By Christian Dickson
Junior and Angelo want so badly to be a part of everything we do at church. They come to Bible studies for adults, show up to women’s meetings, drop in on youth activities and sometimes have to be carried home after falling asleep in the church. Usually before they leave, they ask if everything is over just to make sure they don’t miss out on anything. Often they inform Angelica that they have cleaned up and put on their best clothes to come to church. On occasion, their parents have been a little upset because the boys leave the house and wander up to church without telling them. The two boys are among the many kids that attend our church by themselves.
Last weekend we had an activity at the botanical gardens for the kids from all the Methodist churches in Asuncion. When we arrived at the church to pick up the kids, Angelica and I were surprised to see Junior and Angelo. Angelica asked if they had permission from their parents and they said, “yes” because they cried all night and both got up at 5:30 a.m. to nag their parents until they finally gave in. We had hours of fun with over 200 kids at the park. When we returned to the church, the boys were just hanging around, so Angelica told them that she would walk them home. They both questioned why we were not having our Bible study and Angelica told them because everyone had been at the park playing all morning and were tired. They questioned this and finally we had to admit it was because the adults were tired.
This last month we reached a goal that was set years ago by other missionaries and Christians in the US. It turned out to be a little more of a long-range plan than was first anticipated, requiring the efforts of many people other than the original people who were involved. Through lots of prayer, sometimes not so pleasant discussions, and work, the Agriculture Center (Centro Agritenico Metodista) in Yrubucua has had its first classes in the community on Agriculture.
We have developed a relationship with The Ministry of Agriculture and hope to build on this in our efforts to assist farmers. This is an area in ministry in which the nationals are playing a very important role. We are really coming in to help the Paraguayans help themselves. It is a blessing to be a part of a team, to see everyone contribute and to see what was once just an idea start to develop and contribute to the community and toward the plan of sharing Christ.
Each year, Angelica and I discuss the possibility of not continuing as the Chaplains for the national youth. As Chaplains it seems that we are always having to balance between the “rebel” youth and the “boring” adults. The youth want to do things more exciting and the adults want the youth to calm down. We get phone calls from adults and e-mails from the youth. We have to balance between being cool (which I am helping Angelica with) and keeping the kids in line. Sometimes this tug-of-war can get old. Just when we think we have had enough, we are replenished, refreshed and renewed through our time with the youth.
Meet the Children
Many of you have asked to know more about individual children so that you can pray for or sponsor a specific child. We will periodically be introducing you to the children at the Suzanna Wesley school and surrounding area. Regular updates will be under the menu item Suzanna Wesley School. Or, just click here to “meet the children!”
Paraguay is rough on trucks! Angelica and I have a lot of truck repair that we put off because of other expenses. With our current funding, it is difficult for us to maintain our trucks.