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a way or path
Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD... He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Isaiah 2:3
The Hagerman Family
Greetings from Paraguay! This month, we made it off the waiting list and finally got our own p.o. box. You’ll find our new address in the little box on the next page. We also made it through several weeks of sicknesses, fevers, and allergic reactions. Thank you for the prayers you sent up for our health and safety. God had His hand on our family. We also began a new Bible study in July, on the topic of prayer. We have from 10-15 in attendance on Monday nights, when we spend 15 minutes in prayer together, then studying various aspects of communicating with our Heavenly Father. Those in attendance include youth and adult neighbors. It’s hard to type the word “July” while wearing several layers of clothes, a coat, gloves, and a scarf, but we’re in full-blown winter here in Paraguay. I wonder how long it will take us to get used the the difference in the seasons, and feeling like we should be having Christmas in the middle of the year! The temperatures hover near freezing, but the cold, wet wind makes it seem much worse. We are Praying with an abuelita (older blessed to have two heaters, which we put in the bedrooms. At this time of year, all homeschooling takes woman) who received a blanket. place in the bedroom! The cold hits hard here, since most people don’t have heating in their homes. Those who can afford it use space heaters, but unfortunately, most families have no heat at all. Most homes aren’t well sealed, some of them with walls whose slats don’t touch each other, or walls of concrete that don’t go all the way up to the ceiling. Homes are either dirt floors with coconut tree trunks for the walls, or concrete with tile floors. Neither lends to much warmth. With this in mind, we were thrilled to be able to hand out over 30 beautiful multi-colored, thick blankets to needy families this month. Thanks to Carolina Heights Christian Fellowship’s blanket drive, lots of families with small children or the elderly are sleeping a little warmer tonight. Handing out the blankets not only gives us a chance to meet physical needs of the community, but it also opens the door to explain that God loves them so much, He spoke to the hearts of people thousands of miles away to see to it that they got some warmth in this cold. As a result of visiting the homes to deliver the blankets, we found out about an elderly woman needing a ride into the next town to have some medical tests. On the ride back from the tests, she invited us to visit and read the Bible with her. It’s always amazing to watch God open doors.
Unfortunately, most of the month of July has passed without school. The school year runs from February to December, so students should be in the middle of their studies. However, teachers’ strikes ran for a couple weeks, followed by a couple weeks of winter vacation (the equivalent of spring break). The children should have started back by now, but the cold weather has led to the decision to keep schools closed until the threat of colds and flu is less. Since most children walk long distances to school, often in less than adequate clothes and shoes, they were happy to hear that classes were further postponed. Just before the strikes, we visited a new little school in a very poor neighborhood, quite a few kilometers down dirt roads. The school was built by the community and is staffed by one volunteer teacher, who has a class of 15 students ranging in age from 4 to 15 years old. She teaches them all in the one room. When we visited, we took a large painting of Jonah and the Big Fish and a scripture of encouragement, that some fellow missionaries donated, and hung it on their wall. The kids were SO excited! The teacher mentioned that they don’t have any story books, so we took some small readers and a picture Bible in Guarani, the language most of the children speak. We received an offering from Washington Avenue Baptist Church’s VBS, which we have dedicated to this little school as soon as they start classes back. The volunteer teacher had been buying enough supplies for them to get by, from money she made selling Avon. (Yep, even here, there’s an Avon lady!) So we are eager to get back to the little school in Arazaty where we hold the weekly Bible classes, and also to get out to this new school in Loma Clavel and help meet the needs of the students there.
The last day of June, we put Hollie Cannon on a plane back to the U.S. She spent six months here as a mission intern and made quite an impact on our little community. Hollie put her talents in the kitchen to good use, earning her the title Popcorn Queen. She was always eager to try out a new recipe or make sure our guests had a fresh batch of cookies, brownies, or cake to munch on. Her invitations to various neighbors to a cookie snack were quite popular, and led to many late night conversations around the table. She helped out in everything from kids’ ministry to youth nights to the young ladies’ Bible study, and was very handy with the camera. Already, we’re realizing we don’t have pictures of the latest events because we’d gotten so used to Hollie’s photo-snapping habits. She has moved back to Tennessee now, where she’s finding out what God has in mind for the next phase of her life.
Living on the BORDER
This month, a new outreach ministry has grown out of Friday night youth club. A group of the "regulars" here who have been digging in a little deeper in the ministry, have started a Christian band. They really want to use their band as an outreach to fringe youth. Their vision is right in line with ours, so we've joined forces to step it up a notch and use Friday nights as a targeted evangelism night. The band starts things off with a mini-concert, including some songs they've written, some praise and worship stuff that's familiar here but with a new musical style, and some music without lyrics. Afterward, Ken has a short devotional sort of talk, geared to those who aren't familiar with Christianity or the church. Then we have a meal together, hang out, play some games, and start conversations with the new folks. Normally our Friday night attendance is mostly the youth from various churches in town, with a few unchurched kids mixed in. For these concert nights, we've had more of the "never darkened a church door" crowd than the typical Christian teens. This is really exciting in terms of outreach. We have had between 25-35 in attendance each night. We've got a sort of informal group going, including the members of the band, us, Saúl, and another young couple. Saúl took one of the band members to his radio program and did an hour-long infomercial for the outreach nights. Naming things in English is really popular right now, so they've named this group Holy Warriors and the Friday night event, The Border. The premise is that we live close to enemy lines, engaging in warfare for the souls of those who live over the border, so to speak. The response is great so far, and we are praying that God uses this to reach a group of kids that are shunned and overlooked in normal ministry. We're also excited at how God will utilize this as a means of involving the youth in the group further in ministry, as they use their talents for the Kingdom.
Thank you again for making it possible for us to minister in this beautiful country. We certainy don’t take for granted the opportunity to minister in this part of the world, and it’s only possible through your prayers, support, and giving. May God richly bless you for the part you play in the growth of His Kingdom in Paraguay! We hope to see you in October and November!
CONTACT INFORMATION Telephone in Paraguay: 595-985-782-928 Skype number: 864-343-1731 Donations are received through our local church: Carolina Heights CoGoP 2900 Anderson Road Greenville, SC 29611 (Please write “Hagerman Missions” on check memo. All donations are tax deductible.) Mailing address: Ken and Christie Hagerman Casilla de Correo 13134 Shopping del Sol Asuncion, Paraguay, South America Email: email@example.com Webpages: www.hagermans.blogspot.com www.tapemissions.org
---Ken, Christie, Camille, and Caroline
God bless you! ¡Dios le bendiga! (Spanish) Ñandejára tanderovasa! (Guarani)
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