Greetings from Paraguay! Here the first month of the New Year has passed and we haven’t had the opportunity to send our best wishes to you... Happy New Year!
It was a bummer, we felt like we were back in the days when we first arrived in Paraguay, 21 years ago...cut off from the rest of the world! For over a month our internet service was down. It was frustrating not being able to receive and send reports, but worse, we had no family contact over Christmas other than our cell phone. If Jerry hadn’t taken matters into his ‘own hands’, we would still be waiting and making stateside calls on our cell phone.
The problem was that our ‘modem power supply’ had burned out (a sudden death due to lightening); the new company owners said they didn’t have replacements and they didn’t know when they would. The serviceman said that there were hundreds of others with the same problem, with no immediate solution. At last, Jerry heard of a company that could ‘fabricate’ a new 12v power supply (only in Paraguay!) We gave them a try… thank God, it worked and we are back on line talking with our family and catching up on what has been happening in the world!
January is always our ‘re-organizing month’: the Staff comes back from their vacation; all church activities are restarted; Pastor Victor returns to the Prison Ministry; and the faithful ladies return to the Children’s Hospital Ministry. It is with renewed hope and expectations that we are starting the New Year – 2013. We know that God has great things in store for Living Water Teaching – Paraguay and for you also!
**The Hola Club Children’s Hospital: During the three visits in January, we prayed for 206 children & parents and had 125 salvations.
We are pleased to announce that more ladies are taking an interest in joining the Hola Club prayer team, but this ‘blessing’ has caused transport problems. While discussing solutions, Jerry finally said: “Why don’t you just ask God to supply the Hola Club with a new van?” Sounds good… but truthfully, I, Connie, sure could use your faith and prayer to couple with mine… It seems like a BIG request to me, but not an impossible one!
**Prison Ministry: Pastor Victor shared about a new prisoner, Javier. To give you a little background: Javier (26 years old) is a policeman who, with his police partner, was accused of killing two brothers as they were butchering a cow in their father’s field at midnight. The policemen claimed that they thought that the men were thieves and were doing their duty. Due to the great uproar of the community, the policemen were placed in prison.
On the normal visiting day, there was a problem within the prison that did not allow Pastor Victor to hold his regular meetings. So that the time was not wasted, he determined to visit those whom he could. One of the Christian brothers shared with Pastor Victor about Javier, who had been unable to sleep or eat for several days. Javier was experiencing great fear and depression. As Pastor Victor began to talk with Javier, the young man opened up and shared that when he closed his eyes all he could see was a five point satanic star being drawn in his mind. He didn’t know what was happening to him, but the dread and fear was causing him to become ill physically and emotionally. Pastor Victor prayed, taking authority over the spirit of fear and then began to share the Word of God with Javier. As Javier listened, he began to believe what he was hearing. Before the conversation was over, Javier had prayed and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Immediately his fear and anxiety were changed into peace. Now Javier has made the decision to attend the church services and will be studying in the CEB Bible Institute. Thank you Father!
**CEB Bible Institute: We have held several graduations and handed out certificates to those students that have completed one of the four different CEB Bible Institute levels. It is always a joy to present the graduates with their final certificate and also their gift of a Study Bible. Now comes a time of decision for them: will they put what they have learned into ‘action’ or only on the ‘shelf of accomplishments’. Our hearts swell with emotion when we hear that our graduates have taken what they have learned and are teaching others. Many parts of Paraguay, and even other nations, are being touched and transformed by the Word that our students are sharing.
On Sunday, January 27, Pedro, a former prison CEB student, received his certificate from the Introductory Level Class in front of the CEB Church body. He asked to share a short word of thanks to the church, ministry and pastors. As we listened, the Word, strong and positive, came out of his mouth. God, indeed, has set this man free from his past, given him freedom from his prison cell, and filled him with His Word! Pedro is planning on continuing his studies in the First Level of classes.
**Construction Up-date: The roof on the metal structure that covers the nursery play area is finished and it’s great! The area is even lighted for night use. Next phase is the fencing, so that we can keep the ‘little blessings’ inside while their parents attend the church services. We are in the ‘waiting mode’: the nursery program is all organized; we have talked to a couple about directing the ministry, and will be setting up a rotational schedule for the volunteers. Soon, yes very soon, we will have a new area of ministry where the love and Word of God will be reaching out to the little ones at the point of their need!
‘And… the Prayer Gazebo?’, you ask. Well, it is still in the ‘dream and prayer stage’, but not forgotten!
Blessings – Jerry and Connie.