Greetings from Paraguay!
We are sitting here wrapped in a blanket, with the electric heater running full blast…and it is still cold! Thank God, spring is just around the corner!
God has blessed us with a dedicated group of people who are faithful in attending our outdoor church services even when the temperature dips low. The last Sunday in August we had to cancel our morning service due to extreme cold and flooded church grounds. On that day the rains and southern wind continued until late evening. We did venture out in the evening to attend a special meeting held in a church. Talk about cold… the only difference from holding the services outdoors was the lack of wind! Please, remind us when we build our buildings to include both cooling and HEATING!
**The Hola Club Children’s Hospital:
During the four visits in August, we prayed for 469 children & parents and had 188 salvations.
In August Dolia prayed for a boy whose heart would have ‘spells’ where it would beat wildly, leaving him weak. Dolia prayed and then smiled when she told how, while she was talking with the mother, the boy asked his mother three times if she would lay her hand on his heart to see if it was still working. The little guy was very content to receive his ministry bag of items to color and read. But, when he received our special Children’s Day gift bag, he forgot all about ‘if his heart was beating or not’ and began to jump and shout: “I have a toothbrush! I didn’t have a toothbrush!”
A question: ever wonder if what you are doing is having a lasting effect? Here are two testimonies that answered this question when we asked it ourselves!
hooray#1 - As our ministry group walked across the hospital lawn, a lady called out to Mari and motioned for her to stop and talk. She said she was there with her grandchild, but she wanted Mari to know that, years ago she had been at the hospital with her son Nelson. At that time, Mari had prayed for her then ‘teenager’. She continued to say that now Nelson is 22 years old, married, and has his own son… because God had healed him of leukemia those many years ago!
#2 – Bette was visiting with parents outside the ICU building, encouraging them and sharing God’s Word. While talking to a young father, she asked if he had ever prayed the prayer of salvation. He smiled and said: “Oh yes, when I was a teenager here in this hospital, a lady visited and prayed with me; she was an American named Connie!” (All these years later, he even remembered my name!)
Pastor Victor is excited that a new area in the prison has opened up for the Bible Institute classes! It is not only the fact that this will be the third area that he is entering into, but, that it is the ‘farm area’ and the some of the ‘new students’ will be active military policemen!
Please pray that with this small beginning, all of the military force will be touched with God’s love and Word!
We are pleased to report that we have been making improvements to our church property!
#1 – The floor tiles, which were purchased back in March, have been laid on the platform area! The finished results are beautiful and now we can retire the carpet that was rolled out each week to cover the cement and bricks.
#2 - In the making is a project that has taken longer than we anticipated… the nursery play park. But, the end is in sight! We have been working on this area in stages: First we set up a couple of merry-go-rounds and a small swing set. Then a neighbor sold us a larger swing set with a slide. (The little ones were so excited; they wanted to climb on it as the men carried it into the yard!) Secondly we put up a metal roof over the play area. In the month of August, the church held a typical food sale to raise funds towards the completion of the play area. With this help, the third project has been to pour a cement floor on one side and to lay a brick flooring on the other. Even now the fourth stage is in progress; the fencing is being welded and placed. The last stage will be to purchase tile to cover the cement, but that will be a future project. Don’t you just Picture1love it when a plan comes together!
Please pray that as we complete the small projects, we then can concentrate on the next phase of our ministry goals: a permanent metal roof where the large tarp now is hanging.
**A little humor: laughingOne Sunday in August, I (Connie) wanted to dismiss the congregation with a prayer of blessing. All went well until I came to the word in Spanish for ‘shield’… I wanted to say: “may God’s protection be a shield around you”. What came out of my mouth was the Spanish word for ‘broom’… I ended up saying: “may God’s protection be a broom around you”. Even after all these years, I keep everyone laughing! And yes, we have learned to laugh at our mistakes!
Blessings – Jerry and Connie.