Yearly Archive: 2004

Spania-Portugalia

Raport Misionar – Spania-Portugalia

Decembrie 2004

Dragi fraţi şi surori,

Vă salutăm în minunatul Nume care este deasupra oricărui alt nume, Mântuitorul şi Domnul nostru, Isus Hristos.

De curând ne-am întors dintr-o călătorie de 2 săptămâni în Spania şi Portugalia. Cinci dintre membrii echipei au călătorit în Spania, iar patru au continuat în Portugalia. Aceată călătoria a fost foarte diferită de cele anterioare. De obicei, reuşim să facem tot ceea ce ne plănuim, ba chiar mai mult. De data aceasta însă, am făcut foarte puţine din câte am plănuit, şi totuşi am văzut mâna lui Dumnezeu la lucru în multele oportunităţI pe care ni le-a deschis.

Spania
Echipa noastră s-a concentrat înspre două arii specificea ale lucrării. Din moment ce eram 3 români în echipă, am petrecut mult timp lucrând în bisericile româneşti. Comunitatea română este foarte mare în jurul Madrudului, mai ales în localitatea  Arganda del Rey. O persoană importantă cu care am intrat în legătură a fost pastorul român Rus care a adus cu el câţiva tineri din biserica sa, pentru a ne ajuta la organizarea unei seri de evanghelizare în aer liber, chiar în centrul Madridului (Plaza del Sol). Vorbitorul serii a fost misionarul A.G. Jacob Bock. Am participat în două seri la această lucrare. El şi-a exprima dorinţa de a călători în România, alături de fratele Constantin Lupancu, ca reprezentant al Organizaţiei Remar (similară Organizaţiei Teen Challenge), cu sediul în Spania. Această organizaţie are scopul de a iniţia în România lucrarea cu persoanele dependente de droguri, cu oamenii străzii şi cu foşti deţinuţi după ce aceştia sunt eliberaţi.

O altă parte a lucrării noastre a fost misiunea în biserici spaniole. În principal, Pastorul Jaime Flores de la Centrul Viaţa Creştină din Tinley Park ne-a făcut programările, ne-a ajutat să găsim persoane de contact. El a fost foarte încântat de această primă călătorie misionară a sa. Biserica Verbo, înfiinţată în Guatemala, localizată lângă Madrid, precum şi alte biserici, şi-au exprimat interesul în a deveni afiliate ale Organizaţiei Capelani pentru Hristos şi de a înfiinţa lucrarea în închisoare şi în Spania. Noi am adus 230 de Biblii complet în limba spaniolă, pentru a le distribui deţinuţilor din închisori. Unul dintre pastori va veni în Chicago în luna ianuarie şi va lucra în Închisoarea Cook County. De asemenea, el va discuta o posibilă afiliere cu organizaţia noastră.

De asemenea, am cunoscut persoane de contact pentru posibile călătorii în Germania, Italia, Austria şi Belgia.  De fapt, întreaga lume ne este deschisă. Totuşi, vrem să mergem doar acolo unde El ne trimite.

Portugalia – Cei trei români, împreună cu mine, am continuat călătoria înspre Lisabona, luând un tren de noapte. Acolo am stat 3 zile. În plus faţă de lucrarea făcută în bisericile româneşti, am participat la unul dintre serviciile de botez din Biserica Elim Church, în luna decembrie. Botezut a avut loc în Oceanul Atlantic. Se pare că românii au fost rezistenţi, însă americanu-lui i-a fost frig.
Am misionat în penitenciarul din Estabelecimento Prisional de Alcoentre, localizat la 50 de km nord de Lisabona. Pătrunderea în această închisoare a fost o adevărată minune. Din cauza unor probleme de comunicare, persoanele noastre de contact din Spania nu ne anunţaseră vizita în Lisabona decât cu 8 ore înainte de a ne îmbarca înspre acolo. Când am ajuns în Lisabona, toţi ne-au spus că este imposibil să intrăm în penitenciar fără a fi anunţat înainte (dorinţa noastră fusese de a organiza un seminar chiar în ziua sosirii). În America Latină, acest lucru fusese posibil fără a anuţa, însă în Europa lucrurile stăteau altfel. Fiecare persoană cu care am vorbit ne-a spus că e imposibil, însă noi am vrut totuşi să încercăm. Într-un final, am găsit un frate portughez care ţinea servicii săptămânale în acea închisoare. Însă şi i-a fost refuzată intrarea în acea zi, pe motiv că deţinuţii erau la o petrecere de Crăciun. Când am sosit la porţile închisorii, încărcaţi cu 1000 de tractate în portugheză, am bătut nerăbdători. Primul gardian ne-a spus că nu putem intra, însă tocmai în acel moment un caporal şi un sergent au venit înspre uşă şi am putut să vorbim şi cu ei pentru câteva minute. Şi ei ne-au spus că toţi erau la petrecerea de Crăciun şi că, de fapt, aveam nevoie şi de permisiunea scrisă de a intra. Ne-au spus că nu ne pot ajuta, dar că, probabil că am putea vorbi cu doamna director, care tocmai pleca în pauza de prânz. Momentul a fost cum nu se putea mai oportun. I-am explicat că aveam nevoie doar de 15 minute pentru a împărţi tractatele pe care le adusesem din SUA. şi ea ne-a dat permisiunea să o facem. După prânz, am ţinut un serviuciu de aproximativ o oră cu patru bărbaţi, în limba spaniolă. Eu am tradus pentru români, iar la final, ne-am rugat pentru fiecare om în parte. Unul dintre venezueleni se afla pentru prima oară la un astfel de serviciu, a fost copleşit de lacrimile şi suspinele pocăinţei. Am cumpărat câteva Biblii în portigheză pentru ca fratele mai înainte amintit să le poată folosi în închisoare.

Apocalipsa 3:8 – ,,...iată, ţi-am pus înainte o uşă deschisă, pe care nimeni n-o poate închide.”

Vă invităm să continuaţi să vă rugaţi pentru noi, pentru călătoriile pe care le plănuim în România, Guatemala, Honduras şi, probabil, Senegal. Dumnezeu să vă binecuvânteze.

Constantin Lupancu, Chicago


Spain-Portugal

Spain-Portugal Trip Report

December 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name that is above every name, the precious Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have just returned from a two-week trip to Spain and Portugal.

SUMMARY. Five of us traveled to Spain and four of us continued on to Portugal. This was a very different kind of trip from many of our previous trips. Usually, we do everything that we plan and more. This time, we did very little that we planned and yet we say the Hand of God at work in the opportunities presented to us.

DETAILS.
Spain – our team embarked on two areas of ministry. Since there were three Romanians on the team, we spent a lot of time ministering in Romanian churches and to Romanian people. There is a very large population of Romanians near Madrid in a city called Arganda del Rey. One important contact that was made was with Romanian pastor Rus who brought several youth from his congregation for “open air” evangelism with A.G. missionary Jacob Bock in the very center of Madrid (Plaza del Sol). We participated in this for two nights. He is also interested in a making a trip to Romania with brother Constantin Lupancu and a representative of an organization based in Spain called “Remar” (similar to Teen Challenge) for the purpose of establishing ministry in Romania to drug addicts, street people and ex-inmates when they are released.
The other area of ministry was to Spanish speaking churches in Spain. Primarily, pastor Jaime Flores of the Christian Life Center in Tinley Park made contacts, built relationships and generally got very excited about his first mission trip. The Verbo church, started in Guatemala, located near Madrid and other churches expressed interest in becoming affiliates of Chaplains for Christ and establishing prison ministry in Spain. We brought 230 full Spanish Bibles on the plane with us for distribution to inmates in the prisons. One pastor is coming to Chicago Jan. 26 and will minister in the Cook County Jail and discuss affiliation with us. We also made contacts for possible trips to Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium. In reality, the whole world is open to us. However, we want to go only where He sends us.

Portugal -The three Romanians and I continued on to Lisbon on the overnight train and stayed there three days. In addition to ministry in the Romanian churches, we participated in an Elim Church baptism service in December in the Atlantic ocean. The Romanians seem to take it all in stride but this American was cold. We ministered in the prison at the Estabelecimento Prisional de Alcoentre located 50 kilometers north of Lisbon. Getting into this prison was a real miracle. Because of some miscommunications, our contacts in Spain made no arrangements for us in Lisbon until eight hours before we were to board the overnight train to go there. When we arrived in Lisbon, everyone told us it was impossible to get into the prisons with no notice (we wanted to conduct a prison service the same day we arrived). While I have been able to arrange for such things in Latin America without notice, Europe is quite a different matter. Each one we talked with told us it was impossible but we asked if we could try. We eventually found ourselves working with a Portuguese brother who has weekly services at a prison but even he was denied entrance on the day we arrived because all the inmates were at a Christmas party. When we arrived at the prison with 1000 tracts in Portuguese, we knocked on the door. The first guard told us no entrance but just then a corporal and a sergeant came through the door and we talked with them for a while. Again we were told that the Christmas party was going on and where was our access permission form? They told us that they couldn’t help us but perhaps we should talk with the lady who was also just leaving for lunch. It was the Director of the whole jail. Her timing was perfect. We explained that we wanted just 15 minutes to pass out these tracts that we had brought from the U.S. and she gave us permission. After lunch, we had a one-hour service with four men in Spanish. I translated for the Romanians and at the conclusion, we prayed for each man individually. One Venezuelan was at the service for the first time and as soon as we began to pray for him, he broke down sobbing in repentance. We purchase several Portuguese Bibles for this brother to use in the prison.
“… I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:” Rev. 3:8

Please continue to pray for us as we are currently making plans for trips to: Romania, Guatemala, Honduras, and perhaps Senegal. May the Lord richly bless you all.

Guatemala

Raport Misionar – Guatemala

Octombrie 2004

Dragi fraţi şi surori,
Vă salutăm în minunatul nume care este mai presus de orice nume, al Donmului şi Mântuitorului nostru, Isus Hristos. Recent, ne-am întors dintr-o călătorie scurtă în Guatemala, în America Centrală.


REZUMATUL CĂLĂTORIEI – Trei dintre membrii echipei am sosit în oraşul Guatemala în ziua de luni şi am plecat direct la o întâlnire cu misionari locali şi cu un reprezentant al Ministerios Vida care urma să ne ajute să intrăm în închisori. Am cumpărat 40 de Biblii în limba spaniolă, pe lângă cele 3 valize pline de Noi Testamente şi de Evanghelia după Ioan ţe care le adusesem cu noi. Am plecat apoi înspre închisoarea pentru bărbaţi Centro Preventivo din oraşul Guatemala unde ne-am întâlnit cu 6 deţinuţI, lideri ,,pastoral” şi am organizat împreună un seminar de pregătire. Fiecare dintre aceşti lideri aveau responsabilitatea de a se îngriji de un anumit pavilion (erau 12 în total) şi ei au fost foarte mulţumitori pentru seminarul de pregătire.
Seara, am vorbit în Biserica Philadelphia Assemblies of God din Colonia Santa Martha, întâlnindu-ne cu aproximativ 150 de lideri. Marţi dimineaţa, am călătorit 2 ore, până la penitenciarul El Boâueron din Santa Rosa. Am ţinut servicii în sala principală, în faţa deţinuţilor şi a familiilor, precum şi în zona de maximă securitate. Seara, am vorbit în biserica unuia dintre pastorii membri Ministerios Vida. Mercuri am mers la penitenciarul  Centrul Corecţional Santa Teresa din Antigua. Misionarul Jeff Mills ne-a ajutat să obţinem permisiunea de a intra şi de a ţine un serviciu acolo. Joi, am călătorit înspre Puerto Barrios pentru a lucra, timp de 2 zile, cu oamenii din satele tropicale. Am împărţit   aproximativ 400 de kg de orez şi de fasole. Vineri ne-am reîntors în SUA.
DETALII – Această călătorie a avut, ca de obicei, o mare intensitate, însă Domnul a făcut ca toate lucrurile să se potrivească, astfel încât I-am simţit prezenţa de-a lungul întregii călătoriei. Am plecat în data de 18 octombrie şi ne-am întor în data de 22, însă în această scurtă perioadă s-au întâmplat atât de multe lucrui miraculoase, uimitoare! Membrii echipei au fost: Francisco Sanchez, un mexican, Constantin Lupancu, un român, şi eu.
Luni – Am ajuns şi am pornit imediat înspre o întâlnire cu un misionar local care organizase călătoria noastră. Am cumpărat 140 de Biblii, însă ele n-au fost nici pe departe suficiente pentru lucrarea pe care am făcut-o în cele 3 închisori. Pentru prima oară, am condus un seminar de pregătire pentru lucrarea în penitenciare, seminar la care au participat lideri ai deţinuţilor. Ei au fost încurajaţI să-şi lărgească viziunea. Ei au oportunitatea de a mărturisi deţinuţilor 24 de ori pe zi, lucru care nu e valavil şi oentru vizitatori sau pentru capelani. ToţI cei şase perticipanţI au fost mulţumitori pentru materialele şi pregătirea pe care le-am oferit-o. În acea seară, vorbit în faţa a 150 de lideri din Biserica Philadelphia despre impotanţa ascultării de Dumnezeu în toate lucrurile.
Marţi –  am călătorit la închisoarea El Boâueron din Santa Rosa. TOŢI gardienii au dorit să aibă o Biblie, iar directorul închisorii era un creştin sincer care ar fi vrut să le dăm câte o Biblie tuturor celor 160 de deţinuţi din incintă. Am împărţit 100 de Biblii. Niciodată nu am mai întâlnit un director de penitenciar atât de cooperant şi atât de bucuros să ne aibă în instituţia sa. Am fost lăsaţi să predicăm în fiecare zonă a penitenciarului, înclusiv în ,,groapă” – locul în care erau închişi cei mai violenţi. Seara, am vorbit în faţa a mai mulţI lideri din biserica Pastorului Cristiana Vida despre importanţa convingerii, a pocăinţei şi a legământului cu Dumnezeu. Serviciul a durat 3 ore şi jumătate.
Miercuri – Am participat la un serviciu ţinut la penitenciarul Centrul Corecţional Santa Teresa din Antigua. Fiindcă doi deţinuţi fuseseră omorâţi într-o revoltă cu doar 2 săptămâni înainte, ni s-a spus că nu avem voie să vorbim deţinuţilor decât de după gratii, fără a avea vreun contact direct cu ei. Totuşi, după ce am discutat cu personalul administrativ, ei ne-au deschis întraga incintă şi am putut ţine un serviciu complet în curtea interioară, având 40 de deţinuţi participanţi. A fost ca şi cum un înger al Domnului deschisese porţile închisorii pentru noi. Mi-am adus aminte de Apostolul Pavel care se afla în închisoare şi un înger a venit şi i-a deschis porţile pentru a putea ieşi. Înăuntru, am distribuit 40 de Biblii, care nu au fost suficiente, având în vedere că erau şi mulţi gardieni. Misionarul Jeff Mills şi-a exprimat dorinţa de a continua această nouă lucrare în închisoare, şi deja a trimis autorităţilor dosarul de cerere.
Joi – Am călătorit înspre zona Puerto Barrios şi am cumpărat aproximativ 400 de kg de orez şi fasole, ducându-le apoi în satele din pădurea tropicală pentru a le distribui sătenilor de acolo. De asemenea, ne-am întâlnic cu câţiva lideri locali pentru a plănui o călătorie misionară cu scop sanitar, organizată de Capela Maranatha din Evergreen Park, Illinois, SUA, în luna februarie, 2005.
Vineri – Am distribuit tot orezul şi fasolea rămasă şi ne-a întors în oraşul Guatemala cu un avion mic. Tocmai pe când admiram peisajul, am fost loviţi de o furtună  chiar înainte de aterizare. Am fost nevoiţI să facem o manevră de urgenţă, lucru care ne-a produs mai multe emoţii decât credeam. Am aterizat cu bine, air apoi ne-am întor în SUA.
În concluzie, vă invităm să vă rugaţi pentru noi fiindcă primim foarte multe invitaţii, din multe ţări, pentru a ţine astfel de seminarii de pregătire. În mod special, am fost invitaţi în San Pedro Sula, Honduras, pentru luna martie a anului 2005. De asemenea, am înregistrat seminariile pentru a putea echipa şi pregăti oameni care să meargă şi să predea la fel ca noi. De asemenea, încercăm să dezvoltăm un institut de pregătire aici, în Chicago, special pentru acest scop. Avem deja un birou şi un director de institut. Continuaţi să vă rugaţi pentru această lucrare pe măsură ce ea se dezvoltă.

Guatemala

Guatemala Trip Report

October 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name that is above every name, the precious Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have just returned from a one-week trip to Guatemala in Central America.

SUMMARY. Three of us arrived in Guatemala City on Mon. and went directly to a meeting with the local missionary and a representative of Ministerios Vida, who would help us get into the prisons. We purchased 140 full Bibles in Spanish to go along with the three suitcases full of new testaments and Gospels of John we brought with us. We proceeded then to the Centro Preventivo prison for men in Guatemala City where we met with 6 inmate “pastor” leaders and conducted the prison training seminar with them. Each of these leaders was responsible to provide pastoral care for their own pavilion (12 pavilions in all) and they were very grateful for the training. In the evening, we spoke at the Philadelphia Assemblies of God Church in the Santa Martha Colony and spoke to about 150 leaders. On Tues. morning, we traveled two hours to the El Boqueron prison in Santa Rosa. We had services in the general patio with inmates and families and also in the Maximum Security areas. In the evening, we spoke at the church of one of the pastors who belongs to Ministerios Vida. On weds. we went to Centro Correctivo Santa Teresa prison, in Antigua. Missionary Jeff Mills helped us gain entrance for a full service there. On Thurs., we traveled to Puerto Barrios for two days of work with the people in the villages of the tropical rain forest passing out 800 pounds of rice and beans to them. On Fri., we returned to the U.S.

DETAILS. This trip was, as usual, a whirlwind of intensity but the Lord put the details together and I sensed His Presence throughout the trip. We left on Oct 18 and returned Oct 22 but so many powerful and amazing things happened in the short days of ministry that we had. On this team were Francisco Sanchez, a Mexican, Constantin Lupancu, a Romanian, and myself.

On Mon., we arrived and were whisked to a meeting with the local missionary who set up the trip for us. We purchased 140 Bibles but that was not nearly enough for our ministry in the three prisons. For the first time, I conducted the Prison Training Seminar with inmate leaders who were encouraged to expand their vision. They have the opportunity to minister to the inmates 24 hours per day while visitors and Chaplains do not. All six who attended were grateful for the materials and training that we gave them. That evening, we spoke to 150 leaders at the Philadelphia church about the importance of obedience to God in all things.

On Tues., we traveled to the El Boqueron prison in Santa Rosa. ALL of the guards wanted a Bible and the Director of the prison was a sincere Christian man who wanted us to give a Bible to every single one of his 160 prisoners. We gave about 100 out at this prison but I have never seen a Director of a prison so cooperative and glad to have us in his institution. We were able to minister to every single area of the prison including “the hole” when the most violent inmates are housed. In the evening, we spoke to more leaders at a Cristiana Vida pastor’s church on the importance of conviction, repentance, submission and commitment to God. The service lasted 3 and 1/2 hours.

On Weds. we all went in for a service at the Centro Correctivo Santa Teresa prison, in Antigua. Because two inmates had been killed in a riot there two weeks ago, we were only supposed to be allowed to speak to the inmates through the bars and have no direct contact with them. However, after talking the administration, they opened up the entire facility to us and we had a full service in the patio with about 40 inmates present. It was as though an Angel of the Lord had opened the prison doors for us. I thought about the Apostle Peter who was in prison and an Angel opened the door and he walked out. We walked in. We distributed 40 Bibles, not enough, including many of the guards. Missionary Jeff Mills is now interested in continuing this new work at this prison and he has already submitted the paperwork to the authorities in order to do this.

On Thurs., we traveled to the Puerto Barrios area and purchase 800 pounds of rice and beans and immediately took them in the tropical rain forest to distribute them to the villagers there. We also had a meeting with the local leaders to make plans for a medical mission trip from Maranatha Chapel in Evergreen Park, IL. in Feb. 2005 at the Mision El Faro children and family ministry site across the bay from Puerto Barrios.

On Fri., we distributed the remaining rice and beans and we returned to Guatemala City by small airplane. While the ride was beautiful, we ran into a storm just as we arrived at Guatemala City and had to make an emergency maneuver at the last minute that provided a little more excitement than anyone was expecting. We landed safely, and then returned to the U.S.

In conclusion, please pray for us because we are receiving many invitations to conduct our training in many countries. We have a specific invitation to San Pedro Sula, Honduras for March of 2005. Also, we have put the training on videotape and DVD in order to equip and prepare trainers to go out and do the same training that I have been doing these past few years. We are also developing a training institute here in Chicago for this purpose. We have an office and an institute director. Please continue to pray with us about this ministry as we continue to build on it.

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Trip Report

August 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name that is above every name, the precious Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have just returned from a one-week trip to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

SUMMARY. Four of us arrived in the D.R. on Mon. and went directly to the national television station to tape a program to be aired in two weeks. On Tues. morning, we conducted the prison training seminar from 10am to 2:30pm. Then, we bought 347 full Bibles to distribute in the prisons. In the evening, we spoke at Trinidad Assemblies of God Church. On weds. we went to the women’s prison for a service. In the evening, we spoke at a small house church. On Thurs., we went to the Juvenile Jail for two services and then to the Men’s Jail for two more services and distribution of Bibles. The name of the prison was Najayo. On Thurs. evening, we spoke at Calvary church. On Fri., we returned to the U.S.

DETAILS. This trip was a whirlwind of intensity but the Lord put the details together at the last minute and it felt like it had been planned since the beginning of the foundations of the earth, which it was. We left on Aug 23 and returned Aug 27 but so many powerful and amazing things happened in the short four days of ministry that we had.

About a month and a half before his departure, one of our jail volunteers, Willie Ripple, called me to tell me that he was leaving for the D.R. will a team to do leadership training but that he wanted to know if I could arrange for him to do prison ministry instead so I gave him some contacts and that was all I did at that time. On Aug 10, with less than two weeks before departure, Willie called to tell me that an itinerary for a full week of prison ministry was arranged for but the Hispanic minister that was to accompany him could not obtain a passport so Willie would have to do the jail work alone. Another complication was that the leadership training team would be doing their work in Santiago and the prison ministry would be done in Santo Domingo. 92 miles and two mountain ranges separate the cities. Willie asked if I could go with him because he was going alone and he spoke no Spanish. I agreed and on Aug 20, brothers John Janks and Constantin Lupancu also decided to go. We needed the Lord’s help to gain approval at the last minute for these two brothers to go into the prisons. Even though brother John forgot to bring his passport to the government office on Tues. afternoon, but I had brought a photocopy of his passport with me and they accepted that. On Weds., we all went in for the women’s service at Najayo prison. As in other third world countries, the policy is for the women to keep their babies with them fulltime until 3-5 years of age so that the mother can raise their children in their early years but the children are raised in prison.

On Mon., we arrived and were whisked to a television station do be interviewed for a program to be aired in two weeks.

On Tues., we had our Prison Training Seminar from 10:00AM to 2:30PM. With less than one weeks notice, we had over 70 people come to the seminar. At the conclusion, eight came forward to be dedicated to fulltime Chaplain’s work in the prisons. Another 21 were dedicated to be jail volunteers and visitors. At the conclusion, one woman stood up with tears rolling down her checks and gave this testimony. She was a lawyer but her pastor had told her that the Lord had a prison ministry call on her life. A new president had just been elected to the D.R. and just yesterday, this woman had been offered the position of Attorney General for the Dominican Republic. She testified that she now decided that she would decline this position in favor of the one God was calling her to – a higher calling- in order to help organize the prison ministry in the D.R. based upon the training we had given. In the afternoon, we bought $1800 worth of complete Bibles (347 in total), the most anyone there could recall ever having been purchased to be given away in the prisons. In the evening, we preached to several hundred at the Trinidad A.G. church.

On Weds., we all went in for a service in the Women’s prison. In the evening, we spoke at a house church and met a Dominican man who grew up in New York. His background was similar to Willie’s, (one of long term drug abuse, prison and now dedicated to the work of the Lord) but Eric was now discouraged and not attending church. The team was able to encourage and help rebuild his trust in the Lord.

On Thurs., we had two services in the Juvenile prison and two services in the Men’s Prison. All four were very powerful and we were permitted to take photographs in the Juvenile prison. These will be posted at our website, www.chaplainsforchrist.org. In the evening, we spoke at Calvary A.G. church.

On Fri., we returned home.

In conclusion, please pray for us because we are receiving many invitations to conduct our training in many countries. Also, we are putting the training on videotape and DVD in order to equip and prepare trainers to go out and do the same training that I have been doing these past few years. We are also developing a training institute here in Chicago for this purpose. We have an office and an institute director. Please continue to pray with us about this ministry.

Bolivia/Peru

Raport Misionar – Bolivia/Peru

Marite 2004

Cu ajutorul lui Dumnezeu si impreuna cu echipa misionara, in luna martie a anului 2004, am avut o frumoasa experienta in America de Sud – Lima (Peru). Membrii echipei au fost:
1. Constantin Lupancu – Golgota Pentecostal Romanian Church, Chicago.
2. Robert Brown – Chaplains for Christ, Chicago
3. John Janks – Chaplains for Christ, Chicago
Misiunea noastra in aceasta tara a fost cu scopul de a evangheliza detinutii aflati in inchisorile din orasul Lima. In acest oras locuiesc ~ 7 milioane de locuitori si marea majoritate traiesc in conditii de saracie si mizerie, ceea ce a determinat cresterea ratei criminalitatii in randul tinerilor. Foarte multi ajungand, de tineri, sa fie arestati datorita faptelor comise. Nimeni nu poate schimba gandirea si caracterul acestor tineri decat mesajul Evangheliei lui Isus Hristos. In aceasta calatorie misionara am vizitat patru inchisori, unde am adus vestea buna a salvarii si eliberarii care o face Evanghelia lui Isus Hristos. De asemenea in aceste inchisori am lucrat impreuna cu membrii unei misiuni din Peru numita “Jesus Christo rope lascadenas”(Isus Hristos rupe lanturile). Pe langa aceste activitati am organizat o conferinta pentru motivarea si incurajarea lucratorilor voluntari din inchisori, la care au participat cca 100 de persoane. Pe langa acestea am participat la un congres regional, condus de organizatia REMAR cu sediul in Madrid-Spania (aceasta organizatie a fost fondata in anii 80 de catre Miguel Diaz si familia lui, iar in prezent este extinsa in 52 de tari) care este implicata in recuperarea tinerilor, prin proiecte sociale si evanghelizare. Tarile care au fost reprezentate la acest congres au fost: Peru – tara gazda, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador si Venezuela. Unul din membrii grupului nostru a fost invitat sa predice in tot timpul acestui congres, iar duminica intalnirea a fost pe stadionul national cu o participare de ~ 7000 de persoane.
LUNI – 1 MARTIE
Am calatorit 2 ore si junmatate pana la o inchisoare numita “Aucalama” din localitatea Hudral, aproape de ocean. Aceasta inchisoare are 650 de detinuti. La prima intalnire, care a fost tinuta intr-un hol al inchisorii, au fost prezenti 25 de detinuti. Acestia la sfarsitul intalnirii au cerut sa ne rugam pentru ei ca Dumnezeu sa le schimbe viata. La a doua intalnire, care a avut loc in curtea inchisorii, au fost prezenti 125 de detinuti. Aici intalnirea a durat 3 ore. Dintre cei prezenti 30 de persoane au raspuns provocarii facute de evanghelie si si-au predat viata Domnului.
MARTI – 2 MARTIE
Am vizitat inchisoarea “Lurigancho” din localitatea Lima. In aceasta inchisoare sunt 7700 de detinuti (Barbati). Am inceput sa vestim evanghelia intr-un hol al inchisorii unde au participat 150 de detinuti. Experienta pe care am avut-o aici a fost impresionanta. Auditoriul se afla in spatele gratiilor iar noi eram in holul de acces al celor 15 celule de maxima securitate.(o celula era de 3/3m, iar in interior erau 10 detinuti, 2 paturi si fara toaleta. Conditiile in care stateau acesti detinuti erau inimaginabile). Pentru prezentarea evangheliei am folosit un megafon. Multe maini au fost intinse printre gratii la sfarsitul programului ca raspuns la nadejdea salvarii si rascumpararii prin Isus Hristos. Apoi am mers la departamentul celor ce erau sub influenta drogurilor. Aici se aflau 150 de barbati intinsi pe jos, pe saltele, intr-o camera mare. Acesti oameni nu erau in programul de recuperare ci erau chiar sub influenta drogurilor in timpul vizitei noastre. Drogurile din acea inchisoare proveneau din doua surse: fie erau introduse din exterior fie erau produse chiar acolo. Pana si personalul din administratia inchisorii era implicat in asemenea mizerii. A fost foarte greu sa penetrezi acea atmosfera aducand mesajul salvarii, dar Dumnezeu a penetrat norii negrii ajungand in mintile si inimile celor prezenti. Multi dintre ei s-au ridicat din starea in care erau atunci cand chemati sa prinda “funia Sperantei” prin Isus Hristos care a intins o mana si inspre ei. In final multi au cerut sa ne rugam pentru ei.
MIERCURI – 3 MARTIE
In calatoria noastra am ajuns la inchisoarea “Santa Monica” din localitatea Corrillos. Aici erau 700 de femei detinute. Am vestit evanghelia in spatiul destinat vizitatorilor. Unele dintre detinute au facut parte din organizatii teroriste (“The Shining Path- spre exemplu). De asemenea am intalnit acolo detinute din Olanda, Canada, si Africa de Sud. Acestea au fost bucuroase sa asculte mesajul evangheliei predicat in limba engleza. Multe dintre ele au fost miscate pana la lacrimi si si-au deschis inima pentru al primi pe Hristos ca Mantuitor si Domn al vietii lor. In dupa amiaza acestei zile am inceput Conferinta: ” Misiunea in Inchisori”. Participantii au fost foarte receptivi si entuziasmati.
JOI – 4 MARTIE
Astazi am calatorit la inchisoarea “Sarita Colonia” din localitatea Callao. In aceasta inchisoare erau ~ 2000 de detinuti. Cand am sosit la aceasta inchisoare ni s-a spus ca nu ni se permite accesul in interior pentru programul religios. Cand am ajuns la poarta inchisorii am cerut sa vorbim cu directorul penitenciarului. S-a petrecut o minune: singurii care am intrat am fost noi, echipa din America, toti ceilalti voluntari din Peru au fost opriti la intrare. In aceasta inchisoare am tinut intalnirea in departamentul de maxima securitate unde erau cei mai multi detinuti straini, din alte tari. Cand au fost informati ca va veni o echipa de misionari americani au pregatit in sala de sport scaune si au invitat si pe altii din alte pavilioane ca sa vina sa asculte evanghelia. Detinutii ne-au asteptat cu prajitura facuta de ei acolo. Ne-au asteptat de la ora 8 pana la ora 13, pentru ca noua ni s-a dat voie sa intram numai la ora 13. Cand Dumnezeu deschide o usa nimeni nu o mai poate inchiede. Directorul, care la inceput era impotrivitor, la incheierea programului a cerut o biblie. Ne-a permis sa oferim detinutilor biblii si brosuri. In aceasta inchisoare de 17 luni nu s-a mai permis nimanui sa intre cu evanghelia. La aceasta intalnire au participat detiniti din Peru, Olanda, Germania, Portugalia, Anglia, Gana de Vest, Nigeria, Africa de sud si Romania. Cei mai multi dintre detinuti vorbeau mai mult engleza decat spaniola. Am Proclamat mesajul evangheliei in limba engleza. Ai vazut vreodata stoici olandezi si germani plangand in cainta? Noi am vazut in ziua aceea. Multi dintre ei au marturisit ca au fost atinsi de cuvantul si prezenta lui Dumnezeu care I-a adus la punctul de schimbare a vietii. Apoi am servit prejitura pregatita de ei care a fost taiata cu un cutit foarte mare ( este ceva normal in inchisorile din tarile latine sa aiba obiecte de genul acesta pentru “Bucatarie”). Detinutul care organiza aceste intalniri a refuzat sa primeasca, bani oferiti de noi pentru prajutra si suc spunand ca a vrut sa fie o binecuvantare pentru noi “oaspetii lui”. A fost de accord, in schimb, sa accepte sa ii trimitem bani prin intermediul ambasadei americane in Peru, pentru a cumpara instrumente muzicale si biblii in limba engleza pentru biserica lor din inchisoare. Niciodata nu am vazut un detinut sa refuze banii oferiti. Am fost surprinsi de dedicarea acestui om pentru Hristos. Apoi, in aceeasi zi seara, am tinut a doua sesiune a conferintei unde au participat ~120 de voluntari. Multi dintre ei au raspuns invitatiei pe care noi le-am facut-o sa ne rugam pentru ei ca Dumnezeu sa ii foloseasca in misiunea din inchisori. Nadajduim ca unii dintre acestia sa raspunda chemarii facute, si sa urmeze angajamentul luat.
VINERI 5 MARTIE
In aceasta zi a inceput congresul Misiunii REMAR. Rob Brown a fost invitat sa vorbesca din cuvant si Dumnezeu I-a dat un mesaj deosebit. In timpul proclamarii mesajului a simtit ungerea din partea lui Dumnezeu. Multi au raspuns provocarii evangheliei si au marturisit cum mesajul cuvantului lui Dumnezeu i-a atins.
SAMBATA 6 MARTIE
Aceasta a fost o zi de adorare, de lauda si rugaciune pe stadionul de fotbal national din Lima – Peru. Aici au fost invitati cantareti din tarile latine( cum ar fi Bolivia, Peru si Spania) si America. In aceasta zi fondatorul Miguel Diaz a adus un mesaj din Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu pentru audienta pe tema : FAMILIA. Apoi unul dintre mebrii din grupul nostru a avut un mesaj din pilda cu oaia pierduta prin care a adus incurajare pentru cei care si-au pierdut calea (Isus : Calea, Adevarul si Viata) si a lansat provocarea intoarcerii rapide la Domnul din pacatul lor la o relatie cu Isus Hristos. Multi au raspuns la aceasta provocare si au cerut sa se faca rugaciuni ca Domnul sa le dea putere sa urmeze adevarata cale.
DUMINICA 7 MARTIE
Zi libera. Astazi am vizitat catacombele subterane din perioada inchizitiei (ordinul Franciscan). Catacombele se afla in subteranul bisericii Francisc D’ Assissi. Pentru toate acestea ii dam slava Dumnezeului celui viu caci fara ajutorul Lui noi nu am fi putut face nimic si toate eforturile noastre ar fi fost in zadar. Multumim celor care ne-au incurajat, ajutat si s-au rugat pentru noi.
Incolo, fratii mei, tot ce este adevarat, tot ce este vrednic de cinste, tot ce este drept, tot ce este curat, tot ce este vrednic de iubit, tot ce este vrednic de primit, orice fapta buna, si orice lauda, aceea sa va insufleteasca. (Filipeni 4:8)


Bolivia/Peru

Bolivia/Peru Trip Report

March 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name that is above every name, the precious Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have just returned from a two-week trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Lima, Peru.

BOLIVIA. The first week I joined with a medical missions team of 28, many of which were out of my home church, Maranatha Chapel. We set up a medical clinic near Santa Cruz, Bolivia with the team seeing over 1100 patients there in four days and I also visited one prison. The medical team had brought with them a team of doctors and nurses as well as medicine that was given to people without charge. My role was to lead the Spiritual Clinic where I presented the Gospel and prayed with each patient after the doctors had seen them and before they were given their prescriptions. This was an evangelized area but each non-Christian heard the Gospel and 95% of them (199 men, women and children) prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior. It was a privilege to see the transformations that took place with tears, repentance and joy with person after person who heard the message of hope, many for the first time.

On Sunday night, we spoke at a church near the worksite and I sensed “life” as soon as I walked through the doors. With wonderful anticipation, the Power of the Holy Spirit filled the church and a powerful message of submission to God went forth. The church was filled with the team from the U.S., Bolivians and Guarani Indians. At the altar call, almost all of the Bolivians and Guarani responded with weeping and crying out to God. There was a demonic manifestation in one of the Guarani women who had come to the altar. Pastor Jessie Nuñez and I prayed with her for deliverance.

In addition, I was able to enter the Palmasola prison with a team of 5 Bolivian men who worked with me at the Spiritual Clinic. As I walked the dusty road from the front gate to the men’s section of the prison, I found myself becoming very discouraged. It was hot, the rest of the team was enjoying their free day and I was very tired from the work of the week. I found myself thinking, “The rest of the team thinks I’m crazy for going into these prisons on our off day and maybe I am. I don’t want to go in here. I’ll just give a ten-minute presentation and be on my way and I won’t put my heart into it.” Then, when I was about a hundred yards away, I saw one of the many inmates standing at the gate begin to jump up and down when he saw us coming. Then I heard, “Brother, remember me! Soto Prison in Madrid!”

This inmate had been in that prison in Spain when we ministered there May of 2002. He was so excited and encouraged that God had sent me to Palmasola to minister to him that he couldn’t stop jumping up and down. I gave him a Bible but also told him I didn’t want to see him in any another prison somewhere else in the world. Of course, this was also God’s way of uplifting me and we had a tremendous service with 36 men attending and 24 praying to receive Christ. I preached my heart out. At the end of the service, I arranged for my little team of 5 to be able to return with the local pastor for a three-day revival service in the prison and possible weekly ministry there as well.

PERU. In Lima, Peru, I joined with 2 other men from the U.S. composed of Cook County Jail volunteers John Janks and Constantin Lupancu. Both of them preached in all four of the prisons we visited. We also worked with Peruvian members of a prison ministry group named: “Jesus Christ Breaks the Chains” and we also conducted two days of the Prison Training Seminar with almost 100 in attendance. Additionally, we participated in a three-day Regional Congress conducted by Remar (a teen challenge type of ministry headquartered and founded in Spain by Spaniards). The countries represented were: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela. I was invited to preach all three days including the Saturday meeting at the National Stadium (soccer stadium) with an official attendance of 7,000.

Monday. We traveled 2½ hours to Aucallama prison (650 male inmates) in Hudral, near the ocean. First, we ministered to about 25 inmates who were in “the hole” and many prayed for a changed life. Then, we ministered to about 125 in the exercise yard for about 3 hours. About 30 responded to the altar call. We had permission to take photos and even made a videotape of the service.

Tuesday. This day, we visited Lurigancho prison (7,700 male inmates) in Lima. Again, we started in “the hole” with about 150 inmates there. There were a series of 15 cells side by side each measuring about 10’x10′ with 10 inmates in each cell. Two beds per cell and no bathroom. We used a bullhorn and I presented the plan of salvation to them all simultaneously. Many hands were extended through the bars at the end in response to the Hope of Salvation and Redemption. Then, we went to the “drug unit” which consisted of about 150 men in one room large enough to have the floor covered with the mattresses they slept on. These were not recovering drug addicts. They were active addicts many under the influence of the drugs during our visit. Drugs are constantly brought into the prison. It was difficult to spiritually penetrate the cloud of drugs but God did get through, we believe, to about a dozen who prayed and testified of their belief that their lives were now different since they heard and believed the message given.

Wednesday. Our journey today took us to the Santa Monica prison (700 female inmates) in Chorrillos. We spoke in the visiting area so that many inmates and visitors were able to hear the Gospel presentation. Some there are members of the terrorist organization The Shining Path. Also, there were inmates from Holland, Canada and South Africa so they were glad to hear the messages from Constantin and John in English. Many were weeping and open to the life-changing message of Christ. That evening, we had the first of a two-part seminar on Prison Ministry with almost 100 in attendance. This was one of the most receptive and enthusiastic groups to attend a Chaplains for Christ training seminar.

Thursday. Today, we traveled to Sarita Colonia prison (2000 male inmates) in Callao. We were told before we left for the prison that we would all be denied access but maybe we could talk with the director of the prison when we arrived. Then, a miracle: although our Peruvian volunteers were not allowed into the prison, John, Constantin and I went in with 100 full Bibles and 150 Gospels of John. The inmates in Maximum Security (mostly foreigners) had prepared their exercise yard with chairs, invited inmates from other pavilions, baked a cake on our behalf and prepared a program for us. They had been waiting since 8 AM and we were not allowed in until 1 PM.
During the initial visitor search, the guards took our passports but forgot to ask us for our other forms of identification so I carried in my Cook County Sheriff’s badge and I.D., which I had to leave at the gate of the other prisons. Each prison in each country has different entry requirements. Finally, we stood before the director’s office waiting for an audience. When he finally opened the door and saw us, he quickly tried to close the door in our faces saying he did not have time to talk with us. Before he could close the door, I flashed my gold star. Suddenly, he opened the door, had us sit down and was quite cordial. What door God opens, no man can close.
The director carefully looked at my credentials and said “Captain” (actually, it says Chaplain) and I explained where I worked and in what other countries I had entered the prisons. We asked for permission to go the Maximum-security area, bring all of the Bibles and Gospels of John, one of which we had with us and he asked if he could keep. We also gave him a Bible. He then gave us permission to do all that we asked to do for as long as we wanted, but had his assistant take our credentials to the front gate and ask the guards why we had been allowed to enter with our credentials. No group had had been permitted to visit that area for at least the last 17 months.
We had the service in that area with inmates from Peru, Holland, Germany, Portugal, England, West Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Romania. Since most of the inmates spoke better English than Spanish, I preached in English even though I had preached in Spanish in the other prisons. Have you ever seen stoic Hollanders or Germans crying in repentance? We did that day.
Many of them told us that they were truly changed and would never be the same again. A fight broke out between two inmates at the back behind the service but it was quickly quelled. We ate our cake cut by the inmates with a large butcher knife (this is common in Latin countries) and the inmate pastor refused to accept money we offered him for the cake and sodas he had purchase as a blessing for us. He even refused to receive money we offered to send him via the U.S. Embassy. He did agree to accept our offer to buy a guitar, strings, tambourines and 20 full Bibles in English for their church inside the prison. Unbelievable. I have never had an inmate refuse to accept money offered to him. Such wisdom and dedication to the Master.
That night, we had the second session of the training seminar and a dozen people responded at the invitation for prayer for them to enter full-time ministry as chaplains in the prisons. Before we came, there were no prison chaplains in Peru. We are hoping that some of these will fulfill that calling.

Friday. This was the beginning of the Remar Congress. Already, I had been interviewed on the radio and spoken at a church, which was televised and recorded for pastors all over Peru. This morning, I was privileged to be the initial speaker and was given an hour to preach to 500 in attendance. I sensed such a mighty anointing from the Lord and sensed that this was one of the most powerful messages He had even given through me. I challenged the group at the conclusion to come to altar to dedicate themselves to getting prepared to proclaim the Gospel whenever and wherever the Lord sends them. Dozens responded and many remarked afterward about how the message had touched them.

Saturday. This was the day of the Adoration, Praise, and Prayer Celebration at the Soccer Stadium with Latino singers from Bolivia, Peru, Spain and the U.S. I was given 10 minutes (I took 17) and the only other speaker was the founder of Remar, Pastor Miguel Diaz. I spoke on the parable of the one lost sheep and encouraged those who had lost their way to return to the Lord who would speedily recover them from their sins and return them to fellowship with Himself. The ushers told me that many responded to the message but all I could see was faceless people as my words echoed throughout the stadium. The official attendance was 7,000 in a stadium that holds 45,000.

Sunday. Free day and we visited underground catacombs of a Franciscan order.

Other Congress activities were canceled.

For all of this, we praise the Living God without Whom we could do nothing and all efforts are in vain. Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement.

“… whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” –  Philippians 4:8