The Centro Agritenico Metodista is a project that was started by Agrimissions in partnership with the Evangelical Methodist Church in Paraguay. The project is located near the town of Yrubucua about 130 miles outside of the capital city of Asuncion. It is located in a rural area where almost all of the inhabitants are small farmers. The vision of the project was to start a small farm resource center to experiment and teach new crops and growing practices while maintaining a relationship with the local churches and helping in their goal of sharing Christ.
As good America Christians, the Centro Agritenico Metodista was started with a well thought out plan and set of goals. We put a great deal of time and effort into how this project could assist and help the farmers in Paraguay. We set goals such as when we could start harvesting and when we could start teaching. Financial goals were also set. We had plans for the next three years and were looking forward to the “good that we were going to do in Yrubucua”.
It soon became clear that meeting our teaching and financial goals was going to be a little more difficult than we anticipated. We discovered that getting the right personnel, both American and Paraguayan, was not so easy and that we had a little to learn about farming in Paraguay. There was a point when I felt that this ministry might need to be chalked up as a learning experience.
God had a different plan for the community that we were working in and the way the Centro Agritenico Metodista Center was to be used. My wife Angelica started using the facility for other activities, things such as cooking classes, sewing classes and woman’s devotionals. We started using the facility for children’s and youth activities. Through ours as well as Larry William’s and Doug and Becky Neel’s work in agriculture, we began to touch the community in so many other ways. If fact it seemed that the local Paraguayans were enjoying teaching us about agriculture. Now one of our largest churches and The Suzanna Wesley School are thriving only a few hundred meters from the center. I think the success of the church and the school is due to a greater sense of community which has been strengthened by the Centro Agritenico Metodista Center. The center has been our door to the community, it has provided the opportunity for us to serve the people in the area and work alongside them in a familiar setting.
Today the Centro Agritenico Metodista Center is so much more than just a place to practice agriculture. It is an outreach of the Methodist Church in Paraguay, a place that helps the people in the community live better lives and know Christ better. We are still working to improve the center to better meet the needs of the community and the church. We are looking for someone that would like to live on the property and act as director of the project.