Greetings from Paraguay!
Wow… was that the month of September that just whizzed by?
Three of the four weekends of September, we were traveling and visiting our Daughter Churches in the interior of the country. This is always a great time to get re-connected with the pastors and their congregations. Once again we invited different Church Board Members and their families to accompany us on these outings. For most, this was their first visit to these areas of their own country -- ha - city folks!
This month we also had the privilege of officiating at the funeral of a beloved member of the Zayas Church, Salutiana Aguayo, 89 years young, the pastor’s grandmother. We have always lovingly called her ‘Abuela’ (Grandmother). Even though she spoke mostly in Guaraní, we seemed to communicate and enjoyed one another’s company. We will miss the Abuela, but we are happy to know that she is with Father God now - happy, healthy and rejoicing!
(HAPPY OCTOBER BIRTHDAY JORDYN – YEAH!)
THE HOLA CLUB CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL:
During the month of September we visited the Children’s Hospital 4 times, sharing and praying with 392 parents and children, with 178 people choosing to pray the prayer of salvation!
Man, where’s the camera when you need it! But, sad to say, the hospital has a new policy prohibiting photographs being taken of the children, so it is only a memory. BUT ANYWAY - there was this little 2-year old girl that just made me (Connie) smile. As I asked her momma if I could pray for her, the ‘little sweetie’ stood up and walked to me at the end of the bed. She just leaned into my hands as I prayed and later as I talked to her momma about Jesus, she returned for more prayer. It was as if she was soaking in the anointing; then she wanted me to hold her! I’m not sure who was ministering to whom…but my grandmotherly instincts kicked in – what a doll!
A father sat and listened to all we had to share from the Word. When asked if he wanted to pray the salvation prayer, he pulled out his rosery necklace to show us. He said he wasn’t refusing our prayer, but he had his own way of praying. He then smiled and said we could pray for him… so we did! We also pray that the Word we shared with him will take root and grow in his heart.
Lily, one of our newer volunteers, told how she has continued to keep in contact with a mother who’s daughter was left in a vegatable state after an accident. Even though the family has retured home, they text one another and the mother continues to grow in her faith for her daughter’s healing. She now is the one who is praying and declaring the Word over her little girl.
Please pray for the Hola Club volunteers as we continue to reach out with the Good News! The purpose behind this ministry is to bring healing to the children and comfort and hope to the parents. We are proclaiming the love of God to the people and the authority of the Name of Jesus over the hospital.
New faces of visitors and smiling faces of old friends seem to be growing in number every Sunday! The ushers are now setting out the wooden folding chairs in addition to the regular plastic chairs to provide enough seating for all. It is a joy to gather with people that have come to worship God and to learn from his Word. Our prayers are being answered as this church becomes an ever glowing lighthouse to this neighborhood.
Your prayers are working! Progress has been made in the reorganization of the children and youth departments. A number of people have volunteered to be trained to work in these areas and we are expecting great results.
Please continue to join us in praying for Pastor Victor and Marlene as they pastor this ever changing group of believers. We sense a spirit of excitement as Pastor Victor shares his plans and desires for the church. We are confident that we have followed the plan of God in placing the Cardozo’s as Head Pastors of the CEB Church!
TESTIMONY & PRAYER REQUEST:
It is always interesting that, no matter how prepared you think you are by checking out the electronics, making a list of items to be used, and forming a schedule; there are always challenges. Once 4 or 5 hours away from the office and 2 hours away from a city, you just have to go with the flow! In June of this year, for our trip to the interior, Jerry had relied on someone else to prepare the electronics and as we were setting up to show a video he found that they had packed the wrong connecting cables. Thankfully, the pastor had a 12 inch TV that could be used with the video player. That ‘movie night’, about a dozen young people huddled together as we watched the THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. This last trip in September, we were prepared. Jerry checked out all the cables and videos and everything was perfect! (You know what’s coming, don’t you?) In the very first service, the short video that was to be the bases for Jerry’s teaching would not play. The computer refused to read the disk that it had so nicely read at home! What did he do? He punted! He taught the lesson without complete notes and was able to show a short video clip that made us laugh but brought out the lesson theme: ‘Relationships and Forgiveness’. Even when each step of the way seems blocked, the Holy Spirit takes charge and the end result is better than the original plan. This trip, for the ‘movie night’, the church was packed out with young couples instead of singles, as before. The movie that we took was called: ‘FIREPROOF’ which deals with marriages… hummm, God is always prepared!
We will be returning to Itá Azul once a month until January 2016, ministering the Forgiveness Program. The church has experienced painful resentments and separations within its ranks in the recent past. We are confident that they will receive inner-healing as the Word of God is ministered with love.
Pray for complete restoration in the lives of each person, starting with the pastor - right down to the youngest child in the four ‘daughter churches’ of LWT - Paraguay. Pray that each of these churches will once again shine bright, directing lost souls to Jesus!
ADDITIONAL PRAYER NEEDED:
Upon arriving back in Paraguay on August 21, we found it necessary to begin a process of major administration changes in the area of the accounting department of the ministry. Due to the unexpected but necessary resignation of one of our long-time staff members. I (Jerry) have found it necessary to take over this department due to various irregularities and processes necessary to get back on track with our reporting requirements. These processes will take place over the next few months of 2015 and into the first months of 2016. Please pray for wisdom, understanding, and patience for all involved and affected by these changes.
It is the desire of the congregation of the church to complete the amplification of the current roof area used for church services to include the installation of the concrete floor, improvements in the illumination and accessibility. Since this project is being funded only here in Paraguay by the Paraguayans, please pray for a more than abundant supply of finances to finish the project before the end of the year.
We have an immediate need to purchase 150 additional chairs. Each chair will cost approx. U$D 15 each, totaling a need of U$D 2,250. Please agree with us for the supply of these finances.
We are out of space! We need: classrooms for the Sunday School, Bible School and Youth’s use – storage space – an apartment for us to live in – repairs and remodeling of current spaces – total needed to get started on these projects = U$D 150,000. Please agree for the supply of these additional funds.
Blessings – Jerry and Connie