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The gospel in a driveway

One moment of evangelism changes hundreds of lives in Venezuela

For more than 30 years, God has prepared the way for his Word to take root in Venezuela, from the mouth of an American who didn’t speak Spanish to the hearts of more than 600 Venezuelans. 

Equipping Evangelist with a group of students in Venezuela, circa 1994. All of them accepted Christ when he shared the gospel with them in a driveway.

The year was 1989. A young Equipping Evangelist (now the leader of OneWay’s Heart Bible for the Nations) had never been overseas before and didn’t speak Spanish but found himself in Venezuela on a trip with his church’s youth group. Everywhere he went, Equipping Evangelist played his guitar — the only way he knew to communicate without speaking — and teenagers would draw near to hear. He began building relationships, playing baseball and basketball with them. But on his last day there, Equipping Evangelist knew he had to get serious.

In a missionary’s driveway, he shared the gospel with 22 teenagers, and every one of them accepted Christ. Among them was Felix, who showed up that day simply because he had heard there were Americans in Venezuela. From that moment on, he was changed, becoming president of the youth group at the missionary’s church. Felix now oversees a group of about 300 pastors.

Annabel, another teen who was saved that day, got a job at TransWorld Radio station and created a puppet named Pedro el Pulpo (octopus). She is now known throughout all of Latin America as Tia Annabel.

Felix and his wife, Ninosca

Along with many others who were there that day, Felix wrote letters to Equipping Evangelist, who said that one day when he returned, he would be able to speak Spanish. 

“I've never had an experience like that,” Equipping Evangelist says, “to be able to communicate the gospel to people in another culture. I felt like this was so natural. I thought, ‘if I can learn more languages, I’ll be able to talk to that many more people.’”

True to his word, Equipping Evangelist returned about four times between 1989 and 2001, fluent in Spanish.

In 2007, he returned again with his wife and found Felix with his young family at a church in Merida, a mountain village of Venezuela, pastoring a transformed community. Families who had been stuck in cycles of alcoholism for generations had broken free when Felix brought the gospel to them. Former alcoholics were now leaders in the church, and their children became the first generation there to grow up free from the curse of addiction. 

The church is now a “Heart Bible for the Nations Church,” and more than 600 believers from 18 churches there have learned to hide God’s Word in their hearts through Bible storytelling. Because an 18-year-old boy showed up in a driveway one day in 1989, today, hundreds of Venezuelans know and love scripture deeply.

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