Ministry partner update: ICOMB – August 2017

Luis Alberto Mereles and his family. Photo: Luis Alberto Mereles.

The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is made up of 21 national churches in 19 countries with approximately 450,000 members. ICOMB exists to facilitate relationships and ministries to enhance the witness and discipleship of its member national churches – connecting, strengthening and expanding.

Now is the time

“After praying and fasting, I was convinced it is time,” shared Luis Alberto Mereles. Luis is a former prisoner with a long record of criminal activity and several escape attempts, one of them stabbing and kidnapping the director of the prison. He showed us the place that was the most dangerous one in the whole prison. It was locked and no guard would enter without a small army with him. He went in that section and asked the guard to lock behind him, who did it only after prolonged insisting. He started to preach and soon one convict, with a big knife clanging against the railing shouted: “you will die!” He silenced him in the name of Jesus. He went on preaching and after making an altar call, 52 prisoners accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. After a week, these 52 men received permission to go and worship in another section called “Freedom,” conducted as a rehabilitation ministry of the Concordia Mennonite Brethren church in Asuncion, Paraguay. Now, this heavily guarded and locked place has been integrated into the “Freedom” section, and is a place of hope, giving sentenced prisoners the opportunity to go to school, university, do handicrafts or little jobs inside the prison to help support their families.

—Rudi Plett, associate director

9 Aug 2017 - 5:40pm