Written by Isabel, an All Nations missionary in Central America
My brother was wrongly accused and sent to prison last year. It was a really terrible situation, but eventually the truth was made clear and he was released. God used this difficult situation to turn our attention to a men’s prison.
In Ecuador, Christians had never been given access to minister in this prison before. In addition, families were not allowed to visit the jail. During Christmas 2021, we partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to bring gifts to the children of the prisoners. The wives and children of the prisoners, another ministry partner, and we were allowed to visit for a day.
I chose to go also because I was sure God would watch me – I assured Fernando, my husband, I would be ok. The other man who came with us had a panic attack because of the prison, but my husband and I were filled with courage and boldness and were excited for this opportunity to share the gospel.
Hungry for Jesus
One of the members of our church had asked if we would find her brother. We looked for him and discovered he was inside, where we were not allowed to go. We got permission for him to come out. He talked with me and I shared the gospel clearly. He cried and cried. This was the response of so many prisoners to whom we talked.
When it was the time for the program, Fernando had 10 minutes to share with all the prisoners. He shared the gospel. 80 men received Christ right then, and 120 children! My husband doesn’t usually cry, but when he finished he said, “I know a lot of you feel alone. If you want a hug, don’t let me leave before I give you a hug.” One of the prisoners ran to him and hugged and cried with him for five minutes.
How We Got Here
We are both from Ecuador. Fernando’s father was American and he was born in the States, but we both grew up here. We went to college in the US, and wanted to return to Ecuador as missionaries. Every mission agency we approached said that we couldn’t raise funds with them to return to Ecuador. We were friends with a woman who worked with All Nations, and she introduced us to Mary Ho, who is now the International Executive Leader (then she led the Kansas City Hub). She was amazing and had no problem with us being from Ecuador.
Without the support of All Nations and the ability to partner with people in the US, we could not be doing the work we are doing in Ecuador. We could say so much when we are asked what we love about All Nations. They are more than our mission sending organization, they are our family. They trained us, sent us, support us, and take care of us. I have cried with them many times when I’ve been going through hard times.
Pray with us for more opportunities to return to the prison! We would like to start a prison ministry, as the need is great. Pray also because we have recently been targeted and had to leave the country for a while. Pray for our churches to remain faithful to Jesus.
Partner with us to train more believers like Isabel who will make Jesus known boldly where others won’t go. Join us to make Jesus known across the street and around the globe at our annual fundraiser dinner. Further Together 2022: Making Jesus Known, is on September 16, 2022!
Interested in getting equipped yourself to make Jesus known? Check out our Storytelling Workshop to learn about the relational way method we train missionaries to engage others in spiritual conversations. Also check out our full list of Upcoming Trainings.