, the miracle happened!

“About five or six of our brothers [in Christ] came with all their tools. They did some fixing on the garage doors and the deck, changing out bad wood and putting in new stairs.

“But what was very special about this experience is that many people said, ‘You’re going to have to replace the whole front door’, but two of the volunteers who were craftsmen in carpentry said they could actually rebuild the bottom part of the door.

“After that, I went to Peru, and there was another example of how God works things out. I called this brother just to see how he was doing,” Jerry said. “He asked me about the house, and when I told him we finally got the deck taken care of, he said ‘I’m gonna go with some of my guys and I’m gonna paint it for you.’ So while I was in Peru, they put a colored protective coating on the wood – it was precious that they came and did that.”

These unexpected blessings prove the powerful impact that generosity – and a little divine intervention – can have on those who find themselves in need of a little help. 

And Jerry found the help he received from Home Repairs to be an encouragement in more ways than one. 

“I talked to the HRM guys and told them about me and what I was doing – and they were very gracious,” he said. 

“The honest truth is that sometimes you wonder, if you ask for some help, if you’re going to feel uncomfortable or if the [helping] organization is going to make you feel [bad]. Many feel kind of bad because they’re asking for help, so when we’ve helped people before, we always have tried to make them feel good. 

“Everything went well with Home Repairs, and they were very special, very good to us. If I would want someone else to know anything about this ministry, it would be that these [volunteers] really love God and love people. They want to do this honoring God and serving their fellow neighbor.”