Peru, South America

PER16 - Personal support of Cristina Salas Castillo

Partnership Ref.:



Cristina Salas Castillo



Funding Status:

Partially Funded

Partnership Type:

Evangelism / Church Planting, Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 2,006

Connected To:

PER06 , PER08 , PER09 , PER10 , PER10a , PER11 , PER12


Population: 29.5 million

Life Expectancy: 73.0 years

GDP: US$4448 per capita

Unemployed: 7.7%

17.8% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

1 families are being assisted

1 church planters are being supported

Partnership Overview

tough lifeThe Ashaninka are an ethnic group of the Peruvian Amazon rain forest.  They are also known in Peru and abroad by the name "Campa". They consider this name derogatory because it derives from the Quechua thampa, which means ragged and dirty. Ashaninka means "our fellows" or "our kin-folk". 

The Segadores mission organisation has been working among the Ashaninka for a number of years to help them integrate into Peruvian society and educate their children. This has not been easy as there is a history of suspicion against the church as in the past it was part of the various waves of colonists that invaded their territory.

Cristina works with Antonia Yalta in "Heirs of Grace" (PER10a) and is involved in delivering the training and programmes to the children and families. 

loves kidsIn the jungle locations this involves;
- teaching the Word of God in schools and in the church,
- delivering a nutritious breakfast every Sunday to the children that attend the church,
- giving vitamin supplements to the children studying kindergarten in the school, as well as to the children in the village that live in extreme poverty,
- providing breakfast for all of those in primary school who are not getting breakfast at home (it was found that most of the children with poor grades had not had breakfast),
- providing orphans and neglected children with school supplies at the beginning of each school year.

Some of the families are also taught how to raise chickens and are given chickens and a chicken coop so that they can feed their children eggs. Teacher training is given to native teachers of tribal children twice a year. 

In Pariachi, Lima, Bible classes are held for the children every Saturday in the Segadores Centre for Mission. Around 40 to 50 children attend and many of the children have come to know God. Cristina helps in this when she is in Lima. The children are served a plate of food every Saturday because many of them come to the classes without having eaten, they learn about Jesus from the Bible and sing songs. Birthdays and Christmas are celebrated and the children are given gifts. 

tough place to livePariachi is a suburb of Lima. It is largely made up of displaced families who had no choice but to move from their Andean villages to the city of Lima because of the threat of the “Sendero Luminoso” (Shining Path) terrorist organization. The kids live in slum conditions on the side of barren mountains. 

History of Partnership

BHW's South America partnership facilitators have known of Cristina since 2005 in the context of Antonia Yalta's work. They first met her in person in 2012 when they talked about her ministry with Heirs of Grace. They met her again in 2015 with the BHW Field Director where they saw firsthand part of her ministry in Pariachi with the children. 


great timeThe direct beneficiary of this partnership is Cristina Castillo who receives financial support to enable her to continue in this ministry. 

The indirect beneficiaries are the children of the Ashaninka people in the jungle and the children of Pariachi, Lima. 

What We Like About The Partnership

Cristina is already deeply involved in this ministry but she is under severe financial pressure. Supporting her takes the pressure off her and the others involved, especially Antonia, as the work is growing. 

The children in both programmes are very open and vulnerable. It is a strategic way to impact many families in both locations. 

There is a good leadership structure and team that she works in providing member care and oversight of her day to day ministry. 


Key People

Leadership Profile

great teamCristina (on left) was born in a town in the State of Cusco. She suffered a lot as a child. Her father mistreated her mother. On one occasion when he was drunk he fell into the river and was swept downstream. When he got out of the river he went home and beat her mother as if she was to blame for him having fallen into the river. His blows nearly killed her and eventually she left him. He took another wife and as a result Cristina and her brothers and sisters were brought up by her mother.

In the midst of those circumstances her mother came to know the Lord and she would take the children to the evangelical church to hear the Word of God. Twice a month Cristina would attend the church until one day she understood the importance of believing the Lord and what He said in His Word. In January 1976 she made a decision to accept Christ as her Saviour. In 1977 she went to Lima and there, in a congregation of the Peruvian Evangelical Church, the Lord continued to prepare her. She was baptized in January 1979.  

She then studied for three years in the Bible Institute of the church. On Sundays she would go to help small new churches in Lima as a children’s teacher, teaching several subjects. She also helped in the children’s ministry under Compassion International, tutoring several children.  

She began to hear people speak of missions and she wanted to work as a missionary, but knew nothing about it. She asked God that He would open doors and continued helping the church in its outreach to small churches. In 1996 a brother invited her to a missionary prayer meeting and that is how the Lord answered her prayer and she heard about Segadores. Through them she learned about the reality of the tribes of Peru and their need of God.  

In January 1997 she enrolled in the missionary training given by Segadores. As part of the training she travelled with Segadores missionaries to a Yanesha village where the Lord continued opening her heart. Over the following years she participated in more training programs of Segadores, and visited tribal villages in several parts of Peru. 

Then in 2004 she went to live in a native village for two years with a sister in Christ who was a missionary candidate. They lived in a village of Ashaninkas that had fled from terrorism. The people were very poor and the children lacked food and love. They taught the Bible to the children and adults. They seemed externally to have become Christians because they all came for the teaching but as time passed they came to realize that they actually understood very little. This was a big discouragement and since they did not know their language, or understand their culture, it was difficult to teach them correctly. They came to realize that these people were syncretists (they had mixed the Gospel with their tribal beliefs). They observed how the children suffered because they were accused of practicing witchcraft, then were severely beaten. Also, the parents were not interested in the lives of their children. 

Cristina now works in a native Ashaninka village along with another Segadores missionary, Antonia Yalta. They work with the children and the women, teaching them the Word of God. They live and work in the community for extended periods of time. Cristina is in charge of a class where she teaches 20-25 children from a course called "Firm Foundations" which addresses the syncretistic beliefs. They teach through the Bible starting from Genesis. 

In order to learn the culture, they live in the village, getting to know their sadness and their joys. This way they win their confidence and get to know their spiritual needs and how they are bound by their wrong beliefs. 


Other People Involved

Antonia Yalta (PER10) and the Segadores team. 


Vision And Annual Strategy


The vision is to see the children of Pariachi and the Ashaninka children given a chance to hear the Good News and to be more able to learn. Supporting Cristina is a way to help these children get more opportunities and for her to be better able to live in a way that benefits the people she serves. 


They plan to see the work grow in both locations. Antonia is not very well and supporting Cristina will take some pressure off Antonia as well. 


Annual Budget

The budget here is for Cristina's personal support. Currently she travels between Lima and the central jungle region. Her financial support is so low she works cleaning the houses of people when she is in Lima to get enough money to live. This means she gets little or no rest or time for adequate preparation.


Personal Testimony

Real "Life Change" Stories

Gelen has returned to the community. Two years ago she went to another community to live with her father because she was accused of witchcraft. This year she returned to the community to continue living with her grandmother. They came looking for me at my house to tell me what had happened, saying "Gelen is now a young person and her father doesn't love her anymore because he thinks that she is going to go and get pregnant" (Gelen is 10 years old and has had her first period). Because of the financial support we receive through Heirs of Grace we have been able to give Gelen school materials.

Adolfo Garcia Sanchez is a young 15 year old who was shot in the left foot.  Adolfo was in his sister's house doing school work. Aldin, Zila's 3 year old son, was playing with a hunting rifle and shot Adolfo's foot. When Zila heard the gun shot she looked and saw Adolfo's foot hanging and bleeding. 

Within a few hours they took him to a hospital nearby. They arrived at 7pm and he was attended to at 11pm. They amputated his foot and part of the leg. After a few days they transferred him to another hospital in the jungle because it became very infected. We went to visit him to encourage him. We also helped Adolfo with funds to start a small shop to encourage him. In this way he has been able to help himself with his studies and food because he couldn't work on the ranch as he has no left leg.