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Showing posts from April, 2009

Bid Now! Auctions to Benefit Radio Alternativa

We are getting close to the end of the auctions to help us buy a desperately needed generator for the radio station. We have received no new donations for our generator project this year. We know that times are difficult all over the globe, but we believe that God's work must continue regardless of the economy! Your bids are helping us spread God's word 24 hours a day!

Auctions will end on Saturday, May 9 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced on May 10. The winning bidder will receive tax credit for their donation! We will either hand deliver or ship (if you live somewhere we won't be visiting) this item to you when we head to the U.S. in just a few short weeks, on May 15.

These are the latest bids:

Macá Rainbow purse $32
Macá Blue/White purse $40
Orange Ñanduti Doily $22

Antique White Ñanduti doily $25

Leather Thermos $200

Brazilian Coffee (17.6 oz ground) $20.00/each.

Hurry and email us your bids! All proceeds will go to help us raise money for our much neede…

Tools of the Trade

What would you do if you wanted a job but didn't have the tools you needed? Here in Paraguay day wagers don't know if they have work for the day until early each morning. They wait to see if a "patron" or general contractor comes honking near their wood shack. Sometimes the boss provides tools for his workers, but many times they don't. You helped us make sure that when a job comes around for these men, they wouldn't miss out because they lacked the resources.

As part of the Christmas projects, this week we've been able to distribute the following tools to farmers and day laborers. We gave out: 10 machetes, 3 hoes, 4 mason’s trowels, and two saws.

These men have 3-6 children to provide for and make $8-10/day. That's just enough to keep food on the table. We prayed with each family and told them that "friends from afar" would also lift them up in prayer. Thanks so much for helping these Paraguayan men provide for their families by keepi…

Character and Leadership

The Paraguayan news (and international press) has been buzzing with the latest scandal. Our president, Fernando Lugo, who is the first ex-Catholic bishop to become a nation's president, is a father. Actually, he has children! He fathered these children while still a bishop and has not officially recognized them until a court ordered DNA testing to be done. He has not only broken the moral code of Catholicism, he has been an absent father who doesn't pay child support for the children he has brought into this world.

This news has not only paralyzed our government, it has made Paraguay the brunt of jokes, criticisms and only works to support Paraguay as a corrupt country. There are shirts being sold in the streets, "I'm not Lugo's child" and the opposition is ridiculing the president by calling him the "father of all Paraguayans". While jokes are flying, the issue is very serious. The opposition is asking him to step down, (which is unlikely), but…

What Did Jesus Do?

During Easter week I was preparing to give a special lesson to the children at church on the Easter Story, so I borrowed a friend's flannelboard set and was practicing at home. I told the story to our son for the first time and this was his understanding response:Now, he reminds us almost daily that Jesus got nails "here and here" and points to his hands and feet. He tells us and anyone who will listen that they put Jesus on the cross and then when he died he went into a cave and then came alive again!

It's such an incredible privilege to raise up a child in God's path and we pray he stays on it!

Warm This Winter

It continues to amaze us how Paraguayans live with so little. In fact, it challenges us to live more simply and less selfishly as well. However, blankets are a matter of life or death for some Paraguayans. They don’t have heated homes and it gets into the 30s at winter (May-August). It’s a wet, freezing cold that chills me to the bone. We usually bundle up with three or four blankets at night.

Because of your gifts to the MV Christmas Projects, we were able to buy 30 warm blankets to keep people (mainly children and shut ins) cozy this winter. Here are the first of the joyful recipients of the blankets:MirtaManuelBetty

We know each of these folks personally and know that they did not have blankets before this week. Since 2 are not Christians, we are using this gift to try and "warm" their hearts to the Gospel message. When they ask why we chose them, we tell them that "Jesus loves them".

"Muchas Gracias" from these precious children!

New Auction Item and Updates

As you are probably aware, we are fundraising for our generator project. Here are the current EVER-CHANGING bids.

Just for fun, we're going to add another item into the mix: Brazilian coffee! 500 grams of rich ground South American goodness! Doesn't that make you want to grab a cup of joe right now! I can get these in large quantities, so let me know how many you want. Bidding starts at only $0.99!

If you're new to auctions, you can go here to check out the other beautiful items we're auctioning off.

Here are the latest bids:

Macá Indian rainbow purse: $30
Macá Blue/white purse: $25

Leather thermos set: $200

Ñanduti handwoven lace doilies: $20 each

Thanks everyone so much for your bids! Bidding will continue until May 9 at 12:00 p.m. We will announce all the winners on May 10. The winning bidder will receive tax credit for their donation. We will either hand deliver or ship (if you live somewhere we won't be visiting) this item to you when we head to th…

New Children Available for Sponsorship!

After spending most of last week near the capital for a leadership conference, we are back home! We wanted to share with you a few of the beautiful children that have recently been added into the Children of Promise program and are needing sponsors.

This is Rodrigo. He is 5 years old and lives with his mother. His father is now living in Spain and has abandoned the family. His mother is about ready to give birth to his brother. The family cooks over fire outside their home (pictured). Rodrigo loves to ride bikes and play "futbol" but he doesn't have a ball or a bike! He loves to go to church with his neighbor.

Scheila (shAY-la) is nine years old and lives with her grandmother and mother. Her father abandoned the family before she was born. She loves to dance and sing, has a sweet spirit and is a good helper in the house.

Sebastian is going to be 5 years old in May. His father committed suicide in December and his mother is working in Buenos Aires, so he lives wi…

Auction Updates!

If you're new to this, you can go here to check out the beautiful items we're auctioning off.

Here are the latest bids:

Macá Indian purses: $25/each

Leather thermos set: $50

Ñanduti handwoven lace doilies: $10 each

Thanks everyone so much for your bids! Bidding will continue until May 9 at 12:00 p.m. We will announce all the winners on May 10. The winning bidder will receive tax credit for their donation. We will either hand deliver or ship (if you live somewhere we won't be visiting) this item to you when we head to the U.S. on May 15.

All proceeds will go to help us raise money for our much needed generator at the radio station! You can see that we still have a ways to go to reach our goal.

Published

We are so excited to share with you that Norberto has a published book! It is entitled: "A History of the Church of God in Paraguay: Beginnings, Growth and Establishment of the Church of God in Paraguay." It is available here on www.amazon.com. A German publishing company, approached Norberto about turning his graduate thesis into a published work and we just heard back that it was accepted! Perhaps someone in the publishing world can explain to us why the price is extraordinarily high??

The book is full of stories and testimonies of how God has brought so many people together for His Kingdomwork. Our only desire is that God be glorified and we give HIM all the credit for what He has done here.

All proceeds of the book will help our ministry in Paraguay.

Faith Like a Child

Last night we had a footwashing service at church. For churches that recognize the ordinance, it's usually done on Maunday Thursday, when Jesus washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper. In our church the women wash each other's feet in one circle and men in another in observance of Jesus' words in John 13:14-17, "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
This year, our son Timothy (3 years), who was watching the process intently, asked us, "What are they doing?" "Are her feet dirty?" We explained to our toddler that we are doing what Jesus would do, we wash feet to show that we will help others.

He said immediately, "Mommy, …

Good Friday in Paraguay

Our first Good Friday in Paraguay is distinctly engraved in my mind. The normally noisy "barrio" was completely silent and no one left their homes. There was not one motorcycle on the streets that day. I thought I had missed the rapture!

Traditionally, Paraguayans do not cook on Good Friday, so on Ash Wednesday and Maunday Thursday, they work hard grinding corn to make sopa paraguaya, prepare the pig, chicken or beef for the grill and most commonly, elaborate the chipá. Most Paraguayans observe a type of "fast" by only eating chipá in representation of the Passover, (since it contains no yeast). They are silent in respect of Christ's suffering and death on the cross and do not leave their homes. I have grown to really enjoy this reverent observance of Christ's sacrifice and we join in with the cultural festivities.

There are 70 wonderful variations of chipá, including meat or corn filled versions. Here's the recipe for chipá that I'll be making…

Things You'd Never Thought You'd do on the Mission Field (Part 2)

The last time we were in the States we bought a hair trimmer. We have long since paid for the machine and now we've opened up our own barber shop. The neighborhood kids have been asking us to cut their hair because a haircut costs $2.50 and they just don't have that kind of extra money.

So, we've been perfecting our hair cutting abilities and we take turns cutting hair during siesta! Paraguayans have very thick hair and it takes twice as long for us to cut their hair as it does our own. While we won't quit our day job to become stylists, we are booming with business!

Auction Updates!

We are fundraising for our generator project. Here are the current bids. We'd love to see them double or triple! Current bid on the Paraguayan purses made by the Maca Indians: $15.00 each


Ñanduti lace. It measures 12 inches in diameter; is beige and is hand-woven. This elegant lace makes a perfect centerpiece or can be framed! Current bid: $0.99

This one is vibrant orange (2 tones). It is the same size as the beige, but with a different lace design. Current bid: $10.00A close up of the delicate handiwork. This is an authentic Paraguayan tereré set. See this post for a better explanation of this traditional Paraguayan pasttime. This is a genuine 100% leather thermos with matching guampa (cup). It includes a bombilla (straw) as well.
You can see that it is very well made with extra strong stitching. These incredibly talented artisans are Christians and are friends of ours. This hand-painted, matching set says Jesús and is brand new. Current Bid: $25
Please continue to em…

What Will Your Legacy Be?

We had just sat down for lunch after an extremely hectic morning when we got the call. Someone from our church had died in a car accident and we were needed. Sigh. We were just talking about how we needed a few hours to unwind from all our activities and sleep. It wouldn't happen this afternoon.

We gathered together songs for the funeral service and hastily made our way out the door. It was raining hard and the sky was dark, almost perfect conditions for the moment. Where we live, viewings are held in people's homes, since there are no funeral parlors. We moved through the crowds of people who came to pay their respects. There were at least 30 people crammed into the small living room. I could feel myself starting to suffocate, not only because of my tight space, but because of the stench. Almost no one embalms bodies here because of the expense. Bodies must be buried as soon as possible to avoid odors. But, sometimes relatives have to travel great distances to arri…

The Fiesta Continues!

Last night we had the group Judá (Judah) from Asuncion present for our big 10th anniversary fiesta concert series. Opening groups included "One to One" and Alas de fuego (Wings of Fire) from Argentina.

Norberto discovered a new talent as our emcee. He gave away fun prizes and his lighthearted spirit warmed up the crowd. I worked at the Christian bookstore and counseling at the end of the concert. We showed powerful video clips during the concertTwo people came forward and since this young girl, Lilianna became a Christian we gave her a Bible (from the Bible project!), her first. We thank God for bringing people to Him and using different musicians and styles to reach folks.

Since most of the musicians have never been to our area, Norberto is taking them on a tour of the Jesuit ruins, the best preserved in the country and tomorrow we're going to the Paraná river for a cookout! We're so grateful for all the volunteers and the Alternativa team and especially to Jesus…

Faith Comes by Hearing

Usually when we think of God's transformation, we think of a powerful salvation experience or an incredible testimony of someone leaving drugs and alcohol to follow Christ. However, Jorge's story is different. When he was 18 months old, a severe case of meningitis almost took his life. Fortunately, he lived, but he lost his ability to hear and for almost eleven years he lived in silence.

That is, until today. This intelligent, handsome boy who comes from a very poor home, got his first hearing aid. But, it has been an amazing, winding ride to get to this point. I told a quick version here, but now here's the rest of the story.

It's awesome how God uses many people to bless and touch one life. I met Jorge five years ago. I was able to visit his rural home and see how he and his family were struggling financially. He was enrolled in Children of Promise, a child sponsorship program I direct here in Paraguay. I felt like God would help him hear, but I didn't have …

Prayer Requests

It's been a while since we wrote with some prayer requests. We're feeling the crunch of wrapping up activities, projects and our home construction before we leave for the States on May 15.

Here's some current matters for prayer:

Our big concert on Friday night. It is an evangelistic youth concert with four different groups. Pray that hearts would be opened to hear the message of God's hope, love and forgiveness.

Have you ever seen Grumpy Old Men? We have a neighbor who's an older German who fits that description perfectly. He needs the Lord and we have a burden to love Him into the Kingdom. Please pray for our cantankerous next door neighbor and for opportunities to show him love and grace.

Our truck sale. It is in God's hands. We're now to the point where we're praying God's will and not our will. That's what God wants from us, obviously. We'll wait for His timing...so maybe we need more patience!

Julie's Bible study. It's goi…