Juntos Para Siempre: Together Forever (AnnaBelen)

One of the great things about being a missionary is that our schedule is very flexible. We almost never “have to” be somewhere at any specific time but are always on call.
Angelica and I are together almost all the time and we are with the kids most of the time when they are not in school. Both Camila and AnnaBelen are important parts of our ministry and are usually right beside us in whatever we do. Except for three or four days a month when I am traveling and they are in school, we are never apart. 

Because of this, we don’t do well apart. Recently, a good friend of ours took Angelica and I on a cruise. AnnaBelen questioned our commitment to her and Camila, saying, “As missionaries, we should not be doing such things.”

Angelica and AnnaBelen will be in the States from March 23 until May 3rd, for AnnaBelen to participate in a special program to help her with reading. I did not sleep much the night before they left and started missing them when Camila and I left the airport. We are thankful we have the opportunity to get help for AnnaBelen, but we will sure miss them for the next six weeks.

More Than Just on the Surface

Last month we had our annual youth camp, just as we have for the past 12 years. The camp is always a lot of work but comes with great expectations. This year, like always, we were not disappointed first, with all the help we had from the talented and dedicated youth who work with us and second, with the participation. We had over 200participants and 46 youth who came from the northern district, about five hours away. We even had a youth come from Argentina because he had heard about the physical and spiritual healing at previous camps.

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These camps are tremendous experiences and really seem to make a difference in the lives of the youth. They feel comfortable with Angelica and a few of the youth leaders. There is always lots of time spent in counseling and prayer. Many of the youth told Angelica that they were comfortable sharing things with her that they would not share with anyone else.

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This year we are striving to keep in touch with the youth Angelica counseled, and we are working with the pastors in continuing what was started at the camp. We are also planning to visit many of the youth and their churches this year.

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Closed and Open Doors

When we returned to Paraguay after Christmas in the US, I was met with some disappointing news. Our work together with the Ministry of Agriculture has turned sour. The Ministry of Agriculture has made some classic mistakes, the kind that we were taught
about repeatedly in missionary training. It seems both the government and the people who live in the village around the Ag. Center are not interested in working together. We decided to pray about the situation and began discussing our options. A week later the government contacted us about the possibility of working with a different group and doing a better job of applying the things we have learned.

The community in which we work knows that our goal is to help them live better lives and share the Gospel. This makes for a healthy environment, one in which we can just change course and try again if things don’t work out. The support Angelica and I receive to serve here as volunteers makes this environment possible. It also encourages the people and the government to do what they feel is their part in reaching our goals.

Tough Decisions

We are surrounded by needs: some small some big, some with easy solutions, others with seemingly no solution at all. Angelica and I are always doing a balancing act between what we should dedicate ourselves to and what is best not to tackle. It is not just the scope of the need but also determining if we can really even solve a problem. Funding and time are usually a major part, but sometimes we just can’t solve a problem. We believe that God can solve any problem and always go to Him in these situations.

As many of y’all know, children’s needs slide through the cracks and some children have even died here because of lack of attention to details. We have children in the community in which we serve who are not being taken care of emotionally, physically, and
educationally. We ask y’all to join us in prayer for how to improve this situation.

Many of y’all know that allocating money is not always the best way to tackle these problems, and we stand the danger of opening ourselves up to other problems in the future. As partners in the ministries in Paraguay, we want y’all to know about tough decisions we are confronted with. I plan to send a special newsletter out about some details, once we have more information.    

Paraguayan Fact:

THIS almost never happens!

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Focusing on the People

I don’t know about you, but I am not a person who often does things I don’t want to do. Only in an emergency or when it can really benefit someone do I put my sentiments aside. My first week here in Paraguay, I figured out it is best to just tell the Paraguayans when I do not like something. Now they joke about the things that I “won’t do”.

Though people sometimes talk about the sacrifices of being a missionary, I am not really that “sacrificial.” I live and serve in Paraguay because I enjoy it; I think God prepares us for what He asks of us. I don’t think He would call us to a life of continual discomfort.

Many of you know, I consider those who pray for us, support us, or visit us “partners in ministry.” Most of you can’t or don’t want to live in Paraguay, but that does not change your commitment to God and His plan to share the Gospel. Each one of you is an important part of what happens down here. 

Since y’all are partners in the ministry in Paraguay, I thought I would fill you in on some of the things I am being asked to do but don’t want to do, and to be honest, probably will not do.

In the back of all missionaries’ mind is the problem of dependency. Before arriving in the field, we are trained about the potential pitfall of dependency, and we are encouraged to take that into account as we consider how best to use our funds. Many times, when we don’t get the intended results we desire, it is because we have funded incorrectly. I have been reading a lot about doing missions well and how to fund it correctly.

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Angelica and I focus a lot on education. Our thinking is you can never take away what someone has learned. Once money is spent to educate, the recipients will always have that knowledge. We feel the same way about discipleship programs. We work hard to get to know people and to identify those who have both potential and calling. These are the things we feel are worthwhile. We care about the church here in Paraguay, but really, we focus on people.

Without getting into too much detail, I would say we are being encouraged to be more involved with the church as an institution, both with our time and resources. I am pushing back on this, not because I have a problem with the national church here in Paraguay, but because I think we can be more effective by serving and developing people.

We have been tremendously blessed by churches in The States. I know the benefit of a strong church environment. However, I think our Paraguayan friends should build and be responsible for their own churches. We want to be members, help prepare leaders and disciples, and let them run their church. Angelica and I feel we can better serve the Paraguayans and spread the Gospel by investing in people.

Included in this post are pictures of some of the people we have touched together. These are people who have a relationship with Christ, a personal relationship with Him.

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Toddler_WEBLydia_bothParaguayan Fact:

The gospel really IS good news!

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Look Out! The Paraguayans are coming.

When I first began my preparations to serve here in Paraguay, I knew almost nothing of this country, and I really did not know too much about missions. I knew I wanted to serve in the field and felt fairly confident that God would take care of the details. I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what I needed to become and what I was going to do. I have “become” something and I “do” a little, but it is the people we work with who really make things chic down here in Paraguay.

I met Angelica my first 45 minutes in Paraguay and started developing friends shortly after. I was introduced to dozens of kids and youth within my first week in country.  We have all been working together for the past 12 years, sharing Christ.

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In December, we are bringing a few friends with us to visit. These are youth that have been a vital part of our ministry for years. They are just a few of the great people who we work with down here.  They are energetic, enthusiastic followers of Christ, and we look forward to having y’all meet them.

You can’t beat the Christmas season in The States!

I know the Paraguayans get tired of me telling them how great the Christmas season is at home. I always tell them that Christmas is meant to be celebrated in the cold, because we know it was snowing when Jesus was born!

Anyway we are looking forward to sharing a little of our Christmas traditions with our friends and hope that we can get around to see as many of y’all as possible during our time at home.

Spreading the Gospel

Things move slow down here. I always heard we are slower down in The South compared to the rest of the country. Well, we are even slower down here in South America.

Two years ago, Angelica and I began focusing on the youth outside of the capital city of
Asuncion. We wanted them to have the same camaraderie and unity as the youth in Asuncion. We wanted them to have opportunities to develop, have fellowship and healing, if needed.

Over the past eight months we have been very active in the central part of the country. We have hosted several youth and adolescent events. Both the youth and the pastors have really responded. The youth from Asuncion were with us in everything we did.

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We have come to know the youth from the Interior better and are working with several of them in leadership development. Angelica has also been able to develop a relationship and work with some of the girls who have suffered abuse.

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We are hoping to use the agriculture center that many of y’all have had the pleasure of visiting over the years, as a place to meet more frequently with the youth leaders in this part of the country. We also see this as a mission for some of the youth leaders from Asuncion.

Paraguayan Fact

All gas stations need a hang-around dog.

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The Youth are Our Future

We often hear people say “youth are our future.” In my younger days, I recall parents saying “learn all you can from your children before they turn 18 and forget everything like their parents.” Now, as a parent myself, I think some of those people might have had a good point. I learn A LOT from my daughters, so I can see the wisdom in saying “the youth are our future!” However, it’s false if you are talking about the church here in Paraguay.

In Paraguay, the youth are not our future. The youth are our present. The youth alone make up more than half the congregation of our churches. They don’t just fill a chair in the crowd. They serve in the church. Even some of our pastors would be what many of y’all would consider youth.

The evangelical church here in Paraguay is teeming with energy, inspiration and vision. They understand that the power and joy of knowing and serving Christ is for people of all ages.

Most of these young Christian are first generation followers of Christ. Many don’t have parents who live out a Christian example in their lives. Their problem is not conviction of faith, it is how to live out their beliefs on a day-to-day basis. They believe in Jesus and want to know how that should direct their lives.

The youth down here in Paraguay are the life of the church and Angelica and I are grateful for the opportunity to help them apply their faith and for the opportunity to work along side them.

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Really The Kids Are The Tough Ones To Hang-Out With

Angelica, Camila, and I just finished our annual Adolescence Camp for the National Church. For three days, we had kids together from all over the country. It is three days of noise, celebration, learning, praying, singing, playing, and very little sleep. Oh yeah, and boyalso there are power outages and extreme heat. The kids are so intense that we bring in “pinch hitters” for various activities just so Angelica can rest a bit. When I need a break, I usually pull the father trick and say, “I need to take care of AnnaBelen.” If we are able to get more than three hours of sleep each night, we are lucky!  

These camps are tough on us older people, but they are worth it! Each year the experience seems better. Each year the kids are touched more. Each year the kids leave feeling forgiven and enabled. Each year Angelica and I come closer to God through our time with these kids.

Now it is time to get ready for Youth Camp!

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Mama Says “No!”

Whenever I travel to the Interior, AnnaBelen always wants to come. If she is not in school, with a little encouragement, I can get Angelica to agree.

Angelica is a little gun-shy because of the times I have broken down and spent the night in my truck. I can usually convince her by reminding her that I am like the Paraguayan MacGyver and can usually get us out after minimal inconveniences.

A few weeks ago, AnnaBelen and I were set to travel to the Interior with a pastor friend. He called at the last minute to ask if he could bring “someone he is working with.” When Angelica found out that the “someone” is a recovering drug addict who had been sober for only eight days, she yanked AnnaBelen from the trip. This was followed by one of AnnaBelen’s speeches about the “kind of people” that I was hanging-out with. “A missionary should care more about their children and not hang out with such people.”  Despite hours of protest by AnnaBelen, I eventually agreed with Mama and went without AnnaBelen.

Now I am worried about what AnnaBelen might think about some of my college buddies.

Paraguayan Fact

Not all Paraguayans are graceful on the Futbol field!

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To Give or Not to Give

I always questioned whether giving was truly greater than getting. You can’t beat getting a good (expensive) gift or even a surprise gift. Who does not like looking under the tree and seeing lots of presents marked with their name. Many people say that Christmas is their favorite holiday, usually rolling off a number of reasons. But I expect it is because of the gifts.

Over the years here in Paraguay, I have begun to feel the joy in giving. So much has been given to Angelica and I. We have had so many opportunities to give gifts, scholarships, and help. Most of the funding for these gifts is not even ours; it is just resources that come through us.

We get to benefit from the generous giving of so many of our friends at home. It is really nice to be able give gifts to people that usually don’t ever receive. We thank all of y’all for letting us see the joy on the faces of Paraguayans when we give to them.

May y’all all have a Merry Christmas and come to know the joy of giving to others.

A Month of New Beginnings

Not only is Christmas the month that we celebrate the birth of Christ, but it is the month that we celebrate graduations. Here in Paraguay, December marks the end of the school year. This year was special because Angelica graduated from Seminary.

Juggling school with all of Angelica’s other responsibilities was really a challenge. There were many nights that she only got a few hours of sleep, many weekends without any rest, and a lot of stress.  The kids and I are very proud of her and know that this will add to the ministries here in Paraguay.

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Angelica and I were blessed to be able to help several of her classmates afford Seminary. A few of her classmates traveled from the Interior each week, returning to their churches late Saturday nights. We look forward to working with many of them in ministry here in Paraguay.

December is also the month for graduation at The Susanna Wesley School.  This is always a big party and Angelica is challenged to make it better each year. One of the teachers at the school informed Angelica that several families had been fattening up a pig for the event, and they expected a big affair.

As always, Angelica was able to pull it off, even with the rain and threat of power outages. (Most everything is done outside in the Interior, so weather is always a factor.) We had a great celebration with live music, speakers from Asuncion, and lots of food.

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It is just graduation from the sixth grade, but it is as far as most of the kids will go. Not only have these kids been able to study about the world for six years, they have also had the very unusual opportunity to study the Bible as well. For the community in Quinta Linia, this is a major cause for celebration and a time to demonstrate thankfulness.

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Feliz Navidad!

Paraguayan Fact:

In Paraguay, decorating the Christmas tree is done in shorts.

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Worst Vacation Ever / Best Months Ever

Worst Vacation Ever

Our family once took what Camila called “The Worst Trip Ever”. It was summer vacation for the kids —  really, winter down here. We planned to visit the southern tip of Paraguay, which I discovered is quite cool and rainy during July. The roads were a mess, and it took a good bit longer to get there than I had anticipated.

Despite my impeccable sense of direction, we got lost. Around midnight, we finally arrived at the famous Hotel Tirol. (Dr. Josef Mengele once stayed and was almost caught there, after the war.)

Tirol is quite the place in the summer. But in the winter, we found that it is all but closed down. They finally agreed to let us stay and put us in a room that Camila said “smelled like old people.”

After going to bed hungry, the next morning we walked up what seemed like a thousand steps to find that the kitchen was closed. We eventually convinced them to fix us a grill cheese sandwich and watered down coffee. Unfortunately, the kids could not bring themselves to enjoy their breakfast for fear of the stuffed wolf on the wall of the dimly lit dining room.

After our delicious breakfast, still tired and famished, we hauled our luggage and AnnaBelen, who was less the two, up the thousand steps and left. It might not have been high season for the hotel but the price sure seemed like it.

For question of time and space, I will stop here. Though, I would like to mention that the weather just got worse and the last night of our “vacation” was spent all sleeping in the same bed.

Best Months Ever

Angelica and I have had a few packed months of ministries. A few packed months of training. A few packed months of fellowship. Over the past several months, we divided up into teams and visited eight churches, some near some far.

Paraguay 2014 198On occasion, the trips resembled “the worst trip ever” but with one difference — great fellowship with the youth.  We had the chance to meet with lots of the youth and adolescence, many we did not know.  We had opportunities to do some training and learn a little from them. We had the opportunity to see the youth and adolescence leadership in action and they are great. It is rewarding to see years of work and preparation come to fruition.

A few weeks ago, we had a two day youth and adolescence gathering. We were blessed to have a group of our American friends participate with us as well. It was two days of praising, learning and fellowship. It is always uplifting when we can get Christians together from different cultures for worship.

baby pigsDuring the past few months, we have had a busy schedule at the Agriculture Center. The Ministry of Agriculture continues to use the facility for teaching and now we are looking into creating demonstration plots.

A few weeks ago, we had a surprise visit from the manager of the farmers market in Asuncion. We set-up a date for him to come back and teach us how to better care for and back product once it is harvested.

Finally, this month Angelica began work on the clinic that she has been praying for, for so many years. A team came down and helped start a house for the traveling doctor to stay in. The first day we had about 25 people from the community come and help. In a few days, we will have a group come down and help us start on the clinic building.

A Little Help

Angelica and I are always amazed by the assistance that we have in serving here in Paraguay. My dad once told me that life is easier if you don’t surround yourself with stupid people.  The people that we work with both here and in The States sure make our lives easier. When I began preparing to serve in Paraguay, I never anticipated so many people helping in this endeavor.

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Paraguayan Fact

Sometimes early mornings can bring big surprises. And we just thought that she was fat!

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It depends on your perspective

Living in Paraguay and being married to a Paraguayan has taught me a lot, mainly that people are different.

I loved the cold weather when we were in the States this year. Angelica could not seem to get warm. Each night I had nightmares about the heat in Paraguay, while Angelica lay beside me dreaming of the “lovely” sunny weather in Paraguay. Each Sunday at church, I longed for the more “rock-n-roll” music typical in Paraguayan services, while Angelica cherished every fleeting moment of our traditional music and the choir. I fidgeted in the pews, missing being able to wear shorts to church, while Angelica enjoyed getting up early to dress-up.

Both Camila and AnnaBelen had differing views on our time in the States as well.  A few days after our arrival, AnnaBelen began longing for home and Camila started in about how our time in the US is never enough.

In our family, as in most I assume, we don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but we all agree that we appreciate and feel blessed with a great maternal and church family. We are incredibly thankful for everyone who has helped us along the way and/or is helping us now. We do not feel like we are here in Paraguay alone and know that God has put each and every one of y’all in our lives for a reason. That we can agree on!

Good Decisions

Somewhere along the line, we made the good decision (I insist was my idea) to invest much of our time in the youth of Paraguay. Actually, it was an invitation by the Bishop that got us involved with the youth. Every time we are together, I come away thankful for the opportunity to work together with these young people in sharing Christ in Paraguay. I am always amazed by their ability and boldness in living a Christian life. They have made my time here more enjoyable and the ministries more effective.

Angelica and I are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the National Youth, and now also as the chaplains of the National Adolescence. The churches in Paraguay are very connected. Many members know members in other churches, especially the kids. We get together for a lot of spiritual, social, and sporting events. The younger generation is the most active generation in the churches in Paraguayan culture.Students2

We are looking forward to working more with the churches in the Interior of the country: working to help them build the community that we have in the capital of Asuncion and working to help them develop better kids, adolescent and youth programs. We have a great team of youth to help us with this and hope to involve some of the younger kids as well. This has been a dream of Angelica’s for some time and we are looking forward to getting started.

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Paraguayan Fact

Paraguay is “melting.” We have had 15 days and counting of 103 to 108 degrees.

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Sometimes it works, even when it’s not working

A few weeks ago a man who carries the cross around the world  accompanied me on a trip to the Interior. He had traveled to over 200 countries and walked over 35,000 kilometers. Paraguay was the final country for him to visit in South America. In talking with him, I was surprised to hear that he had experienced assaults and verbal abuse while walking in the U.S., much more than anywhere else. Combining this information with problems that we face at a church near the school and Ag. Center, I was discouraged. I did not sleep well the night we arrived in the Interior.

The next afternoon, I finished up a few things at the school and Ag-center, then headed out to find “the man walking with the cross.” I was surprised to find that he had not made it very far. As I stopped to pick him up, he said that he had not gotten far because people kept stopping him and asking him to sit with them for a while. He said that he was surprised by how many people knew me. One man said, “Yeah I know him — the priest.”

Angelica and I want people to know more than just who we are — we want them to know what we do and why.  Nevertheless, it is funny sometimes that we are not welcome where we think we are and don’t accomplish things through the methods that we think we will. The good thing is that an America walking in Paraguay and some missionaries working in education and agriculture — we can reach people.

On Tour

Angelica and one of the youth leaders, along with other church leaders, recently took a trip to Ciudad Del Este. This city is about 5 hours east of Asuncion on the Brazilian border. There are five Methodist churches in Ciudad Del Este. Most of these churches have only around 20 members, but they have lots of youth.

After spending time with Angelica and the national youth president and seeing what the youth are doing in Asuncion, their youth were crying for more. They begged Angelica to come back and show them how to reach more youth and liven-up their relationship with Christ. Friends_web

This has snowballed into an interest to travel to all the districts in Paraguay. Over the years we have been asked repeatedly to travel and visit, but have never really had the time. Leadership in our ministries, including great youth leadership, now allows us to consider this new option.

The one obstacle is the additional cost of traveling in Paraguay. As some of y’all know, many of the roads in Paraguay are not exactly the Autobahn and our vehicles are not exactly Mercedes. We would need to raise additional funding to pay for everything involved with this new ministry.Road_web

Just in case you wondered

I have internet just like y’all do at home and sometime I am surprised, and even a little discouraged, by how some people think Americas are perceived in other counties. I just want to say that hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear about how much someone appreciates and/or respects the U.S.  The Christians down here in Paraguay are very appreciative of what the American Christians have done for them socially and assisted in spiritually.

Paraguayan Fact:

AnnaBelen asked me if “Princesses” really exist. I told her “Yes, especially here in Paraguay.”Princesses_web

Feliz Navidad from Paraguay

Christmas with the Bats

We just had our graduation and Christmas program at The Susanna Wesley School. It was a great night of celebrating the coming of Christ and the accomplishments of the kids. Angelica, the teachers, and the kids put on a super show but my attention was on the bats.

We always have bats in the interior and I normally don’t pay them much attention. It was just interesting to see them flying over the Baby Jesus and the kids as they danced. It made me think of how diverse this world is that God created. This Christmas season, whether it is cold or hot, whether you enjoy time with the family in front of a fire place or outside in the late evenings, whether you are drinking hot chocolate or frozen pineapple juice, we hope y’all  have a Merry Christmas.

Graduation Ceremony

Ministry

It is very hot here. During the days, it is hard to really get much accomplished. The only productive people are the people that have jobs in the AC, and even they succumb to the heat during blackouts. We have been doing most of our work and traveling at night. Despite the heat, we have had a fair amount of rain and the crops are growing well.

The ministries at the school and agriculture project continue to open doors for Angelica and I to be more involved in the community of Yrubucua. We are finding that when we meet new people, they already know who we are and are very open to communicating with us.

This week Angelica had to go to The Ministry of Education in Asuncion to get some papers approved. The lady at the office asked her if she is the Director of the school and if this is the school that is in Quinta Linia. She said the school has “fama” — loose translation, the school is famous.

IMG_3193_editedOne of the tools that has helped us expand the number of people that we come in contact with is having events. Cook-outs, tea parties, sporting events, cooking classes, movie nights, plays, devotionals and concerts all help us meet and interact with new people. These are all things that really don’t happen much in the interior of the country. Most of their time is spent trying to keep food on IMG_3208_editedthe table and a little money in their pockets.

Because so many people from home and the Paraguayan youth from Asuncion have committed to helping us share Christ, we have been able to put on these events.

Best Year Ever?

Looking back on the year 2012, Angelica and I are thankful for all the help we had in serving here in Paraguay. Never before have we had so many Paraguayans assist us in our ministries, never have we had so much input in the work we are doing. The youth here have been a tremendous blessing and have added new life to the IMG_3212z-editedwork we do.

Each year the teams that come down become more familiar with the needs here in Paraguay. Each year they are a little more in tune to the weaknesses and strengths of the Christian community in Paraguay. Having help sure seems to make our job a lot easier and much more effective.

We would like to state our complaint on the weather of 2012.

Coming Home

I will be in The States from December 30 to January 18. I will be alone but hope I can see some of y’all.

Paraguay Fact

When attending a party in the interior, you need to bring more than just your drinks.

People Take Notice

by Christian Dickson

There is a saying in Paraguay for people who drop in uninvited to events. It’s used in the verb form and is called Pirateando (being a Pirate). When we have events at the school or the Agriculture Center, we get lots of people Pirateando-ing. There is not much happening in the interior of Paraguay, and the Paraguayans always jump at the opportunity to get together. We just say, “the more the merrier” and are happy to have them.

Missionary Children's Festival at the Agrimission Center in ParaguaySeveral weeks ago, we had an event at the Agriculture Center with Paraguayan music and dancing. I noticed a boy there who I had never seen before. After the event, Angelica and I were on the front porch as the young boy headed off into the distance on his bike. With tears in her eyes, Angelica told me this young boy had approached her and asked if he could attend the Susanna Wesley School. He said that he wants to be an engineer and knows that he won’t be able to get the education he needs from the school he attends. The boy had attended the Susanna Wesley School several years ago and had moved away, but is willing to travel a good distance to attend again. Unfortunately, he is just finishing up the sixth grade and the Susanna Wesley School only goes up to sixth grade.

There are so few opportunities for children living in rural areas of third world countries. Occasionally, there are kids who have the will to persevere and just need a little luck or help along the way. The ones who really want it will diligently seek out opportunities. Many of these opportunities come from Christian programs. While the Suzanna Wesley School may not be able to help this young man, Angelica and I plan to pay him a visit to see if there is a way we can help.

Jefry’s Story

Sometimes, it is not the kids that take so long to come around. Jefry is a boy in our Sunday school class, who has been either Angelica’s student or my student for over seven years. He had always been very active Sunday School, but has never been able to participate in any extracurricular activities. This has always gotten under Angelica’s skin. We know Jefry’s mom, as she lives right next to the church. In the past, I have told Angelica “some day she will lighten up.”

Jefry had been struggling with school and asked us once if God would help him make good grades if he prayed for it. We told him that he would probably get better results if he prayed for a changed attitude in study habits and paid better attention in class. This last quarter, he got good grades and the best math grade in his class. His mom asked him how he did it and he said, “I prayed that God would help me be a better student, just like Angelica taught me.” The other kids in class also took note that he would pray before tests. Now, Jefry’s mom says that he can go anywhere he wants with us.

Women's Bible Study/Tea Party in Paraguay

In July 2012, a missionary team from Alpharetta, Georgia hosted local women for a traditional American Tea Party, then offered a devotion.

I Always Thought Being Married to Angelica Would Pay Off Someday.

Being a family made up of both Americans and Paraguayans, Angelica and I have been able to benefit from our long relationships with friends from both countries. I have mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again. The Christian friends that we have here in Paraguay and in the US are a tremendous part of what we do down here. We have received so much help from so many people that I sometimes feel bad about taking credit for our successes and occasional miss steps.

God has blessed us with a talented group of youth here in Paraguay, who are always available to jump in and help us out. Every once in a while, God will put an idea in my mind and after a few phone calls home, the wheels are set in motion. So much of what we do here is relational, and it strengthens us to have such good relationships with people in Paraguay and the US. Almost nothing that we do here could be done on our own, and we thank God that we have other Christians to call on for assistance.

Paraguayan Fact: Missions is fun!

Mission team member in Paraguay riding on the back of a motorcycle.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for an event we have planned for August 24-25 at the Centro Agritenico Metodista. We have invited someone from the Ministry of Agriculture to teach.
  • Pray for a baseball clinic that we are hosting in conjunction with a medical team in September. Pray that this will open up new opportunities for us to share Christ.
  • Pray for AnnaBelen in her new class this year in school.
  • Pray for AnnaBelen’s teacher. The teachers at the school are missionaries and sometimes have difficulty in the first months.