“When you gave me this Bible, I was going to put it away in its plastic wrapping and keep it as a memento. I told God that I was never going to be one of those people carrying around a Bible everywhere.”
Eddy was being honest as he told us his story, there in the classroom of the maximum security prison in Izalco, surround by his fellow gang members. “I told God over and over that I didn’t want this, to be walking around carrying a Bible, but then one night I broke down and wept. I wept for 3 days. Then finally I walked over to the church, which I said I would never go into, and I thought that the brothers would be surprised to see me, but they weren’t. They said they had been praying for me and they knew I would come”.
“I’ve read 3 books of the Bible already, and I’m going to keep reading until I finish it. What I thought before was that Christianity was for the weak, but now I see that it is not. Being a Christian is for the brave people. I’m a tough guy, and getting beat up doesn’t really affect me”, he continued, “and I know that there will be trials ahead, but I won’t give up”.
“I know it is a process that I am in, and I can’t change everything overnight, especially when it comes to accepting a man from another gang. That would be hard for me, mostly because I have harmed them so badly. I got into the gang when I was eleven, and since then I have done some terrible things. God is changing me, but it won’t happen overnight.”
We were moved by Eddy’s testimony. The guard who was watching the class on the other side of the chain link was also moved. He had been rescued from alcoholism and shared his own testimony with the prisoners.
As we left the prison, I marveled again at the simple power of the Word of God. It all started with the gift of a Bible.
This amazing testimony is from Barbara Rowe, one of our missionaries in El Salvador. Barbara also shares their need for increased financial support. For example, they are in need of $ 130 to purchase guitars for their newest youth center. $ 600 to support a youth center coordinator for Punto Juvenil for 6 months. $ 250 to send youth on a spiritual retreat to learn more about God. $ 270 to provide Bibles to women who are incarcerated with their childrenl, and donations of any amount to support the purchase of books and Bible references for libraries in the prisons and youth centers.
Are you able to help continue and expand God’s work in El Salvador?
To provide for any of these needs, please click HERE and select ‘Work Funds’ from the drop down menu.