On July 23-25, Ernesto and Marina led a marriage retreat that was sponsored by Altar de Misericordia (Altar of Mercy) Church in Moses Lake, WA. About 60% of the men who attended the event have a past history with drugs and gang affiliation.
One of the men left his gang when he accepted Christ. He spoke out boldly, saying "the best life is to live in Christ!" His old gang respected his courage and told him he would be safe as long as he stayed committed to the church. But, they said, if he left they would kill him. There is a surprising respect for a life of faith, even among gang members.
At the retreat, Ernesto shared about 1) understanding that work is a blessing from God, 2) managing money as a couple, and 3) choosing to be a father who is not absent and indifferent, but one who teaches his children to read the Bible and to love the Lord.
During the three days of the event, the Lord manifested himself in a wonderful way through the worship music, by preparing the hearts of participants to receive Ernesto’s message, and by bringing inner healing for many individuals and relationships. When people were invited to come forward for prayer, entire families went to the altar to be ministered to.
Ernesto and Marina say, “Many of the families are new believers and are eager to learn more about the Lord. And we could see how they received the message with joy on their faces and tears of happiness.”
The event closed with a prayer of blessing for the pastor couple, Justino and Rosalba Salmerón, who started the church eight years ago to serve in this area of great spiritual need.
Ernesto Pinto is thrilled for the opportunity to be back among people. He says, "sharing the Gospel with people... meeting the needs people have... this is a real way to worship God!" Photos taken by Marina Pinto.