These last two months have been extra exciting for us here in Paraguay and even the storms could not dampen our joy!
Two of the young people we are helping in the city were given the chance to attend a Christian youth camp, the result of which is that one of them has renewed her relationship with Christ. We are really pleased to see her growing and maturing, this is a big step forward for her. Please pray for her as she works to move forward in her renewed faith with her family. She is also looking to return to college to study this academic year. Praise God for changes, opportunity, and hope.
A friend of ours got in touch with us after a young mother became sick after giving birth and were admitted to hospital. We had been to the dump a few years before as one of the aunts of a friend of ours from another community lives there, but things had changed a bit since then and there are now two groups living on land by the dump, with two Chiefs, whom we were introduced to. One of them turned out to be a Christian and they have invited us to return and share with them. We have been back on a few occasions since to visit the families we know and to build better links with the Chiefs too. Please pray as we look at how best to support and invest in these people and for wisdom as we develop relationships with them all.
In February we went away for a personal spiritual retreat to spend time in prayer about our future here in Paraguay and our vision for our ministry. It was a great time away and God confirmed some wonderful things which we will be sharing with you over the next few months in more detail. Since returning from the retreat we have seen many developments and opportunities arising. A traveling evangelist visited one of the First Nation communities we work into and showed the Jesus movie in Guarani. The result of which 20 people responded by giving their lives to Jesus. WOW, Praise God !
Some of those who responded to Christ regularly attend our meetings. Now they wanted to sing more and they joined in as we pray which is completely awesome. There is now so much energy about them and when we talked with them about what it means to have faith in Jesus they were publicly declaring before the whole group their new faith in Him. It was wonderful and we all couldn’t stop smiling, the majority of the group hung around for a time after the meeting had ended. We found out who from the group could read, getting some of them to take turns at reading the bible story pictures and worship books. The next week we prepared bibles to take out with us to get into as many hands as possible. That next meeting was just as wonderful and the knock-on effect onto the children was obvious as they engaged in the bible stories, answering the questions quicker than the adults (probably because there were lollipops as prizes). What feels amazing is that we have not had to say that we now want to start meeting together to unpack further God’s Word, as that is what we are already doing together so it is naturally part of how they interact with us. It is church!
That same week, we were receiving a visitor from the UK who had been with us before and it was wonderful to be able to share all these developments with her. As we went visiting people in their homes we had the opportunity to pray with people. We prayed for an old lady who has poor eyesight and received a drastic improvement to her vision, Praise God! When out and about on the evening John and our visitor went to the house where the new Christians are meeting. They were meeting together with their new Bibles and worship books, sharing together what they were learning. All of them huddled around a 6inch cell phone as they watched Jesus movies from youtube. It is such a beautiful thing to see their enthusiasm and hunger for God.
Please cover them with prayer that they will be blessed as they meet together and as they grow as a community of believers.
We went through to visit our friend Richard as he knew the lady visiting us and wanted to introduce her to his family. Richard shared about the first nation community where he now teaches and asked if we would like to visit him at the school there. By the evening he had arranged with the other teaches to have us visit the following day. It was a really different experience going to this other community as they have brick houses, electricity and running water. We drank Tereré with the teaches and we were then introduced to the chief who invited us to come back and to meet with him again, the teachers also encouraged us to return. Please pray for wisdom as we seek God about the possibility of building contacts there and how we can support Richard as he works five days a week there.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers. John is doing much better health wise but still has some pains from time to time. Please pray for healing for him and for all our health, especially Alicia who has managed to get sick again after working out that she can convince her friends to let her carry all the pets (the kittens, puppies and the monkey) even though we insist she doesn’t touch them. She is also more susceptible to catch the bugs and infections her little friends as she plays with them so please pray her health and protection.
Please continue to pray for a tenant for our house in the UK as it is still not rented.
We continue to be blown away by God’s provision and cannot thank you all enough for your part in that.
Rejoice with us in all that God is doing & to Him be the glory!