Almost always in the course of a conversation we are asked: “What do you do on the mission field?” It’s not too difficult to pick up on the ‘attitude’ behind the question… some are sincere, while others are asking with tongue in cheek. At times we have to smile, one thinks that we are ‘out in the jungle’ casting out demons all the time, while the other imagines a hammock in the shade and a tall glass of iced tea. Mostly our ‘jungles’ are the tangles of traffic in the city, but we do have our moments when we must confront demons. As for the hammock and tall glass of iced tea… what a sweet dream.
If you were to spend a normal day with us, you would join us in the office at 7:30 AM for Staff prayer. Afterwards, depending on which staff member you followed, you might find yourself sitting before a computer writing lessons, sermons, putting together videos presentations, working on finances, scheduling Bible school classes and teachers, or answering the phone… a lot! Bette heads out to make visits, Pastor Victor works on special projects, music schedules and practice, plus visiting the prison. Edgar is working on the finances. Marta would be organizing the Bible Institute classes, entering data and answering the door. Rodrigo fills his time with the CD sermon recordings, works with Edgar and runs errands. Dolia makes sure everything is clean and shining, then, gives a helping hand in the office. Luis keeps the grounds looking sharp and does odd jobs in maintenance. Connie spends a lot of time writing lessons and making up worksheets, sewing stuffed animals and preparing the hospital ministry materials, organizing several different ministry schedules, and cooking for Jerry... when she remembers to look at the time! Jerry spends hours on end at his computer preparing materials for the Bible Institute, the small home groups, planning and scheduling special projects, writing sermons, studying, attending pastors meetings, and supervising the rest of us!
In-between time, we get to handle calls for prayer, emergencies, deaths, visitors and counseling. Things like: a stressed out mother whose son is in trouble; single mothers in need, situations with suspected drug-dealers, hopeless teenagers, cheating husband… you get the idea! Not all ‘in-between times’ are stressful; we do get to celebrate weddings, birthdays, births, special church meetings and seminars.
The mission field is a lot like what you experience from day to day, but just a long way from home! There are some cultural customs that we never seem to get use too, even after all of these years. Most of the time, the beauty of the land and the friendships outweigh the heat, bugs, rashes and cultural differences. Of all of the things that we do to fill our time, it is our greatest desire to see that the Word of God is prepared and presented with excellence to as many as we can touch.
Jerry & Connie
We praise God that:
The Hola Club Children’s Hospital Ministry: In July we made four visits, praying with 246 people, with 116 adults and older children praying and receiving Jesus.
The CEB Church: The ‘Forgiveness Campaign’ has really touched many members of our congregation and we have chosen to continue with follow-up teachings in the different small home groups. There were 267 people registered in the first six weeks classes, we hope that the groups attendance will continue as we learn together. It is our desire to share some of the testimonies with you next month, as they are presented to us.
CFE Prison Ministry: We are seeing the favor of God being extended to us even in the main Prison of Tacumbú. Sad to say, one of our former young men of the church was arrested and placed in prison awaiting his case review. Pastor Victor was able to talk with the chaplain from the Libertad section of the prison, a section that is under the direction of a church group, and the young man was admitted quickly. Although it has the same restrictions as the main prison, the inmates must obey Bible based rules that are not established in the other sections, and is a much safer area to live.
Join us in PRAYING for:
The Nation of Paraguay: The day to day life seems to becoming more difficult as the cost of living continues to soar, the crime rate explodes, and there is more and more need. It has been spoken over Paraguay several times that this nation will be the center of God’s outflow to South America. Pray, we can see the spiritual lines being drawn and know that this spiritual war will affect the natural.
The national wide campaign called ‘Forgiveness’: The number of churches participating are increasing! The goal of 1,000 churches is getting closer, and we think they will pass their goal before the year ends. As a church, we have completed the scheduled weeks of studies and meetings, but we have chosen to continue with a second phase. Pray that the next phase will strengthen the hearts that have been healed by being willing to forgive one another. We are also helping to take this program to churches in the interior of the country. Pray that God will use us to help pastors and church bodies receive this healing move of God also.
Pray for the economic situation: the US $ has begun to drop in value once again in Paraguay, causing a strain on the budget. Pray that God will give us wisdom in handling the finances that He has blessed us with, new supporters and or increases in the existing support. We are asking God to help the CEB Church and the CEB Bible School to become self-supporting, not relying on outside funds. God is our source. Continue to lift up the need for the church building construction project – as each day passes, the dollar gets weaker and the costs go up.
Continue to lift up our son Brent: for complete healing. We join our faith with that of his and those that are praying for him. Without a doubt, we know that God always keeps his Word, our faith and hope is in Him. Amen.