Skip to main content

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 Lugo has brought shame and an unhealthy distraction upon a poor, struggling nation that doesn't need any more bad press.

The goal in mentioning this situation is not to blast Lugo; it only emphasizes how crucial character is to leadership. The training we participated in two weeks ago emphasized that character is even more important than abilities and knowledge in leadership. Lugo has lost credibility and respect among the people he represents and that presents a huge problem for the four years that remain in his tenure as Paraguay's leader.

Our desire, as we transition more of our time in leadership development, is to spend ample time in character formation and personal integrity of young Paraguayans. We can only impact lives to the degree that we are living out the change we want to see in our cultural environment. Because leadership is influence, our actions will always speak louder than our words.

"Character is the firm foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character." -R.C. Samsel

We pray that God will give us the wisdom, strength, patience and humility to build up a new generation of Paraguayan leaders; with character and sound ethics. Because we see such a lack of leaders with character, the need is urgent to present a new example: Christ-like leaders, who are willing to be forged in the potter's workshop.

"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece: by thought, choice, courage and determination."
- John Luther


  1. Wow! No, we hadn't yet heard this news...that is a big deal! And you are right, character matters so much, even in the secular world...

  2. It really is such a sad thing, so tragic.


Post a Comment

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…

September highlights. A month in Paraguay

I want to thank you for hanging out with us this past month. Every day was different. Sometimes I wish I had more of a routine. But in my missionary role, routine is not something I experience very often. Here are a few September highlights.

We traveled to Asuncion, to get some paperwork done. The trip to Asuncion generally takes six hours on a two lane road, with crazy traffic. We avoid these trips as much as possible. 

I was part of a Baptism ceremony in the Parana River. 28 people made a public commitment. The Parana Rive is the second one in size after the Amazon River.

I had a chance to continue my bible teaching at our local church on Tuesday evenings. I fill in various classes and find teaching very rewarding.
We celebrated Anahi’s 6th birthday with our immediate family. Anahi is finishing her preschool and will start first great next year

We celebrated Dominick’s 4th month. He also got his shots last week. Dominick has occupied the center of attention. He has been a great joy for …

Technology in missions

As I started my day, within a few hours, I had a list of things to do. By 10 am I had enough items to keep me busy for a week. After several hours in the office, I was able to send audio messages and video conference with people on both side of the Equator. I sent letters out to several people in just a few seconds. I posted on FB, and I googled some maps while listening to a webinar.
Did my grandparents or even my parents have these technologies? The answer is no. David and Lilian Meier left on a steam ship the port of New Orleans in December of 1935 towards South America. All the field knowledge they had was a letter from a German missionary who wrote to America saying. Will someone come to Brazil?

That was the beginning. Their first trip lasted a decade serving in several places in South America. There where no phone calls, no daily FB updates and no cool Instagram pictures. Few words on a telegram, or when letters were written they delivered weeks later were the ways of communica…