We are excited to bring you this month's newsletter! It seems there is always a buzz of activity in and around the church building at Avenida Sacramento. If the Academy students aren’t involved in something, there is a seminar taking place, a Bible study going on, or usually a special project or two. This month had several “firsts” and “specials” that we have noted. What a blessing to be involved with such an active church!
Developments at Avenida Sacramento
Growing pains are, well, a bit painful. For example, so much has happened and changed in the past few months that all of a sudden the men of the congregation have discovered that we need to make some changes in how we handle our finances. Although it is nothing that can’t be resolved, it will still be a test of our faith and resolve. Please keep us in your prayers!
Enrique Albera and Paulo Rocholl were given the opportunity to travel to Panama to work alongside Margaret Street church of Christ during an evangelistic campaign. They went to Meteti in the Darien jungle where they worked as translators for the team and also lead several Bible studies. Enrique had the privilege to baptize Malquiades, an elderly man who had been visiting and studying for quite some time. Both the students returned home with a lot of enthusiasm and new experience!
Asunción Bible Academy Update
The second quarter of studies is already in the books! The students all received passing grades and continue to show great spiritual growth. This next quarter will have them putting into practice some of what they are learning. They will begin a rotation for song leading and bringing the devotional message for our Wednesday night study hour, they will be active in our visitation program, assisting at various Bible studies, writing for the church bulletin, and helping coordinate our worship times.
This past month, we also had brother Kevin Dye, who serves as the preacher at Leanna church of Christ in Murfeesboro, TN, and also as a missionary to Papau New Guinea, teach a few special classes for us. He brought lessons on “The Holy Spirit,” “Avoiding Burnout,” and he also lead a baptism workshop for us. Brother Dye is a very knowledgeable and capable preacher, and we appreciate his contribution to the Academy!
Baptisms / Restorations / Identifications
Baptized! Fabio Ruíz is a friend of our dear sister in Christ, Raquel Franco. He comes from a very Catholic family and is very much concerned about spiritual matters. After studying for several weeks with Eliezer Perez, Fabio decided to put on Christ in baptism. Praise the Lord!
Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies / Activities:
The mission team hosted a marriage seminar with Jerry and Lynn Jones called “Relationships Matter.” There were several visitors that came and the team received a lot of great instruction that we can use to minister to families here in Paraguay. The Jones came and offered the seminar at no expense to the team and we are so very thankful for their kind generosity!
A mission group from Leanna church of Christ in Murfeesboro, TN came to Paraguay July 28 thru July 7 to work with the church here. They are the supporting church for Brittnea Yegros. They did a lot of great work at the home of one of our widow’s, Odila Uriola, and they also brought several great lessons on church planting and leadership development. It was wonderful to have them with us here! The church was greatly encouraged.
I recently studied with the new missionaries in our area from the Mormon church. It is next to impossible to shake these guys, but each time I learn a little more about how they twist the scriptures and I try to plant seeds of the truth buy showing them what the Bible really says. This helps me develop better answers in defense of our faith in order to give to our brethren who may have to encounter this false doctrine.
Developments at the Ñemby Congregation
The first men’s business meeting was held! The first decision that the brethren of Ñemby had to make was what to do with the offering money. After some discussion, they settled on saving it and to start looking for a place to rent for a meeting facility. They have since looked at several options and are carefully considering one that is well located just off the main highway. Please keep the growth of this congregation in your daily prayers!
Brother Eliezer Perez continues to do a wonderful job as a missionary to Ñemby. Here is a link to his latest report of the work (in Spanish): http://www.scribd.com/doc/163374416/Reporte-Nemby-Agosto-2013
Worship and Bible class attendance (Ñemby):
Sun pm – 22 (4th), 16 (11th), 19 (18th), 17 (25th)
Midweek study average - 8
Current members: 10 Baptized (6 Family Units)
Upcoming activities and news:
Our annual “Learn English Using the Bible” campaign
Friends and Family Day!
Josh and Vanessa Hardin coming to visit!
Personal Development and Activities
Visitation / Personal and Family Activities:
We went several times to visit our teammate, Brittnea Yegros, after she gave birth to a baby boy, Alejandro Daniel, who was born July 25! Congratulations Ale and Brittnea!
We visited Mabel Ortiz and her family this month. She needed some encouragement during some difficult times so we pray that we brought her a little more peace through God’s love.
Andrea had a nice visit with Carolina Arzamendia in our home while they were planning what to make for Carolina’s daughter, Luana, 15th (quinceañera) birthday party.
Andrea and I attended the wedding of our brethren Maria Jose Yegros to Javier Zarate. It was a beautiful ceremony!
We went to another Italian opera to watch our brother, Diego Acevedo perform. I have no idea how they memorize so many words in Italian. They’re quite talented!
Andrea has been involved in two Las Amigas events recently. One was a BBQ where she cooked all the meat for everyone and the “Friendship Tea” hosted at the US Ambassador's house.
I have been preparing for this next quarter’s classes: “Luke” and “Judges - Ruth” with Bible study and various materials in Spanish and English.
I am currently reading / have read:
“Planting Missional Churches” by Ed Stetzler
“The Chronological Life of Christ” by Mark E. Moore
Recently preached at Ave. Sacramento on the “Three Principles of Redemption: Col 1:9-14”
Finished up this quarter teaching “Numbers and Deuteronomy” for the Asuncion Bible Academy.
We wrapped up our study of “Romans” for our midweek, home this cute little 10-year old!
Bible study at Delci Enciso’s house.
Cultural or language discovery:
Presidential Inauguration: We got to experience a presidential election recently and now the inauguration that took place here in Paraguay. The festivities took place on the day Asuncion was founded, August 15. Horacio Cartes (pictured left), was elected as president which also meant that the “old guard” Colorado Party has returned to power. The president serves for a single five-year term and is not eligible for re-election. Although there is a Presidential Mansion (called “Mburuvicha Roga,” which means “the boss’ house” in Guarani), Cartes has decided he will remain in his own sprawling mansion which is just up the road from our church building. He is known as a very conservative business man, so it will be interesting to see how he governs the nation. He is divorced so his oldest daughter, Sofia, served as First Lady during the ceremony.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the Spradlin’s report with pictures, please click here.