March was a good month, but it was also a rather difficult time to be in the mission field. There were some great events and activities that constituted positive advancements in the mission work, yet these were rendered bittersweet for me due to the loss of a loved one. Being so far away from home presents many challenges for a missionary, but I believe the most difficult is the separation from family when a crisis strikes. We’ve now experienced that twice during our tenure here. Praise God that the focus for His children is not on this life, but the next. We hope you’ll understand that this month’s report is a little shorter and to the point than our normal publication.
SPRADLIN FAMILY NEWS
As many may have heard or learned by now, my mother, A’Gatha Spradlin, passed from this side of life last month. She had been declining in health for the past four years due to a series of strokes. Last September, she suffered another stroke and was completely incapacitated, then on March 15, 2015 she went on to her reward. My mother was a faithful Christian. She grew up in the church (her father was a deacon), she converted my dad to the Lord, and she raised her children to fear God. She rejoiced in our work in Paraguay and understood well the sacrifices made by a missionary.
I was unable to attend her funeral due to complications in our schedule, but the wonderful truth of being a child of God is knowing I will see her again one day. We would like to say “Thank You” to so many who expressed a tremendous outpouring of love and encouragement during this time. We are especially grateful to our sponsoring congregation, the Margaret Street church of Christ, for providing the means for me to be able to return home and be with my family during this time.
DEVELOPMENTS AT AVE. SACRAMENTO CHURCH OF CHRIST
Annual Congregational Retreat. More than 60 precious souls gathered together in a rural campground called “Arapy” last month in order to sing, lift up praises, study God’s word, and enjoy quality Christian fellowship.
The theme for camp this year was “The Example of the Church at Antioch.” We studied the characteristics of this faithful church example in order to help us try and emulate the same thing here in Paraguay. The camp was, once again, a very encouraging and uplifting event.
We also had a guest preacher, Stan Crowley from the Shertz church of Christ in Texas, extend one of the lessons for us and then preach on Sunday morning on the subject. Stan also taught a lesson for the new students at the Asuncion Bible Academy while he was here. We appreciate Stan taking time out of his busy schedule to come and visit us in Paraguay.
DEVELOPMENTS AT ÑEMBY CHURCH OF CHRIST
The brethren at Ñemby are starting to receive lots of visitors at their services and several new contacts have been made as a result. We are praying that these will turn into new converts and the congregation will begin a new season of growth for this young congregation.
ASUNCION BIBLE ACADEMY
The “Beta Class 2015-17” has finally begun classes in their two-year commitment of studying the Bible.
The new students are: Sebastian Garcia, Alex Vargas, Natalia Osorio, Leticia Riveros, and Elvira Paredes. They seem extremely eager to learn and they have already demonstrated a pretty good study/work ethic. It looks like it is shaping up to be a great class! Please keep them in your prayers.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see Troy’s report with pictures, please click here.