petra History

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen." -Ephesians 3:20

History of Petra International Ministries

Ken Hanna was a church planter and evangelist in Central America and Mexico for 27 years. Upon returning to the states, he became the chair of the missions department of Moody Bible Institute, while Jared Cox was attending school preparing for international ministry. Hanna was planning to return to the mission field before being diagnosed with cancer, so while mentoring Jared, he told him to go in his place. Jared met his future wife, Tanya, during this time. They were married July 8, 2000 and left the following year for language school in Costa Rica, before settling in Nicaragua to serve there and glorify God with their lives.

Nicaragua is a country of 6.2 million people located in the middle of Central America. Although the country is the poorest in Central America, Jared and Tanya soon saw beyond just the physical situation to the the dire spiritual need of the country as well. Through a youth ministry they began called Petra, Jared trained and equipped a group of young leaders and university students to be servants of Christ. Over time, it became evident that many of the young people who came to Christ through Petra did not have a biblical church to attend. Through God’s leading and grace, in 2005, Petra Bible Church in Managua was launched. As the church grew in faith, maturity, and numbers, God was glorified through the preaching of His word, Christ-centered worship, missions teams, and people recognizing their sinful nature by embracing the Gospel message. Petra Managua now has over 300 members.

One church was not the end of God’s plans for Nicaragua, as he has allowed five additional Petra churches to be planted in Nicaragua. These are located in Balgue and Merida on Ometepe Island, along with in the cities of Chinandega, Matagalpa, and east Managua.

At the end of 2015, God called Pastor Jared and Tanya back to the U.S. in order to allow the Nicaraguans to lead their own national churches. Petra International Ministries was founded in 2017 in order to continue to mentor and plant Christ-centered churches throughout the U.S. and Latin America. In 2018, Petra Bible Church, Bozeman, a bilingual church, was launched where Jared is the lead pastor. The work has now expanded to South America as well. In 2019, Petra became partnered with churches in Colombia. The vision has continued since then to expand deeper into the interior of South America.

Petra Timeline

Expanding the Vision :
Vision 2025

To train 100 kingdom workers from the Petra churches and Petra School of Ministry in Bozeman, Colombia, and Nicaragua, as well as through the Petra Wilderness Institute in Bozeman, by 2025, while building the infrastructure to expand to new locations to plant Christ-centered churches deeper into the interior of South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.