Skip to main content

Paraguayan Procrastination

Remember Michely?...the lady I had the baby shower for last week, Well, her water broke this morning and she called me at 7:00 to take her to the med center to have the baby (they only charge $25 for a delivery). We arrived there after a 20 minute drive and they didn’t accept her! They told her she was high risk because she wasn’t dilated yet and they sent her away!

I began to pray and ask God to give us wisdom on what to do. We went to a private clinic and the couple talked to the doctor while i waited in the car. He wasn’t going to accept her because she hadn’t done her prenatal treatment there. When I walked in and talked to him, (he is a personal friend of ours) he softened his tone and told me he’d accept her because of our relationship. Thank God for networking! However, the cost there is a two month’s wages for the couple ($500) becuase she didn't consult there prior. When I called the church to see if they could help pay for some of the expenses, they didn’t even have any cash to loan their youth pastor.

Clock This situation is very typical of Paraguayan culture. People don’t plan ahead. There is no savings for emergency situations (or planned pregnancies) and even the church washes its hands, because they are barely paying the bills. Paraguayans only think about the needs for today and don’t prepare for tomorrow. There are consequences to a lack of planning and we are reminded how important it is to teach Paraguayans a better approach to their finances. We are planning a special course this month (Sept. 21) called, “How to make it ‘til the end of the month” because even simple budgeting is a challenge for most families in our society.


Popular posts from this blog

Christmas in Paraguay!

If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight.  They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.

Families travel from all over the country, many even return from working in other countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, to celebrate with loved ones. This is us at last year's Kurrle celebration in Asuncion. Festivities are anything but a silent night with fireworks, loud music and drinking cidra (hard cider). 

Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus.  Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts.  Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!

To beat the heat, many Paraguayans go to a river to rel…

The Genesis of my story in Paraguay: Part 2

In Part 1, I shared how my first move to Paraguay was at age 5. At that time I was a minor, following my parents around. But my second move to Paraguay was at age 25 when after college, I—or better said, we—decided to move back to Paraguay. This time, the Genesis was a letter inviting us to help pioneer a new radio station there.

At the time I had just gotten married to my college sweetheart Julie. We were both enrolled in seminary, enjoying just being married and going to school. Among our hobbies at the time was traveling the U.S. and to any country that we had the funds to go to. During those days, we began running seriously and trained for our first marathons and adventure race. Our first marathon was the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julie and I finished together in what I thought was a pretty good time of 4 hours, 12 minutes.

One day, a letter in our mailbox got us thinking about plans beyond graduation. The letter was from Walter Franz, inviting us to help establis…

Paraguayan Weddings

On Valentine’s Day, we had the joy of attending the wedding of Sandra and Anastacio, young leaders in the church. Sandra is my assistant with Children of Promise and Anastacio, apart from his carpentry job, has a popular youth-focused radio program every night at 8:00 on our station.

We’ve been to quite a few weddings, and these are some of the uniquenesses of southern Paraguayan wedding celebrations from our North American culture:

1. Nothing is fancy. Emphasis is placed on the act of marriage and not on the decorations or food.
2. It is not an expectation that parents help pay for expenses. Most families just make it each month with regular expenses and cannot afford to pay for eleborate feasts. Most couples have to spend months saving for their own wedding.
3. Borrow as much as possible. Many times wedding dresses are borrowed 5-10 times, because few women can afford their own. Flowers, decorations, shoes and ties (Norb loans out his ties often...since he never wears them!) are …