Saturday, July 21, 2018

ARE YOUR STRUGGLING WITH YOUR SINS AND WITH YOUR SINFUL PAST?




                    In this blog post I want to share part of a lesson that I recently prepared for one of my discipleship classes in Juarez, Mexico.  A lot of people are haunted by the sins of the past and cannot let them go.  Others have a problem giving up their sin life totally.  Although they want to stop, they always fall back to the same thing and they continually repeat that which they hate.  Their sin is destroying them and their loved ones.  They feel that their sin is far to evil for God to forgive.  My hope and prayer is that this post will help you.  Maybe you know of someone with this sin struggle.  If you know of such a person you may want to share this with them and help them rise up and get a brand new start.  Of course this is not a book, it's just a short blog.  A whole lot more than what I share here can be said.  But hopefully this will be a start.  I suggest to those who are struggling with sin to follow this up by confession (to God, Christian friends, a pastor, or anyone that you confide in), seek forgiveness (including forgiving yourself), and seek further help.  You CAN be set free; there IS hope!!!  Get your bible out now and find the scriptures listed on this post.

Probably the most quoted Bible verses used in churches, books, teachings, etc. were written by the Apostle Paul under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Before Paul knew anything about Jesus he persecuted Christians, brought them before the authorities, and many of them died under his direction.  Yet God arranged for this man who wanted the destruction of God's own people to come to know Him (read Acts chapter 9).  God had a plan for Paul and He has a plan for you (see Jeremiah 29:11).  God changed Paul so radically that He even changed his name (his name used to be Saul).  Paul became the greatest figure in the life of the early church.  And his contribution to God's Kingdom continues today even though he died about 2,000 years ago.  So don't believe the lie that you are hopeless.  


Satan is a liar. He is called the father of lies by Jesus (John 8:44) and he will try to convince you that you have no hope, no forgiveness, and no future.  But Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and He came to set you free from the devil's trap and his lies.  He came to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8).  Jesus will forgive you and purify you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  The Apostle Paul wrote that there is THEREFORE no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1; I suggest you read Romans chapters 7 and 8).  The Gospel (defined as the Good News) is filled with such scriptures (especially in the New Testament).  Don't listen to the Devil's lies, listen to God's truth.  After all, who has the final word?



Let me paint you a picture.  You're standing under the cross of Jesus, who is God in the flesh.  His blood is running down the cross and falling to the ground.  His lifeless body was the payment made for your sins (Romans 6:23).  He had no sin.  You believe and accept His sacrifice as the offering for your sins, ALL of your sins.  You hear the Father's voice from Heaven. He asks you, "Did you commit murder"?  Now you can point to the body of Jesus and say, "No, it was He who did it".  The Father can ask about your adultery, your stealing, your lies, and an endless list of every imaginable sin that you have committed.  And to each and every single one of the questions you can answer the same way:  No, it wasn't me, it was He who did it.  That's what it means when we say that Jesus took our sins upon Himself.  And it gets even better (for us).  There is a trade off.  Our sins are taken on by Jesus and we take on His righteousness.  When God looks at you it's as if He looked into a mirror.  He sees His own righteousness.  Through Christ we have become the righteousness of God.  

☺GOD MADE HIM WHO HAD NO SIN TO BE SIN FOR US, SO THAT IN HIM WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (2 Corinthians 5:21; see also Romans 3:21-31).  
We receive all this by faith (believing) and because of God's great love for us (John 3:16).  Do you believe that your sins are too great, too terrible for God to forgive you?  Then what you believe is that your sins are greater than the power of the blood of Jesus.  No, my friend, the blood of Jesus is the most powerful thing on Earth.  Through your faith in Jesus you will become a son of God.  Not all are sons of God.  We are all created by God, but not all are sons.  Those who do not believe in God and do not serve Him are sons of Satan (John 8:44).  I would not want to be a son of Satan.  I used to be, but not anymore.  Ask the Lord to open up your eyes that Satan has blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4), then you will understand and know the truth.  And then you will be set free!!  And you will no longer want to live in sin.  No son of God purposely sins.  Our sinful nature is gone; taken away by the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will live in you and direct you in your new life as a son of God.  You will love Jesus so much that you will no longer desire to sin to keep mounting your sins upon the body of Jesus.
  
If you want God to forgive you, first you need to repent.  Ask Him to remove your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Ask Him to take away the desire of sin as He comes in to live in you.  Ask Him to give you a hunger for his word and therefore increase your faith (Romans 10:17).  As the Holy Spirit to help you live this new life in Christ.  Ask Him to help others forgive you.  And thank him for making you a new creation...your past no longer exists but you are new a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  You have been born again (John 3:3).  Now go tell others about the new you.  Not all will accept you but that's alright.  Remember Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy but Jesus came that you may have life (John 10:10). Abundant life!!!  


Please send me your comments on the comments section below. 



Welcome to the family of God.

Daniel Torres  


      As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1‭-‬8‭, ‬10 NIV



Monday, July 16, 2018

SEVEN YEARS IN CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO...




                In a couple of weeks I'll reach the 7 year mark of serving in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  No missionary ever forgets their departure from what they used to call home to the new residence appointed to them by the Lord.  When the departure date is finally set there comes a flood of innumerable feelings, and sentiments.  A missionary needs to know that he has heard the voice of God without question or there will be many problems.  Even when a missionary is 100% sure of his call the enemy's voice is always there with every imaginable question and doubt.  The departure then becomes a great test of faith.  I recall pulling all my worldly belongings in a rental trailer for 995 miles from Searcy, Arkansas to El Paso, Texas (from there I would then cross into Juarez, Mexico).  It seemed that the enemy's voice challenged me every mile traveled.  The more I traveled the more I had to rebuke that voice and reassure myself that I had heard the voice of God.  I had left behind many securities of life, but I wasn't sure what would happen to me once I reached what was then called the most dangerous city in the world.  Before my departure most people that I knew were very kind and supportive.  I left with their promise to pray for me, which meant more to me than gold.  But there were very few that challenged me.  They disagreed with what I was doing.  I heard one accusation of leaving just to get attention.  I heard another accusation of being irresponsible.  Another accused me of abandoning my daughters.  But in the end every accusation made me even stronger as I trusted only the Lord's voice.  Every accusation made my obedience to the Lord even stronger and more determined.  It was a good thing that as I departed I burned every bridge that would take me back to Searcy.  There was absolutely no going back.  But yet the bridge ahead of me seemed very insecure, wobbly, uncertain, and dangerous.  But I knew that I knew that the Lord had me in the palm of His hand.  I often compare my moving to Mexico to an Indiana Jones movie I once saw.  His father was shot so that Indiana Jones would have no choice but to search for the holy grail whose powers would bring instant healing to his dad.  Indiana reached a point where a great chasm separated him from his next step.  There was no way he could jump from one point to the next.  The instructions stated that he had to take a leap of faith.  The love for his father caused him to take the leap.  So he raised one leg and when he set it down into nothingness an invisible bridge connected him across to the place where he would find the grail.  That's exactly how I felt.  I felt at times that I was taking a step into nothingness but the Lord's hand has under-girded me for seven years.  It was my love for the Father that has made me take steps that a few saw as being crazy and irresponsible.  I'm not upset about those comments that seemed negative because in the end they helped me reach a greater faith.

SOME OF OUR BOOKS IN ENGLISH

I don't think about my years in Juarez without thinking about Covenant Fellowship Church in Searcy, Arkansas.  The church people and its leaders have done more for me and the work that I've been able to do in Juarez than anything I could have ever imagined.  Without them the work would have been impossible.  I thank the Lord for the day in which he connected me with such wonderful and godly people.  Unfortunately Covenant Fellowship had to close its doors about 18 months ago but the work we started in Juarez as a team will always remain and the fruits of our labor will always be reproducing themselves in this needy city until the Lord returns.  


Many things have taken place in these seven years.  Many I don't write about because many people would not believe them.  But those who have sown into this work will one day know "the rest of the incredible story".  




SOME OF OUR BOOKS IN SPANISH
Now I want to mention a few recent projects that my wife Blanquita and I have been working on.  We continue to work with a girl's refuge in Juarez, Casa De Jovencitas. This ministry takes in young women (currently the age variance is from 11 to 19) whose lives have been in danger due to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, rebellion, and all the evils in the city.  There is a constant flow of these young ladies and the ministry usually keeps about 45 at a time.  The maximum number they can accommodate is about 60, but due to finances 45 is the limit at present.  They stay for 6 months to a year, but some who have been there for 5 to 12 years do not want to leave.  They become helpers in the ministry.  As with any other ministry in Juarez we have dealt with girls who came in demon-possessed, but due to the power of Jesus' name they were set free.  Aside from Bible studies (recently we finished a study from Genesis to Revelations that lasted over a year) we have started them reading books about the lives of great men and women who dedicated themselves to the Lord and have done amazing things in this world.  We normally start with the life of Dr. Ben Carson and go from there to missionaries, inventors, and Christians who have suffered greatly for their faith.  We take time to discuss the books with each individual.  This has helped to open up the world to them and they also learn of life in other nations.  We also use the stories to give them renewed hope, greater vision for their future, and the gift of knowing that we can accomplish anything with the Lord.  We are using the books in other ministries as well.  I have purchased some books that are for children with great interest shown.  I have purchased some books in English because some of the girls at the refuge can only read in English. 

I'm currently doing some discipleship classes with adults while Blanquita works with young adults, and children.  The results have been wonderful.  We are very pleased with the changes we are seeing in the lives of these people.  They are praying and are experiencing the power of prayer as God answers their petitions.  Besides other speaking opportunities I am committed to speaking at one particular church every Friday night and we are seeing the mighty hand of God move in many lives.  Many couples who have just been living together for years are now planning their wedding.  Living together without the benefit of marriage has become the norm down here, even with girls 12 years old.  It's not uncommon for a 13 year old to be a single mother.  Thank God for changed hearts.

PRECIOUS ONES ARE NOW
OFFICIAL
We were so blessed recently when we were able to help four young people get their birth certificates, which allows them to attend school next fall.  Many parents don't bother to register their children at birth.  It's as if they don't exist.  As a result they can't get into school, vote, or get a job.  The fee that the government puts on them for a late birth certificate increases with each passing year.  Three of these kids recently saw their father and older brother shot to death in their own home.  We reached out to them as they lived in extreme poverty.  When we found out that they had never been to school we decided to do something.  A fourth little boy was living with his grandmother because his parents had been killed.  But the grandmother passed away.  We were able to financially help a Pastor and his wife adopt the boy, get his birth certificate, and get his life moving.  All four were so excited about getting their birth certificates that they hugged us and thanked us for helping them become "legal".  All four are getting ready to attend school next fall and we have already provided their school supplies for them as well as other needy kids. And when I say "we", I include those who help support the work here in Juarez.  Thank you so much for your support.

Oh, another thing that we were involved with recently was helping a dozen adults clean out the stones in their gallbladders.  Yes, the Mexican diet leads to the growth of gall stones.  It is said that 60% of all surgeries in Mexico are gallbladder related.  In seven years I've  been able to assist over 60 people in Mexico clean out their gallbladder, including a few that were scheduled for surgery.  All our twelve participants passed the stones.  The treatment also cleanses out kidneys stones as well.  It's always a lot of fun listening to the testimonies of those who now have a clean gallbladder.  About a year ago I helped a Pastor to rid himself of the gall stones but his surgeon insisted on surgery.  I recommended that he get a second opinion but he decided to have the surgery that he didn't need.  The drainage tube that the physician inserted in his body got infected, causing many issues that they could not correct.  In a few weeks the Pastor died from the infections.  Sometimes while talking to people who needed this treatment has led to their salvation as they accepted Jesus as Savior.  We serve an amazing God.

Thank you all for these wonderful seven years. 

Thanks again to all who have helped in supporting God's work in Juarez, Mexico.  The Lord will be leading me into other nations soon.  I had the privilege of ministering to congregations and in Pastor conferences in Cuba about 3 years ago.  I know that doors to other nations will also open up soon.  Churches or individuals feeling the call to help support the work in Juarez may reach me at the numbers below or leave a message at the end of this blog entry.   

Blessings to everyone.  Shalom. Please pray for Israel and for Juarez.


Daniel Torres
501-827-7679
d_torres53@yahoo.com       

P. S.  Double click on pictures to enlarge.



Saturday, June 30, 2018

CONFESIONES DE UNA AMA DE CASA EN CIUDAD JUÁREZ, MÉXICO

Muchas veces el trabajo de misionero en Ciudad Juárez, México nos trae situaciones tristes y difíciles. Hace tiempo una de las mujeres que asiste a una de las clases de discipulado donde somos maestros, nos entregó unos papeles donde ella escribió su testimonio. Ella apenas tiene cuatro meses de haber aceptado a Jesucristo como su Señor y Salvador. Pero en esos cuatro meses su vida ha cambiado mucho. Hoy su deseo es seguir cambiando para su nuevo Señor. Aunque su vida ha sido muy triste, ella ahora se goza de una nueva esperaza en Cristo Jesús. Su sonrisa lo dice todo. Compartimos su testimonio tal como ella lo escribió. Nuestro deseo, y el de ella, es que otros puedan aprender de sus sufrimientos y no repetirlos. Aquí le presentamos su testimonio: 


Mi mamá tenía 13 años cuando se juntó en unión libre con mi papá. Mi papá tenía 24 años. Mi mamá me contó que eran muy pobres en su familia y que la de mi papá también. Ellos vivían en Parral, Chihuahua. Mi mamá se embarazó y decidieron venir a Juárez a trabajar. Y aquí encontraron una vecindad y rentaron un cuarto pequeño. Cuando mi mamá iba a dar a luz no tenían dinero y decidieron hablarle a mi abuela y bisabuela para que le ayudaran en el parto en ese cuarto. Cuando mi mamá se estaba aliviando dice que sentía mucho dolor y cuando sale la cabeza del bebé le dice a mi abuelita que se la cortara y mi bisabuela agarró una barra de árbol y le dijo que pujara sino le iba a pegar porque la cabeza de la bebé ya estaba poniendo morada. Al fin Dios la ayudó y no me paso nada. Mi mama me tuvo un 20 de marzo 1976 y ella iba a cumplir sus 15 años en diciembre. 
Son pocos los recuerdos que tengo de cuando mi mamá estaba con mi papá. Tenía 7 años cuando se separaron. Los pocos recuerdos que tengo empezaron a marcar mi vida. Tendría cuatro o cinco años y me acuerdo que desperté y estaba acostada junto a mi papá. Mi mamá ya se había levantado y estaba en la cocina. Y mi papá tenía una respiración fuerte y tocaba mi cuerpo de una forma inadecuada. El, siempre que no estaba mi mamá lo hacía. Cuando mi mamá decide dejarlo [yo] tenía 7 años. Mi mamá lo dejó porque el no trabajaba. Ella lavaba ropa y limpiaba casas para mantenernos. Mamá se va a vivir a casa de mi abuelita y mi abuelita cuidaba muchos niños, [mis] primos y primas, porque mis tías trabajaban y mi mamá también empezó a trabajar. Mi abuelita tendía muchas cobijas en el piso y todos los niños dormíamos ahí y a los pocos días un primo que es cinco o seis años mayor que yo empieza hacer lo mismo que mi papá. Incluso subía su cuerpo sobre mí. Para mí era algo normal. Mi papá lo había hecho también. Yo fui creciendo con eso. Mi papá nos visitaba y nos llevaba a mi y a mi hermana. Y la mandaba a la tienda y el me manoseaba y así pasaron años. Yo estaba en la escuela, no se si era quinto año o sexto y nos empezaron hablar de los miembros del hombre y la mujer y que nadie podía tocar nuestro cuerpo y fue cuando yo pude darme cuenta de lo que estaba pasando. Tenía yo once años. Y le dije a mi primo ¿Por qué hacía eso? Y me dijo que me callara, que yo me dejaba hacer eso. Y yo le dije que yo pensaba que así tenia que ser. Y le dije que ya no iba a volver a pasar eso. Y me dijo que no le dijera a mi mamá o a mi abuelita porque le iba ir muy mal y a mi me iban a pegar muy feo. Yo me asuste mucho. No sabía si decir o no. Me había tocado ver como mi abuelita agarraba mangueras y le pegaba a todos nosotros. Nunca me pegó pero en ese momento el miedo se apoderó de mí y no pude decir nada.
Mi mamá se juntó de nuevo en unión libre con otra persona y le hizo un cuarto atrás de la casa de mi abuelita. Mi mamá empezó a vender ropa nueva y nos empezó a ir mejor. Y fueron a visitarnos mi tío y tía, hermanos de mi papá. Ya teníamos mucho tiempo sin verlos y me llevaron una cadena con dije porque ya pronto iba a salir de la escuela y nos tomamos muchas fotos. Y me dijo mi mamá que fuera con mi papá a pedirle [dinero para] mis zapatos y le enseñara las fotos que me había tomado con mis tíos y fui. Mi hermana no estaba y no me acompañó ese día. Cuando llegue abrió la puerta mi papá y le enseñé las fotos. Dijo: mira, pásele mija y siéntate ahí en la cama. Cuando entré sentí mucho miedo y comencé a temblar. Y era un verano y mi papa me empezó a ver de una manera muy extraña y se subió arriba de mi y comencé a llorar y a decirle que se quitara y lo empujaba y lo rasguñé de su cara. Al fin tomó conciencia y se quitó de mi. Y me decía que no llorara, que lo perdonara o se iba encajar un cuchillo que traía en la mano y se apuntaba de lado del corazón. Tuve miedo que se matara, deje de llorar y le dije que lo perdonaba y me dejó ir y salí corriendo a mi casa. Mi mamá me decía: que me traía que lloraba como histérica, que era lo que había pasado. Y le dije lo que había pasado y le dije lo que mi papá había intentado hacer. Y me llevó adonde vivía mi papa y le habló  las autoridades y lo detuvieron por intento de violación. Mi mamá tenía que ir a declarar y llevarme pero mi abuelita por parte de mi papa se puso muy mala. Y mi mamá ya no quiso declarar y mi papá salió en dos semanas. Duramos tiempo para verlo. Yo no quería perdonarlo. No mas lo miraban mis tres hermanos. Yo lo empecé a ver cuando tenía mis 15 años. El ya no volvió hacerme nada. Gracias a Dios.
Mi mamá tuvo otros dos niños con su segunda pareja y el señor nos tocaba las piernas a mi y a mí hermana. Le decíamos a mi mama y decía que no era nada malo que el jugaba con nosotros. Eso sucedió en varias ocasiones. Y mi mamá no creía. 
Alteramos mi acta (de nacimiento) y me sacó una carta de identidad y me puse a trabajar en una empresa maquiladora y duré un año trabajando. Empezó a pretenderme un muchacho que vivía cercas de mi casa. Yo no podía platicar bien con ningún hombre. Y siempre caminaba con mi cara agachada. Sentía que todo hombre que me hablaba quería hacerme daño. El muchacho me esperaba cuando salía de trabajar y muy apenas sacaba palabras de mi boca. Al poco tiempo me envolvieron sus palabras y fue a pedirle permiso a mi mamá para que saliera con el. Duramos poco tiempo de novios y me fui a vivir con el. Me llevó a vivir a casa de su mamá. Su familia me quiso mucho. Pero Javier, que era mi esposo era una persona muy violenta y entre mas me trataba mal más quería estar con el. Estaba muy enamorada. Y aunque no me pegaba físicamente sus palabras me herían. El tenía otra novia y la embarazó. El decía que no era hijo de el, que era una mentira que no creyera. Y cuando ella tuvo su bebé yo vivía en la casa de su mamá. Y me dijeron que el miraba a la niña (se miraba como la niña) y le pregunté. Me dijo que todavía no estaba conmigo cuando ella se embarazó. Yo me fui a vivir con mi mamá y también iba embarazada. El no se paró en mi casa en casi todo el embarazo. Fue cuando faltaba poco para aliviarme. Y me dijo que me fuera con el y le dije que no podía. El me contestó que entonces la bebé no era de el. Entonces le dije: vete, si mi bebé no es tuya que estas haciendo aquí? Y dijo: si no es mía que se muera. Y yo de coraje le conteste: pues sí. Y me fui llorando para dentro de mi casa. 
Cuando se llegó el tiempo de mi parto mi mama me llevo a una clínica. Era un viernes y me pasé viernes y sábado. Y mi mamá les dijo que ya era mucho tiempo, que me practicaran una cesárea porque la bebé no bajaba. Y decían que me esperara un poquito, que caminara y el domingo hicieron cambio de doctores. Y mi mamá empezó a presionarlos. Y al fin me metieron hacerme una revisión y cuando el doctor puso un aparato en mi barriga el corazón de la bebé se escuchaba muy dilatado y me dijo que me pusiera una bata y empezó a marcar por teléfono al anestesiólogo. Y se tardó mucho. Cuando me realizaron la cesárea la bebé se había asfixiado. Yo dure tres días en la clínica y no me enseñaron a la bebé por ordenes de mi mamá porque no quería que sufriera más. Solo se que a la bebé la llevó Javier su papá a una iglesia católica y que le habían puesto agua bendecida. Y la llevo a sepultar. Cuando salí de la clínica fue mi mamá por mí y me llevó a su casa. Javier no fue a verme. Lo miré hasta los dos meses que salí de mi casa para ir a trabajar. Trabajé cuatro meses y me fui a vivir con el de nuevo. La muchacha que tenía la hija de el se había ido con sus papás y ya no vivía ahí. Yo pensé que iba a mejorar la relación entre el y yo y me embaracé de mi segunda niña. Y el empezó a portarse mal. Se salía de la casa todo el día, no trabajaba y lo peor es que traía dinero. Yo no sabía en que lo ganaba. No teníamos mucha comunicación por el carácter que tenía. Y yo no me atrevía a preguntarle. El usaba también armas.      
Cuando me fui aliviar de mi segunda niña se me subió mucho la presión. Traía muy alto el ritmo cardiaco y me practicaron la cesárea. Le dijeron a mi mama que estaba grave, que si salvaban a mi ó a la bebé. Mi mamá les dijo que a las dos y gracias a Dios todo salió bien. Fue Javier por mí y me llevó a la casa donde vivíamos con su mamá.  Y pasaron ocho meses y llegó una persona a decirnos que la policía se había llevado a Javier. El decía que se habían equivocado pero las pruebas demostraban a lo contrario. Le dieron seis años de prisión. Y yo me puse a trabajar y lo visitaba los domingos. Le llevaba su comida y llevaba también a mi niña. Duré tres años llevando despensa y comida. Yo me cuidaba con pastillas para no encargar. Me empecé a marear y en la enfermería de la empresa me cambiaron las pastillas y a los seis meses me volví a marear y me dijo la enfermera que me iba a ser una prueba de embarazo. Y le dije que no podía estar embarazada. Que yo estaba tomando pastillas anticonceptivas. Dijo: bueno, tu ve a tu área y yo te llevo el resultado. Le dije a mi compañera que no podía estar embarazada. Que era muy riesgoso, que había estado a punto de perder la vida en mi anterior embarazo. De pronto llega la enfermera y me dice felicidades, vas a ser mamá.  Me cayó como balde de agua helada por las condiciones en las que me encontraba. Yo seguí trabajando hasta que me incapacitaron. Llegó en momento de aliviarme de mi tercera niña y me habían programado para cesárea por lo grave de mi anterior parto. Y también le dije que me operaran para no tener mas bebés y así fue. Todo salío bien y no tuve ningún problema. Fue mi suegra por mí. Nos fuimos a la casa. Cuando me repuse fui a llevar la niña con Javier para que la viera. Me dijo que no la sacara tanto y que renunciara a mi trabajo para que las cuidara. Y renuncié a los 15 días. Me dieron mi finiquito y le compré despensa a Javier. Le llevaba comida. Cuando llegué al cerezo (la prisión) le mandé hablar y me dijeron que ahí andaba. Era extraño, solo yo y su mamá lo visitábamos. P ero bueno, empecé a buscarlo y de pronto sale del fondo del pasillo y muy nervioso. Y nos sentamos a lado de la ventana y se miraba por el pasillo donde salían las personas. Y de pronto miro la mamá de la niña que iba saliendo sola. Y le dije a Javier que a que había ido y me dijo que a llevarle la niña pero ella iba sola. Yo le dije que eso era lo último que me hacía. Y me fui a vivir con mi mamá. Ella me cuidó las niñas: Viridiana de 4 años y Jocelin de 3 meses, y empecé a trabajar. Fue un poco duro al principio porque mi niña no estaba impuesta con mi familia. Se quedaba llorando.
Pasaron dos años y nos avisaron que mi papá había muerto de un derrame cerebral. Eso fue muy doloroso. Mi abuelita decía que yo no lo quería porque lo visitábamos muy poco. 
Ahora recuerdo que a mi papá le daban estudio unos hermanos cristianos y me dijo que iba a una iglesia. Y creo que Dios lo perdonó y esta con Él ahora. 
Pasaron otros dos años y yo trabajaba en una empresa de costura. Mi sueldo era bueno y estábamos muy bien. De pronto mi padrastro me ofrece dinero para que le comprara cosas a las niñas. Yo le dije que no necesitaba. Él me miro de una forma muy extraña y le dije a mi mamá. Y me dijo que él solo quería ayudarme y así quedó. Pero él seguía viéndome muy raro. Un fin de semana me dijo que me quería invitar a salir y le dije que si iba a ir mi mamá. Me dijo que no, y en eso llegó mi mama. Él se salió y le dije a mi mamá lo que había dicho. Y me dijo mi mamá que le siguiera la corriente a ver que mas me decía. Y así lo hice y me dijo que me quería llevar a la cabaña. Yo no conocía y le dije (pregunté) ¿qué es eso? es un hotel. Y me dijo el hotel está al lado, y en la mañana te digo que hora. Y le dije: está bien. Y se fue. Y le conté todo a mi mamá. Cuando él llegó mi mamá lo corrió y él se fue. Pasaron dos semanas en que mi mamá casi no comía, no hablaba, alzaba la casa, y dormía la mayor parte del día. Me dijo mi hermano que lloraba mucho por su papá y cuando iba a regresar. Ella me dijo que ya estaba grande (vieja) para trabajar, que como le iba hacer con los niños. Yo le dije que lo perdonara, que por mi no se preocupara. Y él regresó a la casa. Mi mamá me dijo que le iba a decir que me pidiera perdón pero él nunca dijo nada. Mas bien ya me miraba con mucho odio. Y le pregunté a mi mamá que le había dicho él de eso. Y él le dijo que yo lo provocaba y yo le dije, qué ella pensaba de eso. Y me contesto: yo ya no sé ni que pensar. Yo sentí que mi mundo se me acababa en ese momento. Mi mamá estaba dudando de mi. Me dio mucho sentimiento y cuando estaba junto a ella me aguantaba de llorar. Yo quería irme con mis niñas de la casa pero no conocía a nadie que me pudiera ayudar. Yo tenía que trabajar y no tenía confianza de dejar mis niñas con nadie que no fuera mi mamá. Me aguanté pero era muy incómodo cuando nos sentábamos a comer a la mesa. Mi mamá calentaba tortillas y volteo muy de repente a la mesa. Y me miró y miró a su esposo. No podía creer que mi mamá estaba dudando de mi y me estaba cuidando. Ya no quise comer con ellos. Esperaba a que terminaran y ya comía yo. Mi mamá me empezó a decir que mi vestuario estaba mal, que no se me miraba bien. No podía ponerme falda arriba de la rodilla, menos shorts, ni pantalón muy ajustado porque decía que me miraba mal. A la semana me dijo que tenía que renunciar, que ella ya no podía cuidarme las niñas. Y le dije: que iba hacer. Que tenia que trabajar porque tenía las niñas en la escuela y en el kinder. Y me dijo que a ver como le hacía. Yo tenía un mes de noviazgo con Jesús, la persona que ahora es mi esposo. Y el me dijo que me fuera a vivir con él. Y le comenté a mi mamá. Todavía no terminaba de decirle y ya me estaba diciendo que sí me fuera. Y junté toda la ropa mía y de mis niñas y me fui. 
Jesús también me llevó a la casa de su mamá. Ellos vivían muy pobres. No tenía papá. Había fallecido y él mantenía a su mamá. Jesús ganaba muy poco. A veces comíamos solo una comida al día. Mi mamá vivía muy bien y aunque lo miraba, nunca nos ayudó. Mejor tiraba la carne que se le hacía mala en el refrigerador. Ella no se compadecía de nosotros en ese momento. 
Gracias a Dios nos fuimos reponiendo. A mi esposo le iba mejor. Hemos tenidos altas y bajas, pero nada que Dios no nos dé la gracia para resolverlo. Dios es bueno y estoy muy agradecida con Él. Poco a poco ha estado sanando mi corazón.  
Yo le dije (pregunté) a Dios que porque no podía escuchar Su voz; que me diera una repuesta. Y esa misma noche me dio un sueño donde mis niñas estaban chiquitas y vivíamos  con mi mama  y me corría de la casa, y le decía que no tenía a donde irme y que las niñas estaban muy chiquitas. En ese momento empecé a recordar todo en el mismo sueño y comencé a llorar y desperté con mucho sentimiento. 

Quiero decirles que yo perdoné a mi mamá; la quiero mucho. Pero a mi corazón todavía le falta un poquito para sanar completamente.



¿Qué opina usted? Mándenos sus comentarios a:
d_torres53@yahoo.com

Daniel Torres
Misionero en Ciudad Juárez, México

Friday, December 29, 2017

MARCHING INTO HELL FOR A HEAVENLY CAUSE



JESUSMARIA, THE FIRST DAY WE SAW HER
"TO MARCH INTO HELL FOR A HEAVENLY CAUSE...", are words to one of my favorite songs, The Impossible Dream.  There have been times during my 6 1/2 years as a missionary in Juarez, Mexico that I felt that I've done just that. I've been through some very scary situations as a missionary and in this blog I'll be sharing about my most recent heart-pounding and exciting experience. 


As most people know the drug traffic from Mexico to the United States is a major problem.  The drug cartels are powerful to the point that the Mexican Army is almost defenseless against them.  The cartels have much better weapons and equipment than the Mexican Army.  Recently one of the cartels paraded their power and force through several cities in Mexico and they went unchallenged.  


WOOD STOVES WARMING THE HOUSES
OUR FIRST VIEW OF BABICORA
In some towns the cartels have taken over the schools, businesses, and homes, forcing the population to work for them, especially in the planting and harvesting of drugs.  They have been reported to go into some schools and churches and take complete control, including the sexual abuse of young girls.  In a recent local news broadcast the Mexican Army wanted the State of Chihuahua to pay them a large amount of money if they wanted them to go into some of the areas that the cartels had taken over.  The State refused.  The army wouldn't go in, but when the door swung open for a few of us to visit such a town we decided to go.  Our departure date from Juarez was set for December 11, 2017.  We had plenty of time to pray and seek God's protection before leaving.  Our destination was high up in the mountains of the State of Chihuahua, the same State where Juarez is located.



Our small team drove 8 hours South after which we lost the hardtop roads and started on a 6 hour journey through mountains, valleys, and a few rivers where the water covered the tires of our vehicles.  During those 6 hours we saw only the road that we traveled in and only one other vehicle, coming in the opposite direction.  We had to squeeze to the right so that we could pass each other.  There were no other towns for the duration of the 6 hours.  There were times that I questioned whether or not our vehicle could climb up some of the hills and boulders that we drove through, but we always made it.  And all along, deep in our thoughts, was the unknown that awaited us.  But we wouldn't back out.  Finally far down below us we spotted our destination.  I was so glad to get out of that vehicle.



The town, Babicora de Conoachi in Chihuahua (which cannot be found on the map), looked a whole lot better that I expected.  Thought they had no electricity, running water, stores, telephones, cable tv, or internet the town looked good.  No police in town either! The big, modern, and beautiful church in the middle of the town gave the place an inviting look.  Some brothers from Canada spent 6 years building the church on different "mission trips".  It was a monumental job just to bring the materials for the construction from more than 6 hours away.  The great advantage in Babicora is the fact that the town is surrounded by woods.  The trees can be used for firewood (their only way to heat and cook) and for construction.  The temperatures get down very low in the winter time, especially since the elevation is very high.   The woods are also great for hunting.  Juarez is in the desert so there is no meat from hunting and firewood is very costly.  So in that aspect this town in the middle of nowhere has an advantage over the big City of Juarez.  There are approximately 60+ families living in town with many others living deep in the woods.  The town has a basketball court but aside from that there is not much of anything else for the young people to keep occupied...and I saw lots of young people.



BEAUTIFUL CHURCH BUILT
BY CANADIANS
PASTOR ALEX
AND FAMILY
Pastor Alex lives in town with his young family and are supported by other churches outside of Babicora.  They have not been bothered very much by the cartels.  They have lived here for 5 years and have a great heart for the people.  The Pastor has the luxury of having a water heater that runs on firewood.  There is also a school in Babicora.  Teachers come from other cities and stay only for the week.  On Fridays they head back home.  The school is right next to the Pastor's house and they allow him to hook up his house to their solar panels for enough electricity to run a few light bulbs.  There are also two wells in town that run on solar panels. 



INSIDE THE CHURCH
SMALL BRIDGE LEADING
TO THE CHURCH
Our plans were to have two church services but our long trip kept us down to one service.  We brought lots of food (mostly beans, rice, oatmeal) and many bags of clothing (especially for cold weather, thanks to SAEM in El Paso).  Since we arrived in the middle of the afternoon, all we had time for was to separate all that we brought and arranging the food into smaller bags.  We also split up into teams and went out to invite the townspeople to the church service the next day at noon.  News travels fast so we had people who came to the service from deep in the woods.  When speaking to people we recognized the fact that most of them were working the drug fields nearby.  A few times I asked some how they made a living but they would avoid the question.  The cartels do pay them minimal wages.  Thankfully during our entire visit we never encountered anyone from the drug cartels, that I know of.  



ACCEPTING THE
LORD
PASTOR MANUEL SPEAKING
During our 2 1/2 days in Babicora we visited houses often and we met some extremely poor people with some very serious issues, including health problems.  Carlos, more than 80 years old, was very sick and could not eat.  He lived in a tiny shack with his wife, son, and daughter.  Carlos looked as if he was at death's door.  He could not speak or hear.  We prayed for him and the next day he looked much, much better.  He even sat up to eat some soup that we brought him.  But Carlos had broken a wrist some years back and it was never set, so it was still broken and he was suffering intense pain.  Then his wife asked me to pray for her daughter who was in the back room.  She was in the corner bedroom floor wrapped in blankets so the light from the wood stove did not reach there.  It was extremely dark in the back; and also spiritually dark.  I had to try to find her with the light from my cell phone.  JesusMaria was her name.  She seemed to be demon-possessed and was very frail.  She didn't seem to respond to anything we said.  We were told that she also could not hear or speak.  She was confused and scared.  We also prayed for her and on our second visit, like her father, she looked much better.  During our second visit she was sitting not far from the wood stove in the kitchen/living room and she did not have the fearful/scary look in her eyes. Her mother told me that JesusMaria had problems walking and that she fell down a lot.  I looked down at her feet and saw that her left foot was at a 45 degree angle from the rest of her leg.  Her ankle was broken.  I asked the mother how long she had been like that and she stated that it had been months, maybe years.  I hurt me just to see that foot.  All we could do was to pray for them again.  The mother and the son accepted Jesus as their savior.  



ARRIVING AT CHURCH ON
HORSEBACK
PARKING THE RIDE
NEXT TO A TREE
There is so much more that can be said about this visit and other visits but I want to get to the church service.  It was a lovely sight to see people coming to church.  It looked like something out of a cowboy movie or Little House On The Prairie.  Even women in their 60's came on horseback.  They hitched their horses, visited with others, and stepped inside the church.  Those that rode horses came from outside the little town.  But the local people walked to church.  The church filled up slowly and the service was started.  Most of the men stood in the back of the church partly because of fear (I think), but mostly because of the machismo culture in Mexico.  The young people that came with us from Juarez did a great job with the worship and Pastor Martin Nuñez shared his incredible testimony in less than 10 minutes.  Then it was my turn to share a message and give an invitational.  When I invited folk to come forward to accept Jesus as savior 21 people stepped up, mostly females.  I asked Pastor Martin to pray for the people because I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to the back of the church to speak to young man that did not come forward.  I asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart and he responded with a clear "no".  But 10 minutes later he came to me and told me that he had changed his mind.  There was another man that I was led by the Holy Spirit to speak to.  He asked me if we were staying at the Pastor's house, and I said "yes".  All he said was that he would see me later.  


ON THE WAY TO THE WELL
COUPLE THAT ACCEPTED THE LORD,
SECOND AND THIRD FROM THE LEFT.
ALSO PASTOR ALEX, MYSELF, AND PASTOR MARTIN
That evening he and his wife came to see the Pastor.  The Pastor called me and told me that the couple wanted to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  It was a joy to hear that.  So immediately I began to speak to them and asking them some questions.  I found out that they lived an hour and 20 minutes from the church, on horseback.  They wanted to receive the Lord Jesus but they wanted to do it in front of  the Pastor and myself so they stayed overnight in town at a friends house (too dark to go home on horseback at night).  They had some questions about being Christians that were easily answered.  The more I spoke to them the more their countenance lit up.  Then they began to cry.  And as we prayed for them they began to break out in laughter as the Holy Spirit filled them with joy.  It was a wonderful experience for them as well as for the rest of us.  We hugged, laughed, cried, and laughed some more.  It was especially a sweet experience for the Pastor because during his 5 years as a Pastor/Missionary in this town he only had one convert.  If the Lord brought me to Babicora only for this couple it would have been worth the entire trip!  In all, 24 people came to the Lord Jesus.


STOPPING ON THE WAY TO THE
WELL TO VISIT
The next day we got up and started getting ready to leave Babicora.  But first a few of us made a trip out to the well to fill the Pastor's water containers.  The well was about 1/4 mile away and the temperature was pretty cool.  But we enjoyed our last view of Babicora as we stopped by a few houses to greet those seated on their porches to soak in the warm morning sun. 



SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
IN BABICORA
We have talked about going back to Babicora in the Spring of 2018.  Next time we'll be better prepared since this was partly a scouting trip.  On our next visit we plan on getting on some horses to visit those who live out in the woods.  We give God all the glory for this wonderful experience and especially for the souls that we were able to reach; and we are very thankful that He made this Impossible Dream a reality. 

A FEW OTHER NOTES ABOUT OUR WORK IN JUAREZ:  

***  I have started meetings with Pastors in Juarez at one of the poorest areas of the City.  The goal is to bring unity and mutual love among the leaders.  Once we have unity in these churches the gospel message will spread (according to the Lord's desire for unity in John, chapter 17).  After some more training and preparation we will be going out and ministering to people in the streets and in homes.  I believe that the end-time revival will start in Juarez and from there it will touch the entire world.  We will see incredible exploits with this ministry in 2018.  We're preparing for that.   

***  Our Friday morning visits to one of the Girl's refuge continue and are going extremely well.  It's amazing to see the girls who are brought in with all sorts of unimaginable problems (rebellion, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, living in the streets...) and witnessing their lives being transformed by the power of the Cross.  The change can be seen in their faces after a few weeks. 

THE CHURCH AND THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH IN THE BACKGROUND
*** Special thanks to the Operation:Care team that made their 29th weekly missions trip to Juarez in November.  They come from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Georgia. It was such a joy and honor to receive the team and work with them.  They come into Juarez as a downspout of blessings from heaven as they bring lots, and lots, and lots of food and other aid to many ministries in the City.

*** Maxine Bingham arrived in Juarez also in November to minister in churches and to Pastors.  Her ministry to the church brings much hope and blessings.   As always it was a real joy having her again and we look forward so much for her return, hopefully in April, 2018. 


As always I am so thankful for the prayer and financial support that many give to this work in Juarez.  May the Lord multiply your sacrifice.  Also, if any individuals or teams want to visit Juarez please contact me for information.  Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas so if anyone is passing by please give me a call.  

I ask that you please leave your comments below.  I have a large  audience in Russia and other nations.  I would be blessed to hear your comments. PLEASE!!!

May the Lord bring much increase to your lives as well as to His Kingdom in this upcoming New Year of 2018.  Shalom and Maranatha!!! 
JESUSMARIA ON OUR SECOND VISIT

Daniel Torres
12397 Chamberlain Drive
El Paso, Texas 79928

501-827-7679
d_torres53@yahoo.com

(Double click on pictures to enlarge). 











Tuesday, September 12, 2017

GOING TO PRISON IN MEXICO



IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT GETS ME EXCITED AND NERVOUS AT THE SAME TIME it's visiting a prison in Mexico.  I did jail ministry in Arkansas for years before coming as a missionary to Juarez, Mexico.  But walking into a prison is Mexico is a whole lot different.  The people who work at the prisons look at you as if they want to keep you there, and many times they make it very difficult to get inside (even after you've done all that they require to get permission to enter).  I have visited the prison in Juarez many times and I have been to other prisons, including a large one in Durango, Durango, Mexico.  In this blog entry I want to share with you my most recent visit to a prison and a couple of re-hab centers in the City of Cuautemoc.

In my last blog entry I wrote the amazing story of Pastor Martin Nuñez and his experience as an inmate, becoming a child of God, and his ministries after his release.  Pastor Nuñez started a group of men and women that are ex-prisoners, who are on fire for Jesus, and want to preach to and reach the lost in prisons.  They call themselves EXPRISIONEROS TRANSFORMADOS, or TRANSFORMED EX-PRISONERS. There are many of them in the group but generally 10 to 15 travel together to the prisons in various States.  It is with this group of men and women that I have been visiting the prisons.  When we travel far from Juarez we're at the mercy of others for our room and board.  In the past I've slept on the floor under a bed that someone else was occupying while staring at roaches going past me and hoping that a scorpion would not show up.  We've eaten freezer-damaged food and shared restrooms and showers that most people would not dare to use.  A motel bill is definitely out of the question.    Being with this team is a very unique, interesting, fun, and sometimes odd experience since I am the only one in this "motley crew" who has never experienced life in prison.  But they are a precious bunch who will forever be unconditionally thankful for Jesus and where He has brought them from; and they are not ashamed of His holy name.  All of them have come from a background of drugs and alcohol.  Most of them have committed murder.  One of them was able to escape from prison several times, an incredible feat.  Two of them (a married couple since before their prison life) lived by robbing people in the streets of the city.  The wife was the one who handled the knife.  They would make their victims get inside a dark alley and then they would take their money.  But always, even after they had the money, the wife would sink the knife into the victim.  Her husband would always plead with her not to do that since they already had the money, but his wife's hatred and anger could not let them go without a knife wound.  She testifies that she enjoyed doing it.  And today they are part of this group of ex-prisoners who they enjoy sharing the gospel so much with prisoners that they wish that they still lived in prison.  Each one of the members of this group has a jaw-dropping testimony about the liberating power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The prisoners can identify with them a whole lot more than if it was a group of people who had never been down the same road that they have traveled.  Therefore we always get all of the prisoners' undivided attention.  Normally when we minister each member of the team takes about 10 minutes to share their personal story with the prisoners.  My part is to close with a short Bible  teaching and give the invitation to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  And the results have always been amazing.

Cuautemoc, Mexico is a city about 5 to 6 hours from Juarez.  It is much different than Juarez in that it is not in the desert.  Cuautemoc has fertile soil and it is famous for its apple orchards.  Commerce is alive and well in this city, but it faces the same problems of crime and drugs as any other city in Mexico.  Our trip there was only for two days, and due to extremely bad roads we arrived in Cuautemoc just in time to head straight to the prison.  Of course, when we arrived they came up with excuses as to why we could not come in but persistence paid off.  An hour later (at 3 pm on a Thursday) our team of about 15 people was setting up next to the basketball court under the hot sun.  The health kits that we brought with soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant and other items had to be left at the front desk.  The prisoners began to gather but most stayed away from the benches that the guards allowed us to move to the middle of the court.  I had time to speak to several of the inmates and asked them about a popular boxing match that was coming up soon. That broke down some walls and brought some laughter and differences of opinions about the boxing event. There was a building next to us and as I glanced up each window had men looking down through the iron bars. 
 Other men came to listen but they stayed far from us.  We sang some worship music and then the testimonies started...which caused some men to listen up intently and some even got closer.  The warden also came to listen along with some guards.  We were given only two hours but by the time my turn came up a man walked up to me and said that our time was up.  I couldn't believe that after all that was said that and done I couldn't close with so much as a prayer.  But mercy came and I was given 8 more minutes.  I whispered a quick prayer for the Holy Spirit to help me wrap everything up in 8 minutes.  I had to hurry.  I shared a Bible verse and gave the invitational.  One man jumped up and practically ran up to me, then others followed.  Within 15 seconds we were mobbed by about 70 to 80 men who came to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  It was an incredible sight.  I turned the service over to Pastor Nuñez so that he could lead them in a prayer.  This prison does not have a church building but it has a pastor, who is one of the inmates.  He was a wonderful and meek young man in his mid-thirties.  He told us that in 15 years of groups coming to speak at that prison that no one had ever accepted Jesus after the service.  It was a very special experience, one that I will never forget.

After getting a bite to eat we went to a tent meeting in town and Pastor Nuñez preached and shared his testimony.  Most people attending were believers but they were all blessed.  That night the women stayed with the couple that was hosting us.  Their house was very tiny so they slept on the floor.  The men slept at a re-hab center.  At 5am the next day I was still wide awake because one of the men at the center, handcuffed to his bed, was going through severe withdrawals and he screamed most of the night.  The rest of the team slept quite well because they are all very used to sleepin.  In the morning we ministered to these men and left to join the women for breakfast.  

Then we headed out to our next project which was a re-hab center for people of all ages and both genders.  The youngest one there was a 9 year old boy and more than half the people looked to be teenagers.  This was not a Christian ministry, but something a bit similar to Alcoholic Anonymous.  We ministered the same way that we did in prison the day before.  The lady in charge of the center that particular day was standing up listening to all the different life-changing stories and she finally broke down in tears.  When the time for me to share came up I was given all the time that I needed but I was done within 15 minutes.  Once the invitational was given we had over 40 come to give their lives to the Lord.  Once the area began to fill up with kids and adults I just had to quietly step back and enjoy the scene for a few minutes.  The team was busy praying for individuals, some were hugging, some counseling, and many were shedding tears of peace and joy.  The lady in charge of the center on that day was right in the middle of it all.  I was taking time to thank the Lord for the power of the gospel and the power Holy Spirit not only to transform lives in such an amazing way, but to use those whose lives have been transformed to be used to transform the lives of others.  This is what being a believer is about...not only being transformed but being a transformer for Jesus.  It was another great and unforgettable experience.  We were then ready to get something to eat and return to Juarez on that same day.  All in the joy of the Lord.  

Our next trip outside of Juarez might be in the sierras of our State of Chihuahua where the native Indian people living there are being forced by the drug cartels to tend their fields of marijuana.  Who wouldn't want to go there?

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever  and ever. Amen.  1 Timothy 1:17 
A HOMELESS MAN, JOSE, VISITS THE TENT MEETING

Many thanks to those who continue to bless the work in Juarez financially and with their prayers.  The more support we have, the more we can do.  We continue to help feeding centers with food and other ministries in Juarez in any way that we can.  The gospel message is primary in this ministry.  Anyone wishing to help may contact me at the numbers below.  And please send in your comments and opinions to me.  I have a lot of people in Russia who read this blog and I would especially love to hear from you.  There are days that I have more readers from Russia than the U.S. 

Blessings to all. 

Daniel



Daniel Torres
12397 Chamberlain Drive
El Paso, Texas 79928

501-827-7679
d_torres53@yahoo.com

P.S. Click on the pictures to enlarge and for a list of past blog posts go to miraclesinjuarez.blogspot.com.

Monday, August 28, 2017

THE MOST AMAZING STORY OF DISASTER, HOPE, AND LOVE

PASTOR MARTIN AND HIS WIFE LETY...AUGUST 2017
This is a story that I wrote for Searcy Living magazine (Searcy, Arkansas) for their fall 2016 issue. I have written about Pastor Martin in the past but I felt that it was time to share this incredible story again. The story reads as follows:

I have been serving as a missionary in Juarez, Mexico for 5 years.  I came here from Searcy, Arkansas.  For several years the City of Juarez, Mexico was infamous for being the most dangerous city on the planet.  About 4 years ago I was in bed trying to sleep through the outside noise. A few times I found myself hitting the floor when I would hear bullets rocketing by just outside my bedroom window.  This particular sleepless night I decided to turn on the television set hoping that I would eventually fall asleep.  It was almost 1 am.  But something on the TV set caught my attention.  It was the story of a man who had lived a horrible life of drugs and crime, but now he serves the Lord as a Pastor.  I only caught the last few minutes of the story but it was the most amazing story I had ever heard.  But I did not get the man's name in the story.  I also did not know in what Spanish country this story had taken place.  For all I knew he was in Argentina, or maybe Spain.  But right there and then I uttered a serious prayer: "Lord, I don't know who that man was or where he's at, but someday I would love to meet him."  The next day I went to get a haircut. I was still very moved and impressed by the fragment of the story I had heard and I started to share it with those sitting around the barber shop. Immediately one of the men waiting  for a haircut said to me, "That man is my pastor. His name is Martin Nuñez."  I was shocked.  I said, "You mean to tell me that he lives here...here in Juarez?"  He responded,  "Yes, just a few blocks away, I'll take you there."  Incredible! Soon after  that I met Pastor Martin Nuñez (who lives about 10 blocks from my rental house), his wife Lety, his church, and the children and youngsters living with him.  Answered prayer!  And I also heard his full testimony.  Since that day Pastor Martin has been one of my dearest friends and a man that I love and admire as my own brother.  As amazing as his story is it only keeps growing.  Here is just part of the story from his own lips, as I translated for a team from the U.S. that visited here (his whole life story would take several books):


My life used to be practically a nightmare.  Something like a horror movie.  But it has a beautiful ending. When I was 2 years old my mother was a drug addict, as well as my father.  And one day something went wrong in my family and my 16 year old mother stabbed my father to death.  My mother was put in prison and she took me with her.  At the time there was a generational curse of drug abuse and prostitution in my family.  All my grandparents were drug addicts.  My uncles were in prison at the time and my mother and I joined them there. My uncles sold drugs in prison while they were inmates.  My mother continued to use drugs while in prison.  The guards would sell my mother to other inmates and eventually I had three more brothers born in prison, all from unknown fathers.  As a toddler I would watch my mom as she used rags with glue to get high.  At the age of 7 or 8 years old I started doing the same thing out of curiosity (after my mother would pass out from sniffing). When she carelessly left pills around I would also consume them. I had the run of the prison since I was so small and as a result my uncles and grandfather used me as a drug runner, selling drugs from cell to cell and returning with the money.  I became know as "El Gatito" (the kitten) throughout the prison.  I would look at the walls and the bars and ask my mother if we will ever get out.  She reassured me that we would.  When we were released I was 11 years old.  We were a dysfunctional family, delinquents, and we had no schooling. At 11 years old I did not know how to read or write.  I had no one to show me the right way, no one to look up to.  Immediately after being released my mother took us to our grandmother's house, dropped us of, and abandoned us to continue her life of drugs.  Poverty gave us no other choice but to hit the streets and survive through robbery and burglary.  Our grandmother, also on drugs, was pleased when we boys brought back stolen goods.  By the time I was 16 I had been back to juvenile detention about 16 to 17 times.  At the age of 16, after being charged with car theft, a judge sentenced me as an adult because of my many crimes.  So I went to prison as an adult.  When I entered the prison I felt right at home.  This was where my brothers were born and this was where I was raised.  I began using more drugs in prison.  

After I met with the judge again she asked me if I had learned my lesson. I told her that she didn't realized what she had done.  She had opened me to a bigger world of drugs and crime while at the adult prison system.  I was released but I really wanted to stay because that was home for me.  I was back in prison a few more times.  At the age of 19 I'm headed back to jail but this time it was for the stabbing murder of another young man.  It was my first murder.  I almost decapitated  the young man with a knife.  Now I was an adult and I started another phase of my nightmare. This time I went to Federal Prison.  The maximum sentence for my crime was 39 to 40 years.  The night of the murder I came home and to my surprise my mother had returned.  She asked me not to leave the house and to stay in bed.  When she fell asleep I left anyway and just a half a block away I killed a young man.  When the police caught up to me I remembered what my mom had told me - to stay home.  Had I obeyed her the crime would not have been committed.  In prison all my gang members were there and we started to tattoo our bodies. 

My life was empty and meaningless. I was 20 years old and I was tired of life. My father was dead and there was no hope for me in life anymore.  The emptiness was more that I could bear.  The emptiness led me to stab others in hopes that they would kill me first.  I wanted to die; I sought death. I once was stabbed to the point where I had to use a bed pan for six months and was left practically paralyzed. I wanted to escape life. Eventually I was able to walk again using crutches. I attempted suicide several other times.  But I couldn't even do that right. The doctors would always fix me up. Even cutting my veins did not work. Cutting my jugular veins did not work either. The doctors brought me back to life over and over again.  Eventually they tied me up so that I could not attempt suicide anymore.  

One day when when I was leaving the infirmary a man call out to me and said, "Gatito, Jesus loves you and He wants to change your life."  I got real angry when I heard that.  I thought how can anyone love me after the life I've had.  Later after that some family members came to inform me that my mother was dead due to a drug overdose.  I remembered my father, my life, and now my mom...how can I be loved. That's impossible, I said. I told that man in a rage of anger  to live his own life and I'll live mine.  I basically told him to get lost. Later I found out that he was a minister. I was given permission to leave prison to attend my mother's funeral.  When we went to the funeral I was escorted by a security officer.  I was handcuffed to him and he kept warning me not to try anything as he kept the other hand on his revolver. I remember doing drugs together with my mother while in jail, and how she brought me drugs when I was in jail, and now it was hard to believe that she was dead and inside a box. I hugged the box and the impact of the sight brought out some rare tears. Right there I promised her that I would change, though I knew that she could not hear me. My younger brothers were there and they hugged me. They were present when she died of an overdose. We cried together for the first time. Life was worse in prison now. I wanted to die even more.  Life meant nothing to me.  Death was better. 

I was taken back to prison and once again tried suicide.  But the words I had heard from that man that Jesus loved me and that I had hope kept echoing in my head.  I would try to silence that voice by covering my head and ears with my pillow but the words still penetrated through.  Over and over and over again those words haunted me.  My next attempt at suicide was to hang myself.  I had part of the sheets tied to a pipe above the sink in the cell.  I climbed up on the sink and stood on it. But those words would not leave me alone. I stepped back down and asked permission to be taken to the patio.  And I wanted to talk to the man who told me that Jesus loved me; I wanted to ask forgiveness for having been so rude to him.  

He was brought to me and I asked him for forgiveness. He graciously took me into a cell and before long I was on my knees receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I felt so filthy that I had to go immediately and take a shower. In the shower I had a supernatural encounter with Jesus and I have never been the same. The old me went down the drain with the filth. That was 18 years ago. My life was changed forever. I met men and women in jail who loved the Lord.  And they also loved ME!!!  I only went through 8 days of withdrawals after a whole life of drugs. My miracle was so deep that within three months I was preaching the gospel.  

NOTE: And so ends the story from Pastor Martin's lips. I had recorded this testimony as I was translating for him. For lack of time he cut out many things from his testimony. But I want to fill in some of those things that he left out that to me are very important, impressive, and miraculous.  Pastor Martin's life changed so much that he started a church in the jail and he became the pastor. His church would blossom to over 500 inmates. It was during this time that he learned how to read and write. He also got permission from the authorities to erect the church building inside the prison from funds he received from the outside. That church still stands today and I've had the pleasure to speak there. It was an unforgettable experience. It was at this church that he met his wife, Lety, who was also serving time for selling drugs.  She operated what is called a "picadero" (where addicts come to buy drugs, but are also given a small room to spend the night).  He asked for permission and they were married in his church at the prison. He was also pardoned from the remainder his 40 year sentence. Martin and Lety were released and they returned to Lety's "picadero", only this time to start a church there. And they also started picking up children from the streets of Juarez. These children had been abandoned and were on drugs and/or alcohol. Luis was one of the first ones picked up.  Luis was just a little over 7 years old and on cocaine.  He had been thrown out like yesterday's garbage by his family.  Today Luis is almost 22.  He is an outstanding preacher and musician and he is attending law school, specializing in juvenile law because he wants to help children going through what he went through. Sarita is 4 years old now. She was dropped off by her mom, who was a cocaine addict. She left Sarita two years ago and never returned.  The most recent member of the family is Emanuel, who is now 3 months old. He was dropped off a month ago.  Pastor Martin and his wife Lety are now the legal parents of Luis, Sarita, Emanuel, and 19 others. Their children are the musicians and worship leaders at their church sevices.  

When Pastor Martin was sharing the above testimony his wife Lety was sitting in the front row. I noticed that she cried more than anyone else in the room. I knew that she had heard that story a multitude of times.  But she cried because she can't forget and doesn't want to forget where God has brought them from and how their lives were changed by a simple "Jesus loves you..."
Pastor Martin and Lety struggle to keep these kids and young adults clothed, in school, fed, and all the other things that come with raising a child, especially ones that have such a sad past.  Anyone wanting to help, to come to Juarez for a visit or on a missions trip, or assist Pastor Martin with much needed maintenance work at his church and orphanage please call me or write me at the number below.  I also wish to bring Pastor Martin to churches in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Any pastors interested in having him visit your church please contact me.  

And remember,  Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life.  There's hope in Jesus!


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV)


Now back to August 2017:

Last week Pastor Martin and a group of his many ex-prisoners along with myself drove several hours to visit another troubled city in Mexico. We ministered at re-hab centers and also the city jail. That story will be on the next blog entry. After returning to Juarez, Mexico I visited Pastor Martin the very next day. He said to me very proudly and with a huge smile, "Come here, I have something to show you." He proceeded to introduce me to a 7 year old boy, a 9 year old girl, and another 11 year old girl. They were siblings and they had just joined the Martin family. The 11 year old girl was already sexually abused by her father. They were out in the streets with all their belongings inside backpacks. As terrible as it sounds it's a good thing that they arrived at a place where hope and love thrives. Where there's real love, there's great hope. 


Daniel Torres
12397 Chamberlain Dr.
El Paso, Texas 79928
501-827-7679
d_torres53@yahoo.com


Please send me your comments below or at the information above. And please share this story because others need to read it. Thanks for all your prayers for this ministry.