Dear Friends of the Mordecai Project:
The apostle Paul told the Philippians: “I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:4-5). I love that word “partnership.” It shows that we need each other to finish the job Jesus gave us. I am blessed to call you a partner!
I place a high value on relationships. Even though The Mordecai Project sponsors events and launches programs, we are really more about people than anything else. In every nation where we work, we rely on our overseas partners, and we are there to support them.
Below you can see my friends Fernando and Roxana Perez, who have been my contacts in El Salvador since I began going there more than 12 years ago. Roxana runs a ministry called Sendas, which helps rehabilitate abused women, and Fernando has recently gone full-time to help her in this ministry. During my trip there this month I stayed in their home and they hosted me as I preached in numerous churches and retreats.
El Salvador is listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women because of the high rates of abuse and femicide. One of the reasons it is so violent is that vicious teenage gangs control neighborhoods. In some cases the police are either afraid to challenge them, or the police actually help them. This has made ministry very dangerous there, but God protected me during my 10-day visit.
Roxana and Fernando operate a shelter in a needy neighborhood in the capital of San Salvador. On my first day there I preached to a group of women who have been getting counseling and assistance from Sendas. The women have started a bakery to help meet their expenses. During my meeting the Lord touched these women in a profound way and some said they experienced deep emotional healing.
Another one of my key partners in El Salvador is this pastor below, Ricardo Quinteros, who leads a church called Luminaries. I spoke there during my visit last year and God knit my heart with his. He shares my burden to disciple the next generation and to heal the many people who struggle because of fatherlessness. I spoke at this church three times during this year’s visit.
Ricardo, Fernando and I also led a men’s retreat with a group of young men from the city. We went away to a coffee plantation high in the mountains. We shared messages about how to be healed from father wounds, how to stay sexually pure, how to treat your wife with respect, and how to disciple other men. We know the best way to stop the abuse of women in El Salvador is to raise up a new generation of men who are free from the old macho mindsets of the past. These guys were set free!
In many Latin countries, the machismo culture tells men that they can’t cry, admit their faults or show their emotions. So we had small groups during our retreat to encourage them to overcome this macho pride. It was amazing! Below you can see my small group. The guys confessed their sins, wept and overcame serious issues. It is wonderful to see the way God is healing this young generation.
Another one of my partners in El Salvador is this couple below, David and Marta Alvarado. I prophesied over them two years ago when they were youth pastors. Today they are the lead pastors of a church called Frateridad Cristiana in the city of San Miguel. I went to their church to do a special leaders meeting as well as a pastor’s marriage conference.
God moved powerfully in the marriage event, and many of the couples experienced deep healing in their relationship. In El Salvador many marriages suffer because the men are still trapped in the machismo mindset. Husbands struggle to show affection and sometimes they can even be abusive. You can imagine that if pastors are struggling with this, the men in the congregation are having even worse problems. The pastors in San Miguel were so blessed by this meeting that they have asked me to come back next year to do a two-day retreat.
I did many other church meetings while I was in El Salvador, including a meeting at a church in downtown San Salvador. This church is reaching a poor community, but God is calling many of the members to ministry. In the photo below you can see people who responded to an altar call to surrender to missionary work. God is raising up the laborers needed for the harvest!
The last church I preached at before returning home was Iglesia Ciudad de Dios in a town called Soyapango. This town is totally controlled by gangs (and I saw the gang members patrolling the streets) but the church continues to grow. Below you can see me with pastor David Urquia, a brave young leader who has led this church for 14 years. One unique thing about this church is that the congregation sits in airplane seats! They came from old Delta airplanes, and they were donated by a local company that remodels aircraft. It was fun to tell the people to put on their seatbelts and store their tray tables!
Below you can see the members of Ciudad de Dios on the night I visited. God poured out His Spirit in a special way when I preached about the healing power of the Father’s heart. Many people came to the altar for healing, either because their fathers were abusive, alcoholic, distant or absent.
I came home from El Salvador with a renewed conviction that the only way we can heal an abusive, fatherless society is to disciple the next generation and help raise up both men and women whose hearts have been healed. This is the message of Malachi 4:4-6: God says He will “restore the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers.” I saw this happen last week. Below you can see me with some of the young men who came to our retreat. They now have copies of my book “10 Lies Men Believe” in Spanish. They are armed to change their culture for Jesus!
Thanks again for praying for me on this trip. You may remember that I was supposed to go to Honduras after the El Salvador trip. But while I was in El Salvador there was a contested presidential election in Honduras, and protests erupted all over the country. There were marches in the streets, and angry mobs were burning tires and looting stores (below). A curfew was imposed, and I sent word for my intercessors to pray about whether I should cancel. In the end, I decided it was not wise to go. My hosts want me to come back to Honduras when things have calmed down.
Thank you again for your prayers. It was a fruitful trip and I arrived home in time to see an unusual December snowfall in Georgia! I am home for the rest of the year to rest and recharge for a busy 2018.
Thank you for believing in our work. Deborah and I love you very much! I will send one more end-of-the-year newsletter to let you know how God worked in 2017. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and we hope you are surrounded by those you love. All our children and grandchildren will be joining us this year in LaGrange for the holidays.
We would be blessed if you could consider sending a special end-of-the year gift to help us touch more people with the healing love of Jesus. Please help us finish our shelters in Peru, Guatemala and India, and help us launch the work in Malawi, Kenya and Uganda. We need your partnership!
Lee and Deborah Grady
The Mordecai Project
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241
The Mordecai Project is a Christian ministry devoted to empowering women, confronting abuse and transforming nations through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
All gifts are tax-deductible. Secure online donations can be made at our website themordecaiproject.org/donate
Checks can be made out to The Mordecai Project and mailed to:
The Mordecai Project / Bold Venture Ministries
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rev. Matt Judd
Good News Church
Pickens, South Carolina
Rev. Luis Roig
Casa del Padre
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
Rev. Eddie Taylor
Rev. Beth Taylor
Taylor Ministry Group
Re. James Graham
International Gospel Outreach
Rev. Dee Mueller
The Hearth Ministries