Esther Louise Jeter Walker
El Vive! He Lives!
Alva and Louise Jeter Walker
I stared in shocked disbelief at the empty streets and almost empty church. This was Easter morning — the most glorious time of rejoicing in the whole year, a time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the hope of our own. But where were the people?
It was in 1934, my first Easter in Peru. My brother Hugh Jeter, his wife, and I had come to pastor this new work — the first Pentecostal church in Lima.
For 40 days the local citizens had been observing Lent — which meant no parties or carousing. Holy Week had its special observances, and Good Friday was a day of mourning. “God is dead!” the people said; they believed He died every year. And so they took no risks on that day; they couldn’t count on His protection!
Easter morning — deserted streets. Our hearts ached for the sleeping city. We wanted to shout so all could hear the words of the song we sang that morning: “He lives! He lives! The Savior lives today!” We knew that Christ was alive as we looked at the happy faces of the little group of new Christians.
The hall where we were meeting was a symbol of the new life found in the living Christ. The building had once been a saloon. In the very spot were men once drank the chicha and other liquor that enslaved them, people now knelt at an altar and received deliverance from alcoholism, sickness, and sin! Why? Because He lives!
That Easter morning burned into my soul the importance of telling people about a living Christ who would save all those who come to Him. We preached it there in the slum area of the capital with the stench-laden mist of the Rimac River blowing into our faces. We preached in the streets and marketplaces of neighboring towns and plantations.
Many years have passed since those Easters in Peru. God has blessed the labors of many workers in that country, and Lima now has over 100 Assemblies of God churches (more than 300 churches in 2010). Our own fields and ministries have changed. I married Alva Walker, and we spent 42 happy years together in God’s work.
Now Alva has gone on to glory. In June I hope to complete 50 years of continuous full-time missionary service. What a glorious privilege!
I still have Easter in my heart! And now I want to throw out the challenge once again to a younger generation: Go with the message of Easter! Let’s tell the world: “El vive! Jesus lives today!”
Louise Jeter Walker was a pioneer missionary in Latin America. A prolific writer, she wrote numerous articles and several books. Among her books is The Great Questions of Life translated into 96 languages.
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