What an exciting month March has been! A new milestone was reached in the history of the church in Paraguay with the inauguration of the Asunción Bible Academy (ABA). It is a new work of the church that has come to fruition after more than a year and a half of praying, planning, and preparing!
THE ASUNCIÓN BIBLE ACADEMY
- With more than 7,000,000 lost souls in the country, Paraguay needs more workers in His kingdom because the fields are, indeed, white unto harvest. With our thanks to the Lord, there is now a full-time Bible school in Paraguay with the express purpose of training up workers in their own language and culture through His inspired Word! It is an intensive two year program of Biblical studies with a special focus of “hands-on” ministry, personal evangelism, and church planting.
- The Academy is being assisted by the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver (BVBID) by providing guidance, teachers for “short courses,” and curriculum materials. See more information in Bob Turner ́s report at: /extension-news/
- The stateside financial administrator for the Asuncion Bible Academy is the Palm Beach Lakes church of Christ in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
On Sunday, March 10, 2013 the church held a congregational lunch and invited her sister congregation, “Centro,” to join the activities. Afterward, there was a special ceremony for the Academy. Similar to how Paul charged Timothy with his responsibilities, (1 Timothy 1:3,18; 5:21), brother Bob Turner, the Director of Extension Schools for BVBID, was invited to bring the “charge” to the congregation to remain steadfast and loyal to God while working in this new endeavor with the school. The students and faculty were then presented before the congregation and Brother Donnie Bates, Regional Director of Central and South America for BVBID, brought the charge to the school’s professors regarding their new responsibility. The ceremony closed with me having the opportunity, as Director of the Academy, to deliver the final “charge” to the students to commit themselves to the study of God’s word. (More photos of the inauguration inside!)
STUDENT BODY and FACULTY
We ask you to please add this new work of the church to your prayer list along with the following names of the students and the faculty:
- The student body consists of:
- ) Full-time: Enrique Albera (27), Paulo Rocholl (24), William Arzamendia (24), and Ramón Paredes (27), all from the Avenida Sacramento congregation, along with Karen Gimenez (26), from the Centro congregation.
- ) Part-time: Hector Paredes
- The campus faculty consists of:
- ) Troy Spradlin, Director of the Academy
- ) Perry Hardin, Academic Co-Director
- ) Professors: Josh Blackmer, Perry Hardin, Troy Spradlin, Pedro Vera, Ike Yegros, and Jorge Vera, preacher at “Centro” congregation.
Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies:
- One of our “Learn English Using the Bible” students, Adriana Rodriguez, has finished the Book of John study and has started with “Searching for Truth.”
- Andrea is now studying “Searching for Truth” with Dina Aycock and with Sergia Frutos.
- We have several non-Christian friends and family members of our brethren who are now attending the various mid-week Bible study groups that we are conducting. We pray the seed will land on “fertile soil!”
- Marile “Romi” Balbuena has lots of questions and is now studying the book of Revelation with us.
Steps toward mission goals:
- During the bi-monthly business meetings, the men are now talking more specifically about the details for the possible church plant in the nearby city of Ñemby. It is exciting to hear them making their plans and to be working with them! Our prayer is that the new congregation will start meeting sometime in July or August.
- Goal reached! Having some type of Bible school has been in the plans of the mission team since first forming in 1997 at Freed-Hardeman University. With the opening of the Asunción Bible Academy, a milestone was reached with our prayers that it will help the church in perpetuating itself through leadership development.
- Preparing for our annual congregational retreat in April.
- Our upcoming USA Furlough dates are as follows:
- ) Poolville church of Christ (Texas) - May 5
- ) Dripping Springs church of Christ (Texas) - May 12
- ) Margaret Street church of Christ (Florida) - May 19
- ) Central Avenue church of Christ (Georgia) - June 2
- ) Palm Beach Lakes church of Christ (Florida) - June 9
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES
HIGHLIGHT(s) of the Month: I can’t even begin to explain how exciting it has been to see the official opening of the Asuncion Bible Academy! Add to that of what a wonderful feeling it is to walk into the building on a weekday morning and hear classes being conducted to train these young men and women in God’s word! Such a rich blessing!
Visitation / Other Activities:
- We enjoyed having Ethan Hardin and Ivan Villard, Jr. teach at our Wednesday night Bible study for us via Skype. They did a great job and the brethren really enjoyed their lessons.
- Mirta Vera is our church secretary and a single mom with two adopted children. She is also taking care of her 90 year old mother. We spent a Saturday afternoon studying the Bible and just visiting in order to encourage her in her Christian walk.
- We went to hear one of our very talented brethren, Diego Acevedo, sing in the famous Italian opera, “The Barber of Seville.” He did a great job!
- Andrea held a “Pinterest Party” where several young ladies of the church came over and worked on special crafts together. They have now decided they want to do this once a month.
- We had a nice dinner with Adriana Rodriguez and her boyfriend Francisco Benitez. We are hoping to develop that friendship even more.
• I am currently reading / have read:
- ) “The Pentateuch” by James E. Smith
- ) “Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide” by Michael J. Gorman
- ) “Los Diversos Rostros y Causas de Incredulidad” and “La Existencia de Dios” by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Kyle Butt, M.A. Cultural or language discovery:
- The Paraguayans have a very unique way of speaking Spanish. Not only do they use the peculiar form “voseo” (not to be confused with vosotros) for familiar conversation instead of “tu,” but, they also have several unique vocal inflexions which they employ to clarify what they mean. For example, if someone is slow they will say, “el es lento.” But, if someone is really slow, they will say “leeeeeeento” with a high pitch voice inflection on the “eee” part. There is hardly a conversation that passes that doesn’t include this high pitch modulation. It is a lot of fun to hear Paraguayans telling their stories using this tone and variation.
- For all our Spanish speaking friends who aren’t familiar with it, or all those who are learning Spanish, you should Google “Voseo” to see what Southern- cone Spanish is like. There are several good sites.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the report with pictures, please click here.