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!

Loreto Report, November 2014

One of the churches in Loreto had moved recently to a new location, so we held our Health Fairs at their new location as way to let the people around it know this church is now closer to them there for their benefit.

One of the young men in the church was eager to learn from Don how to help people get the right glasses, and then give those to them. So Don took the time to explain a few basics, and how to also use our ‘variant sliders’ to determine the strength of the glasses needed for either reading or distance, and then how we use the reading of John 3:16 to confirm that the reading lasses we give them work well for them. So Jorge then got started…

An hour later I came to Jorge and asked how he was doing, and he responded, “Very well…” So then I explained that after they have read, “God loved us all so much that He sent His only Son into the world to die for us, and for those who believe in Him, they will not live an empty life but they will have eternal life” ask “when using the glasses are the letters clear to your eyes”? (Wait for a response then ask,) “Is the message you have just read clear to your heart?”

Then after you have had some discussion don’t ask them to pray, but ask, “Can I pray for you?” Most times people will say “Yes”, so then ask, “What in your life would you like me to pray for?” They will then open up and share with you their problems and concerns. Now you have an open door from which you can guide them into the Bible and their need to accept Christ as their own Lord and Savior. Now pray for them appropriately, and God will bless them and you in the process…

An hour or so passed, and Jorge said to me, “Why didn’t you tell me all of this at the start? It’s so easy to talk to people this way.” I explained that it might likely have been too much at one time, but now you know…

At the end of the day, he said that one person was so impressed with how Jorge gave him his glasses, talked compassionately with him, and then prayed for him, that he would be coming back on Sunday with others in his family – so that they could be prayed for as well.

At the end on Sunday Jorge said, “I want to do this with you again next month, wherever you go with your Health Fairs…”