It always feels so good to come back home to the USA after many months in South America! Furlough is a little sweeter every time we walk through those Immigration Department doors at the Miami airport. This year, we returned home earlier than our usual time so that I could attend classes at Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver. Afterward, we will commence our reporting trip to visit all of our supporters and the Bible Academy’s supporters. We are excited and looking forward to seeing everyone. Meanwhile, the brethren at Avenida Sacramento are proceeding with business as usual, handling every aspect of the work. What a blessing and encouragement to see a maturing congregation doing so well! We hope you enjoy this report!
Developments at the Avenida Sacramento Iglesia de Cristo
The brethren in Paraguay are currently making plans for their upcoming congregational retreat. This will be the first time that there will be no American missionary involvement in the planning. They are excited about the event and doing a great job. We are excited for them!
Brother Ike Yegros was selected to speak at the upcoming “32nd Encuentro Iberoamericano,” in Bogota, Columbia. His topic will be over the Lord’s Supper. I am planning to attend the event with him.
New Developments at the Asuncion Bible Academy
The students finished up their first three classes of the new quarter: “Ezra, Nehemias, Ester;” “Job;” and “Homiletics 2 (Expository Preaching)”. The young men also practiced preaching from the pulpit.
Due to my furlough travel plans and the schedules of our adjunct teachers, this entire quarter will be made up of short courses (a complete course in just one week). I will be teaching one of the upcoming courses via video from the USA. We will also be having Osvaldo Rodriguez and Enrique Morales returning to teach this quarter via video.
The overseeing committee for the Academy will be taking a more active role in all of the decisions for the school over the next year as we prepare for a transition in Director. This will help them be better prepared for managing the school once I have completed my tenure in Paraguay.
New Developments at the Iglesias de Cristo of Ñemby San Lorenzo
The brethren at the church of Christ which meets in San Lorenzo (formerly Ñemby) are considering what to do about signage in front of their new meeting facility. Since the new location is situated over a main avenue, they want to have something that will attract lots of attention and be easily identified.
Personal Developments and Activities
I had the opportunity to attend two special “Blitz Week” classes on the campus of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver for credit towards the Masters in Missions degree that I have been working on. One of the classes was “Cross-Cultural Missions” with Dr. Roger Shepherd of Amridge University and the other class was “Introduction to Anthropology” with Dave Chamberlin of BVBID. It required some extra special effort, but I got through the classes just fine and now have my eyes set on finishing and graduating in May of 2017!
Andrea and I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with the youth group at the Dripping Springs church of Christ via Skype this past month. They were participating in a “Missional March” study where they were visiting with and encouraging several of the missionaries that their congregation supports. They had some great questions and it was a lot of fun getting to share a little about missions with them!
Andrea and snow! You have never seen a Florida girl so excited as she was about seeing snow! Not only did we see snow in Denver, but we also experienced a blizzard while we were there. They even cancelled school (except for the blitz classes!).
After finishing up classes in Denver, and before starting our Furlough Reporting trip to visit supporters, we decided to take a much needed, quick, two-day vacation up in the mountains. We went to Breckenridge, Colorado and enjoyed the sights and culinary treats of the town.
My studies and readings for the month have included:
IntroducingCulturalAnthropology-AChristianPerspective, by Brian Howell and Jenell Paris
Planting Churches Cross-Culturally in North America and Beyond, by David Hesselgrave
Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally by David Hesselgrave
God In The Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams, by David F. Wells
I preached at Avenida Sacramento this past month and also had the opportunity to speak in Chapel at Bear Valley Bible Institute.
Troy and Andrea Spradlin
To see the report with pictures, please click here.