There is ROOM at the Inn
Leader Ismael Gimenez prays with new believers who came forward after his gospel message.
In 1921 Ismael Gimenez Cremasco was born, and while still an infant, he was stricken with polio.
The doctors predicted he would die, but he survived, even though his legs were hopelessly twisted and paralyzed. Fourteen years of this handicap left Ismael a hardened and embittered young man.
When two missionaries came to town, he went to the meetings with the intention of mocking and disrupting them. But as he sat and listened to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit began to convict him and he yielded his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not too long after his conversion, he began having dreams. In one, God gave a vision showing him preaching the gospel to people from all over Uruguay. When he shared this with the villagers, they all laughed, thinking the Bible had made him crazy.
But the Lord was already working in Ismael’s life. The same missionaries who had led him to the Lord stood by him, and even sought medical help for him.
As part of their ministry to serve the needs of the poor, BAU gave one man crutches (above) and an elderly woman, eyeglasses (below).
During the next few years, Ismael underwent four very painful and risky surgeries on his legs. These procedures involved breaking his crooked legs and allowing them to re-knit. Finally, at the age of 21 he was able to stand on his own two feet, and he learned to walk.
The Lord provided
The vision given to Ismael began to materialize. First, God provided a vehicle in 1949 which allowed him to travel throughout Uruguay and preach the Word. Over time several men and women were quietly won into service with the Bible Army of Uruguay (BAU).
As the ministry grew to four missionaries, they were located in different areas: two in the capital of Montevideo, one in the southern part of the country in a city called Colonial, and the fourth in the frontier city of Rivera, which is at the northern limit bordering Brazil. Many churches were born of this effort, and now missionaries are expanding the outreach to people in remote areas. Today, the ministry has a building in Montevideo where the focus of the work of mercy and hope is seen by all who pass through it.
A beacon of light
Ismael told Christian Aid, "Families from all over Uruguay find themselves in our midst for reasons of health. While they or a family member receive treatment at one of the local clinics or hospitals, the ministry provides free, temporary housing." This "inn" was established by Ismael and his wife, Sara, as an outreach ministry. Access to dormitories, showers and kitchens, is given to those who need shelter but cannot afford public accommodations. While passing through these facilities, thousands have witnessed the mercy of Christ, as BAU workers attended to their needs.
Exalting the name of our Lord
Bibles, New Testaments and other Christian literature are distributed throughout the Inn, and copies are available free of charge. Each project, every gift and any help given, is accompanied with a ticket imprinted "Bible Army of Uruguay," and underneath that, in bold red letters: "In the name of Christ." In this way, the greatest glory is given to the Lamb slain for our sins.
Faith with works
With help from Christian Aid, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, prosthetics and other medical supplies are provided to families who are unable to purchase these necessities themselves. For the very poor, clothing is available at the inn.
A vital part of this mercy outreach is the eyeglass ministry. The gift of vision is given to those who would otherwise be unable to see clearly or read. Workers report, "Thousands of eye glasses have been provided to the Lord’s children and no one knows the blessings we receive in helping."
Many Bibles have been provided by Christian Aid donors and are available for all who pass through the Inn at Montevideo.
Another outreach ministry provides services for anyone needing medical or social services. BAU also assists in finding adequate housing for the elderly or invalid.
Experiencing God’s love by the good works of these saints touches many lives.
Christian Aid has been assisting BAU for more than 20 years, including sending help for missionaries in the outlying areas, buildings for ministry use, equipment, and even toys for children who would otherwise be forgotten.
Christian soldiers march onward
The Bible Army of Uruguay is conquering souls for His kingdom in a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The growth of this ministry has been tremendous and its impact profound. Please pray for Ismael Gimenez and the rest of the Army as some sow and others reap the harvest for the Lord.