Reaching Forgotten Souls and Changing LivesArgentina is a beautiful country with sandy beaches, majestic mountains, and a rich culture. But below the surface of this gorgeous land lies corruption and violence. Many people struggle with poverty, disease, drugs, and alcohol. Thefts are prevalent. Even the police force is involved in violent, illegal activities. This dark land is fueled by violence and illegal underground activities that make it dangerous for many of its citizens.
Deeply embroiled in all of this turmoil is a ray of light like no other: A ministry that brings the salvation of Jesus to hundreds of people that society has thrown away. SACDEM is a ministry introducing Jesus to prisoners and their children, the diseased, and the mentally ill. They minister to the souls that others refuse to see and bring the love of God to the darkest places that can be found.
Today, SACDEM is a Christian ministry for inmates and mentally ill people. They also provide so much more! The work is done through their Work Teams, volunteers, and a caring and hands-on Board of Directors. Together, they currently give help to over 1,400 mentally ill patients and administer to 16 different prisons across Argentina.
Their Prison Ministry: ~ Men and women prisoners throughout Argentina - they help by conducting Bible studies and spiritual assistance, teaching inmates that God can save and forgive all of their sins if they let Him - to spiritually and physically change their lives through the healing power of Christ. SACDEM provides counseling and one-on-one time with prisoners to help them through this dark time. After they have accepted Christ, SACDEM works hard to focus on the prisoners’ discipleship. After inmates are released, SADEM will help them rebuild their homes and help them assimilate into society and the work force again.
They have also been able to give thousands of New Testaments and Bibles to people in many prisons. Another gratifying achievement is that we were able to attest to the growth in the spiritual life of those who had recently accepted the Lord. Over 200 incarcerated men and women have had the joy of being baptized while in prison.
SACDEM’ s Ministry for the Mentally Ill:Currently, this ministry provides love and support to over a 1,000 men and women in mental hospitals and institutions across Argentina. They provide pastoral care and the love of family to those who have been forgotten. Usually, when a member of the family becomes mentally ill, the family will cut them off and forget about them. SACDEM comes to their rescue and provides outings, clothes, shoes, and personal hygiene products which they deliver personally. They also provide church services and Bible studies several times throughout the month.
“Our trust and faith in the Lord remain intact, for He is patient with us and has never left our side.”
HistorySACDEM was founded in 1984. Its founder, Daniel Ruffinatti, is no stranger to the perils of prison and the pitfalls that lead to sin. He was a police officer in Argentina. Their police force was corrupt and he was not allowed to resign. Instead, he was forced into illegal dealings such as killing and drugs. He oversaw theft and corruption. Many police officers in Argentina commit suicide. He survived it but was eventually arrested on multiple counts of theft and sentenced to prison. He was held in maximum security. While in prison, Daniel read the Bible and he found Jesus once again, and committed his life to God. From that day forward, Daniel made it his mission to administer to the prisoners and share with them his love for God. He started a prison ministry while he served his sentence and half of the prison attended regularly! God moved in his life and changed it forever. God healed his body from drug addiction and his heart from violent sin. For years now, he has dedicated his life to this ministry and thousands of lives have been saved through SACDEM’ s healing ministry.
SACDEM’ s Children’ s Prison Ministry:In Argentina, children who are born in prison stay with their mothers until they are four years old. This leaves hundreds of children living in the prison system with their mothers. These children are prone to violent behaviors due to witnessing violent events in the prison system. They are also inside walls all day and are thus not allowed to mentally and physical grow as other children do. SACDEM saw the need in these children and developed a program especially geared for them. Through their program, the children can live at SACDEM for a week at a time and get to play outside and with other children under the loving, watchful eyes of the staff. They learn about Jesus and live and laugh in the sunshine. After a week, they go back to their mothers for a week. The cycle then begins; one week at SACDEM and one week at the prison until they reach the age of 4. Then, if the mother has no one to send the child to outside the prison walls, SACDEM will gladly take the child to raise until the mother serves her sentence. Currently, this ministry is raising six children while their mothers are incarcerated.
SACDEM also provides the children in the prison system with: clothes, shoes, medicines, powdered milk, and school supplies.
Oakseed has been partners with SACDEM since 1998, offering prayer and monetary support wherever they can.
This amazing ministry is growing and the need for support is always there. They are planning to expand to reach as many souls for Christ as they can. The need is great and the fields are ripe for the harvest for the Lord.
Please keep this ministry in your prayers as they continue to reach those lost and steeped in sin. All prayers are needed now as well as prayers for monetary help. As the economy in Argentina grows worse, so does the need for help.