Greetings from Paraguay!
May was a month that we, once again, had the opportunity to declare the faithfulness of God! If we could have scheduled or planned the events of May, we certainly would have done things differently. BUT, since the future is not placed in our hands, we are thankful that Father God had everything under control! Jerry had been experiencing a pain that finally drove him to make a doctor’s appointment. (We all have been there and done that, right?) The doctor discovered that he had a strangulated hernia on his lower right side that required immediate surgery. After a four-day ‘vacation’, in the Baptist Hospital, he returned home with instructions to rest and heal. He was doing pretty good until he went to ‘supervise’ a workday at the church less than two-weeks later. Yes, you guessed it, he decided he could help, just a little bit. The price of ‘helping’, to hammer a nail or two and staple some of the tarp panels was ‘three pain-filled days in bed/chair’. Sad to say, his ‘helping’ resulted that the incision didn’t close in the time the doctor allowed, and he had to wait another week to get the stitches out. He has learned his lesson and is trying to limit the hours he sits at his desk.
During this hospital adventure, God had prepared the way: other teachers had already been scheduled for the Bible Institute; a friend dedicated his time to drive us to and from the hospital and the different appointments and the Staff stepped in and took over his daily responsibilities. Thankfully, our pre-paid medical coverage paid 2/3 of the medical bills. The stitches are now out and Jerry is returning to his normal self… smiling and joking! When May ended, we trusted that June would be calmer… but if not, we know that God is still in control!
**The Hola Club Children’s Hospital:
We are sorry to report that during the month of May we were unable to visit the Children’s Hospital because, the last week in April, the motor of the Nissan quit, with loud noises and a great cloud of black smoke! I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t frustrated, this is the first time that we have missed a complete month in not visiting the hospital in our 12 years of ministry. The Nissan is being repaired, but will stay at the repair shop until the repair bill can be paid.
* Please join the Hola Club volunteers in praying for:
#1 - The finances to get the Nissan out of the repair shop.
#2 – A second vehicle (van) so that we are not required to rely on only one travel source.
#3 – Other licensed drivers that can be scheduled to drive.
*Even though we didn’t visit the hospital, we have a ‘Praise the Lord’ to share! One day at our office, the boss of the Tree Trimming Company came to Jerry’s office to be paid for his services. As he walked past my open office door, he greeted me and stopped to say that he would never forget the day that he came asking us to pray for his son and we gave him one of the ‘little stuffed bears’. It was a moment that we had forgotten, but this simple act of love and kindness stayed in the heart of this father! (I ,Connie, had to smile, at that very moment I was making the ‘next batch’ of little bears!)
**CFC Prison Ministry:
During May, our prison ministry secretary, Oscar, received his first opportunity, after serving 12 years of his sentence, to go before the Parole Board at the Agrupación Especializada Prison. Even though his parole request was denied, at the petition of the victim’s family, Oscar’s prayers were answered. He had asked God for the opportunity to go before the family and ask forgiveness. During the second hearing, Oscar was permitted to approach the family. He humbled himself before them, on his knees, and, with tears, asked for their forgiveness. He told them that he realized that nothing could make up for the life of their son, but he was truly sorry for his involvement in his death. He shared that God had changed his heart and he asked for their forgiveness. Even though they did not respond, Oscar said that he now walks in a freedom that not even the prison can take from him. He is truly happy.
* Join us in thanking God for the answered prayers of Oscar. That God will continue using this young man to reach and minister to many prisoners that need to be ‘spiritually free’. Pray for his wife and children as they keep their hope in God and His grace and mercy.
*Since the cold weather (well, cold for us!) as arrived, the CEB Church has put on its winter apparel! Until we are able to construct permanent walls or enclosure, we have fabricated tarp panels to help block the cold winds. Thank God, the panels are really helping to keep us warmer during our services! Here are a few pictures of the project. (Yes, these are the panels that Jerry tried to ‘help’ construct after his surgery!)
* Join us in thanking God for His provision and presenting the needs of the continued church construction.
Blessings – Jerry and Connie