In August, we had a great harvest of souls. Two evangelists came to our church, one during the second week of August and the other during the third week. The first was a child evangelist, Bro. Ely Cocom from Campeche, Mexico. He and his family were with us for 4 days. We held 4 different neighborhood Bible Clubs on our bus routes. We had a total of 380 attend the 4 Bible Clubs, and 54 people accepted Christ as Saviour at those meetings. Our church members were encouraged in the work of the Lord. Our teens participated with great enthusiasm. It was a great week.
Then the week of August 21-25, Missionary Evangelist Darrell Ratcliff visited us. He enjoys going into the public schools here in Santa Ana. The government has always allowed us to do this, and it has been an open door we have readily taken advantage of through the years. On the Saturday before Bro. Ratcliff arrived, the Ministry of Education sent out a memorandum prohibiting entrance, under any circumstances, by any person who was not in direct relation to the educational institution. Any principal or administrator who was to go against this new mandate would be sanctioned or lose their position. We had already taken an entire month to visit the schools, speak with the administrators, and schedule our meetings with them and Evangelist Ratcliff. We decided to go ahead as if nothing had occurred. God allowed us to preach to 2,500 students in 4 days. We had 1,600 young people raise their hands, acknowledging their decision to accept Christ as their Saviour! Victory! God delayed some memorandums from being delivered, and in one instance, the principal declared that the government had no right to prohibit the Word of God being preached in his school and allowed us to come during the morning and return for the afternoon sessions. He even went as far as to publish the visit on his public Facebook page. We are in the process of requesting a permit to go into the schools with our teams of child-evangelism workers. Please pray that this goes through without any issues.
In September, we held our annual Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference. We were honored to host 34 pastors from 4 different Central American countries, with 55 churches represented. The average morning attendance in the training sessions was 96. The average evening attendance was 169, with a high attendance of 201. Four young people (two of whom were from our church, Jasson and Rene) surrendered to full-time Christian service. The greatest blessing to me personally was seeing our church members enthusiastically serving the Lord all week. Many of our teens would arrive at 7:00 a.m. to set up for breakfast and clean up the area and the bathrooms after breakfast, only to rush off to school and return after school to help set up for the evening services. When the services were finished, they helped clean up and leave everything ready for the next day. They did all of this with a joyful spirit. Almost every evening, we dropped them off at their homes at 11:00. What a great group of young people they are!
We were honored to have Pastor Luis Parada of Long Beach, California; Pastor Andres Gomez of Hammond, Indiana; Pastor Marc Johnston of Durham, North Carolina; and our dad, Dr. Tommy Ashcraft, and his wife Emily with us. If you would like to visit our work, you are welcome to come any time of the year. I know that you would be blessed to see what God is doing here in El Salvador.
Our Youth Camp is coming up in a couple of months. Our good friend, Missionary Osmin Gutierrez, is scheduled to speak for us that week. Please be in prayer for our young people.
The 2023 school year is ending soon. Our last day of classes is November 10. As you may recall, the school year in El Salvador runs from mid-January to mid-November. It has been a great school year. Our school is still in need of funding. Our monthly budget is $3,500.00, and only $600.00 of that budget is covered by tuition. We have about $600.00 coming in for monthly support for the school. This leaves a great deficit, which we strive to cover by faith with our monthly support. God always provides.
Thank you for your prayers for the evangelistic efforts in August and for the Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference, which we just finished hosting. God answered your prayers.
Joyfully in His service,