The Lord’s Kingdom in Paraguay is Growing!
When the Lord provides the increase in His kingdom (1 Co. 3:6) it sparks such joy and gratefulness among the church that it is hard to compare with any other emotion. That is just how this month has felt as we have witnessed souls being added to His kingdom. Hallelujah! We pray that you might be encouraged and will rejoice with us in the great news of this month’s edition of our Paraguay Mission report! God bless.
Developments at Sacramento Avenue
•Baptisms! Alex Valdez and Fabian Nuñez are friends who just walked off the street and into our worship services one day. They had been attending a local denomination and had become disillusioned with the lack of sound Biblical teaching there. They live nearby the church building and had recently received a flyer in their mailbox during one of the Bible Academy student campaigns. The flyer stated, “Did you know that tithing is not a command for the Christian?” It caught their attention, so they came to investigate. Eliezer Perez, William Arzamendia, and Ramon
Paredes studied with them until they each understood and then each decided to put on Christ in baptism! What a wonderful outcome for two souls searching for God and His truth.
•Because of the recent growth in the church over the past few months, the men of the congregation have decided to offer a “Fundamentals” class on Sunday mornings in order to reinforce our new brethren in Christ. It is so good to see them recognizing the need quickly and then providing for what is necessary!
Developments at Ñemby Congregation
•Baptism! Patricia Larrea is a childhhod friend of our brother, Raul Riveros. She has been visiting worship services in Ñemby and studying with Brittnea Yegros. We praise God that she made the right decision for the most important decision of her life!
•The brethren at Ñemby are sad to report that one of their families will be moving out of the area.
Guillermo and Mirian Sanchez are one of the original families that were part of the church plant last July. They will be moving to Ciudad del Este for his work. Who knows that perhaps God may be providing an avenue to plant a church in that city? We’ll certainly be praying!
Asunción Bible Academy Update
•Year two has begun! We can’t believe it but it has! The students are doing well and are already accustomed to the study format, so we informed them that we will be “taking it to the next level.” They simply replied, “Very well, we’re ready!” Isn’t that a great attitude to have?! We pray that each one will finish strong.
•We are excited to report that the Beta Class (2015-17) is already forming! That’s right! We have five brethren that have indicated that they are making plans to attend next year. Two of them are international students! We would like to ask you to please pray for Isaac, Isabel, Jose, Leti, and Raúl and their decision.
Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies / Activities:
•Andrea is staying very busy with all her studies. She has continued studies with Oscar Parodi, Adriana Rodriguez, Andrea Caceras, Dina Aycock, and Sandra Duarte.
•I have two new English students, Sergio and Sebastian. They both are attending services, as well, so they are receiving a lot of Bible instruction in two languages!
•Sadly, I haven’t been able to study with Rolando Duarte this past month due to traveling or complications with his schedule. We’ll continue to try this next month. I did, however, get a book to him that is an overview of the entire Bible. I pray this will help him along with his desire to know more of God’s word.
•Christian Jourdain, my Taekwondo instructor, continues to be interested in our Bible studies. It is exciting to watch his growth.
•Gina Vera and Bryan Davis were married on March the 8th at the Hotel Paraguay with many from the church present. I was honored to be able lead their wedding vows and be a part of their special day. They were married in Paraguay on Saturday, boarded a plane to the USA on Sunday, arrived in Kentucky on Monday, were married there that evening with an American ceremony, and then took off to the mountains in North Carolina for their honeymoon. Whew! That’s a bunch of miles!
•I had an opportunity to travel to Meteti, Panama, this past month and assist our brother in Christ, Preston Silcox, in an “encouragement and planning mission.” We went with the intention to encourage our brother, Ruben Castro by bringing him some much needed teaching and preaching resources, and to make some plans for the upcoming mission trip in July. Preston brought him some WVBS videos to watch and he was so excited to have a Bible professor in his own living room that he can rewind and listen to over and over.
Personal Development and Activities
•Andrea hosted a baby shower for our sister in Christ, Mirian Sanchez, this month. She was only expecting about 15-20 people, but there wound up being 33 that came! Mirian and her husband will be moving to the other side of the country in April, so we’re praying for their faithfulness and for their expanding family.
•Andrea baked a cake for a sweet little missionary girl named Vivian Blackmer. The theme was “Frozen” and you should have heard all the little girls squeal when it was presented at her party!
•Andrea has developed quite a friendship with several of the children in the congregation, but especially, with Luis Fernando. She gives him her camera to take pictures and you would think that he was professional with the way he handles his subjects. He’s such a great kid, we believe he’ll be the pulpit preacher at Avenida Sacramento church of Christ someday! (BTW, his sister plans to attend the Bible Academy next year!)
•Our dear friends and brethren, Arsenio and Hermelinda were married on March 22. They had been waiting on some legal documents to allow them to marry. They finally arrived and so they had a nice, small ceremony in the home of our sister, Delci Enciso.
•I am currently reading / have read:
“The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today” by Everett Ferguson
“Hablemos el Guarani” por Ortiz, Aguilera, y Marecos
•I have been studying about the deity of Christ and how “the Word became flesh.” We’ve had some questions arise regarding this centuries old debate and plan to address them real soon.
•I preached at Avenida Sacramento using the title “A Purpose Driven Life? Glorify God, THAT’s Our Purpose!” based upon Ecclesiates 12:13 and 1 Cor 6:20.
•I have been teaching weekly classes in the Bible Academy on “Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther” and “Advanced Homiletics.”
•I recently taught the Sunday am class on the subject of “The Mission and Work of the Church.” I also taught one of our Wednesday night Bible classes on Romans Ch 13.
Paraguayan Culture Spotlight: “Chipa”
Chipa, which is a uniquely Paraguayan type of cheese bread, is consumed throughout the entire day in Paraguay. Just woke up? Chipa is the paraguayan breakfast of champions. Time for your mid-morning yerba mate? Chipa makes for a pretty good “tereré rupa.” Need something to go with your afternoon coffee or cocido? How about some chipa? It seems that it is always chipa time in Paraguay. Making chipa is a lenghty process that is most often done in a dome oven called a "tatakuá," which is why most people just prefer to buy chipa. So, every day chipa vendors make their way through the neighborhoods with large wide baskets on their heads full of chipa to sell. Chipa vendors are called “chiperas” and many have a fixed route with a loyal clientele while others work for chipa businesses known as “chiperías.” For more information on this and all things Paraguay, visit this website: http://discoveringparaguay.com/home/tag/chipa/
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see their report with pictures, please click here.