Loreto Weekend Report – Santa Rosalía Prison May 30 – June 3, 2017

Report for Weekender Prison Team May 30 – June 3, 2017

This month we were in a prison again – this time in Santa Rosalía, where we have been going every year for the past eight years – sometimes twice in a year. It was so wonderful to be back again sharing the love of Jesus and the message of salvation with some of the staff, guards and inmates; and to see some of the fruit of our previous labors.

On the day we arrived, we were welcomed very warmly by many of the staff and guards – quite a difference from how everything began eight years ago. All of the suspicion, apprehension, and criticism we experienced back then had been replaced with embrace after embrace; and on the last day, one of the lead guards asked if we could take our health fairs to the communities around his home – and he assured us that he wanted to help us put these health fairs on…

In the meetings we had with some of the staff and guards at the beginning of each day, I explained exactly why we keep coming back – beginning by telling them why every time we come we give everyone the little booklet, “Agua Viva”- the Gospel of John.

What makes this book special is that the writer had seen and heard something so very unique, from a person he had got to know so well, that he felt compelled to share what he had come to know with as many people as possible. In the same way we too have come to know and experience some-thing we want to share – especially with the inmates (who have been discarded from society) – because everyone who comes to know and experience what this writer explains, will have their lives will be changed forever, for the good…

The writer used these words trying to describe who Jesus was: The Word, Creator, Life, Light, Grace, Truth, Son of God, Lamb of God, Forgiver… During these three morning meetings we read together John 1:1-23 and I explained in detail what each of these words meant; and then I went on to explain that John the Baptist declared himself to be preparing the way for the Messiah – the One who was coming into their world as promised, to change everything…!  In the same way I said, “We’re like John the Baptist – coming into your world to share this same wonderful news…”

After the meeting on the third day one of the office staff came to me explaining how much she really appreciated what we were doing, and had done over the years; and then went on to explain that her life had been changed as a result, and that she had been attending one of the churches in Santa Rosalia that we had held our health fairs at a few years ago…

At the meetings we had with all of the inmates at the end of our three days I again explained to them, using a modern parable, the personal value there can be of reading the Bible, believing what it tells us, and doing what it says…, over one hundred men picked up Bibles.

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Loreto Weekend Report – March 30 – April 3, 2017

REPORT FOR WEEKENDER TEAM — March 30-April 3, 2017

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Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday we had more than 250 inmates in the La Paz State Prison ask for Bibles and New Testaments: we gave out over 100 Bibles, 150 New Testaments, and over 100 Gospels of John. We prayed with almost everyone who came to see one of our 4 doctors, our 3 dentists, or to get some glasses. We had over 25 workers with us – and there were over 50 inmates who gave their lives to the Lord – after which we sang together, ‘Hallelujah…, Hallelujah…’

On Sunday after 132 inmates had been through our 3-day Health Fair, we had a meeting with a large number of the prisoners, (with a few guards and staff also present). There had been an invitation given to the inmates to come and listen to Don explain why we had come, and to receive a gift bag from us, as well as the opportunity to receive a Bible.  (The gift bag included: a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a wash cloth.)

We had probably 200 men and 20 women come to this meeting, as I explained that we had come because we and many our friends love them… I went on saying, “Someone has lied to you… You need to ‘trust the evidence’ – there is more evidence for ‘Creation’ than there is for ‘evolution’…” I carried on, “…God was at the beginning…; He created everything for His purposes – including each of us; therefore at the end of our lives we can expect Him to be our Judge… Are you prepared to meet your Judge?  God offers you and us a pardon for all the wrongs we have all done; and He wants to give each of us better lives…  It is all written down for us in the Bible – if you would like to have one to read for yourselves, just ask for one as you come to receive a gift bag from us…” I went on explaining, “…the gift bag is small, but our friends have put them together for us to give to you, just to prove that we do love you…” 

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Loreto Weekender Report – February 3-6 & February 24-27

 REPORT FOR

WEEKENDER TEAMS — February 3-6 & February 24-27, 2017

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STATISTICS FOR 4 HEALTH FAIRS

Saturday & Sunday, February 4 & 5, and February 25 & 26, 2017

Locations: (#1) Iglesia Semillas de Fe – about 6 hours southwest of Loreto near Todos Santos, with Pastors Chuy & Juanita; and (#2) Iglesia Jesus la Vid Verdadera in La Paz, with Pastors Santiago & Laura Duarte…

Statistics: Total in attendance 372 People treated:

Dentists… 79

Doctors… 185

Glasses… 182

Prayed to receive Christ… 11+?

Others counseled/prayed for…many…

We were almost unable to have our Health Fairs this past weekend, because the road in front of the church was being dug up to put in new water lines. Fortunately we arrived a day early with the dental trailer, otherwise it might have been impossible to get it to the church – they had trenches dug across the road in several places, but fortunately not all the way across the road. Jim Shelly, who was pulling our dental trailer with his truck for us this month, was able to squeak it in with only about two inches to spare, and that included bending a recently planted palm tree out of the way as well.  Jim was a professional truck driver, pulling trailers for many years. So we thank the Lord for Jim and Karen being with us this month!

It was wonderful to make contact through Don Gerig with some Canadians and Americans vacationing in La Paz, and therefore we had additional help we were not counting on, and that was a real blessing! In fact, Ken & Linda Gill from Grand Forks, BC now request your prayers as they seek the Lord’s guidance concerning becoming more active with us in our Health Fair ministries and in particular with the church in Melitón Albañez – the location of our first Health Fairs this month.

And it was also a real joy to have Dra. Male and Gabriel (and their children: Jetro, Dara and Onam) with us this past Sunday. You’ll remember they had been with us for almost every Health Fairs for about eight years, but about three years ago, because of increased responsibilities in La Paz and in Guadalajara, they were unable to continue. However this past Sunday they were available, and so we were very glad to welcome them back!

Travis and ShuLei Flippen will be moving to Loreto. Travis is currently building their new house, and ShuLei will come to Loreto later this year after her retirement. Travis was able to help us with our Health Fairs last October – he speaks Spanish fluently and he can fix almost anything, and he enjoys dispensing glasses. This month he was able to help with both of our Health Fairs – which made it much easier for Don to return to Loreto on the Saturday nights, so that he could preach at the new English church we began recently in Loreto.

It is wonderful the way the Lord brings everyone together to serve in these Health Fairs!

At our first health fairs this month, we were introduced to a man who until recently could not read or write. He had become a Christian, and wanted so much to read the Bible. So he got an old Bible and just looked and looked at the pages – and then he started to read… It was a miracle! Well he was the first one at our Bible/book table, and bought his own new Bible. Now that’s special!

At the health fairs this past weekend, a lady had high blood pressure and glucose reading of 430 – the doctor asked us to take her to the hospital where she would be looked after and given some medicine. She returned the next day, thanking us for helping her avoid a stroke, which we understood could have happened…

Please continue to pray with us, and praise the Lord with us – these Health Fairs are such a blessing to many people – physically and spiritually…

Loreto Weekender November 25-28, 2016

REPORT FOR

WEEKENDER TEAM — November 25-28, 2016

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We have two situations to share with you in particular this month. First is about a man who had been mistreated by the local medical system – he had been complaining several times to the government dentist about his suffering from what he described as a toothache, or possibly some other problem he was having in his jaw. They looked at his teeth and saw nothing obvious, so they concluded that the man was deranged, and therefore would not give him any help. Not only was this man in terrible physical pain he was now suffering emotionally from the way he had been treated. So our dentist Yxchel examined his teeth and without even an x-ray she saw the cavity. She said it was indeed difficult to see, but after a careful and probing look she found it. The tooth could not be saved, so she pulled it and gave the man some antibiotics. The man left with some pain in his jaw, but very happy he had been cared for by a loving dentist at the church we were at this weekend. We were so glad to be able to share the love of Jesus with this man, and we trust he will now be open to receiving the message of salvation. Please pray with us that he will read the Gospel of John he was given, and possibly return to this church – knowing that this is where love and acceptance can be found…

The second situation is also exciting. It involves a man that we met and helped many years ago…, then his daughter died.  The story goes on as he makes his way back to God with an important step being accomplished this weekend.  Please read the full report to get all the details.

How wonderful it is to see the Lord at work in people’s lives – people struggling with all that life throws at them. But then Christians are being brought into their lives to share with them the love of Jesus, and the message of salvation. We are so glad to be a part of this story in the lives of many people here, in and around Loreto.

Please keep praying for this wonderful ministry, because many people are being blessed physically and spiritually. Also, if you are able to financially support us in some way that would be very much appreciated – small and large gifts working together to make this all happen. Thank you for your partnership!

Loreto Weekender October 21-24, 2016

Report For

Loreto Weekender  October 21-24, 2016

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Full Report With Photos

It was good to start another season of ‘free’ evangelistic Community Health Fairs – even though it was very hot and the humidity made it almost unbearable. We didn’t have air conditioning in the church, but I think we had six or seven fans blowing on everyone all the time in the church, and another four fans working in the dental trailer all day long.  But we were all glad to be serving the people…

We were really pleased to have Lynda Tran come from Santa Cruz to join us this time, as well as Mike and Karen who came with Steve and Jan Crews. Odi and Chava came with their three children from Insurgentes to help, as did Eliana. Yxchel and Gloria came from La Paz, and brought Ricardo and Chris with them. And we also had Travis and Sherry from Loreto helping us, along with several members from the church we were at. It was a wonderful Team! We all worked very well together, and many people were truly blessed as a result. Saturday was a little slow, not so much because of the heat, but because Loreto was celebrating its 319th birthday, but we were all busy all day long on Sunday. (That’s right, Loreto was established in 1697.)

I have been asked: What is it that always stands out in your Health Fairs? The answer: It is always wonderful to just watch people as the love of Jesus is poured out upon them, and as they heard the message of salvation being shared with them. They are always amazed at how well Christians can work together. They are impressed with the personal care we give to each of them – they are not pushed through the line or treated coldly. And when we ask them if they would like us to pray for them, they are so grateful that we care about whatever the issues are that they are facing. And to see the joy on their faces after they have understood God’s love for them, and then as a result they have accepted Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior – that expression of happiness is remarkable! It is like they have become ‘debt free’ – their burdens have been lifted and they have been given a new start in life. It’s wonderful!

Missionaries Don & Lorraine Karsgaard

Loreto Weekender May-June, 2016

Santa RosalÍa Prison Ministry
Santa RosalÍa Prison Ministry

May-June, 2016 – Weekender Team Report

Missionary Don Karsgaard writes:

As in all of our Health Fairs we begin each day with a message from the Bible, to put the day and our lives in the proper perspective. So I began the Health Fairs in the prison in Santa Rosalía on June 1 sharing with our Team and some of the prison staff about how it is that I really ‘feel at home’ in that prison. I told the prison staff that I felt them to be my friends, and I could see the eyes of some of the staff start to redden – especially as I went on to define the criteria for ‘friendship’. Then shared that I also felt very comfortable with the inmates – then tears started to well up in the eyes of almost everyone as I went on next to describe how Jesus wants to be a friend to each of us; and that it was His love in me that gave me all of these wonderful feelings

for them and the inmates… I was so glad to have been able to go to the Prison this month, and to be able to share this… (Praise the Lord!) And it has been so wonderful to see the lives of some of the prison staff change over the years that we have been going to this prison – some from antagonism towards us and towards Christ – but what a difference Christ has made in their lives… (Praise the Lord!)

Loreto Weekender April 21-24, 2016

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April, 2016 – Weekender Team Report

This month we were at a church we’d not taken our Health Fairs to before. It’s in a new area of Constitución and is pastored by ‘Jesus Salinas’ – we call him Chuye. He’s been there for several years, and worked hard for the Lord – in Constitución and in other areas of the Baja. I first met Pastor Chuye in Loreto – there was a Christian musical group in town holding an Outreach Event at the waterfront and they needed a generator. So I took ours from our dental trailer, and supplied them electricity for the evening.

We were blessed to be a part of this church this past week. But to be honest, when we first went to this church and saw the dirt all around, the uncleanliness of the people, and the state of the bathrooms, etc., we had some doubts. But when Pastor Chuye opened his mouth and sang…, and then when we saw the people coming…, we put our misgivings behind us – and had a really wonderful weekend! They served us food from their primitive kitchen and we did not get sick. In fact we enjoyed loving them, and being loved by them! And we enjoyed serving the Lord with them; and seeing many people blessed physically and spiritually as a result.

We are encouraged from all of this, and we hope you are too! Thank you so much again for helping to make all of this happen. We do praise the Lord, for your partnership – for your prayers and your financial help.

Loreto Weekender March 11-14, 2016

March, 2016 – Weekender Team Report

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Two years ago we had been in Insurgentes at the church that Odi is a member of, and it was then that Odi shared her story with me about how she became a Christian – you may remember us sharing with you… Odi explained, “It began with a car accident just south of San Quintin when I was travelling with a friend and we had a bad car accident so

we were taken to one of the local hospitals..”  Odi went on, “We were all cared for with a love like I had never experienced before. A man even flew my friend to San Diego for more medical help; and at no cost to us…! But before they left the pilot took time to explain God’s love for us…, and then he helped me pray the sinner’s prayer…”  Odi continued saying, “But I don’t remember the names of the hospital, the doctor or the pilot.”  So I asked Odi when this car accident happen, and she said it was back in the summer of 1999.

I then surprised her by telling her, “This all happened at the Hospital Buen Pastor…, the doctor’s name was Dr. Gonzales, and the pilot’s name was Joe Vaine…” Then Odi in shock interrupted me saying, “You’re right! But how do you know all this?”  I then told her that I had been living at Hospital Buen Pastor at that time, leading teams from the USA and Canada; and that I remembered being one of the people who had helped load her friend into the plane, and that I also had been praying for her as Joe had been explaining the way of salvation to her.

After we had shared all of this with each other, Odi broke down with tears saying, “And here we are now – you and me serving the Lord together …And you were there from the very beginning for me…” Now it is two years later, and the Lord is bringing us together again in service for Him – and we’re excited to see just how wonderful the plan of the Lord is for us and for this great ministry of helping people with both their physical and spiritual needs. This time was no exception. We had a great team of workers and volunteers; and many people were impressed with the love of God and received the message of salvation.

Loreto Weekender February 26-29, 2016

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February, 2016 – Weekender Team Report

Missionary Don Karsgaard writes: I explained to the Pastor and then to the congregation that our Health Fairs have a different focus than the groups that had been in their church previously. Our focus was not so much to provide these services to the members of their church, as much as it is to provide an evangelistic tool for the members of their church to use in reaching out with the love of Christ and the message of salvation to their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

You see, many of the members of the churches in our area of Baja believe that it is the Pastor’s responsibility to share Christ with people, and it’s his job invite these people to their church services. And while this is true, they believe that it is NOT their job to do this… So one of the wonderful opportunities we have therefore is to help these Christians understand that IT IS their responsibility…, and that IT IS also a great privilege to share Christ with others.

We shared and explained the instructions that were given to us all in John 9:4-5; Matthew 5:13-16; Matthew 28:19-20; II Corinthians 5:17-20; Timothy 2:15; I Peter 3:15-16a; and Matthew 9:35-36…

Their Pastor was so excited to have Don share all of this with his church at their services, and to hear him sharing with people this past weekend as well, that he has invited Don back to preach in his church again.  Please pray for this church and for Pastor Marcos and for his wife, Filipa – they are wonderful people… So this weekend has been a wonderful start for many of the people in this church – a start to sharing their faith with others. Also many people were impressed with the love of Jesus that was shared with them this weekend.

This ministry is so very good!!! — helping both Christians grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord, and also helping others come closer to having

 

Loreto Weekender January 15-18, 2016

REPORT FOR

Loreto WEEKENDER TEAM — January 15-18, 2016

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January, 2016 – Weekender Team Report

This month we held our Health Fairs in one of the newest areas of Loreto. Many of the people in this part of the city are unemployed and therefore are not able to afford much. Thankfully though, there are new evangelical churches starting in this part of town – so we decided this month to support the newest Baptist Church in Loreto…

We had a really wonderful weekend! Oh there were a couple of setbacks – for example, we again were not able to have a doctor at the Health Fairs this weekend… Well we did have a doctor say she could come, but then her employer changed her work schedule at the last moment and that then prevented her from being able to come.. In any case we were still able to offer free dentistry and glasses, etc. so the program went on anyway without a doctor, and everyone understood…

One of the greatest encouragements for every-one this weekend was to see the Pastor who really doesn’t have much in the way of physical things, show his joy of the Lord and his passion for the people!  What a great example he was for us all!

Another joy for us this month was to have six people from the new English Church in Loreto that we have started, join us to help in various ways at the Health Fairs this weekend.

Also! For 18 days this January we’ve had as in previous years, 12 students from Messiah College in Pennsylvania living with us. We enjoy having them at our home/ministry center, and it’s been wonderful to again have concentrated input into the lives of 12 students – especially because they are interested in possibly becoming involved in international business one day, or becoming part of some cross-cultural ministry — this is the focus of this course that is being put on at our home by Dr. Connie Ostwald of Messiah College.

Please continue to pray that our Health Fairs in various communities, as well as in the Prison, will continue to attract and be a real blessing to so many people…

Thank you again for all your prayers and for your financial support, which help to make this all happen. We praise the Lord for your partnership!

Don & Lorraine Karsgaard