The group, "Huellas" or fingerprints, and "One To One" came from Argentina to give a great concert to kick off the festivities on Saturday. They packed out the house with youth and a few young-at-heart.
Pastor Marcos Kurrle gave the message and challenged the youth to be spiritual champions. He used examples from the Olympics of gold metal winners that persisted to finally achieve their goal.
The presence of the Holy Spirit was manifest through worship, adoration and the messages. There were several diverse musical groups, including the brass ensemble from Alem, Argentina, a quartet from Encarnacion, Huellas band, the Kurrle family and a choir consisting of all the pastors in Paraguay.
We were humbled to be ordained by the Church of God in Paraguay. The leaders of Paraguay and Argentina came to lay hands on us and the others being commissioned to Christian service. They gave each of us a special verse and prayed for us. All the servants have been active in ministry already for at least five years. This symbolism is found in the Old and New Testament to bless and give authority to leaders who are called to ministry.
These are the folks that were ordained. They are officially recognized as pastors in their respective ministries. One of the most moving ordinations, was of Tabita, who's 66 years old, who's been serving the Lord her whole life.
She (Tabita) and Martin retired from their leadership role as coordinators of the work in Paraguay this weekend. Although they'll never really retire from ministry; they handed over the "baton" to Alcirio and Marise Hobus in an emotional ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Martin preached on the Kingdom of God and encouraged everyone to make disciples. Martin and Tabita gave the Hobuses a staff as a symbol of their leadership as shepherds. He then covered them with an umbrella promising them that God is their refuge and will strengthen and protect them even in the most difficult challenges.
We thank God for the tremendous work that Martin and Tabita have done here in Paraguay over the past 33 years, and 7 in Argentina before that. They were presented with beautiful gifts, including a large leather map of Paraguay marked with all the churches they have helped plant.
We are so grateful for their sacrifice, devotion to God and each other and for the legacy they have left us. May the Lord bless them and Alcirio and Marise as they continue to lead Paraguay in a new season of growth.