Greetings from Paraguay!
Are you ready for December? Even in the heart of South America we experience the ‘Christmas rush’ with more activities scheduled than we can possible attend. With each year we are seeing more and more of the ‘Western Culture Christmas’ entering in and replacing the old Paraguayan traditions, but there are some things that never seem to change. ‘Christmas Eve’ will find us eating supper just before mid-night and then on Christmas day we will be off early to a park with members of the church family, enjoying games of soccer, swimming, the outdoors, and even a water baptism. Last year we spent Christmas week in the interior of the country, moving from house to house, staying with friends. Even though they are asking us to return this Christmas, we know our church families would be up in arms if we were to schedule to be away again this year… after all, they are our Paraguayan family! We hope you have a very Merry Christmas with the love of Jesus in the middle of everything you do!
Jerry & Connie
WE PRAISE GOD THAT:
The Acosta Ñú Children’s Hospital: In the month of November we had the joy of visiting the hospital 4 times, praying for 276- children and parents. There were 123-parents and older children who prayed the prayer of salvation!
**Another first time happening…. While we were sharing the ‘good news’ with the parents in one of the observation rooms, the doctor on duty quietly asked if she could also receive Jesus. Dolia prayed with her, gave her some written materials and a little stuffed bear for her baby. We then rejoiced with the Heavenly Host as this little lady-doctor’s name was written in the Book of Life!
The CEB Church: You know they have got to love Jesus when they are willing to come and sit in the rain during the Sunday Worship Service! Sunday, November 15, we had the greatest service huddled under the now famous ‘big blue tarp’. It was raining so hard that Pastor Jerry had to join us under the tarp so we could hear him. All sound equipment and the musical instruments had to be put aside and covered to protect them (and us) from danger. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, the wind blew, the people sang to the rhythm of clapping hands, and Pastor Jerry shouted his sermon. The deacons were quick to lay out two wide planks for Jerry to stand on when little rivers began to flow around his feet. Our little Sister Marta, 83 years old, sat with a smile as water flowed under her chair and on through the covered area. Would you believe, we even had a baby dedication that Sunday… rain and all!
Prayer Warriors: We have a group of ladies that know how to pray! Three times a week they gather in the home of Dolia Segovia and intercede for the church, the neighborhood, individuals, for Paraguay, the children’s hospital, and for you. We know that this is one of the main reasons that we are experiencing the sweet moving of the Holy Spirit and the blessings of God. Lately, due to the heat, we have been gathering in the shade of a grape arbor and lifting our voices to God.
We are thankful: We received a special offering which was designated to be spent on flooring in Jerry’s former office. (The office building is made up of two parts: the old and the new. The old or original part of the building has granite flooring but the newer side only has cement floors.) With this blessing, we were not only able to tile the little office, but also the front entryways which will help keep out the rain water. We will continue tiling the other floors as possible, but for now we are happy and thankful for this one finished room!
CEB Church Construction: Our group of faithful workers has done many things to raise funds for the building construction. Together we have sold tickets and raffled off a motorcycle, as well as different electrical items, made and sold LOTS of hamburgers, made and sold typical foods several times, sold cupcakes and cups of fruit salad, crafts… the list just goes on and on. Everyone is doing what they can with what they have, and we are having a great time doing it! As pastors, we feel that the fellowship outweighs the monetary results, but every Guaraní counts as we work towards our goal.
Hey, you should be here for our latest event… you’d love it! During the month of November we sold ‘foot long hot dogs’ with a relish made of corn, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Yes, they were good…we bought more than our share of them. The first weekend in December we have our last ‘foot long and movie night’ scheduled…why don’t you plan on dropping in and enjoying it with us? (We wish!)
Join us in PRAYING for:
The need of wisdom: With the Year 2009 coming to a close, we are reviewing our work and comparing it to our goals set for this time. In many areas we are pleased with the results, but there is always room for improvement. The construction of a church is heavy on our hearts, but above all of this, it is our desire that the CEB Church body hunger and thirst for more of God. We are asking God for ways to present the Word so that more and more people fall in love with Him and serve Him with all of their being. Please join us in praying for the direction of the Holy Spirit for the Year 2010.
CEB Church Construction: There have been no changes in this area; we are still waiting for the Restroom Complex to be submitted for City approval. Please pray that this project can be completed rapidly and without complications.
CFC Prison Ministry: Pastor Victor continues to visit every Saturday while we continue to wait for ‘the promised re-entry’ to be permitted. We know that God is working behind the scene and are confident that soon we will be back stronger than ever. According to the news, we will be having many new candidates to minister to… there are a lot of men being put into this prison lately.
Pray for the country of Paraguay: Please pray, our President Lugo seems to be getting very friendly with the leaders of Venezuela and also those of Palestine… not good company! Although he was a Catholic priest for a number of years, President Lugo needs Jesus; please pray for a true salvation.
Many parts of Paraguay are in a state of emergency, one portion of the country is dying from the lack of water and others are flooding. There are many desperate people demanding what the government cannot give to them. We know the answer is in Jesus, pray that all of the Word teaching churches here will do their part to reach out to this nation.
Thank you for your faithful prayers.