Brethren, is there really anything more important in this world than one’s salvation? The answer is, obviously, NO there is not! Last month, five precious souls recognized this truth through the power of God’s word and decided to heed the Gospel call! What a great way to end 2012!
- Baptized! Zully and Vicente Martinez! They came to the church more than a year and a half ago. After we and several brethren studied the subject of baptism with them on many occasions and teaching them EVERYTHING involved in being saved, Zully recognized that she needed to be baptized according to the Bible in order to be saved. However, Vicente believed that they had already been baptized for the right reasons. He maintained this posture based on how he understood “the one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5. Something in him changed recently when he finally recognized that he had been previously baptized under a false doctrine and was, therefore, re- baptized with this time knowing it was according to the scriptures!
- Baptized! Nery and Delia Martinez! Nery is the younger brother of Vicente Martinez. Vicente had been evangelizing his brother for quite some time, but when two young preachers from Guatemala came to visit, he decided to seize the opportunity to set up a study with them and his brother. Nery decided to obey the Gospel call, then his wife, Delia, decided to do the same! Praise God for the power of the Gospel!
- Baptized! Adriana Ramirez! Adriana is a friend and neighbor of Mirta Vera, our church secretary. When we needed a cleaning lady for the church building, Mirta suggested Adriana and she has now been with us for several weeks. Adriana began asking many questions and Mirta continued to evangelize simply by showing her what the Bible says. Then one Friday morning, Adriana decided she needed to be saved and right away! Praise God for her obedience!
Special Activities / Congregational Development:
- We enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship, fun, and food at our annual End of Year Dinner with both congregations! Everyone brought lots of food and some brought friends or family. We had a few presentations and then topped off the night with a very humorous talent show!
- Andrea hosted the Ladies Tea in our home this month. There were 26 ladies that came and enjoyed fellowship and some of Andrea’s “famous” cooking! Andrea also gave the devotional thought and afterward, the ladies exchanged Christmas gifts.
- Brother Chris Fry was our guest speaker this month (via Internet) for our Wednesday night “Summer Series” lessons. He always does a good job and we enjoyed his lesson. Some of our upcoming speakers include Willie Alvarenga, Andy Chavarilla, Enoch Rinks, and Douglas Alvarenga.
- Bible Academy development: The time is getting closer and we are getting more excited as the Asunción Bible Academy
continues to develop! There is much left to do, but the men are steadily moving forward with the development by working on the Student Manual and teacher expectations. It is long, tedious work, but they are very dedicated. We have several potential students and we ask that you please keep them in your prayers. They are: Enrique Albera, William Arzamendia, Paolo Roschol, Ramon Paredes, and Karen Vega.
Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies:
English Course Contacts: Our English studies have gone well but now that we are in summer time in Paraguay, many are taking off work for vacation. Several of our students have suspended their classes until February. We ask that you please keep Adriana, Andrea, Guadalupe, Blanca, Sergia, Antonio, and Graciela in your prayers that they continue their studies with us and that they may ultimately respond to the word of God.
Steps toward mission goals:
- Perry and Alba Hardin have completed their committed time to the mission team. They left Dec 31 to go work in Peru for two months, then plan to return to Paraguay where Perry will assume the position of Director of Academics for the Asuncion Bible Academy.
- We made some improvements on the building! We removed one of the interior walls in order to enlarge the space we are using for worship assembly. We also repaired several cracks in the walls and repainted a large part of the interior.
• 2013 looks like it will be super busy as we get ready to start the Bible Academy, host several groups from the US, gear up for our annual congregational retreat, launch a new English campaign, and offer several community seminars!
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Personal HIGHLIGHT(s) of the Month: What a way to end the year 2012! There were five baptisms this month, along with a wonderful End of Year dinner, and the beginning of improvements to the church building.
- I have finally finished the Spanish study guide book for new converts that I have been writing! The first copies of “First Principles” have been printed and given to several Spanish speaking brethren to help with any corrections needed.
- I am currently reading / have read:
- “Paul’s Letter to the Saints at Rome”” by Robertson L. Whiteside
- “A Return to Christ Centered Missions” by Earl Lavender
Cultural or language discovery:
“Flor de Coco” is a popular tradition for Christmas in Paraguay. Many street vendors sell this very fragrant Coconut Flower so people can put them in their homes or around their nativity scenes in their yards.
- We enjoyed a nice Christmas Dinner in our home with several of our teammates and Brittnea’s parents, Kevin and Tammy Dye!
- Andrea has a new BIG hobby! Making gift baskets, cakes, and finger foods. Since she loves to cook and everyone loves her cooking, she decided to start taking a few orders by request.
- I’ll be completely honest, I do not like going to the gym! Although I know I need the exercise, but I can find a million excuses for not going. So, I needed to find a different approach and I recently found one in Tae Kwon Do. I must say, it has been rather interesting learning a new sport in Spanish, but I have really enjoyed it and I already feel much better! I even recently earned my first belt!
- Gustavo Aguero has been struggling with many aspects of his life lately. He has once again slipped back into drinking. But, recently he indicated that he needs to get his life back together and return to the Lord’s church. We’ll be praying and doing all we can for him.
- Estella and Graciella - Estella turned 70 years old on Dec 24 and her daughter Graciella, who lives in the US, was here to celebrate. We got to spend a little time with them both because Andrea was asked to prepare a large gift basket for her. They are such wonderful people!
We are hoping to complete the interior remodel and painting of the church building in January.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the Spradlin’s full report with pictures, please click here.