|Counselor Antonio Torres|
(Oct. 19, 2012 - by Harold Goerzen) Pedro* was feeling depressed and distraught a year ago—desperate enough to take his own life. His wife had just announced that she was leaving him, and he was struggling with unresolved feelings of homosexuality.
He was preparing to hurl himself in front of the wheels of a trolley car on a busy street in Quito, Ecuador, leaning forward when a woman standing next to him noticed his intentions and grabbed him before he could leap.
“She held onto him with all her strength,” shared Antonio Torres in his monthly report from the counseling center at Radio Station HCJB where he serves.
After the traumatic incident, the woman took Pedro to a nearby business to rest. She insisted that he visit the radio station, confident that he would find the help he needed. Later when he came to the main gate of the campus, the receptionist called Torres, and he listened to the distressed man’s story.
Pedro grew up in a dysfunctional family where his parents thought it was funny to dress him up like a girl and make him play with dolls. As a teenager he began developing feelings toward other boys, and at one point he became the victim of a sexual assault.
After hearing about the man’s series of problems, Torres confided that Christ was his only hope. He opened the Bible and shared the plan of salvation with Pedro who committed his life to the Lord.
The man began attending an evangelical church in Quito and joined a men’s cell group where he was discipled in his faith. He also took three months of baptismal classes, and late this summer he was baptized, publically testifying of his faith in Christ who saves and heals.
His life transformed, Pedro is now helping in the church’s evangelism department. “I thank God for rescuing this precious soul,” Torres said. “Pedro is very happy, attends the cell group and each day gives glory, honor and praise to the Lord.”
The suicidal man was just one of dozens of people who receive Christ each year as a result of Torres’ counseling ministry, many coming to the station in response to the local broadcasts.
|Torres explains the plan of salvation to a counselee.|
In one recent month, Torres counseled 77 individuals in person and another 65 via telephone. Of these, nine people, ranging in age from 30 to 56 years, received Christ. In addition, he prayed with 52 callers who had urgent requests.
One of these calls came from the family of a man named Byron who was suffering from terminal cancer that had spread to his liver, lungs and kidneys. Torres offered to visit the dying man in his home, which he did, sharing the truths from the Bible.
“After a short exposure of the Word of God, and presenting the plan of salvation for which God through his beloved Son offers, Byron in tears of repentance, received the Lord in his heart,” Torres related. “Likewise his wife, Elizabeth, and his son, Byron Jr., came to Christ. It was a great blessing!”
He added that the family now listens to Radio Station HCJB, and various family members are attending an evangelical church. Byron is too sick to attend, “but he is saved, and when the Lord calls he will go happily into His presence.”
In another recent example, José and his wife, Orfelina, came to the counseling center about a year ago, demoralized by the behavior of their 28-year-old son, Diego, who was hooked on drugs and alcohol. He had even begun stealing from them to support his habits.
“They told me that their son had been admitted to five different reform programs in different parts of Ecuador,” he shared. “But in each case he only stayed a few days before coming back home.”
Torres said he also talked directly with Diego who confessed with tears in his eyes, “I want to change and not remain a social leech.”
Sensing that Diego needed a change of scenery and more extensive care, Torres made arrangements for him to enroll in an 18-month Christian rehabilitation program in Lima, Peru, that operates on donations.
“It has been eight months already, and reports are that things are going very well for Diego, moving forward,” Torres reported. “His parents are happy, and they attend an evangelical church every Sunday. I thank my God for this life, and I’m sure that Diego is already an instrument of God—an example for many people who sink into the mire of vices. Diego is happy and always thanks me.”
Torres ended his monthly report as follows: “I ask your prayers so that God would sustain me every day and provide me with more wisdom for His glory and honor.”
* Pseudonym used to protect the person’s privacy.
Source: HCJB Global