Recent congregational developments and activities:
- The Special Committee for the Bible School has been working really hard on the many aspects of organization. They have developed a strong Bible curriculum, worked out a flow-chart for the personnel and staffing, and are continuing to develop the internal rules and regulations.
- Our Annual Men’s Retreat was held on October 13 at the home of Vicente Martinez. We use this opportunity to review and measure where we are in the goals that we have previously made and to set new goals for the next year. It was a great day with many positive and exciting developments. It is thrilling to see the congregation taking on more responsibility and growing in the process. Please pray that the church will continue to grow and develop through the locals efforts!
Recent conversions / identifications / restorations:
- Baptized! - Fabiola Gimenez. She is the sister of Silvina Gimenez that was baptized just a short while ago. She and her husband, Rodrigo, have been attending the couples Bible study group and have had several questions about baptism. She decided to put on Christ in baptism through her studies and we rejoice
with the angels in her decision!
- Baptized! - Jazmin Gimenez. She is the youngest of the three Gimenez sisters. She followed in the footsteps of Silvina and Fabiola, except she identified more with the youth group and became involved with them. Through various studies she, too, arrived at the decision that she needed to “obey that form of doctrine” (Roman 6:17) and be baptized. Now all three sisters are rejoicing in their salvation. This is especially apparent in the smile Jazmin produced when she rose into newness of life! (pictured above, right)
Annual Team Evaluation Workshop. We invited Gail and Jerry Heiderich from Itu, Brazil, to come once again and provide counseling for the team, as well as, guidance for yet another major transition that the team is facing. The Hardins will be finishing their time with the team in December and we are about to begin a Bible school, both of which will have an effect on the congregation. The remaining team members want to make the transition as smooth as possible and use it as an opportunity to help the church grow. We also set several new goals to work toward as a team. It looks like 2013 is going to be an exciting year!
Contacts / Bible Studies
Two new English Campaign Contacts! Two more interested students have come our way with Andrea and Adriana. They are both very interested in the Bible, so we pray the English study will develop into an opportunity to focus mainly on the Bible.
The remainder of our English studies continue to go well and we are advancing toward more serious Bible studies, as well. Please keep Blanca, Daniel, Sergia, Antonio, and Graciela in your prayers that they may be touched by the word of God.
A young man named Martín has been attending services regularly and wants to grow stronger spiritually. He struggles with several addictions and just wants to make sense of his life. We pray for him and will continue to offer spiritual guidance.
Steps toward mission goals:
The new mid-week Bible study group in Ñemby is going very well! The weekly attendance has been strong and we have had some great studies. We pray this will continue to develop toward a natural church plant in Ñemby, that the church in Asunción can work towards and facilitate. Most of the leaders and the members have this vision already, so it seems to be only a matter of “when” instead of “if”.
Plans for near future:
We have a guest coming down from the USA! Karen Bennet, who is a member at one of our supporting congregations, Central Avenue in Valdosta, GA, is coming down to work with us for a several days!
We have two students coming to Paraguay from ITL of Guatemala to serve as “interns,” as well as, teaching and preaching. We look forward to their visit!
Our Team Retreat and Planning Session is coming up next month!
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Personal HIGHLIGHT(s) of the Month: Two more precious souls added to the church, a team workshop, a Ladies Retreat/Renewal and the Annual Men’s Retreat all lent to a wonderful and busy month of October! We feel so blessed to be able to participate in such a wonderful work!
• I am currently reading / have read:
“Difficult Conversations and How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton.
“David Crockett: His Life and Adventures” by John S. Abbott - just for leisure. The old language used in the book is rather fascinating!
Culture and language study
Andrea has enrolled in Berlitz Language School for Spanish classes. She loves it! We are praying this will accelerate her skills in speaking Spanish.
- We had a nice dinner one evening with Aldo Britez and our new sister in Christ, Catherine Pascottini in order to get to know them a little better.
- We had Guillermo and Mirian Sanchez and Ruthy Pacuá over for lunch one Sunday just to get to know our new brethren better. They are a precious family!
- We had a nice lunch with our sister, Raquel Franco. She is considering attending the Bible school!
- Prisilla Santandar is now regularly attending a Bible study group and bringing her family with her to worship. We are continuing to visit her and try to help her spiritual development.
- Dinner with our neighbors, the Meza’s. He is a retired Army Major and she currently manages a little sandwich stand near one of the universities. They have always been really kind to us and we enjoyed getting to know them better.
Andrea attended Continent Care Connection 2012 which is a missionary retreat and renewal conference held in Brazil. She enjoyed getting to know other South American missionaries and soaked in the opportunity to spend some time at the beach! We are thankful for Great Cities who provides this valuable service to missionaries.
We voted! After learning what to do for oversees voting procedures, we cast our ballots via the US Embassy. But, we didn’t get one of those little “I Voted” stickers! :-(
We enjoyed a nice 17th Wedding Anniversary dinner at “La Misión Hotel.”
We have some fun family plans for November and are looking forward to the opportunities!
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the full report with pictures, please click here.