Tagged: bolivia

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