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Ministry Updates

Beatriz and Jaime's Story

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There is a saying among many Christians in Ecuador that it is very difficult to share the gospel with older adults. They are deeply rooted in their traditional beliefs and rarely are they willing to listen to the gospel. But the reality is different in Salamina, Ecuador.

María was trained with Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) on how to plant a healthy church and Jaime and Beatriz are examples of God's faithfulness in this community as a result. This elderly couple believes it is never too late for Word of God to speak to the deepest part of a person.

BeatrizJaimeFor Jaime, it was very special to hear about Christ from María and is even more grateful that there is a place where he can continue learning.

"I like to come to worship services because it is a light in my life and God takes away all the weight I had in my soul—I feel liberated," he says. Jaime reads the Bible and his heart fills with happiness.

God's blessings have been evident in their home as well. For a few years, he had left Beatriz, but he learned he should return to her. "Beatriz let me come back and I renewed my vows to her."

Beatriz is thankful for the change she has seen in their son and for a church in her community. "That is where I meet God and we continue forward together. My husband and I are excited to be following this path."

Jaime and Beatriz' testimony is just one of thousands of lives being impacted by the Holy Spirit. Maria is confident that every Bible study is planting the Word of God and in time it will bring a great harvest.

Carlos' Story

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Revenge consumed Carlos' mind. His father had been killed and he was determined to avenge his death. At 16, he discovered where he could best carry out his plans—a gang. The beating Carlos received to join the group didn't even phase him. It couldn't compare to the bitterness and anger he harbored against the people who killed his father.

But as Carlos spent more time in the gang, he came to see that the rules they lived by were also used against them. There was no mercy shown to anyone. After Carlos learned that his father's killers had died, he wanted to leave the gang. It seemed impossible and Carlos began to feel desperate.

"I was crying and felt they were going to kill me," Carlos shares with a shaking voice. He had just held one of his friends while he died from a gunfight with another powerful gang in El Salvador. Carlos was surprised he had survived the fight because he could feel the bullets as they shot by him. He recognizes that it was God's hand protecting him.

Carlos' Story

After watching his friend die, Carlos gathered his courage and decided to leave the gang. He knew he could not approach the gang leader and instead asked Edwin, the pastor and church planter of his zone, for help. It was Edwin who went to talk to the leaders of the gang and told them that Carlos had given his life to Christ and they should let him go. They accepted the decision.

"They respect the things of God just as we respect the gangs," Carlos says. God freed Carlos from his life of killing. His wife Dora has seen the transformation God has done in him and is thankful Carlos will be able to watch his four-month-old son grow up.

"God is the only one who has been able to transform me, and He did it. I feel content and different," says Carlos, now 18. His life is a testimony for other members of his ex-gang. They recognize that transformation is possible.

Now Carlos and his wife serve in the Church of God in the community of San Vicente, El Salvador. He is working with a group of young people and older people to learn the Word of God. Even as he leads, it has been vital for his spiritual journey to have Edwin encouraging him and discipling him.

Esther's Story

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My name is Esther and I'd like to share my story. Thursday, October 9, 2014 will forever live in my memory. My husband had just abandoned me. I was nine months pregnant. I had little hope of giving birth safely as no single week of my pregnancy had passed without my husband beating me. Once he had beaten me until I was unconscious and left me laying on the floor. My neighbor rescued me.

In the wake of his abandonment and his abuse, my spirit was weak. Why was I going through this? Will I even be able to give birth successfully?

With thoughts like these filling my mind, the shaking began at 8 pm. I was in intense pain and bleeding. There was no one around to help. I thought I was going to die along with my unborn child. In my haze of pain, I heard someone knock on the door. I couldn't muster up the strength to tell the visitor to come in. A man I had never seen before came in but I couldn't have done anything to stop him.

He slowly walked in and stopped when he saw me. His shock at finding me like that was evident. He immediately helped me up and took me to the hospital. There I received treatment and eventually gave birth to the most beautiful twins—Joyce and Emmanuel.

Esther and Pastor CharlesA few days later, while I was still recovering in the hospital, the same man who had brought me there came back to visit. He introduced himself as Pastor Charles Mulale and that he was a church planter who God had sent to plant a church in our village. That Thursday evening, he had been going from hut to hut sharing the gospel and he believes it was no coincidence that he came to my hut during my time of need.

Pastor Charles shared the gospel with me and I gave my life to Jesus at that very moment. I will never forget the peace that filled my heart that day knowing there is a God who cares for me and loves me. I cannot express how thankful I am that Pastor Charles was obedient to God's call to come to my village and plant a church. God has already used him to save my life and my children's in more ways than one—praise His holy name!

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