During the past six months it has been a joy for me to live with Pastor Rosales and his family here in El Salvador. Our friendship has enriched my life, and the Rosales family has taught me much. I am happy to report that on the 1st of February, I moved into my own apartment! As I did when I lived in the United States, I desire to use my home with an “Open Door” policy so that I may be a better servant to the people around me in various ways. I can't wait to host prayer meetings, dinners, and game nights.
We have such a kind God, and over the years I have learned that He always provides for our needs. One way He provides is through your giving! For example, back in late November, I began to ask God to provide the ministry with a much-needed truck. Within a few weeks, a Salvadoran pastor heard that I was looking for a truck. We talked about it, and he agreed to sell me his Ford pickup truck for only $4,000! Then within a month, God provided all the necessary funds through the generous giving of supporters. And I must express how thankful I am to so many of you who give of your resources to co-labor with me here in El Salvador. THANK YOU! The truck is used often to pick up youth for church services, Saturday Youth Clubs, and many more activities! THANK YOU.
Each week I have the privilege of meeting new youth on the streets in neighborhoods where I visit to share the gospel. I love going out and talking to people about our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart that so many people are deceived by Satan in various degrees of darkness. One manifestation of Satan is through the gangs. The devil has so many thousands of youngsters blinded by deep gangs. Yet God gives me great grace and favor to get to know gang members.
Just last week I met another gang leader. “D” told me that he had just gotten out of prison. “D” allowed me to spend 15 minutes sharing the promises of Christ with him. He listened carefully, and he agreed that he needs Christ and that his sins do not satisfy him. But sadly he thinks, “Today I can’t, but tomorrow I want to give my life to God.” I cringe every time I hear those words because I understand that for most people “tomorrow” shall never come. PLEASE fervently pray that these youngsters will understand that TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION and that they will have thirsty hearts to join in Bible studies and activities so that they can grow in their understanding of God’s Word.
I want to thank you so much for faithfully praying for me! One reason I covet your prayers is so that God would shield me by placing a hedge of protection around me always. Although I feel peace and security, I continually seek to be ever more sensitive to God’s Spirit. There have been a couple of times when the Spirit altered my plans, which turned out to be His providence. I am always amazed that God gives me favor among gang members. They most generally are respectful and kind toward me. They permit me to talk about spiritual matters with them as we get to know one another.
Back in November, God allowed an interesting incident to occur that turned out for His glory. While I was visiting friends in another city, I learned about a gang in a section of that town. A faithful brother from a friend’s church took me on his motorcycle to go and search for the young guys involved in that gang. When we found them and parked the bike, all of a sudden about 15 gang members surrounded us. They were very agitated and began to strictly question us. I felt no fear; instead, God filled me with compassion and love for them. I quietly prayed as I held my red Bible, and I tried to speak to the leader. I kept repeating to him, “Jesus loves you very much. I love you. And I just want to share Jesus' words with you.” And then God got involved! I don’t have words to describe the divine intervention, but instantly the hostile environment became an indescribable peace. The gang members' mannerisms, speech, and eyes were completely transformed. The gang leader then said that we could talk, and he would like to hear what the Bible says.
I spent an hour with them getting to know them and sharing various Bible verses of Christ’s promises with them. Amazingly, the leader, "M" asked me to come back another day to do another Bible study. And he was serious. Two days later he texted me, asking when I would return. I have gone back one time to teach the Bible. I often stay in touch with "M" via text, and I am planning to travel back to his city this month to do a third Bible study. Please pray for them!
There is one last matter I ask you to pray about with me. The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). And in 1 John 3:18 we are instructed: “…let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” I cannot heal people, but I do preach the truth, and I desire to do more good with these youngsters so that God can heal their hearts. One grave problem many youngsters face is feeling no purpose in life because there is little work to be found. Therefore, I and several dedicated believers here are preparing to open a panadería (bakery) ministry. We need $4,000 in capital to start this important ministry. It will allow us to give youngsters an opportunity to work (a sense of purpose) so then their minds can be at ease and we can train them in spiritual and practical truths. I desire not just to “fish for a man and feed him for a day." I desire to "train a man to fish so to feed him for a lifetime.”
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. In addition, if you ever need someone to pray for you about something, please email me and I will be happy to spend time in prayer for you.
For months Adan has been selling to me my vegetables at a local market. I gave him a gospel track 2 weeks ago. Last week he told me that he read it. So I got his phone number because I was curious if he might have learned from the Bible verses. Tonight he went to church with me and afterwards we went out for pizza and to study the Bible. For 90 minutes we examined the scriptures about what does salvation mean. Adan decided that he should receive the Lord Jesus into His heart by confessing His sins to God. It was beautiful to pray right inside the restaurant! He feels as if a load has been lifted off of him. And he is correct. The load of sin has been lifted at Calvary. Hallelujah!