In his 53fifty-three years Rocky Malloy has witnessed the horrors of war and the serenity of peace. He has encountered numerous life and death and near -death experiences, more than once watching his life flash before him at gunpoint. He has seen the greatest suffering and the most spectacular miracles, including, according to him, the dead being raised.
Malloy has also experienced the agony and ecstasy of being a sea captain, a drug dealer, a pirate, a healer, a teacher, a writer, and a missionary. He has cut a path into a dense spiritual wilderness, risking everything to help the needy and distribute a quarter of a million Bible-based books to school kids in the schools of his adopted home of Bolivia.
Returning to the States after fifteen years away offers the necessary emotional distance to talk about his life’s work and passion—sharing the love of God with children who, through no fault of their own, have been stripped of everything. Caution: this story may cause you to exit your comfort zone for something a bit more, shall we say, wild.
Interviewed exclusively for Risen Magazine in San Diego.
Risen Magazine: Tell us about the books you publish.
Rocky Malloy: There are thirteen books for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The names of the books in English are Here I aAm. That was Samuel’s response when he heard the voice of the Lord in a time when people weren’t familiar with that voice. Everything about the books is covert, because we’re delivering Jesus in a package that can fit into the public school system. Each book talks about what in Latin America are called “universal truths:”: health, gender, environment, government, and economy.
It’s a thirty-five -week course, which is a complete school year. Everything has purpose and they learn why they’re studying math and why ethics, government, and morals are important. It’s all based on seven principles found in Genesis, the first two chapters, before sin. It’s love, creation, purpose, work, fruit, government, and marriage. People love it. It’s like a wheel that goes over and over again. Most books miss when they try to teach values as anti -values, like don’t smoke. Don’t do this, don’t do that. “Don’t do” did not work for Adam. It didn’t work for me. [Laughs] So telling people not to do something, historically, has not been very successful, and that’s basically what the world has to offer. So, taking spiritual principles, or Biblical principles, and putting them into children . . . then values like honesty come out . . . Children get the equipment they need to make a quality life decision, like not participating in pre-marital sex, not because it wouldn’t be fun or adventurous, but because it wouldn’t have purpose.
After we first went into the high schools with our program there were 2,500 fewer pregnancies from a study group of 80,000 students. The Bolivian government took note of that, and the president of Bolivia at that time issued an executive order giving us permission to go into any school in the country. We are the only publishers in the country authorized by the Bolivian government. It took an act of [the Bolivian] congress to authorize the use of our materials in schools. Teachers get an increase in pay when they come learn the program, but they improve their skills and they enjoy it.
Risen: Why not just set up a church?
RM: I was pasturing a church with about a thousand people in it, and every Sunday there was a reason not to come. When Spiderman came to town, the line went down the road, and people waited for hours to see it. That’s when I realized we weren’t delivering. Spiderman out did church every day of the week. We had to change what we were doing. We made it attractive and we took the message out of the church, cuz people have such a stereotypical concept of what church is. I’m not criticizing the church, but . . .
I got the idea from Paul in the book of Acts where they accused him of infecting society, and I realized that I was trying to build a network around Jesus in the name of my church. That was taking a lot of time and after nine years we only had 50,000 people born again. How can you win whole continents like that, like Paul did?
We realized that the largest network in any country was the school system. It covers about 30 percent of the population. In Bolivia the re’s a little less than nine 9 million people, and they’ve got 2.7 million students. When you add all the parents and teachers, you’re talking about around 50 percent of the country. So, our program has the potential to impact half the population of an entire nation. It would have taken me many lifetimes to build enough churches and Bible schools to do the same thing.
Risen: It seems that in Latin American countries God is not theoretical.
RM: The God issue there is a given. Here you have spiritual things and natural things. There it’s all one thing. The idea of separating them there would be a weird concept. That can go both ways, cuz they’re more sensitive to the spirit, but also totally deceived. There’s true devil worship there. The Bible talks about spiritual wickedness in high places. I know that’s not necessarily terrestrial, but the highest inhabited regions on earth are in Bolivia and they have Satanic worship there. They have parades where everybody dresses up like devils. The greatest celebration is on Easter where they celebrate the death of God. They worship Mother Earth and the devil incarnate. They hang gold all over them –—nobody touches that gold. You can’t leave a notebook around without somebody stealing it, but on these idols nobody would dare touch the gold, out of fear. They’re more aware of the spirit, but also very involved in demonic things.
Risen: In general how does the church respond to that?
RM: Centuries ago the church showed up with the conquistadores. If you do a little research into the Incan empire, you find that an ancient emperor had the same revelation as Melchizedek in the Bible. They knew that the sun was not God, but a part of creation. His revelation was that there’s a creator out there, but I don’t know who He is, the same as Melchizedek. He told his son that, and all the priests and the upper class of that society acknowledged that there was a creator and to acknowledge the creator and not the creation. Their prophets foretold that men would come that would look different and bring the book of life. When the Spaniards showed up with Pizarro with just over 100a hundred soldiers, there were 5,000 Incans out there, the upper class of society. The Incans thought they were showing up for church. It was a fulfillment of prophecy. They came out to meet the representatives of God and they were slaughtered. Their arms were cut off by these guys in armor, and the Incans were completely unarmed. So that was their first encounter with Jesus. Jesus was back in the wagons with the cannons. And it hasn’t changed much. So, the conquistadores had sex with all the Spanish girls and tried to introduce the Spanish blood to the region. So there’s been a lot of abuse about what we call Jesus. There’s been a lot of pain.
Risen: What got you started on missions?
RM: When I went down to the war zone in Nicaragua, right on the boarder, on the Honduran side, I was working with the Contra soldiers, and I was building with them, and teaching them the dynamics of construction. I was really privileged to work with these battle-hardened guys that had a heart for God. I’m teaching them about the Lord, and how He works through our lives. The combat was so hot that a civilian plane couldn’t get through with their pay, and they were disgruntled. I said, “Let’s pray.” As I’m praying, just of a second, rain fell. When it did it formed a rainbow right over the top of their heads, where you felt you could touch it. It really spoke volumes to them, because that’s the promise of God, in the Bible. Only a fFew hours later we heard the plane coming in with their pay.
Every night you would hear the villages being bombed and see the smoke and it when you got there it looked like a lunar landscape. Out front of where we lived was a M.A.S.HMASH unit, just like on TV with surgeons and medical personnelal to take care of the wounded Contra soldiers that were coming in off the front. The soldiers got first priority, but a lot of times civilians were hurt. One day there was an especially large number of civilians in front of this M.A.S.H.MASH unit because a nearby village had been shelled that night. We were out there trying to take care of them, and this one little boy about 12-years-oldtwelve years old comes up and taps me on the side and asks for a can of milk for his sister. His back was burned really badly, and his parents had been killed that night. I gave him a can of milk and I didn’t see him again for a while. When he came back again and I gave him another can of milk. That went on inconsistently for about eight months.
On the day we were leaving I was in the back of this tiny airplane, and all the Contra soldiers were waving goodbye, crying, sad that I was leaving. This little boy, for the fist time, he brought his little sister out of the woods. They had been afraid to come out because they were afraid to get shelled again, because artillery was falling all around them every night. So, there was the little girl, about two years old, with a little with dress on that was very dirty. She was waving goodbye to me and they were sad that I was leaving. That little girl waving bye to me really touched my heart and that was the beginning of the ministry we have now to children.
After that, when we moved further down the river, I paid more attention to the children. They were so confused. They had no idea what was happening. Why had their parents been killed? They played with sticks and leaves because they had no toys, but they were just little children with the same desires as our kids. There was no school for them and I saw how innocence is so abused in the world.
When we went to Bolivia we started working with kids from about seven to twelve. Many of them would be involved with petty theft, shinning shoes, just surviving. Most of them didn’t have parents. One little boy about 14-years-old fourteen years old who was the leader of the group was raised in a cardboard box. These young people were so damaged mentally, they couldn’t imagine ever having anything or being successful. We’d bring them right up to a decision, and then they couldn’t make a decision. For instance, I got this one young man a scholarship in a Catholic trade school. He was doing excellent in school. On the day of the test, he didn’t come. The guys in class with him made good money, and he was the best student. When it came time for him to take the test, he just couldn’t imagine that he could succeed; his inner-self just wouldn’t allow that to happen.
After struggling with this for years, we felt the only way to help was to go to schools and help prevent them going on the streets in the first place. We started a ministry, Mission Generation, with 44forty-four students in three schools. Today we have a quarter of a million students in over a thousand schools in Bolivia. If, in the name of Jesus, we’re able to put together the finances to increase our logistics, we can have over a million children in the program in 2009. We want to keep children in school and help them make quality life decisions based on Biblical principles.
To learn more about Rocky Malloy and Mission Generation, please visit: www.missiongeneration.org.
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