ve had a really strangeAugust here in Paraguay, which should have
been cold and wet. Instead, it’s been pleasant and dry, with lots of fields burning to “bring down the rain”.
There normally isn’t so muchcomfortable weather here. It’s either really, really hot, or super
-mega cold. The red moon and hazy skies have been a little surreal, butthe warm weather was a nice surprise.We are really getting excited about reconnecting with family, old friends, new contacts, and
I’ll be honest
we’re happy to report that we have church visits scheduled for every Sunday morning of the two months we’ll be there. Most other
service times are still open, so if you haven
’t contacted us yet and would like to
schedule a visit, please throw us an email. We sure
look forward to seeing everyone and filling you in on what God’s up to
Kids, Kids, Kids
Despite that our main focus in Paraguay is youth work, we do end up doing quite a bit of children’s
ministry. That is perfectly fine with us, since children will one day be teens, right?
Well, thismonth was no exception. August 16 is an official Paraguayan holiday, Day of the Child. It's like agiant birthday celebration that includes every little kid in the country. Churches, schools, even thehealth posts celebrate.We started the day at the elementary school in Arazaty. Parents and relatives of the students allcame out to eat lunch together in the schoolyard. The teachers built a couple fires beside one ofthe classrooms and were cooking noodles and meat sauce in bigpots over the fires. We brought cookies and a new soccer ball--a must-have for recess time!While the food cooked and people were served, the children played soccer and blew bubbles.After the fideo meal ("fee DAY oh", which means noodles), everyone stood in line for a piece ofthe giant cake one of the moms made. It was a great chance to spend time with the children,their parents, and the teachers.We left the first school in time to catch the afternoon party at the Loma Clavel school, which Itold you about
in last month’s newsletter.
This little one-room school now has about 20 students.We received an offering from the children attending VBS at Washington Avenue Church inGreenville, SC, and decided to use that to help this school. The volunteer teacher (meaning, shedoesn't get paid to teach) had been buying the supplies from her own pocket. She's the AvonLady. So we asked her for a list of needed items, which she brought to us very timidly. The list filled a page. She told me several timesthat anything more than what they had would be a blessing, and not to feel like they expected all the stuff on that list. Well, thanks tothis Bible School fund drive, we were able to buy EVERYTHING on the list, plus a small toy foreach child and a few bags of butter cookies to leave at the school for future treats. We even gota little globe and showed them where South Carolina and Paraguay are located. We got everythingfrom a stapler and hole punch, to puzzles and alphabet blocks. We bought notebooks, pencils,chalk, textbooks, play-doh--well, you get it. It was just too much fun to shop for this school,knowing what a difference the materials would make.We took these children a soccer ball, also, since theywere having to borrow from neighbors each day for recess.The mother and sister of the teacher, along with a coupleparents, were making hot chocolate over a fire, so we gotthe chance to meet the families of some of the children. I met the woman who donated the landto build the school, and she shared how they'd worked for the past four years to get the landcleared, the one room constructed, and the foundations for additional rooms started. She wasvery proud that her daughter was able to now get an education, and that the children of thisneighborhood would learn to read, something most of their parents never learned. We took themseveral story books in Spanish and a children's picture Bible in Guarani. The teacher has invited us to come back and spend time withthe class in the future, so as we thanked God for the VBS offering, we also thanked Him for a door opening in another school.