¡ The Year to Rise Up !
Dear Family and Friends,
Stop and think…what would be going on in your heart and mind if, after 12 years of prison, you were going home to see your family and friends? In August, this was the case of Derlis Brizuela, one of our CEB Bible Institute graduates and teachers in the Agrupación Especializada Prison in Asunción.
At the age of 19, Derlis was convicted and sent to prison when he was identified as the driver of the ‘get-away car’ after a murder. Later, Derlis said he had no idea that his friend was planning to kill anyone… he was in shock when the man pulled out his gun and began shooting… but no one would listen to him, his life and future lay in ruins.
Derlis had been behind bars for 5-years when LWT – Paraguay took on staff Pastor Victor Cardozo as our Prison Ministry Director. Derlis heard the Word, believed and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. For 7-years Pastor Victor, Pastor Jerry and a number of other teachers pumped the Word into those that would listen. The results of all this work were souls saved and lives changed!
After having a number of our students released, we have seen the need of helping the men make the transition back into the flow of life on the outside. With this goal in mind, Pastors Jerry and Victor loaded up the Nissan Patrol and personally took Derlis the 5-hour drive to his parents’ home in the interior of Paraguay. They were headed into an area where the men still carry guns and knives, and are not timid about drawing them when provoked.
All three men were greatly relieved when they received a warm reception from Derlis’ family and friends alike. People came to welcome Derlis home, shaking his hand and hugging his neck. After witnessing the change in Derlis, his family and the community were open to listen as these three men shared the Word. When it was time to come home, Derlis stayed on for a few more days visiting, returning home later by bus.
Today, Derlis and his wife Noelia and son Hazael are happy and strong in the Lord. Soon they will be moving into our neighborhood to be close to the church and the ones that have come to love them greatly. We know that God has great things in store for this precious family because they have placed their eyes and hope on Him.
It's the love of God that makes the difference!