Through the end of 2023, we’ll share stories from the past 15 years of ministry. It’s our way of remembering all God has done and encouraging us for what’s ahead. We invite you to read, watch, and pray about how you could be involved in investing in the future of our work. Here’s Lazaro’s story…
Pastor Lazaro was one of the first pastors we met during our Amazon travels, and he attended our Pastors’ Conferences from the beginning. Pastor Mike Minter said his story was “one of the greatest accounts I’ve ever personally experienced in my life.”
Lazaro’s father was a witch doctor, and he was supposed to be one too, having been dedicated to it as a child. But when he was around 17, his family moved to an apartment surrounded by four Christian women who prayed for him and never gave up on him. Finally, he gave his life to Christ and eventually became a pastor with a huge heart for young people. JMI supported many of Pastor Lazaro’s youth retreats by providing food.
Pastor Lazaro and his wife Lili were full of joy and faithfully attended our Pastors’ Conference every year. But in February of 2020, he was not there because he was in the hospital in Manaus battling cancer. When the conference ended, a friend who is a nurse at the hospital was able to sneak a small group of us in to see him. Pastor Lazaro was in pain but still smiling and wearing one of his Pastors’ Conference t-shirts. Mike Minter was able to pray over him and encourage him one last time. About one week later, Pastor Lazaro went home and was gathered into the arms of his precious Jesus.
God used Pastor Lazaro to spread the Good News up and down the Amazon River, and his ministry continues today through those who came to Christ because of his faithfulness. His story continually inspires us in our work with jungle pastors. In 2024, we have plans to add a third Jungle Pastors’ Conference to train, equip, and encourage even more men and women to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel. We invite you to support us with your prayers and giving. Here’s a message from Mike.
Lazaro’s story is told in JMI’s 15-Year Anniversary Book. Get your copy here.