Greetings from Paraguay!
April was an exciting month for us… we completed a long standing dream and goal!
We are pleased and excited to share with you that on April 26, Pastors Victor and Marlene Cardozo were promoted to the position of Head Pastors of our local church: La Iglesia Centro de Enseñanza Bíblica (The Bible Teaching Center Church). We, Jerry and Connie, will continue as the Directors of the Living Water Teaching – Paraguay Ministry, with the church remaining as a branch of the ministry. Together we will work as a team, knowing that the church and ministry will continue to grow together in all areas.
This year the CEB Church will celebrate its 18th anniversary. Pastors Victor and Marlene have been with us for 12 of those years, faithfully serving and receiving training. We can’t express how pleased we are to see God moving the ministry forward in this area… He is faithful!
The ‘Changing of the Guard’ was celebrated with special invited family and guests, music and a grand feast for all of the church family and more. Pastor Victor commented that “it is a rare occurrence in Paraguay that a Head Pastor would step aside to place another in his position… normally there is a death first!” God has sent us to Paraguay to ‘TRAIN UP THE PEOPLE TO DO THE WORK’ and we are seeing it come to pass in many areas!
One of the many ‘special moments’ of the ceremony was when Pastor Victor invited forward seven men that had been part of the prison ministry. They had asked for the privilege of personally thanking us for starting up the prison ministry, where they received the Lord. These men attend our church or work in other churches… one of the seven is on our Church Ministry Board!
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CHURCH COMMUNITY DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS OF TRANSITION.
(HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRENT! LOVE YOU, DAD & MOM)
**The Hola Club Children’s Hospital:
During the month of April we shared and prayed with 405 parents and children, with 183 choosing to pray the prayer of salvation!
*Once again it was our privilege to war against the demons of hell… AND WIN!
Thursday, April 16, I (Connie) entered into my first room to find a 14 year old girl named Veronica stumbling around making sounds. In talking with the mother, I learned that the child had been acting like this and hearing voices for 21 days… not eating or sleeping at all for the last 15 days. I shared the Word with the mother, but she was only willing to listen, no more. I continued to talk, explaining that what her daughter was experiencing was more than a medical problem; it was also a spiritual problem. She agreed that I could return with another of our Hola Club team members, so I went in search of Pastor Bette. As we were beginning to minister to Veronica, the Hospital Chaplin entered the room. He reconfirmed what we were sensing and began talking with the mother. This time she was willing to pray the prayer of salvation with him. The Chaplin was called away, so we continued ministering. The work seemed to be going slow, finally we asked Veronica if she would read for us and we gave her a copy of the prayer that is included in our materials to read. With difficulty at first as she read, hardly being able to say the first two words... ‘Lord Jesus’…, and only after much prompting, she began to read slowly and then more rapidly as she continued. All went well until she came to the part asking ‘Jesus to be her Lord and Savior’… suddenly, as clear as a bell, without hesitation, we heard a stern voice say: ‘I think you are playing with me!’ We took authority over the spirit, in the Name of Jesus and, soon, Veronica was reading the prayer from start to finish, including pronouncing loudly the AMEN at the end! The spirit binding her was a strong ‘spirit of fear’, brought on by rape and death threats. Veronica still has much to work through, but that tormenting demon has been cast out and now she can sleep and eat once again! The picture included here is of Veronica sleeping after God set her free from the tormenting spirit. (UPDATE TWO WEEKS LATER: We hugged and talked with Veronica, she is a beautiful and happy girl ready to go home!)
*On Thursday, April 30, Dolia prayed with a 10 year old boy, Hugo, whose beating by his mother put him in the hospital and his mother in the Women’s Prison. After a time of talking and listening, the little guy prayed the prayer of salvation and told Dolia that he was now willing to forgive his mother for the way she had treated him. (Always with forgiveness, comes healing!) Pray for Hugo, he will be placed in foster care if others of his family cannot care for him.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF THE NATION OF PARAGUAY - THE BATTLE WAGES ON FOR THEIR HEARTS, MINDS AND SOULS. MORE AND MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES ARE COMING TO LIGHT. JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR ‘LABORERS FOR THE HARVEST’… JESUS IS RETUNING SOON!
Benjamín was a National Police Officer until he committed a crime and was placed in prison, where he is still serving his sentence. In prison, Benjamín came to know the love of God and he has faithfully participated on all of the programs and CFC Resurrection Church. It was and is his desire to learn more about the Lord.
Benjamín shared that a childhood friend recently contacted him, saying that she was desperate and had no desire to live any longer; she was ready to end it all. He told her not to take her life, that there was good news…Jesus Christ was the ‘unfailing medicine’ for her depression. She responded that she was tired of calling out to God without reaching Him and without receiving an answer! Benjamín told her to open her heart to Jesus, that after receiving Him, she should cry out to God again and she would have a different experience! Later, he asked Pastor Victor to talk with his childhood friend, who now has received Jesus and has begun her inner-healing!
COMMENT FROM PASTOR VICTOR: “There is no doubt that only God can do this kind of miracle. A life was saved from suicide by a prisoner that society had deemed worthless! Benjamín, a man‘deprived of his freedom’, had the words of counsel and hope for a lady ‘with her freedom but no desire to live’. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians, God chooses the foolish and weak of the world to shame the wise and strong. God chose ‘a prisoner’ to bring freedom to another…God saves us so that we may save others!”
PLEASE CONTINUE PRAYING FOR THE PRISON MINISTRY, LIVES ARE BEING TOUCHED AND CHANGED THROUGH THE POWER AND LOVE OF THE WORD OF GOD.
Blessings – Jerry and Connie.