Greetings from Paraguay!
Happy Holy Week! Most Latin countries place great importance in this time of year. The celebrating begins with ‘Palm Sunday’ and the blessing of the palm branches and continuing through to ‘Black Friday,’ when Jesus Christ was crucified. Here, we see small parades of church members carrying a replica of Jesus on the Cross through the streets of the different neighborhoods. The church-family members gather at twilight, some carry candles, others flowers as they walk together, chanting and singing. Sad to say, over the years we have noted that there is hardly any acknowledgment of ‘Easter Sunday’, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. After passing the day ‘Black Friday’ in almost complete silence (no work, no cooking, no loud noises), Sunday is the opposite… it’s back to the normal life activities. BUT, we are glad to say that our ‘Easter Sunday’ will always be filled with praise and singing… Why? JESUS IS ALIVE AND WILL SOON RETURN FOR HIS CHURCH!
Jerry & Connie
WE PRAISE GOD THAT:
The Acosta Ñú Children’s Hospital:
The 4-hospital visits in March gave us opportunity to pray with 258-children and parents. There were 98-parents and older children who prayed the prayer of salvation!
1. The second week of March, Dolia entered into one of the hospital rooms and the mother of a little girl in the first bed took one look at her and burst out crying. She went to Dolia saying, ‘I don’t know what it is that you have, but I want it!’ With joy, Dolia shared the love of God with her and she and her daughter received Jesus!
2. While Dolia was praying with this family, I (Connie) entered into one of the side rooms of the same area. I found a 14 year old boy drugged and tied hand and foot to the bed frame. The father showed me his arms that were bruised and covered with full teeth marks, saying his son was demonized and had attacked him and destroyed their home and everything in it. As I listened, suddenly the boys head popped up and he stared directly at me, causing his mother to become very nervous. I stared the demon down, proclaiming the Name of Jesus, and reassured the parents that we would handle the situation. I continued to pray quietly until Dolia could join me. When she arrived she began to pray as I read the Word for the benefit of the parents, the boy and the demon. To shorten the story, we prayed, God moved, the demon left, and we moved on to pray for others. We were told that four days later the young man was released and sent home calm and normal. Praise God! (An interesting side note: Dolia said she overheard the doctor tell the parents in Guarani as we entered: ‘Get ready, the people that will pray for your son, are here!’ Thank God, even the doctors believe in the power of God!)
A Special Visitor: We were so pleased to have our Missions Pastor from our home church Resurrection Fellowship in Loveland, Colorado, Pastor Mark Balderson, with us for three days! Of course we worked him while he was here, enjoying as he ministered at: a Pastor’s Association Breakfast; our CEB Church Leadership group and luncheon; and a special evening Bible School and CEB Church meeting. It was great getting caught up on the ‘Rez news’ and spending time together.
The CEB Church Construction: THE BATHROOMS ARE ALMOST COMPLETED!!!! The construction crew, under the supervision of Pastor Jerry, has been working very hard to make the deadline of April 15th. The tile roof is on, the walls are being plastered… soon to be painted or/and tiled. The sewer and leach field are receiving their final touches. This week they will be pulling the electrical wires, finishing the wood staining and tiling the floors and walls, laying the sidewalks and preparing to place the stools and sinks. Everyone that looks at the building walks away with a contented smile and praise on their lips… we have witnessed the provision of God for our church!
The Prayer Seminar with Dr. J. Gordon Henry: What a time of learning, blessing and refreshing for not only our congregation, but the members representing 19 other churches that participated with us during the 3-night seminar. Dr. Henry, a 74-year old marvel, taught day and night as he swept through Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. He has traveled around the world for the last 30 years, sharing what God has taught him on prayer. As we talked with Dr. Henry, we learned that he had taught this seminar in the Theology School in our home church Resurrection Fellowship in Loveland, Colorado… Small world!
***One point that stuck in our hearts and minds was the statement: Many of the prayers go unanswered because of lack of knowledge and wrong motive. We should pray to the Father, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit (thus including the whole of the God Head), state the petition, and finish by saying so that You, Father receive the Glory. Why? Because everything is designed to bring glory to God… that is why we were created!
Join us in PRAYING for:
2nd Annual Missions Conference: April 15-18, we are hosting our Annual Missions Conference (2010 Theme: The Function of the Church and the Word of God in Missions) with guest speakers: Pastor Clarence Wright and Pastor Marion (Zirkle) Wright from Guatemala; Gustavo & Cristina Chimeles, Jewish missionaries from Argentina; and the Israeli dance team AMIsrael from Paraguay. The children of CEB Church will be marching and presenting the flags of the countries involved in the Conference this year: Paraguay, Guatemala, Israel and also the Christian Flag. The youth are preparing a special drama; with the other areas preparing for a wonderful time as together we learn what our responsibilities should be in reaching the world. Please, join us in praying safety for the Wrights as they travel; provision and anointing for all the groups participating; hearts open to respond to the call of missions, and a time of celebration and fellowship as we come together.
CFC Prison Ministry: Pastor Victor has been teaching and scheduling others to enter with him to teach in the Bible School and Church services. He has been very excited about the response of the men as they reorganize the class times and the services. Pastor Victor’s eyes sparkle as he shares how he walks in God’s favor before the authorities… truly an answer to your prayers! Please continue praying for this area, with each week the enemy tries to put up new blocks and problems. With every new attack, we see a mightier move of the Holy Spirit which gives us hope, peace and joy.
Trip to the US: This is the year that we are scheduled to visit our supporting churches. We ask for prayer that God will provide the way, handling every detail and meet every need as we share what has been happening in the last two years in our ministry in Paraguay. We will be leaving Paraguay in September and returning in November. We will have more details at a later date.
Thank you for your faithful prayers.