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Penitenciaría Nacional de Tacumbú-Paraguay
Penitenciaría Nacional de Tacumbú
Here in Asuncion, Paraguay we saw a level of TC ministry I have not seen anywhere else in the world. With passion and vision, Dr Rodney Hart set out to change lives. Twenty years later, they have changed an institution as they are changing a nation.
Tacucmbu Altar call

Penitenciaría Nacional de Tacumbú
is the largest prison in Asuncion. CODEHUPY, the Paraguay Human Rights Coordinating Board, reports that it was built to hold approximately 800 inmates but houses nearly 3 thousand men for most of the year.We saw hundreds of men sleeping with no pillow or clothes in the corridors.
Rodney Preach
Teen Challenge  OLD eyes
Eyes peer though the cracked window outside the Liberation Block. The window is open because the warden shut the electricity off to our block. It was 104 degrees outside, unbelievable inside with no fan, no lights ... but the hunger for the gospel was clear. Through the oppressive heat, inside lives men longing for freedom prayed-outside, they prayed through the chain link cracked window.
Aktar Call Singing in the "yard" prayer
For many prison is just a holding pen and few detainees ever receive a trial. Louie's drug habit got him deeply into debt. A companion told him if he muled some cocaine from South Africa he could "get even." He was busted with 4 kilos of cocaine crossing the Paraguay Border . . . the Police confiscated the drugs and told him, "Give us $10,000 or you will rot in prison." They had his drugs, he had no money. Now he is in Penitenciaría Nacional de Tacumbú. He has been 5 years waiting to be charged. I met many like Louie, but he is not bitter. "I am glad I got arrested in Paraguay. I met Jesus here at Teen Challenge in prison and now I am more free than I ever was.
Dr Rodney Hart
Dr Hart (left) was used powerfully to bring Teen Challenge to this prison. They still need to grow. There were 2 knifings and a guard shot prisoner outside the gate of Liberdad (Liberty) Block just while we were there. We prayed with prisoners for salvation every day, ministered to guards, we presided over training for peer facilitators and I was truly amazed at the continuing work of the Kingdom of God that continues out of the planting of Teen Challenge there. Ricardo Zelaya, executive Director of El Salvador TC, was a powerful part of the team
There are approximately 130 guards for nearly 3 thousand prisoners at Tacumbu prison. Because of the move of God only two guards are needed go preside over the 526 men in Liberdad Block. Outside, inmates frequently carry weapons. Escapes and escape attempts are frequent. In Liberdad, they carry Bible and a burden to pray.
Outside," in the chaka" corruption among prison guards and judicial officials remain a problem.
Inside, chaplains model servant leadership and compassion and they see that escape is not the answer, but dealing with the root of their sin, their need for Jesus and taking responsibility for their action. Dr Hart ministered a powerful word where he challenged them to consider going back into population. the charka' as Missionaries. While you are growing comfortable here in liberdad in the blessing of God (see last email)," he shared, "men out there are dying." PRAY FOR TACUMBU
Paraguay is now a constitutional republic with a population of approximately 6.3 million. In the midst of a declining dictatorship and unrest, God led Dr Rodney Hart to Paraguay to minister over 20 years ago. Overcrowded prisons, long used as holding pens with few detainees ever receiving a trial created a volatile environment as he began to reach out to Penitenciaría Nacional de Tacumbú. He helped to facilitate an Agreement of Cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Work, Resolution Nº 155, in 1992 to renovate the facility. As Christ rebuilt lives, the cell block was transformed. In 2003 voters elected Nicanor Duarte Frutos of the Colorado Party as president in generally free and fair elections.
As Rodney began his ministry in Paraguay, corruption and nepotism plagued these dingy institutions and throughout the criminal justice system. He started a church and a Teen Challenge right in the prison with supernatural results. Federal reforms sought to replace the former inquisitorial system with an new system, promising public and oral hearings, rights, guarantees to a speedy trial, and procedural efficiency, but when the government failed, as Rodney Hart and his family ministered, the PROMISE of God's word still delivered! Much remains to be done. Today 20 penitentiaries and correctional centers with a capacity of 3,800, hold more than 6,000 inmates, 60 % overcrowded. We will minister in Tacumbú Prison in Asuncion. It is designed to hold approximately 900 inmates, there they incarcerate an average of 3,000 prisoners.
Cell Entrance
Cell Before
As the power of God changed the hearts of the men, cell blocks that were once chaotic sewers, now are clean and orderly. What was once the most violent area in the prison, is now a place of peace. Most Tacumbu prisoners are locked in their cells before nightfall to protect them from being attacked or killed. In the Liberdad block, cells are left open until late at night with lights on so that inmates may read their Bibles, pray, and sing their praises to God.
Entrance today
Cells today cell block Cell block after
E - V O T I O N

David didn't suddenly become an expert marksman with a slingshot when Goliath showed up, or a master harpist when King Saul invited him to the palace. He took the long, slow, disciplined route. David had no idea what his future held, he found his joy and fulfillment in discovering and developing his gifts. Please never forget...

The greatest obstacle to moving forward in our walk with God is not what we, know, do not know, What we can do or cannot do … it is not ignorance; it's the illusion of knowledge. It is believing that you've done all you can 'arrived,' tried it all. When that happens you have stopped growing, then you are done!



The discouragement Zone:  Why try, we can’t do it.
The wounded zone: We tried that before, it never works here.
The comfort zone: 'I only do what I already know I can do.
(I Sam 14:2 Saul rests under the Pomegranate Tree when there are battles to be won,
or the Church of Laodicia in Rev 3:14-22
The coasting zone: 'I don't even do what I've done before.
The challenge zone: 'I will attempt what I haven't done before, if I tried before, I’ll try again, I will not quit. I can go where God sent me, Do what God told me! (Phil 3:13-14)
The MIRACLE ZONE: I will step out, doing what I can, knowing that God will do what I cannot do. Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God." And we must guide our desires by God's word. In all conflicts, remember that with God nothing is impossible

God has the answer for you!
I Chron 28:20: says “Take charge! Take heart! Don’t be anxious or get discouraged.  God, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed.
Jeremiah 32:17 'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,
Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift! II Corinthians 9:15 NIV