April 2015

Greetings from Paraguay!

March was a busy month for us, was it for you too?
It’s good to look at the appointment book and know that all of those meetings, counseling appointments, activities and ‘what-ever demands’ are behind us and we can gear up for the next set of adventures! April promises to have more than its share of challenges… planned & unplanned… but we know that Father God will direct us through them! We did take a break at the end of March to attend a weekend presented by Family Foundations International, CONSECRATED FAMILIES BLESSED GENERATIONS, at the Yacht & Golf Club in Asunción. The time was three-fold: we celebrated our 48th Wedding Anniversary, rested and received excellent teaching. The only ‘down part’ was that we missed being with our church family on Sunday!


**The Hola Club Children's Hospital:
During the month of March we were only able to visit the hospital twice because of rain and lack of a vehicle. During the two weeks we were able to share and pray with 227 parents and children, with 79 people choosing to pray the prayer of salvation!
Testimony:  I (Connie) was sure that the young mother with whom I was sharing the Word was going to reject what I was saying. Her body language and facial expressions showed boredom and she kept glancing away. With these thought circling in my mind, I smiled, braced myself and continued on talking. At the very end, when I offered to pray with her, she said ‘YES’… and I about fell over with surprise! Isn’t it great that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the heart and show the person their need? We just have to be faithful and not give up until the work is done!
As a Special prayer request for one of our faithful volunteers, Carmen, she is suffering much pain from what the doctors say is shingles.  Join us in speaking healing to her body!!
**Prison Ministry:
José Luis was a National Police Officer until he committed a crime. Overnight he lost his freedom and became an inmate, sentenced to seven (7) years of imprisonment. His unfriendly personality and temper made it difficult for the other inmates to accept and have contact with him. With much effort, Pastor Victor and some of the Christian inmates were able to get past the ‘barrier of anger’ and form a friendship. Once in a while José would attend the church services and activities, but he mainly sat back and watched. Pastor Victor was encouraged when the USA SOZO Group visited the prison in 2014; José attended the session where more Word was planted in his heart. On December 29, 2014 José was released from prison. At his release, he began to work in a rehabilitation center where 90% were youth with drug addictions. Most were suffering from physical or psychological or sexual abuses; were abandoned by their parents; and many suffering mental illness because of their drug use. After working for 2-months, José realized that ‘being forceful and tough wasn’t enough’ to work with these people. Admitting his need, José contacted Pastor Victor asking for spiritual help and in the process, completely surrendering his life to God. At José’s request, Pastor Victor visited the center and has been encouraging José to put his complete trust in the power of God who transforms lives… José’s and the lives of those with whom he works!
“It is amazing how God reaches out and saves a person from his sin and disobedience! As with the case of José, God had prepared a place for him to work at the rehabilitation center and there he learned that only God is sufficient. I’m very happy and consider José as ‘one more of the precious fruit of the prison ministry at Agrupación Especializada’… where we have ministered for more than a decade.”
Please pray for José Luis and the lives of the many youth that he is touching at the rehabilitation center.  Pray that his testimony will stay strong and that hearts and lives will be set free through his testimony and work.
**Ministry - Churches in the Interior:
It was our pleasure to once again ‘make the rounds’ to visit two churches that are under our ministry covering and other families that had attended the Bible School Classes in the interior of the country years ago. It had been three years since our last visit and we were welcomed with open arms. Even though we did not have to forge rivers as we once did, we still bumped over miles of dusty dirt roads to get to all of the little communities.
We found some modern improvements, but the ‘path out back’ was still a common factor! We could see that the ‘cost of living increases’ and the ‘drop in crop prices’ had effect on many of the families. But, true to their loving natures, they all offered us food and gathered fruit for us to take back to the City.
In some of the areas we sensed spiritual struggles; in other areas their faith was strong, but there was one common question… when will you be coming back? Yes, we can see the need and we are drawn to return to the interior to share the Word as we did years ago.
Pray that doors and opportunities will open.
To be truthful, for us that are not use to country living, it can be quite an adventure:
1) After each trip we suffer from heat, insect bites and adjustments to the food and water.
2) We know this will shock you, but we aren’t as young as we once were.
3) The costs for monthly trips are not in the budget… the list could go on, but if it’s in God’s plan, all the details will come together!
Please join us in prayer about this need of once again reaching out to those in the interior of Paraguay.
The ‘Prodigal Vehicle' has returned to its home! After two years of being without a vehicle we are no longer ‘afoot’. The repair process was a little long with the Nissan entering into the repair shop on the 22 of December, 2014, being once again placed in our hands just recently on the 13th of March. The motor is new having been overhauled from the ground up – a new clutch was installed, new brakes all around, minor electrical and fuel repairs are left to make it 100% once again. We thank God for his direction and the provision of the right mechanic as well as a Christian man in another church who took charge of the overall project.
In order to complete the repairs it was necessary that we 'bridge' an 'interest free' loan in the amount of $3,500. Please join us in prayer and agreement that this loan will be paid off rapidly.  If you can help with these repairs, please contact us.
Blessings to all – Jerry and Connie