Greetings from Paraguay!
We arrived back in Paraguay from Israel on November 12… and the trip truly was the ‘dream of our life time’!
Each step of the way we were treated like royalty: we couldn’t have asked for better hotels; the food was out of this world; our tour bus was plush; our tour guide friendly and funny, our driver the best! We were blessed to tour with old friends and established new friendships too. We stood amazed at the Roman ruins and the construction of the different conquering nations over the years.
We sailed on the Sea of Galilee, walked the streets of Jerusalem, viewed Israel from the Golan Heights, floated in the Dead Sea, were baptized in the Jordan River, prayed at the Wailing Wall, rode a camel, and climbed more steps than we could count! There are no words to express our feelings as we toured the Holocaust Memorial… tears flowed down our cheeks the whole time.
Our extra days spent with the Bokelman’s in the North of Israel were a joy. At night we listened to the jackals ‘sing’ and the retorts of automatic weapons being fired… they were celebrating a wedding in the Arab village on the other side of the large olive grove. We waded in the Mediterranean Sea, picking up sea shells and stood on the border of Lebanon. There is no way that we can share all that we saw and experienced, you will just have to go yourselves and see it firsthand!
**THE HOLA CLUB CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: During the four visits in November, we prayed for 471 CHIILDREN & PARENTS and had 186 SALVATIONS.
TESTIMONY: Marcelo, 14 years old, had been in the hospital for a number of months suffering with leukemia. After his ‘chemo’, Marcelo was in such pain that the 2-shots of morphine didn’t faze him. For all appearances the young man was all but dead, the doctors giving him 10 days to live. BUT…, Marcelo cried out to God and God answered! On the eighth day, Marcelo began to improve. He improved to the point that the doctors permitted one of his nurses to take him to church to be water baptized. Marcelo’s testimony to all that asked: “God has healed me. God put a drop into my blood and God healed me!” His family could not believe the difference in the condition of their son. They even brought a district attorney in to investigate and file a complaint against the hospital. The doctors swore that they had done no wrong in treating Marcelo, he had leukemia. Finally, his parents have listened to Marcelo, they have dropped the charges. Marcelo continues with his treatments. He has improved to the point that he has been discharged from the hospital, only returning for checkups. Marcelo continues to give the glory to God, proclaiming: “God has healed me. God put a drop into my blood and God healed me!”
TESTIMONY: We received a call at the office from a mother from Ypané (a town about 30 minutes away), who was asking prayer for three ill members of her family. She said she found our name and number on an ink pen… we give these ink pens to teenage patients at the children’s hospital. The materials are reaching out to those that we can’t!
Please pray, as you can see, the numbers of people that we are ministering to are increasing. Each week the hospitals are filled to over flowing with children suffering and in great need of God’s healing touch.
**PRISON MINISTRY: Pastor Victor would like to share the testimony of Pedro B: “I had decided to follow Christ before I left prison; and now I am sure that I made the right decision. At the time of my release I was confused and depressed, not knowing how to re-enter into society with no job or credibility. I decided to not stay in this state of mind, I chose to start a new epic in my life in Christ Jesus. When I declared that ‘I am a son of God’, I received a new spirit of bravery! I started my own business with 7 bumper stickers which I sold at different motorcycle venders. Today, in a little more than a year, God has blessed me abundantly. I now have a car, from which I sell accessories for motorcycles and a variety of electrical merchandise to motorcycle shops in the different neighborhoods. I am happy, thanks to God, and in middle of my work I preach about Christ Jesus... I tell the people that only God is the solution to our lives!”
(Pedro is married with one child. He is an ex-convict of la Agrupación Especializada / the Military Prison and a product of our work in the prison. Pedro loves God with all his heart and he is truly ‘walking the walk and talking the talk’!)
Please pray that each man released will continue to serve God with all of his heart. Pray that ‘the seeds of the Word’ that we have planted within them, will continue to grow and produce fruit.
**CEB CHURCH: Sunday, November 17, God came to church in a way that no one could mistake His presence! You might laugh, but we have attended services that were so dry, that we’re sure God even ‘checked out to go fishing’. But, that was not the case on Sunday as Pastor Bette was leading the church workers in the pre-service prayer time. Together, as we lifted our voices up to Father God, the Holy Spirit settled over us, bringing praises to our lips and tears to our eyes. An atmosphere of expectancy hovered over the congregation as we worshiped and praised our God. (If you shut your eyes, can’t you just see Jesus walking around and touching the people?) It’s during precious times as this that heavy concerns are lifted, sick bodies healed and hearts lifted to a new level in God’s love. For example, when we returned from our trip to Israel we found, that two of our church families had experienced deaths in their families; Nico, a dear friend, had been completely surprised when a judge ordered that his moving van be seized, due to the previous owners debts; Arnaldo, a young father, had been bitten by a dog and was seriously ill in the hospital; plus a number of worries and concerns in the hearts and lives of other members. On Sunday, in the holy presence of Jesus, we all experienced a heart peace that passes all understanding. La Iglesia CEB (the CEB Church) is happy and content to walk in the presence of God, knowing that He cares for us and has everything under control!
Join us in praying that we, as a church body, be ever sensitive to the moving presence of God. It is the desire of our heart that this is a place where people can meet with God face to face each and every service and go away changed!
**CEB BIBLE INSTITUTE: As the end of the year grows closer, the different Bible Institute Levels are coming to an end.
Please pray that the students will continue to be diligent in attending the classes and completing the required assignments so that they may receive their certificates, advancing towards their goal of graduation.
TESTIIMONY: A young man named David called the office from Santaní, (a pueblo about 3 hours away), saying he found the name and number of the church in a Bible that had been given to one of our Bible Institute students. David said that in his family, only his mother continued to serve the Lord, but she was praying for the rest of them. He said he had questions and wanted to know about being baptized in water. We were so glad that we had a former Bible student pastoring in Santaní, and we could send him to minister to David personally.
Blessings – Jerry and Connie.