A pastor in Mexico opens breakfast ministries that are being run by former inmates. Hundreds have turned to Christ because of his ministries.
Pastor Carlos Mariñelarena
Pastor Carlos Mariñelarena and his wife, Marilu, were called by God as missionaries to Mazatlan, Mexico. They were initially called to give gifts to the children of those who were in prison. The gifts they give were from their own expenses.
“We did not know anybody. We had no financial support. But we knew God sent us here,” Mariñelarena maintained. “We started working in prisons. We first wanted to give gifts to the children of those prisoners and no one gave us a simple gift. My daughter gave all her gifts.”
Operation Christmas Child
They were eventually introduced to Operation Christmas Child which trained them to host outreach events and present shoebox gifts. Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit organization that gives joy to children around the world. Yearly, they pack toys, school supplies, toiletries and Gospel books in shoeboxes and sent it to more than 160 nations.
“We heard that there were these gift boxes that would be available. So we looked for ways to connect with this ministry. We gathered a group of pastors, we receive training at that time and then we also started giving out these toys, these gifts,” Pastor Carlos said.
As their ministry grew, they were also called to open breakfast ministries for the children in the poorest area of the city. So they opened 12 breakfast ministries that were being run by former inmates who are trying to get back to life after turning to Christ. In those breakfast ministries, they feed the children and do a daily Bible study with them. The meal they are offering is oftentimes the only meal these children eat for the day.
“This ministry right here is born out of prison. We work with people at these prisons who are at their lowest point in life with destroyed families, they have no hope. So we share Christ with them, we baptize them, we disciple them, we teach them to work. When we see that they’re faithful and they come out of prison. We support them and help them find jobs. We will help them reconnect with their families again. Some of them we will give them housing,” he added.
For over 20 years in the mission, Pastor Carlos has seen hundreds turn their life to Christ. Families of the children that they disciple were also being changed. Pastor Carlos is using the power of gift-giving to reach these people for Jesus.
Reference: The Christian Post