Crossroad Bible Institute’s prison ministry in Ecuador, which began just four years ago in 2009, will soon be opening a new Bible training and rehabilitation center for released prisoners from around the country.
The center will be built on donated land in southwest Ecuador. CBI Ecuador director Angel Aguirre Villamar will be overseeing the project from the ministry’s headquarters in Quito.
Director Aguirre explained that participants will receive Bible training, as well as skills training in trades such as carpentry, locksmithing and metalwork. Those who complete the program will be equipped both to earn an income and to be disciples for Christ wherever they go.
“They will preach in whichever community they live, in prison or outside,” said Aguirre.
The reentry center is not the only expansion CBI Ecuador has witnessed recently. Last year, prison officials contacted Aguirre asking to use the CBI curriculum for the spiritual component of the prison’s drug rehabilitation program.
According to Aguirre, the students from the drug rehabilitation program are very committed to their recovery and will benefit greatly from the courses. “They are trying to make progress in their decision to quit their addictions,” said Aguirre, “and we believe strongly that knowing Christ our Savior is the only thing that will make them truly free of addiction.”
Because of the work CBI Ecuador is doing to rehabilitate prisoners, the Ecuadorian government and prison system have given the prison ministry significant support and recognition. This past year, the Ministry of Justice approved the CBI curriculum as a rehabilitative resource for prisoners.
Students enrolled in the program are grateful for CBI Ecuador’s work as well. “I receive the psychological instruction and talks from Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, but nothing has helped me like the study of the Word of God. The Crossroad studies really help and strengthen me in my recovery,” said Julián, a CBI student in Ecuador.
With so many lives changed in four short years, CBI Ecuador’s future is bright.
Pray that the ministry’s increased presence and recognition will lead to many more opportunities to bring the light of the Gospel into Ecuadorian prisons.