A few months ago we had talked about this young guy in Ibarra, Ecuador. His name is Esteban and he is a member of a gang. The 40/40 missionaries met Esteban through an evangelical outreach event they hosted in a public park. They had a breakdance competition and Esteban and a few of his friends showed up and entered the contest. From there, Esteban got connected with the 40/40s and through the friendships he made with these young christian adults, God started to call out to his heart. Ultimately, God got ahold of it!
Last time we talked about him he wasn’t doing all that well. He seemed to be avoiding the missionaries and he had stopped going to church. Apparently, something that he had been sharing with Sam, one of the missionaries in Ibarra, was his concern about what to do with his gang. He wanted a way out, but that’s not an option. Once you go through the process to get into a gang, trying to leave means the gang with either kill you, or mess you up so bad you wish you were dead. Afterward, the team talked about how they could help Esteban make it out of the gang alive. It’s not a situation they are trained to handle. Sam had been talking to Sarah Ross, Extreme’s Education Manager, who said, “Instead of trying to get him out of the gang, why don’t you pray that the whole gang comes to know the Lord?”
That’s when we asked you to pray. Did you pray? I think you did! Because, God has started to take some of the guys in Esteban’s gang and He has begun to wrestle their hearts. He has started a work that can really only be expressed as a miracle. Esteban brought three of his gang members to church a few weeks back, and they all accepted Christ into their lives! Isn’t that amazing?! Also, since we last talked about Esteban, he has taken his relationship with God more seriously, has started taking the leadership classes in the church plant, and expressed that he wants to be an example to the members in his gang.
Continue praying for Esteban! He is making strides toward becoming a great leader in the church. If we can see that potential, you better bet that Satan sees it too, and he is going to start taking action against Esteban and his friends. Pray guidance over him as he continues to be a witness to everyone in his gang. Our desire is to see the whole group of them find salvation in Christ. Also, pray for his three friends who accepted Christ recently, that God would strengthen them in their commitment to Christ.