May is officially the month ofmothers here, and also the month to
celebrate Paraguay’s Independence Day. Because the colors of their flag are
red, white, and blue like ours, it makes us
feel like we’re celebrating the 4
of July all month long. May includes many celebrations because not only are theParaguayans very patriotic, they also hold their mothers in high regard.
This isn’t always obvious from the
sometimeswitnessed mistreatment of women in this society, but practically every child and adult
will tell you that “Mamá” is the most
important person in their lives.
Some of this is because the Virgin Mary is such a focus here, and in a way I can’t really
explain, all women get honored or placed in higher regard because of HER status in society. Another reason is that thewomen of Paraguay are hard-
workers (they use the word “guapa”
-pronounced GWAH-pah, to describe someone whoworks hard). Many of them are hand-washing their clothes, cooking from scratch, tending a garden, raising farm animals,caring for their children, and sometimes also working an outside job. Saúl did
a special radio program the weekend of Mothers’ Day, with call
in (well, “text
in”) comments and giveaway prizes. He was able to share scripture of
virtuous woman and God’s idea for womanhood.
June was pretty much overtaken by the FIFA World Cup, aworldwide soccer tournament being held in South Africa. This
happens every four years, but I have to admit that I’d only heard of it
since moving here. Teams from all over the world qualify to enter thetournament and prepare for years to come against some fiercecompetition. When Paraguay is playing, the world here shuts down.
Class is over, there’s no one driving around, and if you enter a
business, they are likely to have a TV set up and all be gatheredaround it watching. This has created a great opportunity for us toopen the doors and meet more folks in the community, bybroadcasting the games and sharing popcorn and kool-aid.
May and June have been two months full of ups and downs personally. We found out recently that Ken has a valve in his
heart that isn’t functioning correctly, and will have to be replaced surgically if God does not intervene miraculously. He is
currentlytaking medicine to combat the side effects of the heart defect, but the medicines are almost worse than the condition. Your prayers are
appreciated for God’s healing hand in Ken’s body. We also learned that Christie’s dad was in a very serious motorcycle accide
e again, God spared Phil’s life, and he is recovering in Minnesota with Christie’s brother, Dino. We celebrated Ken’s 40
birthdayhere with 50 of our closest Paraguayan friends, and with
mom and her husband, Tommy. They happened to be here on ashort visit, and we enjoyed the time we spent with them. Hollie is finishing out her 6-
month internship with us this month, so it’s a
bittersweet time of watching her soak in every activity and opportunity to enjoy Paraguay and minister to the people here.
We are getting excited about the two months we’ll be visiting the U.S. and hope we’ll be able to touch base with those of you
in the South Carolina area. If you’d like to schedule us to come spe
ak, please contact us soon (email addy on next page). We are
really looking forward to the time we’ll have to reconnect with everyone there
in October and November!