It brings us such great joy to see the brethren so excited about the many activities that have been taking place within the church here in Paraguay! It’s been said, “A working church is a growing church.” According to what we ́re seeing around here, it’s looking like that saying is true!
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES / CONGREGATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
- The church had a special “Work Day” to clean up around the building and organize all the rooms. Part of the objective was to gather up the many old things that were not being used, like furniture, clothing, toys, or anything that just needed to be discarded. There was a “feria” for the members to buy whatever they wanted among the items with the proceeds going to the building fund. We also hired a company to bring in a big trash container for the stuff we needed to throw away and we filled it up! Things are looking mighty good around here. It is great to see the brethren taking pride (the good kind) in
maintaining their meeting facility.
- Our Wednesday night “Summer Series” lessons were such a success that the members have asked to have some more guests! Brethren Glen Henton, Ethan Hardin, and Ivan Villard, Jr, have all agreed to speak for us. If you are a Spanish speaking teacher, or know someone who would be interested in participating in this program, please let me know!
- Vacation Bible School! School starts the end of February in Paraguay, so it is a great time to have a VBS. We invited our member’s children, those of our frequent visitors, and from the local orphanages. Our youth, like Natalia Mendoza, William Arzamendia, and Carolina Achucarro did an amazing job with organizing and executing this event. There were an average of 40+ kids there all three days! That’s a lot crayons used!
ASUNCIÓN BIBLE ACADEMY DEVELOPMENT:
- The Asunción Bible Academy is now in its final stages of development before opening on March 11. Everything appears to be in order, set, and ready to begin. Next month’s mission report will be mostly dedicated to the opening of the school.
- We now have five “officially approved” students. They are: Enrique Albera, William Arzamendia, Ramón Paredes, Paolo Roshol, and Karen Gimenez. Please pray for them!
RECENT BAPTISMS / RESTORATIONS / IDENTIFICATIONS
- Baptized! Vicente Martínez, Jr. He is the son of Vicente and Zully Martinez who were baptized this past year. Vicente, Jr., has really “come out of his shell” lately and been a lot more involved in the youth activities and Bible studies. He eventually came to realize the state of his soul and decided to submit to the Gospel call. We rejoice to have a new brother in Christ!
Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies:
- Dina Aycock is a new friend that Andrea has made through the “Las Amigas” club. She has started asking lots of questions, so Andrea has invited her to come and see the church for herself!
- The mid-week study groups are going strong again after a short summer break. We are back to studying in the homes of Delci Enciso and of the Martinez. Our subject is Romans.
- We are also studying with several different couples with various topics like marriage, new convert lessons, and textual studies. What a blessing to have so many brethren that want to learn and grow in His word.
- Two of our former English students have returned to continue their studies. Andrea and Adriana are just about to finish the John study that we use, then they will transition into the “Searching for Truth” material. There are always lots of questions that follow with that study!
- Sergia is one of Andrea’s English students who has now advanced to “Searching for Truth.”
Steps toward mission goals:
- The new church plant in Ñemby! The men of the congregation at Avenida Sacramento have decided to support a young preacher named, Eliezer Perez, who is about to graduate from the Institute of Theology of Latin-America in Guatemala. When he was here a few months ago, he expressed the desire to come to Paraguay and work with the church. So, the church will provide him a place to live and a salary. This is a HUGE step for the church in Paraguay! They are stepping out on faith with the intent to support a young preacher. Eliezer will be working with the congregation here, as well as, being very involved in the church plant in Ñemby. We are praying and working toward having everything ready by July in order to start worship services there. Please pray for this effort.
- Upcoming plans:
*Preparing for the Inauguration Ceremony and opening of the Asuncion Bible Academy
*Congregational retreat in April
*We bought our plane tickets for our USA Furlough coming up in May and June of 2013!
- We will traveling to the following places during these dates:
a. Poolville church of Christ (Texas) - May 5
b. Dripping Springs church of Christ (Texas) - May 12
c. Margaret Street church of Christ (Florida) - May 19
d. Central Avenue church of Christ (Georgia) - June 2
e. Palm Beach Lakes church of Christ (Florida) - June 9
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES
HIGHLIGHT(s) of the Month: We have a new brother in Christ and the excitement is growing as we are getting closer to starting classes in the Bible Academy.
- Yegros family. We had a nice evening visiting with Ike and Nora and just enjoying a late-night Paraguay style dinner.
- Angel Ortiz is the husband of our sister in Christ, Mabel Ortiz. We had a nice visit one afternoon when he came by the church building during our “work day.” He is a very interesting person and a rather busy entrepreneur. I hope to have more opportunities to visit with him in the future.
- Preaching on Skype! I had the opportunity to preach for our sponsoring congregation at Margaret Street church of Christ in Milton, FL via Skype. Even after having done this a few times, it is still such an interesting experience and great opportunity! I am very thankful for the technology that allows us to “be there” with are brethren in the USA.
- Valentine’s Dinner! We went to an old Peruvian restaurant we had been hearing about.
- After a lot of sweat and hard work, I have advanced one more level in Tae Kwon Do to orange belt. Thanks to this much needed exercise, it has helped me to feel much better and have more energy. I have even lost a few pounds in the process.
- I am currently reading / have read:
“The Letter of Paul to the Romans” by Richard A. Batey (Sweet Co)
“Gramática Simple del Griego (Simplified Greek Grammar) by Armando Alaniz
“Mejores Estudiantes de la Biblia” by Mark Reeves (Bible Academy Textbook)
Cultural or language discovery:
- Interesting point: Americans are often viewed as being “frio” (cold) by the Paraguayans. The reason is because we are considered to be very direct in our personal communication. Americans usually go right to the point, whereas the Paraguayans have several exchanges of greetings before eventually getting to the point. Then, the point is sometimes softened in some form or another. Even in text messages, it is considered rude if you don’t put several lines of greetings before getting to the point!
- Want to learn more about Paraguay? Check out Natalia Goldberg’s, “Paraguay (Other Places Travel Guide)” which you can get through her insightful website: http://discoveringparaguay.com
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
If you would like to see Troy’s report with pictures, please click here.