Setting Jailed Hearts Free in Ecuador

August 03, 2012

Deep within Ecuador´s prison system, thousands of people live in physical and spiritual darkness. Unlike their counterparts in the United States, Ecuadorean prisoners are crammed into tiny and unsanitary prison cells. Most prisons serve as havens for the thriving underground drug trade of Ecuador and violence is commonplace. Overcrowding is a constant problem and the meager rations provided to prisoners must be supplemented by nearby friends and family to avoid malnutrition and disease.

Prison Outreach of Ecuador (POE) boldly steps into this darkness and goes behind bars to minister to these lost souls and to the loving family members who visit them.

Recently, POE was able to start a Bible study program in a prison located in Quito. There, 23 prisoners and three prison staff are studying courses such as "The Life of Jesus," based on the Gospel of John. The local prison authorities have noticed that prisoners who take Bible courses become a good example to other prisoners and help to reduce violence. POE also teaches the Bible to many of the children visiting their fathers in prison.

During the month of December, POE performs a special Christmas outreach among the children of the prisoners. Last year they were able to provide them with a good meal and some presents. Afterwards, they shared the gospel message with the children, and their parents and other adults present.

During this outreach, the ministry was also able to distribute discipleship materials and presents to fellow believers in prison. POE is hopeful that this Christmas they will be able to do even more outreach to Ecuador´s prison population and their families.