Recent congregational developments and activities
Former mission team members, Chris and Vickie Fry, brought a group down from Dyersburg, TN, to assist the church here from July 9-18. They put on a VBS at the church building, in local parks, in some of the orphanages, and in a neighborhood where there were lots of children. Vickie also lead a Ladies' Day event with lessons from the book “Lies Women Believe.” They all worked really hard and they brought a lot of encouragement to the congregation while spreading the word about Jesus.
A Special Committee was formed this month from among the men of the congregation to organize and develop a special program for our members in the form of a Bible Institute. The men recognize that Paraguay needs Paraguayan preachers! So, the church is trying to develop a means for training men to be able sow the seeds of the Gospel to the lost in Paraguay. The committee meets twice a week with the goal of organizing everything necessary for starting in March of 2013.
In addition, Pedro Vera and myself traveled to Guatemala City, Guatemala to visit “ITL,” the Institute of Theology of Latinamerica. We went there in order to learn more about how a full/time Bible school works. Our brethren Hawatthia Jones and Byron Benitez were very hospitable and helped us a lot in understanding the necessities of operating a school. ITL is a very sound and well-run institue.
Recent conversions / identifications / restorations
Baptized! – Silvina Giménez was baptized July 17th for the remission of her sins! She came to the church through our “Study English Using the Bible” program and from there proceeded to study “Searching for Truth.” She also began attending many of the youth activities and has been very involved in the church. She came to realize the state of her soul and decided to be reconciled to our Lord. Praise Him!
Contacts / Bible studies:
English Campaign Contacts – Our summer interns, Hannah Phillips and Rhonda Taylor, have completed the initial series of studies with their students in our recent “Learn English by Using the Bible” campaign. Several of these studies have progressed to “Searching for Truth” Bible study and the contacts have been handed over to the local missionaries. Please pray for these contacts that perhaps they will come to know the Lord and His gift of salvation.
Natalia Osorio and Ruthy Pacua - have begun a new convert Bible study in order to help them grow in the faith. We are using a new series of studies that focuses on the responsibilities of a “new babe in Christ.”
“Kari,” “Pati,” “Romi,” and “Judy.” What do these names have in common besides just rhyming? They are all friends and family members of our brethren in the church which have been brought to us as Bible study contacts. Each one of these is now engaged in various Bible studies that we pray will lead to conversions. We are especially excited that our brethren are reaching out to their loved ones in order to try to lead them to the Savior!
Steps toward mission goals
Investigating other Bible schools in order to learn how to have one in Paraguay was a big step toward our goal of developing a means for training our Paraguayan brethren to be evangelists.
We have been studying the “Beatitudes” on Sunday mornings with the congregation, lead by our brother, Ike Yegros. He will be finishing this month and then we will be starting a series of lessons on Family, Marriage, and the Home. On Wednesday nights we will be starting a series of lessons called “Identifying Truth” where about we will study how denominational doctrines compare to the Bible.
Josh Barber flew down to Paraguay to see his girlfriend (and our current mission intern), Hannah Phillips, in order to buy her some flowers and propose to her! He surprised her in a restaurant and then “popped the question.” When she said “yes” the whole restaurant staff applauded! Congrats!
Plans for near future
Enoch Rinks (former member of the Paraguayan mission team) is bringing a group down from Virginia in late July through August. More on that in the next newsletter!
A SPECIAL THANK YOU!
We would like to extend a special “THANK YOU” to Andy Baker and our brethren at Dripping Springs church of Christ. Andy put together several English devotional songbooks for us and then donated them to the mission team. Dripping Springs paid for the shipping costs to get them to Chris Fry, who then carried them down to Paraguay for us. We will be using the songbooks for when we, the American missionaries get together for our regular English devotionals, or when we have American groups come down. Thank you again brethren, we really appreciate your kindness!
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Personal HIGHLIGHT(s) of the Month: We had a visit from a mission group from Tennessee, a new sister in Christ obeyed the Gospel, several new Bible study contacts, and a marriage proposal!
Lately, I have been focusing a lot on Catholicism and especially on Mariology. Several questions have come up recently about Mary worship so I hope to help our brethren learn how to respond to this false teaching.
I am currently reading / have read:
“Roman Catholicism” by Loraine Boettner
“Jesus Christ: The Hope of the Home” by Robert R. Taylor
I have finished writing the first two major sections for the Spanish fundamentals study guide that I have titled, “The First Principles of the Oracles of God.” We are now using it in a current Bible study to see how well the format works.
Three lovely, faithful Christian sisters: Ursula, Estella, and Andrea
Although we have certainly grown leaps and bounds in our Spanish skills, we were still anxious to get back to studying Spanish to “shake off the rust” from being back in the states recently on furlough. This learning Spanish project is a long process!
Estella Curcio - we always love to have the opportunity to get to visit our sweet sister Estella, who lives in Caacupé and rides a bus TWO HOURS to get to the Sunday am worship assembly! She has been a faithful disciple for more than 25 years.
Tuesday Night Study Group - every month we try to host our Tuesday night Bible study group in our home. The group usually meets in the home of Delci Enciso and has been growing. There have been several great efforts made in reaching out to neighbors and family.
While the Dyersburg mission group was here, we had the opportunity to visit a couple of the area orphan homes. It is always nice to share with these children, who are starving for attention and affection. We have developed some really good relationships with the directors of the homes, as well as, these precious children.
We finally got to go to the Asuncion Expo together! I am usually traveling this time of year so I have missed it the past two years. Andrea and I enjoyed a nice afternoon of just strolling through the park seeing all the sights.
Plans for the near future:
We have another mission group coming down from the USA that will be working with the church in late July and August.
Our team retreat and banquet will be coming up soon!
The service organization that Andrea belongs to, called the “Las Amigas Club” held their recent “4th of July” luncheon at the home of one of its members. The newspapers took this photo and others to recognize the event.
Our Mission Team Goals for 2012:
Evangelism: Each member of the team has developed and committed to some personal evangelism goals. Collectively, we are praying that we will generate more than 120 new contacts and conduct more than 750 Bible studies. These studies will include both evangelistic and member studies. We also plan to use public advertising, special events, and seminars to generate contacts. We also pray that we will continually encourage and develop a more evangelistic spirit within the congregation.
Edification: The team is working to develop leadership within the congregation through the mentoring process, special workshops, and by utilizing studies that focus on servant leadership. We are also developing ideas and working on logistics for the possibility of having a specialized “Bible school” in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Edifice: (Building Construction): We pray that we will complete construction of phase 1 of the building this year. All paperwork has been acquired and we are requesting estimates to begin construction.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the full report with pictures, please click here.