February 2010

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Dear Family and Friends,

It was amazing to watch, one spiteful action of hate caused all of Paraguay to gasp and then hit their knees in prayer.

To give you a little background, the main heartbeat of each and every Paraguayan is futbol (soccer). When the national team plays the whole nation stops to watch… even the government officials close up shop. Winning or not, the beer flows, the red, white and blue flags wave a nd huge firecrackers (the kind that rattle the windows) explode in succession.

01 Salvador Cabanas, a Paraguayan soccer idol, who plays for a team in Mexico, was the reason for the urgent prayer. One evening while Salvador and his wife were at a bar in Mexico, a man followed him into the restroom and proceeded to shoot him in the head. When found, he was rushed to the hospital. Salvador was alive, but the bullet was lodged in his brain and he was not given much hope of recovery.

Once the shock had passed, stadium after stadium filled with fans as the nation was called to pray for their hero. Men and women alike wept openly, locking arms and crying out to God for Salvador’s life. Some included the name of the little Saint of Caacupe (María) as they chanted their rosary, while others raised their hands to heaven and called on the Name of the Lord. The cries of prayer were loud and without shame. Reports came that Mexican fans were responding to the call also and had filled a stadium in Mexico to pray.

We witnessed a miraculous change in the condition of the young man with every broadcast covering his ongoing story. In a very short time he was able to talk and recognized his family members. From his hospital bed he told the world that he would be back playing soccer… his goal was to be at the head of the Paraguayan Team at the World Cup Soccer Playoffs in June. To everyone’s amazement and joy, Salvador was out of the hospital in approximately 3 months. He was shown in training by playing ping pong to help with his eye hand coordination … and he didn’t miss a beat!

Sad to say, June and the WCS Playoffs came and Salvador was not able to join his teammates on the honored team, but he was there in spirit and in the heart of each member and countryman.

The thing that touched our heart the most was how the Nation of Paraguay cried out to God in one accord in their moment of heartbreak… and God answered! Just think what God could do in a nation if each and everyone would repent and cry out to Him for the salvation of their land! Our God is compassionate, loving and kind!

Thank you for your prayers and support in the month of February. We have seen it with our own eyes… God is a loving God who is willing to answer when hearts are lifted up in prayer!