How do you tell a child that there’s no water?’ Those are the words of a distressed Venezuelan mother during one of the recent massive, nationwide blackouts that cut off power to homes, hospitals and everything else for many days, even shutting down water systems for entire cities. With most basic necessities in desperately short supply and their pay cheques almost worthless because of hyperinflation, despairing Venezuelans are leaving the country – thousands every day, the largest human migration crisis in the history of Latin America.
Many are streaming across the Simón Bolívar International Bridge to Cúcuta, Colombia, a three-century-old city just over the border. Cúcuta’s population of about 725,000 has bulged to more than a million as refugees arrive in search of hope.
Pastors in Cúcuta see an urgent spiritual need among both refugees and residents, and they invited us to come help them. I went to Cúcuta and preached the Gospel last month at an evangelistic Festival. There was great enthusiasm among believers – Colombians and Venezuelans – for this outreach.
Three hundred churches across the region participated, and more than 6,000 people took part in the Christian Life and Witness training. Churches asked their members to write down the names of unsaved people they will pray for and invite to the Crusade and then turn a copy of their list in as a commitment. A total of 13,000 lists were turned in!
More than 4,000 young people packed a youth rally to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Cúcuta region during the Festival of Hope. Women interested in helping publicise the Crusade were invited to a prayer and training rally – over 4,300 women showed up to take part, including Venezuelan newcomers.
Because Cúcuta sits right on the border, people were there for the Festival of Hope from both Colombia and Venezuela. We praise God for each one who came and for every heart that was changed for eternity by the power of the Gospel. More than 116,000 heard the Gospel at Festival events, and more than 8,400 people made decisions for Christ.
Ana was one of them. She and her family left Venezuela to begin a new life in Cúcuta more than 20 years ago. They usually read through the Psalms as a family, but they never moved beyond that one book in the Bible. When Ana heard the Gospel message Saturday night, things began to make more sense to her. She learned of Christ’s death and resurrection – and that she could have eternal life in Him. With tears streaming down her face, she left her seat in the stadium and went down to the field to pray with a counsellor and accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour.
‘I now believe that God can save me from anything,’ she shared. ‘In the Name of Jesus, my sins have been forgiven. He has saved me from all evil.’
Join me in praying for Ana and the many other hearts God touched and drew to new life in Christ as they drank from the ‘rivers of living water’ (John 7:38). Will you pray also for the churches who will be reaching out to them?
This month, I will begin a seven-city tour of the north-eastern United States to preach the Gospel. Nearly 2,000 people participated in kick-off events across the north east. In every city, believers are gathering this month to pray for unsaved people in their community, and many took our Christian Life and Witness training in advance of the tour.
We count on your prayers and gifts to do this work. In the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:19, ESV), the outcome is sure. Thank you for all that you do for the sake of the Gospel.
May God richly bless you,
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