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Showing posts from February, 2008

Jorge's First Day of School!

Yesterday I dropped Jorge off at his new school, almost an hour and a half from his home in Bella Vista. He had a permanent smile on his face the whole morning. I brought a few things for Jorge, like shampoo, soap, a few hand towels, a sheet and pillow, because the family didn't have extras to spare. Hi mom made his bed and arranged his clothes on his small nightstand. We hung his mosquito net just like all the other ones in the boy's dorm. He was elated. We met with the director, the Mother Superior of the Catholic school, the only school for deaf children in southern Paraguay. She welcomed Jorge with a big hug.

We walked into his classroom and Sister Eliadora shook his hand and showed him to his seat. I was nervous that he would feel out of place starting first grade as a 12 (almost 13) year old. Much to my relief, his 2 other classmates are 11 and 12! The only thing Jorge knows how to do is spell his name. He can't even write his numbers to ten. Then the dire…

First CMA Rally

It was a lot noisier than I imagined! That was my first impression of the 2008 Encarnacion Motorcycle Rally. CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association) Paraguay became official in November 2007 when South American coordinator, Hiram VillaseƱor came and held the Colors ceremony. Our first activity was participating in the Encarnacion Rally. Hundreds of bikers from all over the country came for the exposition, competitions and fellowship. CMA had the joy of serving the bikers fresh mineral water and keeping the grounds clean.

The folks at the Rally were so impressed with us "newcomers" who were always smiling and picking up trash that we were interviewed by 2 different television stations. Pictured are a few of the members with on of the interviewers and the CMA booth and banner in the background.

We were able to meet some new people, and make inroads with bikers from our neighboring cities. We are also making contacts with Christian bikers in Ciudad del Este and Iturbe that…

Yellow Fever Breaks out in Paraguay

Last night Teo a 55 year old neighbor, was anxiously awaiting our arrival at dark after coming back for the second time. She wanted us to pray for her 7 year old grandson Sebastian who had contracted Yellow Fever and was in the middle of emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. Yellow Fever has killed 7 so far this month in Paraguay, according to USAToday.

It’s the first outbreak here in since 1974. The problem is that there is a shortage of vaccinations. We’ve received emergency shipments from Peru and Brazil, yet they aren’t enough to vaccinate everyone. Pharmacies are charging between $40-$50 for a single vaccination; which is a week’s salary for the average worker. The border bridges into Argentina and Brazil have been temporarily closed, due to the epidemic scare. To cross, one has to show proof of vaccination.

What are we doing about it? We are bringing health education awareness to our state. We are devoting the morning show at the radio station to bring in medical specialists …

Connecting Needs and Resources

One of the things that brings me the greatest joys in life is connecting people. Yesterday I was able to help a single mom in our church get a job. I just made a few calls and voila, she had a new job! Sweetness. Last week it was Jorge, a boy in our church who is deaf and mute, who we were able to help.

Last year I was totally shocked to learn that he is 12 years old and has never been to school. I told myself that I would do whatever it takes to get him into school. Part of the problem is that there are no schools for the deaf in our area. The other part of the problem is that his parents, like most Paraguayans, don't know how to take the initiative to break into the system of social work and government scholarships. Paraguay is full of red tape and each step taken can be exhausting. Just take this small example:

I set up an appointment with Jorge and his parents to meet with the director of the foundation in our area that helps children with the schooling expenses. They had…

Aftermath

In a large national newspaper , La Nacion, yesterday there was a beautiful story written about the work that was done in Obligado. It's titled: "Missionaries Spend their Vacation in Itapua Building a Church" Click here for the story (in Spanish). Alice or Carmen, can one of you do the translating?

Well, we are still trying to absorb what took place in the past 17 days. We are truly amazed at what happens when the body of Christ comes together!

Last night we had a wonderful church service, the first normal one in the new church building. There were 5-6 new families present too! Pastor Renato asked for people to share what these past few weeks have taught them. Here are some highlights:

Unity-Even though we don’t speak your language, we could tell that you had fun together and were united under one purpose here. It was very encouraging to see your love for each other.

Humility- Many of you come from big companies and important positions and you were willing to leave your suits…