I recently let my 5-year-old daughter AnnaBelen drag me to a movie. Sitting in a comfortable seat in the air condition for two hours is what really sold it for me.
The movie was pretty bad but AnnaBelen seemed to like it. As the movie was ending, everything came together: The bad guy was caught and the main characters were reunited. In the closing moments of the movie, I had tears in my eyes. Hoping no one would notice and think that this movie had touched me so, I quickly wiped them away.
What saddened me was how in real life, in our ministries, we don’t always have these nice endings all tied up in a bow. Despite our efforts and hard work, people sometimes are not reunited.
As the movie was ending, I was thinking of Meriam, an 11-year-old girl in our Bible class, who has to move back to the Interior. She has not been with us very long but has been very active and always wants to talk. She is always happy to see us and told us that if it were not for our time together, she would be glad to move back to the Interior.
She is like so many kids in our Bible class that get moved around like pawns because their parents can’t get along. We often talk to parents, but it almost always seems to fall on deaf ears. There is only one kid in our class that has not moved in, moved away or moved around because of family problems.
This past month, The Evangelical Methodist Church of Paraguay elected a new Bishop. This is the third leader that the Methodist church has had in 25 years.
Our former Bishop, Pastor Pablo Mora, has been involved with the church from the very beginning. Angelica and I enjoyed working for and with Pastor Pablo Mora. He was always supportive of the things we wanted to do, encouraging us and occasionally reeling us in. We never had a bad experience with him and felt comfortable working under him. Angelica, like a good Paraguayan, is a little emotional about seeing “Grandpa” go. We wish Pastor Pablo and his wife Claudete the best in their next endeavors.
Pastor Pedro Magellanes is our new Bishop. Pastor Pedro and his wife Carla are Brazilian and have served here in Paraguay for over 20 years. Angelica and I look forward to working with the new Bishop and the new leadership that comes in with him.
Some Things Get Better With Time
In just a few weeks, classes will start at The Susanna Wesley School. This will be Angelica’s sixth year as Director. Like every year, the kids will return to nicer classrooms and improved teachers. We have been blessed with a great group of teachers that are dedicated to the children and to improving their teaching skills.
Without spending a little time in the Interior of Paraguay, this may seem like a small triumph, but it is much more. In the Interior, there is often little thought put into improving education and most teachers are under-qualified and under-motivated. Establishing an atmosphere of improvement can be difficult without significant monetary incentives. Angelica has surrounded herself with teachers that see her vision and want to implement and improve it.
Our work in Agriculture is on the cusp of a new era. Up to this point, the project has been a huge learning experience for me. It has also been an outreach of the church and a way for us to come to know and share with the families around us. This year some of our experimental projects will begin to produce. We will also start with our first full year or teaching and training with the help of the government.