Josue Valerio, who leads the BGCT Missions Team, is part of a four-person team helping the second wave of the Venzuelan Baptist evangelism crusade in the Caracas area. He’ll be providing daily updates as to how God is moving down there.
Let me start by sharing a couple of things we have been involved in today. We left the apartment where we are staying at 7:30 a.m. and caught a bus to the athletic complex where the evangelistic crusade will be held Thursday through Sunday. We met with a team from Venezuela, had breakfast together and received a general orientation. Jacobo Garcia, Evangelism/Missions Coordinator for the National Baptist Convention of Venezuela, formed five teams to go out and do personal evengelism as well as invite people to the crusade.
The people in Caracas are very friendly and open. It is easy to start conversations because they respond in a very positive way and want to engage in sharing their message as well as listening to the message of Good News. I will share three different stories from people that make commitments to Christ today.
The first one is the story of a college student who is majoring in education at the Instituto Pedagogico. Iraidys is about 19 years old and is a new student at this university. We started talking with her and asked her if she would accept an invitation to an upcoming event at the Naciones Unidas Athletic Complex. She was receptive, and we introduced ourselves to her. My teammate Marielba asked her if she believed in God and her response was positive. We asked her if she had heard of Jesus Christ, to which she responded “no.” She had never heard the gospel. We asked her if she would like to hear the message of Christ, to which she agreed. We shared the message of Christ in a very simple and basic way. After the presentation, Marielba invited her to make a commitment to Christ and confess Him as Lord and Savior. Iraidys made a decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ ,and today she became our sister in the Lord. We prayed together and celebrated with her this important decision. We hope to see Iraidys during the evangelistic crusade on Friday night. It is exciting to see God at work and be a part of what He is doing in Venezuela.
The second story is about a orthodontist who heard Juan Lambarria (River Ministry Coordinator in Matamoros) invite someone else to the evangelistic crusade. The name of this person is Dr. Roberto Perez and he is around 40 or 50 years old. He waited until Juan Lambarria was finished talking and then asked what the crusade was about. Juan told him that it was about the difference that Christ can make in a person´s life and his/her family. Roberto started asking questions about the family and shared with the team the problems he is facing with his wife and children. He informed Juan that most of his family problems have been caused by him and shared that in desperation he went to consult a spiritist guru. Juan shared the gospel with him and told him that God wanted to bring a transformation to his personal life and family. The message of forgiveness resonated with Roberto, and he chose to act on faith by trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is another person that we hope to see during the evangelistic crusade.
The third story is the story of a mother (Maritza Caripaz) who was very sad and lonely. Maritza is around 55 years of age. The team that talked with her was Sandra Lambarria and Maria Lourdes. They asked her why she was so sad and she shared with them her problems. Her family is in the process of legal issue in which her daughter is suing Maritza´s sister. The team shared Christ with her and the hope that He brings to our lives. Maritza listened and gave her life to Christ. Sandra and Maria Lourdes noticed that the sadness in Maritza´s face disappeared after she made a commitment to Christ. Maria Lourdes told me that she likes to look at people´s faces and that is how she is led to talk to them about Christ and what He can do in their lives. Certainly, the Lord used Maria Lourdes´ gift of perception to share with Maritza the good news of Jesus Christ. We celebrate all that God uses to bring purpose, forgiveness, and hope to three very different people in Caracas today.