What began as a mission field less than a decade ago for a handful of American missionaries, is now seeing the fruits of their labors after years of hard work in Asuncion, Paraguay. So often it is reported that when foreign missionaries return home the congregations they leave behind begin to face an up hill battle in an effort to keep on laboring for the Kingdom. However, for the three existing congregations in Asuncion, Paraguay there is now a step in the right direction in order to keep the work moving forward. On February 7th the congregation located on Sacramento and España graduated the first of what we pray will be many Bible students from the Academia Biblica under the Bear Valley Bible Institute – International extension program.
This is a program that has revolutionized the way the saints of the Lord's church are now being equipped with God's word on their very own soil. Those that were in attendance, primarily from the three local congregations, to witness this graduating class of three was filled to capacity as they were greeted at the door and welcomed. What is primarily the area used for church services became the stage where William Abelardo Arzamendia, Karen Alexandra Gimenez Acosta, and Ramón Paredes would receive their diplomas. One of the two diplomas would come via special delivery from the Bear Valley Bible Institute and the other from the Academia Biblica in Asuncion. As the ceremony began, Troy Spradlin, the director of the school defined the purpose behind school. Simply put, he stated that the purpose for school was not for generating diplomas, but to equip the saints in order to share the message of the Gospel (2 Tim 2:2, 3:16,17). Those that participated in the ceremony were students as well as instructors dressed in traditional black cap and gown. The students wore the blue ribbon while the instructors could be identified with the red ribbon around the shoulders as well as the tassel hanging from their cap.
Ike Yegros - Paraguay
Troy Spradlin - USA
Perry Hardin - USA
Jorge Vera - Paraguay
Eliezer Perez – Guatemala
Luis M. Camacho - USA
A very special thanks to Andrea Spradlin who organized graduation night and, with the help of many, was able to help make it a memorable moment. Also in attendance was Karen Parker Bennett from the state of Georgia USA who made a special trip to South America, not only to show her support for this great night, but also to help out in the preparations of the ceremony. What we hope you will be able to get out of this report is how amazingly the Lord works when we all work together to train the Lord's saints.