Developments at the Avenida Sacramento Iglesia de Cristo (Church of Christ)
I can’t even begin to describe what a wonderful blessing it was to have my dad, Dwayne Spradlin, and my brother, Lance Spradlin, come to visit us in Paraguay this past month for the first time. We spent most of our time just visiting and sight seeing. It was fun to watch their reactions to all the different Paraguayan cultural experiences that have become normal daily life for Andrea and me. Lance and my dad also had the opportunity to preach and teach while they were here.
The men of the church have held several meetings lately to make plans for the future. After much prayer and thought, they have decided to partner with Margaret Street church of Christ in planting new congregations in other cities of Paraguay. Over the next couple of years we will be making survey trips out and working towards forming a team (or teams) to go to the new areas.
The church has decided to incorporate several worship hymns translated into their native language of Guarani in their new songbook, which should be published very soon. The Academy students have translated the songs and are teaching them to the congregation!
Sergio Jara was immersed into the precious blood of Christ and added to the church on August 23rd. He is the husband of our sister-in-Christ, Mikaela, who was baptized last September. There have been many brethren who have studied about baptism. We praise God that Sergio finally made the most important decision of his life! (Galatians 3:27)
Cynthia Medina also obeyed the Gospel call on August 30th. She is the girlfriend of our brother in Christ, Fabio Ruiz, who is a member at Ñemby. She has been visiting for almost two years and has studied several times with Eliezer Perez. We are rejoicing with the angels for Cynthia’s new life!
Developments in the Asuncion Bible Academy
This past month we had brother Dan Owens of the Broadway church of Christ in Paducah, KY, teach a class (via the video system) on “Fundamentals”. The students loved the class and are already asking when brother Dan will be teaching again!
Our ABA student, Sebastian Garcia, preached in front of the church for the first time this past month! He preached at Ñemby and also at Avenida Sacramento. For a young, aspiring preacher, he did an outstanding job! How wonderful it is to see young people taking God ́s word seriously to heart.
Contacts / Bible Studies / Activities / Opportunities
Earlier in the month I had the opportunity to attend the weekly Bible study held in the home of Sergio and Mikaela Jara. While I have lead the study before, this time I got to observe ABA student, Sebas Garcia, guiding the study.
Andrea has started weekly studies with Rosa, Belén, Claudia, and Andrés who were formally “Learn English Using the Bible” students of Lisa and Trent Kennedy. Please keep these contacts in your prayers.
We have begun a new series of lessons on Sunday mornings titled, “Biblical Leadership: A Study about Elders, Deacons, and Church Government.” We are praying that this will help the church recognize the importance and necessity of having elders and deacons.
Troy had the opportunity one Sunday to speak at the Margaret Street church of Christ (via Skype) in Milton, Florida for their upcoming Mission Sunday contribution.
Developments at the Ñemby Iglesia de Cristo
The church has decided to stop renting the building where they were meeting because: (a) they want to save money and find a place in downtown Ñemby and (b) they learned that the building they were in has lots of bad memories for the local residents! That was why many potential visitors were not coming. So, the church has started meeting in the home of Vicente Martinez again until they find a better place to meet.
Personal Developments and Activities
Andrea has had quite a difficult time with her teeth here lately. She had to replace a broken bridge, repair a broken tooth, and get a root canal... then, because of some other issues, the bridge fell out! On top of it all, she also struggles with TMJ problems. As we say here in Paraguay, “Pobrecita”!!! We are thankful though for the excellent care she is receiving, and with all the time she’s spending with her dentist, she’s got a Bible study on the horizon.
We had a fun adventure going to Iguazu Falls in Argentina with the Kennedy family this past month. We took a bus over to Ciudad del Este, then a ferry across the river to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina then taxis to the hotel and Falls. We had a wonderful time admiring God’s marvelous handiwork and enjoying some great fellowship with each other.
I earned my Black Belt in TaeKwonDo! After almost three years of training, I was awarded a First Degree Black Belt. My Dad was here for the event, so he got to ceremonially hand my belt to me (BTW, he has also baptized me and handed me my High School diploma). I never dreamed that something I simply did for exercise would result in this achievement. It was an emotional night and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this quality, athletic organization.
The money we use in Paraguay is quite different than what we use in the United States, mainly because it has a LOT more zeros added to every number. Things cost “in the thousands” or “in the millions” when asking for prices. Add to the confusion,there are also bills from nearby countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. When traveling, it is not uncommon to have three or four types of bills in your wallet at one time. Here is a breakdown of what each bill is currently worth:
The Brazilian Real (pronounced “hay-ai”) comes in different sizes. 100 Reales = $71.00 USD
The Paraguayan Guarani comes in different colors and some bills are made with plastic!
100,000 Guaranies = $20.00 USD
The Argentine Peso just changed its style with an Eva Perron profile. 100 Pesos = $10.80 USD
Personal Studies: Currently Reading/Have Read:
• “A Biblical Theology of Missions” by George Peters
• “Peace Child” by Don Richardson
• “When Charity Destroys Dignity” by Glen Schwartz
• “The King James Version Debate” by D.A. Carson
• “Elders and Deacons” by JB Myers
• Current Bible reading: Judges, Job, 1 and 2 Corinthians
I also completed another class toward my Masters in Missions.
I have been studying and preparing lessons for classes I will be teaching this quarter: Acts, Judges, and The Life of Christ IV (Luke)
Upcoming Events and Activities
- October 5-9: “Continent Care Connection” in Brazil
- October 7: Andrea and Troy’s 20 Year Wedding Anniversary - October 12-16: Osvaldo Rodriguez will be teaching (via video) in the Asuncion Bible Academy
- October 19-23: Enrique Morales will be teaching (via video) in the Asuncion Bible Academy
- November 16: The Asuncion Bible Academy students will start their 4th Quarter
Would you like to help the Paraguay Mission? You can by becoming one of our Prayer Partners and praying for the work. Below are several specific items for which to pray.
For the growth of the church in Paraguay
The spiritual growth of each member
To appoint elders and deacons soon
More churches planted in other cities
For the Asuncion Bible Academy
The students and their studies
The teachers and their preparations ✓More available teachers and supporters
For missionaries Troy and Andrea
Security and safety while working in Paraguay
Successful Bible studies
More potential study contacts
“THANK YOU!” to all of our generous supporters!
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To read Troy’s report with pictures, please click here.