Greetings from Paraguay!
We just have to tell you… God is so good!
It seems that the ‘enemy of our soul’ is always on the prowl, looking for ways to kill, steal and destroy. In January, he certainly was busy, sneaking around in his conniving way, getting ready to pounce on us…BUT GOD STEPPED IN! Here’s what happened: Just after the first if the year and all of the holiday celebrating, Jerry went on line to check on some banking information. A quick glance at the daily statement made his heart take a leap… there were a total of six withdrawals on the ministry account and we hadn’t made them! In a matter of about a week, nearly half of the funds that remained from our USA trip had been siphoned out, about $3,000. (To add insult to injury, we had to pay the international withdrawal fees too!) There is no need to say that Jerry quickly contacted Citibank to report the theft. After much time and many questions, the bank said they would be contacting us in two weeks with their findings. Now, we aren’t naive; we know that when money is stolen, it is nearly impossible to regain it. BUT, we went to prayer: asking God to minister to the thief; to take control of the situation, asking God to give wisdom to the investigators; and that the ministry money would be returned. At the end of the time period stated, we had not heard from the Citibank, so Jerry contacted them once again. After pulling up our file, the secretary responded saying that the case had been investigated and closed. ALL FUNDS had been returned to the account, including the withdrawal fees….period... they made no explanations or comments. Though curious, we don’t need their explanations, we know that God stepped in and stopped the devourer for our sake! The enemy was trying to stop the plans and progress that God had for the work in Paraguay… BUT HE COULDN’T
In February, just when we thought things were calming down a bit, we both experienced some ‘health irritations’. Wanting to be wise, we decided to have our yearly health checks made. We both passed with flying colors, very healthy for our ages! But, there was one more test that the doctor wanted to do on Jerry. The appointment was scheduled for Monday of the next week. Sunday afternoon, Jan. 30, after returning from a long hot morning traveling in the interior, Jerry developed severe pain in his upper stomach area. When he began to lose feeling in his left arm, hand and leg too, we became very alarmed. I, Connie, raced into the house grabbing insurance cards, calling Roberto, a man in the church, to drive our car into the City (Asunción), and taking authority over the spirit of sickness, pain and death… all at the same time! The trip to the hospital took forever with slow Sunday drivers returning from the interior, traffic jams and rain. While I got Jerry checked in, Roberto called the church members. In a very short time a number of the congregation had gathered in the emergency waiting room. (The Baptist Hospital is more than an hour away from our church area.) First reports were very negative; Jerry had a twisted intestine and would need immediate surgery. Our people went outside the hospital and began to pray… the results: the surgeon, who had rushed in, decided that he would wait and try some meds first. With each and every medical statement made, our people would pray, resulting in immediate changes and improvements. We stayed in the hospital for 6 days, Jerry in bed with intravenous meds and Connie camped out beside him. Jerry has one more major examine, where he will spend one night in the hospital, but we are expecting the same results… VICTORY!
Didn’t we say that God is good?!
Jerry & Connie
WE PRAISE GOD THAT:
The Hola Club Children’s Hospital Ministry:
January: no hospital visits were made.
February: we made three visits. We prayed with 174 people and 88 adults prayed and received Jesus.
The CEB Church: During the first few weeks of the New Year 2011, we have seen a steady church attendance which has leveled out at about 150 people. Much to the amazement of the church leaders, weekly we are seeing a great increase in the tithes and offerings brought to honor and worship God. On Sunday, February 6, 16-people were water baptized in an awesomely anointed service. Serving God is exciting!
The CFC Prison Ministry: Some of the stiff restrictions have been lifted and we have been allowed to re-open our Bible Institute Classes within the prison. New students have signed up to begin the study course, with former graduates stepping forward to teach the classes. The church within the prison continues strong with several weekly meetings.
Prison Testimony: Alfredo is a brother in Christ, to whom we have ministered to in prison for about 10years. Over the years he had prayed for his family members, but in 2010 he began to results of his labor. His brother Hernán, who lived interior of Paraguay, moved to the city to live with his sister. Hernán had problems, big problems. Alcohol had taken its toll in his life and his was tormented with a demon spirit. Alfredo asked Pastor Victor to visit and pray with Hernán. The visit resulted in Hernán receiving Jesus and being set free from the demon spirit and the bondage of alcohol. In January of this year, Hernán began to ask his sister and her husband to drive him to church. After visiting a couple of services with him, Vicente and Panfila both made the decision to pray the sinners’ prayer also!
**This statement was written last month, but is even truer now:
The attacks of the enemy seem to be getting bolder and stronger, but to every situation God responds with more power, authority and blessings. His spoken instruction to us is to ‘rest in Him’. We asked: “Father God how can we ‘rest’ with so much negative happening?” He responded: “Resting is possible when there is ‘trust’… put your trust in me.” (Our prayer is: God, help us to trust and rest in you. Amen.)
Join us in PRAYING for:
- First, complete recovery of strength and health for Jerry.
- The church repairs and construction have not begun as quickly as we planned. January and February have had un-normal amounts of rain. There has also been a shortage of cement in the country, next to impossible to buy. Pray for provision and perfect timing. We are asking God for skilled laborers that will do excellent work.
- In the church, we are asking for wisdom in where and how to divide the space to minister to the different age groups as we wait for buildings, classrooms and sanctuary. (The blessing of growth is space problems!)
- We continue to wait expectantly for the opportunity to have our own home or apartment, so that the office area can be expanded.
- Personal requests for our sons: Brent complete healing and work, Patrick wisdom concerning his business.