Lighthouse Holiness Ministries is our second ministry in focus here in June 2020. I selected this ministry because it has done so much that we don’t realize with the Bible studies available. I am both honored and privileged to be involved with this ministry of getting God’s Word out. The following article was presented to us by Bro. Gary Morgan.
In July of 1992, Brenda and I resigned our church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to prepare for mission work in the country of México.
After having spent a little over a year working with Missionary Gail Myers, our ministries separated and Lighthouse Holiness Ministries (El Faro de Santidad) was born.
Since that time, we have spent over 26 years laboring among the outcasts of society – many of them drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes, and street-wise children.
This ministry has served the disadvantaged, many of whom lived in cardboard houses in extremely poor, crime-ridden areas of the cities of Torreón, Coahuila, and Lerdo, Durango as well as the local prisons.
After visiting the prison in Torreon, our ministry gradually became more and more focused on the incarcerated in Federal and State penal facilities (CEDES) within the states of Durango, Coahuila, Nueva León, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo, Mexico.
The ministry El Faro de Santidad or Lighthouse Holiness Ministries has included prison evangelism in 15 prison facilities in the country of Mexico.
Due to volatile conditions in Mexico, we have chosen to concentrate our involvement in the northern region of the state of Tamaulipas in the prisons of Reynosa, Ciudad Victoria, Santa Adelaida (Matamoros), and in Tulancingo in the state of Hidalgo.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of witnessing hundreds of inmates who have come to the Lord.
There have been three who were Gulf Coast Cartel prison leaders, and one of them who had surrendered his life to the Lord was transferred over two thousand miles away to a prison island in the Pacific called Las Marias. Having discovered that a contract had been placed on his life required that a distant transfer be carried out immediately in order to preserve his life.
Besides the ministry of preaching and teaching weekly within the prisons, the Lord has enabled us to construct what we are told to be the only two government acknowledged Christian libraries in the penal system of the country of Mexico.
These libraries are located in the prisons of Reynosa and Santa Adelaida and are attempting to meet the needs of not only the inmates, but also of their families.
Mexican prisons, like many in third world countries, operate by what is known as an “open society” policy.
Inmates have cells where they are housed 6 to 8 to a cell, but all the inmates have keys to their own cells. The interior of the prisons is governed and controlled by inmate committees.
The prisons in which we minister are controlled by the Gulf Coast Cartel. They are the ruling authority and control the interior with an iron fist. Nothing takes place within the prisons without their nod of approval.
It is hard to imagine, but they actually keep pretty good order, although their means of doing so can certainly be called into question. There are frequent “accidental” drug overdoses, “accidental” hangings, and “accidental” electrocutions within the prisons. Nobody sees anything, hears anything, nor knows anything about the circumstances.
However, if inmates tolerate the cartel established rules, peacefully co-exist and don’t cause any problems, they are permitted to live in open society.
If not, they are locked up by the cartel hierarchy and denied freedom of movement and their prison life becomes exponentially more unpleasant.
This is the place where the Lord has seen fit to plant this ministry and by His grace I am an official / unofficial chaplain to the prisons in Reynosa and Santa Adelaida.
Official in that I am recognized by the government as such, but unofficial in that I am not an employee and receive no financial benefit of any sort from the government or prisons of Mexico.
We have been ministering within these two prisons now for over 23 years.
Due to the prison’s open society policy, children and spouses of the inmates are able to visit most days from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We have been inside the prisons when riots and gun-battles have flared up. During the most recent one, nine people were shot and killed.
For the most part, there is at least a sense of order and relative calm during the time visitors are allowed.
The Christian libraries we have been able to establish have become a veritable “Whitt’s End” — a gathering place for children where Bible lessons and treats are provided.
Reaching the children has been a major emphasis. The libraries provide a safe haven for them to congregate away from the prison vices of open drug use and prostitution.
We have seen several of these children who have grown up and become involved in the ministry.
To date, over 25,000 Bibles and literally hundreds of thousands of gospel tracts have been distributed among the inmates, their families, and the guards.
It is our desire to not only lead men and women to Christ, but to also facilitate their growth in Bible knowledge and understanding so that they mature in the Lord and become the men and women of God that the Lord would have them be.
We also want to see these same men and women eventually carrying the Gospel to those in their own sphere of influence.
Therefore, the El Faro de Santidad Instituto de Correspondencia de Estudios Biblicos (Lighthouse Holiness Correspondence Institute of Biblical Studies) was established.
This is a comprehensive Bible Study Course of 274 studies that have, on average, a question for every 2 1/2 verses throughout the Bible.
Each lesson covers four chapters and has 20 true or false as well as 20 fill in the blank questions.
There is no commentary with these studies.
They are designed for the student to merely learn “what the Bible says.”
Ultimately the point is that in order to answer the questions, the student must carefully read the Scripture, and it is the Word of God that changes lives.
The Bible Studies took over eight years to be completed as I created them while regularly ministering in the prisons.
These studies are also recognized by the government of Mexico for inmate continuing education studies, and prisoners can receive “beneficios” (time taken off their sentence) for participating in them.
As of today, over 120,000 Bible Studies have been delivered and completed by the inmates.
By God’s grace, we know of dozens who have gotten saved doing these studies.
Many who have done the studies have been called into full-time ministry and are now pastoring churches, evangelizing, and taking the Gospel to others throughout Mexico and beyond.
And many are now using the very same studies that they completed as a vehicle to reach and teach those to whom they feel sent.
We feel that there is absolutely nothing more important than knowledge of God and His Holy inerrant Word.
J. Sidlow Baxter once penned a poem:
This is the greatest book on earth,
Unparalleled it stands;
Its author God, its truth divine
Inspired in every word and line
Tho’ writ by human hands.
This is the living rock of truth
Which all assaults defies.
O’er every stormy blast of time
It towers with majesty sublime;
It lives, and never dies.
This is the volume of the cross;
Its saving truth is sure;
Its doctrine pure, its history true,
Its Gospel old, yet ever new,
Shall evermore endure
This poem expresses our belief and love for God’s Word.
It has been said that the Bible is the only book that when it is opened the Author is present with the reader.
However, at times, it appears that not many people in this day and age have a deep hunger and interest in studying the Scriptures.
While the world gropes in darkness because of a lack of God’s light, the church meanders along anemic to the power of God’s Word.
Psalms 138:2 says – “I will worship toward the holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
God has magnified His Word above His own name!
Without the message of His Word His name is meaningless to those that are lost!
Without God’s Word there is no deliverance for the sinner from the power of sin.
Without God’s Word there is no anointing for the church.
Therefore, it has been our desire that these studies be a tool in the maturation process of the new saint of God.
We have also seen many hard core, drug addicted men and women fall under conviction and give their lives to the Lord just by doing these studies.
At the time of this writing there are 118 inmates currently enrolled in the Bible Study course in the prisons of Reynosa and Santa Adelaida, Mexico, as well as hundreds of inmates incarcerated throughout the United States.
These Bible studies are or have been used in the countries of Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Colombia, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Cameroon, Haiti, Russia, Ukraine, and Germany, as well as being used in prisons and churches throughout the United States.
Recently, the country of Iran was added to this list of places the studies have been used.
After giving our permission, a dear Pastor friend of ours felt the burden to have these studies published in the Farsi language which is the language of Iran.
It is a very long story, but the person contracted to translate the studies into Farsi is an Iranian college professor. Though not a Christian, the translator was willing to take the job and did a wonderful work.
While translating the studies, this person had to read the Scriptures to be sure that the answers were grammatically and properly stated in Farsi. By just reading the Scriptures in order to convert the studies into Farsi, God convicted this Muslim heart and revealed just who Jesus really is!
So in the process of converting the language, the translator was also converted and is now living a wonderful Christian life and faithfully attending one of our fellowshipping churches.
However, as it is often said: BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!
It didn’t stop there: the spouse also has come to the Lord, and their families in Iran are doing the studies!
There is power in God’s Word!
Please remember to pray for this work as we continue to reach out to the incarcerated in the country of Mexico. By God’s grace and mercy we are seeing a strong and mighty church arising with the prison inmates.