The ministry of Word of Life in Uruguay began in 1979. Since their arrival in 1985, Alvaro and Glenys Ripol have directed the work. After an untruthful article was published in one of the major national newspapers accusing Word of Life of being a cult, the people of Uruguay became closed to our evangelistic activities. By 1987, the ministry started to regain trust among Uruguayans. That same year Word of Life purchased a beautiful castle, a possession of the former president of the country. Today there are three families and five singles working part time for the ministry. The team opened two Bible Clubs and started organizing evangelistic campaigns. Born Again to a Living Hope: The presentation was seen last year by thousands of people with 580 people accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior. The Children's Show has also been very instrumental in reaching kids. Word of Life could not enter public schools with this program, but was able to minister in private schools, churches, and in rented facilities. The team also shares the gospel on a regular basis through Open Air Evangelism and weekly Bible Studies. The future plans of Word of Life Uruguay include expanding the staff and developing a stronger Bible Club program, as well as starting a camping ministry.
Uruguay is smaller in size and has less variety compared to the many countries surrounding it, but it is known as the most educated nation in South America. With only 187,000 sq. km, it is the smallest Spanish speaking country in South America. The people of Uruguay are mostly of Spanish and Italian ancestry and they are generally middle class. The extremes of wealth or poverty often seen in this part of the world are not found in Uruguay. To foreigners, Uruguay is seen as a country of subtle attractions and impressive artistic traditions. Sadly, it is most secularized nation in South America. About 37 percent of its 3.2 million people are not associated with any religion. Some 60 percent belong to the Roman Catholic Church. There are an estimated 1,200 occult centers in the country. New Age movement, Jehova Witness, and Mormonism is on the rise.