Loreto Report, May 2015

What can we do for these men in the Santa Rosalía prison? What can we say when the government has regulations that we must adhere to? We are allowed more freedom when talking with each inmate privately – during those times we do our best to share the love of Jesus, and the message of salvation with those who have not accepted Christ as Savior. And with those who have made a decision for Christ, we give encouragement…

At the end of the 3 days of our Health Fairs, on Sunday, we’re permitted to have a meeting with all of the prisoners. During these 3 meetings we are allowed to give ‘a short talk of encouragement’ to the men, and to then give out the things we have brought for them all – which are plastic bags containing a wash cloth, a large bar of soap, a large bottle of shampoo, a tooth brush, a large tube of toothpaste, a roll of dental floss, a blank notebook, a pen, a Gospel of John, an a booklet entitled, ‘The Story of Jesus’. We also give them the option to pick up a Bible if they would like one…

We are not allowed to ‘preach’ during these 3 meetings because the inmates are required to attend – their attendance is not voluntary. Praise the Lord! So, what can we talk to the men about during this ‘message of encouragement’…? (NB: We are allowed to ‘preach’ at designated church service times – because attendance to these services is voluntary.)

This is what I’ve done: Last time I spoke on ‘evolution’ and why this teaching should not be trusted, because of the lack of evidence to support it. “On the other side”, I said, “there’s a lot of evidence to support ‘creation’ so it’s a very likely true we’ll all face God at the end of our lives; agreed? So pick up a Bible and read it yourself… Then draw your own conclusion without feeling you’re under any pressure.”

This time I decided to tell the men a story – fashioning it after Matthew 13:10-17. The story I told them was fictional, but there was truth that could be found in the story, and they could put themselves in the story if they understood it. The essence of the story was this: If you wanted to get to Cancun from Cabo you’d need to take a bus, or a boat, or a plane or a combination of these. The problems are that sometimes buses breakdown, boats sink, and planes crash – so they are not reliable! But in my story there’s a super-train that is reliable, but tickets cannot be purchased…, and what would it be like on the train? Well one could go down to the station and hang on to the side of the train and look in as it travels down the tracks – and some people have tried this, but they have gotten knocked off when the train came to a tunnel. So it’s evident, to receive the benefits of the super-train, one must get on/in the train! But people are still hesitant because they are not sure what it’s like on the train. So they ask their friends or others – but they have gotten their information from the newspapers and TV – and that info is often incorrect, (in fact they usually only tell stories about boats that sank or planes that have crashed…) No! One must have faith, and just get on the train! The good news is: today in Santa Rosalía there’s someone giving out free tickets for the super-train. And he says, it’s not dependent upon how good or bad you’ve been…

Then I explained, the real story is in ‘the Book’… The story was confusing for some of the men and some of the guards, but for others – they understood it! In fact 2 men picked up Bibles after the story saying they are looking forward to seeing us in ‘Cancun’. About 150 men picked up Bibles that day. Praise the Lord!

So the Gospel can be shared even when there may be regulations that curtail our freedom. And while the men would’ve closed their ears to ‘preaching’ they’ll remember this story – so pray for them as they do…

Thank you so much again for helping to make all of this happen. We do praise the Lord, for your partnership!

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