Bob and Mary Anderson believed that at the heart of God’s strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission is the multiplication of the church—communities of the redeemed being salt and light to the world.
In 1955, with the call to “go to the nations” billowing their sails, Bob and Mary embarked on a missionary journey to Peru with South America Mission (SAM). Bob’s mother, Hazel, was among the very first missionaries sent out by SAM in the 1920s. The Andersons were building on a rich heritage by going. They went with a desire for the indigenous peoples of Peru to hear the good news of the gospel of grace. Bob and Mary were evangelists. They were disciple makers.
When the Andersons went, they went to stay. For more than 25 years they pitched their tent wide and strengthened their stakes in the jungles of Peru’s eastern Amazon, namely among the Shipibo people. Hundreds of Shipibo met Christ because of the presence of this missionary couple. Indigenous churches formed up and down the headwaters of the Amazon River, in the Ucayali River region near Pucallpa. God used the Andersons as his redemptive agents to bring together a coalition of Shipibo churches. These churches eventually formed a national association whose influence and impact continue today.
The Anderson’s call to service extended beyond the mission field of Peru. In 1984, Bob became only the third Executive Director in the history of South America Mission. Until their retirement in 1993, God sustained their leadership and care of SAM’s missionary community by their vision to see lives redeemed and communities transformed through the multiplication of the church of Jesus Christ.
Reverend Bob Anderson had his home going on March 31, 2015. He is survived by Mary, seven children and 26 grandchildren. Granddaughter Carrie Lorenz Himes and her husband Chris are missionaries with South America Mission in Brazil. The Anderson legacy of going to proclaim the good news, to make disciples, and to see the Bride of Christ shining brilliantly continues, 92 years after Hazel, 60 years after Bob and Mary.
In honor of the Anderson’s legacy and the family and partners who have walked alongside them, South America Mission announces the Anderson Church Multiplication Fund. The fund will fuel SAM’s organizational leadership efforts to develop and sustain strategic initiatives in the core ministry areas that the Andersons embodied. They shared the gospel in word, believing in the power of proclamation to redeem lives. They practiced presence as a means of pointing others to Jesus; they knew this is how disciples are made. They invested in developing leaders. And they saw the church in the middle of God’s redemptive plan for the world, so they gave their lives to seeing it multiplied.
The Church Multiplication Fund will lean towards investments in Peru-based initiatives. South America Mission is already poised for significant growth in Peru as its missionary team grows and expands its scope to church plants in the cities of Lima, Juanta and Ayacucho, as well throughout the jungle region of Pucallpa and along the coast in and around Puerto Supe.
And, to honor and perpetutate the Anderson legacy of leadership, the Fund will enhance SAM’s organizational leadership efforts today to provide world class services and programs for an effective, sustainable and enduring missionary enterprise.