Just recently I returned from Paraguay a country located between Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil in the South American continent. Like many Latin American countries, it is a country that moves at it's own pace from sunrise to sunset and into the late hours. However, every Monday morning during each quarter of the school year for the extension program the day begins for William, Ramon, and Karen. They are the three students enrolled at Academia Biblica located inside a home turned into a church building built back in the 1950's. This first and soon to be graduating class has spent the better part of two years on the second floor in a class room setting meeting the requirements of the school curriculum. During this recent trip, I was blessed with the opportunity to have been able to teach on the subject of denominational doctrines. In a span of 5 days and 30 plus hours of instruction, a large amount of information was disseminated to hopefully give this first graduating class the knowledge on the many doctrinal areas they will have to deal with in the future as they spread the message of the Gospel. What makes this setting in Asuncion, Paraguay so interesting is that as the Bear Valley Extension program strives to prepare the next generation of Christians, each graduating student will be well equipped to stand firm in the faith. To make a comparison, I believe that it is one thing to teach someone to swim but it is another thing to make someone drown proof. It is our prayer that they will graduate with the education and tools to be able to move forward in active service for the Kingdom.
Also taking into account, is the contribution of missionaries like Troy and Andrea Spradlin to every graduating class. This gives them a better chance of surviving the challenges that will come in the future. It is obvious that the biblical training provided is a key component to the survivability and sustainability of the work currently in Asuncion.
In addition to the biblical training that is taking place, the doors are constantly opening with the opportunity to further the Kingdom in other areas. Upon arriving I was invited to a Bible study in an area called San Jose de los Arroyos (arroyos - streams). This is a remote area located two hours west of Asuncion and is also the birth place of a member of the church who teaches and preaches in one of the three congregations in Paraguay called Ñemby. As we traveled with Bro. Vicente Villamayor it became known that our brother in Christ searched for the Lord's church for 15 years before he became a Christian. Upon arriving in the San Jose de los Arroyos we were greeted by the men of the village. We shared the Scriptures as we all sat peacefully and listened as they spoke their native tongue of Guarani. What was particularly impressive about this trip was what transpired after we left. One of the men had contacted Vicente to ask if we were upset because the study was cut short due to an important village meeting that afternoon. The impressive part about is that they welcomed us to come back because of their interest to hear more of God's word.
As with any work keep them all in your prayers as there are many areas all over the world that can still be reached with the precious message of the Gospel of Christ, particularly in Paraguay.
Luis m. Camacho