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Ex-Prisoner Inspires Outreach to Mexico


A former prisoner’s vision to reach out to his hometown in Mexico has found support from First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.

         Enrique Arreaga, recently released from the Newton (Iowa) Correctional Facility, wanted to provide his small town of Michoacan, Mexico, with the gospel and some basic supplies.

First CRC member John Henderson, who ministered to Enrique in prison, passed along Enrique’s wish to Fred Van Den Broek, who chairs the church’s mission committee.

With the help of Van Den Broek, First CRC and a Pella thrift store worked together to secure clothing, dishes, toys, nonperishable food, and Spanish Bibles for Enrique’s hometown.

The first shipment went to Michoacan with relatives who had come to visit in Iowa. Van Den Broek hopes to send shipments of goods every four to six weeks.

“If you read Matthew 28, it tells us to go out and make disciples of all nations,” Van Den Broek said. “It’s a command from Jesus to his disciples and us. It’s our responsibility to take action.”

Van Den Broek said that Enrique and other prisoners want to start a church in Michoacan, and First CRC may help with that project too.

“The prisoners have a great vision of sharing with those in need,” he said. “We’re just an extension of these people getting their vision of the new life [salvation] started.”  

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