Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Things Come To And End

Our mission work here in Macas came to an end this morning, and what a special day this was. Today was our last day in the prison and we had a little over an hour to finish what we felt was needed to make sure our work would last after we leave.We wanted to go over the evangelism tools with them and leave them with bibles and all the teaching materials we had used with them. Leaders needed to be commissioned to be responsible for the continuation of the ministry to the lost and the building up of the body.

About 28 men had gathered and we began as usual with prayer and worship. Oh how I wish you could have seen these men (prisoners) worship. I don’t think of them as convicts anymore, but as brothers. My second translator Daniel, led the worship with a borrowed a guitar and they sang with all their hearts. I explained to them my sadness that we would not see them again and re-emphasized their responsibility to fulfill Christ commission to make disciples there in their world.

We demonstrated the Evangecube and one of the new leaders took a turn presenting it himself in front of the group. I had them write down Scriptures to read beginning with the book of Acts to learn how Jesus built His church. I warned them that Satan would try to destroy what God had done this week and often does it by tempting us to be angry or jealous with each other. I told them to write down Matthew Ch 18 and to resolve all conflicts using this passage. I gave them the passages from 1 Tim and Titus that describe the type of man a church leader should be and told them they should choose a number of men from their group that meet these qualifications who will take responsibility to gather the group for worship, prayer and study of God’s word.

We then appointed the 12 most faithful men as the core leadership and all laid hands on them to pray for them and commission them for their responsibility. I almost could not lead the prayer as I thought about Paul leaving behind the churches he had labored over. The love in that room was so powerful that had to choke back the tears. After the closing prayer I gave all the materials to the man I considered the most trustworthy, Abraham is his name, and whispered to him that we were leaving the church in his hands.

Our translators had a bus to meet but they would not let us leave, each one telling us goodbye and hugging us over and over several times and wanting pictures taken with them. Even though I could not understand the words no translation was needed. You could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice and feel it in their touch. Hard neck hugs with these prisoners was more precious than I can describe. An older man named Juan (John) presented me with a beautiful wooden jewelry chest he had made in the prison wood shop and wanted a picture taken with him giving it to me.

They hugged us all the way to the front gate where we had to face the final goodbye. I was emotionally drained and breathless but full of joy that a church had been born. The local pastor, Hulio Dos Santos, will have a great group of men to shepherd.

Your prayers have been used by God, make no mistake. This would not have happened without the fervent prayers you were making on our behalf and theirs. Thank you so much. I will never forget this.

posted by Jim Entrekin

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making Disciples in Prison

Today was entirely devoted to finishing the training of disciples in the prison for my team. There are others who were not with us today because it was visiting day for their families. It is not like American jails. The wives and children are allowed to come into the prison yard and mingle.

We (translators Stephano and Daniel, and me) finished the 3rd and 4th lessons in discipleship dealing with how to live in victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, and the Lordship of Christ over every part of our lives. I know these are convicts and lawbreakers, but you would never have guessed it if you had been sitting in the room with us today. You would have felt right at home with them and never thought about being in a prison. we are at home with them now. most all the inmates are cordial and friendly and make us feel welcome. It is like we are an accepted part of life there now.

These men love the Lord. They are committed to living for Jesus and excited about their faith. They love studying the Bible and are hungry for more. And what is most touching, they love us and we love them.

We will have maybe 2 hours with them tomorrow morning before we have to leave. Please pray that God will give us wisdom and will make our last hour with them a very special spiritual time, that we will establish clear leadership roles for them, and that they will have a vision for reaching their families and the rest of the inmate population for Christ. I have explained to them that they are the body of Christ in this prison and that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. I have told them that Jesus command is for them to make disciples in their Jerusalem which is Macas prison, Most of them have broken families and pending divorces because of their failures. They have asked for prayer to restore these hurts and rifts. And pray that they will remain faithful to Christ for the rest of their lives. Pray for pastor Hulio from the local church and his follow up ministry with them.

Thank you and please keep praying,

posted by Jim Entrekin

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Satan Thinks He Has Victory

San Luis, a Shuar Indian village, was visited by our team yesterday where souls were won to Christ and children learned of Jesus' love for them. When our team arrived today complete with the eye team and haircutter, we were met by a village leader who said we did not have permission to be in the village and would have to leave. After much discussion and no headway, we called taxis to come back and get us. The hearts of our team that worked there yesterday were broken. Pray for the village of San Luis to open for the pastor to return. Satan thinks he has the victory, but we and the few Christians in that village know who really wins.

Adventures in the jungle

It's been an eventful day. Lots of hiking through the jungle to find cows teathered to the junbgle floor. Lots of children handing me bugs to play with. Walking sticks and the like. We walked by a pen of 4 youngpigs in what seemed like no where special just jungle. Gave vitamin injections to various cows and then on the return the girl walking with me noted that two of the pigs had run away. Will they return I asked. No clear answer. Yes just another day in the jungle. Lunch with the people from city hall. Meeting with the mayor. Prayed with the mayor about upcomming recall election. rode around in the muni buss all day. Pulled the placental membranes out of a cow. Had a little jungle confrence with two medics about a horse that fell and broke its neck. Drank jungle leaf tea and ate roasted chicken fire roasted in jungle leaves. -best meal yet. Just another day in Paublo sexto.

In Prison

Today I presented the gospel to a group of 50 prisoners who gathered around us to hear in the prison yard.

I believe around 40 of them raised their hands that they wanted to receive Jesus as Lord and Mater of their lives and trust only in Him for forgiveness of their sins and eternal. My team leader Beau Cottrell and I took 20 each to start teaching them to be disciples of Jesus.

My translator Stephano and I ended up teaching them in a cell block to escape the rain where we were locked in with the prisoners. They were very excited to study the Bible and were very eager to answer questions and join the discussion. We matched each of them with an accountability partner and challenged them to take responsibility for telling the rest of the prisoners about Jesus and eternal life. I say "we" because Stephano my interpreter did another fantastic job of helping them understand all I said. Later in the day we helped one of the new disciples lead what we call an "I am second" Bible discovery group with some other prisoners.

Most of the 6 men who trusted Christ on Sunday ended up in Beau's discipleship group and were given a great foundation for their spiritual growth.

Michael was in a different part of the area today and witnessed to a young girl who trusted Christ. He also witnessed to the owner of the local (illegal) cock fighting ring and the village big shot. He was raised Catholic but thanked Michael for coming to his town and is apparently getting close to giving his life to Christ.

I will be in the prison for the rest of the week so please keep praying that a committed leadership core will be established in this prison. We did not know it but while we were there one of the prisoners slashed his wrists. I don't know if he lived or died.

Thank you for praying,

posted by Jim Entrekin

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Amazing Day

Today was an amazing day. My team- Jason Jarvis, Michelle Jarvis, Candice Jarvis, and myself, Karter Wiser- worked in a town called Pablo Sexto. Today was a very big day for Candice and I because it was her first time sharing the cube, and my first time leading someone in prayer. Michelle worked with the eye clinic. She evangelized a remarkable number of people. It was a very interesting and rewarding day, to say the least. So many people came to know Jesus as their Savior, and i am so blessed to have been able to help with that. I thank God for all he has done in this town, and I know there is more to come this week.

Mission in Macas

The rain here steadily falls
You can see thru torn down walls
Too much poverty on the streets
Not enough food for them to eat
The men are hard at work
While their children play in dirt
As our team walks thru the slums
We stick out like sore-thumbs
The most beautiful thing of all
Is that Christ's love is our great draw
We share the wonderful story
Of Jesus and His glory
They cautiously hear God's word
His Truth for once is heard
They pray for forgiveness and love
And receive eternity in heaven above
We rejoice with them in praise
For they're a new creation today
It's a joy to be on mission
To be under God's submission
As we continue to share the gospel
Please pray for a great revival
posted by Jennifer Neugent Thomason