Pastor Eric Peña grew up in one of the worst neighbourhoods in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. As a country, Honduras has the reputation of being number one in gang violence in the world. Eric was involved with the gangs from a very early age. Although he was not known as a “bad” kid, he did many bad things that were considered normal where he lived.
As he became an adult, he married a “Christian” girl but his personal lifestyle changed very little. In time, they had a son. Two years later, the toddler was playing in the street and consequently, run over by a donkey pulling a cart. The boy died. In a state of grief, Eric turned to Christ but it only lasted a short time and soon he was back to his old ways.
After several years, his wife’s pastor stopped by their house and challenged Eric to serve the Lord in a way that no one had ever talked to him. He was saved and immediately began to serve in his church. Because his transformation was so radical and everyone recognised a call of God on his life, he was asked to pastor a church plant in a nearby neighbourhood. He had no Bible training so his original pastor encouraged him to join Global Action’s training.
A few months later, the police came and arrested him for a prior incident when he was in the gang. While in prison, his wife was forced to pastor the church and soon joined GA’s Bible training as well. Eric was able to finish his Bible training inside prison because Global Action holds a training programme there.
Recently, Eric was unjustly sentenced to 29 years in prison. We still believe God that one day he will be released and live with his family once again.
As a result…
Eric is living out the story of Joseph. He was abruptly taken from his family, and thrown into prison. Despite his circumstances, he has allowed God to use him mightily within the prison. God has given him favour as he has proven himself faithful to God’s call and the situation he in which he has found himself.
As an associate pastor inside the prison, he has won many inmates to Christ and serves as an example to both inmates and prison guards. He is making disciples! He stays in contact with our local office and serves as the “resident” Global Action representative within the prison. He helps to run our Global Module Studies that has averaged 25 students per year that is equipping inmates to pastor churches inside and eventually out of prison.
Recently, the pastor of the church within the prison walls, who has spent the last 11 years in prison, was given his release. He approached Eric to pray about becoming the Senior Pastor and providing leadership for 4 other “churches” inside El Centro Penal.
Eric loves working in the prison; however, he wants to be free to be with his family but is submitted to the will of God.
Please pray for his protection and provision for his family. Pray for his strength and encouragement regardless of the situation. Pray for the many prisoners that need Christ.