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Showing posts from November, 2009

Put the "Giving" Back into Thanksgiving

Aren't we blessed?  It just seems natural that during this time of year we pause and reflect upon God's goodness to us.  We have a God that loves us, a roof over our heads, clothing on our bodies and a big feast to eat tomorrow. As you do your Christmas shopping this season, would you consider giving back by helping the poor?

Missionary Ventures has highlighted 35 projects around the globe in this year's Christmas catalog.  Your investment in one of these areas (children, nutrition, agriculture, ministry, education, community development) is changing the landscape of daily life for many people worldwide. 

Here are just a few of the ways you can tangibly give back this holiday season to the people of Paraguay...

Keep a child warm with a wool blanket this winter, click here.

Give the Word of God to someone who doesn't own a Bible, click here.  

Impact a family's economy by allowing them to raise and sell chicken, click here or here to help a new family get started …

We are Grateful for CMA!

We had the privilege of distributing 9 motorcycles to pastors and ministries thanks to the generous partnership of our brothers and sisters in Christian Motercycle Association during the Run for the Son annual fundraiser event.  This year despite the economic crisis, CMA raised over $3.7 million for missions!

Today, the Latin American representatives, Hiram and Sharon, are arriving to help train new Paraguayan CMA members in three different parts of the country.  They will also see some of the donated bikes in action.

Here are some of this year's recipients (we're still waiting for photos from five recipients):

Pastor Norma in San Antonio

 Pastor Benigno in Coronel Oviedo

 Pastor Victor in Triunfo 43

Pastor Pedro in It√°

On behalf of these pastors from different churches all over the country,  thank you CMA for all that you are doing to advance the Kingdom in the heart of South America.  You are making a world of difference here in Paraguay and we are so grateful for your giving hea…

To our Son

To our son...

From the minute we found out you were growing inside mommy...we were in love with you, sweet little one.  Your birth was nothing short of a miracle.

You are such an amazing blessing to our family, we love you more every day.

You made us a mommy and papi and we are thankful to God for answered prayer.

You started walking running at 10 months and you haven't stopped yet!

You love music, books and "just thinking."

Your favorite drink is terere (cold Paraguayan green tea)

You drove the Suburban at 2 years of age and it's by God's grace that you were not harmed!

You enjoy being outdoors and discovery (and mud) is what drives you.

Your love languages are touch and words of encouragements; you give us lots of hugs!

You are your papi's assistant and you love to take apart anything to figure out how it works. This is definitely a gift, since you know how to fix things that mom can't even fix!

Today is your fourth birthday and we thank God fo…

Giving Wisely

A super resource for anyone who cares about missions and/or gives to global non profits.  Giving Wisely:  Killing with Kindness or Empowering Lasting Transformation has been the book on my nightstand this month.  The author, Jonathan Martin, is a missions pastor in Oregon and has served overseas in Asia.  He talks about the need for wisdom and compassion in our generosity.  The two objectives that giving should accomplish are:

to show the compassion of truly help the person who’s in need.
In order to carry out those ideals, he has developed four foundational principles of true generosity that serve as the basis for whether or not their church funds a project. 

The helpful acronym RAISE stands for:

R-Relationships First
IS- Indigenous Sustainability

Martin tells a variety of horror stories to highlight how our dollars affect developing nations and the importance of not sending money blindly to any cause.  Know who you’re giving to, Check their track record…

Evidence of a Tropical Storm

We've had our fourth tropical storm in three weeks and as I type, we're about to get another one.  A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain.  Each time we get one of these fierce wonders of nature we lose power for at least 8 hours and up to two days and we lose our water as well.  Here's what happens:

Instant flash floods...

Our corn and yucca crops were badly damaged...

Hail up to the size of golf balls...

My poor prickly pear!

For some reason, our part of the country is getting beaten up the most.  Our national newspaper reported that there haven't been storms this strong in over twenty years.  For the farmers' sakes we are praying for no more hail this season!

On a positive note, we are thankful that we have a roof over our head and we are learning how to be very creative without power for huge spans. We are extremely grateful that the radio continues to …

Empowering the Next Generation

Did you grow up participating in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?  We were all about that in my family.  I remember the Pinewood Derby races each year, the campouts and the thin mints.  Oh, what I wouldn't give for a box of those right now...sigh.  Those were great memories in my childhood and I'm so thankful for the adults that invested in us.  I still remember my troop leader; she was kind, impartial, creative and she had a contagious positive attitude.

One of the couples that came to know the Lord through the radio station has taken the initiative to bring that kind of experience to boys and girls in our town.  For the last year our church has organized a troop of Royal Rangers, (Exploradores del Rey) very similar to Boy Scouts, but with a Christian emphasis.

 Last week, we participated in a special training near the capital to learn how to be commanders (troop leaders).  We had to go through the same rigors that the rangers go through and even Timmy got involved!

Currently, there…

How God Provides

This has been, how shall I say it, a trying season for us.  First, our truck was almost swindled from us, now we get robbed.  As we've been asking God what we should be learning from these situations, I felt like God pressed upon my heart this powerful passage from 2 Corinthians 6:

We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God's kindness to you. In the Scriptures God says,
   "When the time came,
   I listened to you,
   and when you needed help,
   I came to save you."
   That time has come. This is the day for you to be saved.

We don't want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God's servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. But we have kept ourselves pure and have been un…

Paraguay's San Francisco Self-Sustaining Agricultural School

Some of you may be aware that we are in transition in our ministry here. As of last month, Norberto is no longer the director of Radio Alternativa 92.7 Christian radio station.  He has turned over the leadership to a local pastor.  The radio has been self-sustaining since Sept. 08 and we are very confident that the radio will continue to grow and impact many lives with national leadership.

Over the next few months we'll be sharing with you more about our vision for our next steps in ministry and we'll give a spotlight to each of the activities we're working on, including the visit we made here this week:

We've been wanting to visit Escuela Agricola San Francisco in Cerrito, Paraguay for over 18 months.  We first discovered them when they were highlighted in the national newspaper for being one of the world's finalist for the BBC World Challenge 2008 and they won second place!   Finally, we were able to make the long trek to low Chaco to take tons of notes and get id…


We are asking for your prayers again, friends.  We were robbed this week.  While we have had chairs stolen from our patio, clothes stolen from our clothesline and shoes stolen from our front porch, this is the first time in seven years (we celebrate our 7th year anniversary in Paraguay today!) that we have had someone steal inside our home.

We arrived home from a funeral (we were the choir) around dusk and as we pulled up to gate of our house, Norberto's mother said she saw a light go off in the house.  Norberto ran into the house and our door was wide open and our curtain had been pulled down. 

Also, as we were pulling in there was an unknown man in front of our house texting on his cell phone.  When Norberto greeted him, he looked down at the ground.  We have no neighbors and since this man was just "hanging out" that was our clue that he was working with the person inside.

We realized immediately that although we arrived before they could take much, the thieves grabb…

I Never Thought I'd Be Here

Yeah!  It's Paraguay day in the Candle in the Corner Event.  We are gratful for your interest, prayers and investment in God's work around the globe.  I'm going to tell you a secret...I never considered being a missionary.  I knew that I wanted to be a CEO of a large corporation when I was 15.  I double majored in college (marketing and finance) and was on a fast track to making big bucks.  I would donate to God's work, of course; I just didn't want to get dirty myself.  Until...

I went on a college mission trip, then two, then six.  I just loved serving cross-culturally and I knew that God was doing something inside of me.  My junior year I changed  my focus and finally admitted that God had other plans for me.  It was at the same time, God was preparing me for something latin lover

God brought to Smalltown, Indiana the most incredible man, who grew up on the mission field.  He lived in the jungles of Paraguay and went without electricity and runni…

Colorful Messages of Hope

Isn't it just great how God uses the diverse gifts He has given us for the benefit of His kingdom.  I love that it takes the entire body of Christ to fully reach a lost and dying world.  A few weeks ago we had the privilege of getting acquainted with some incredible missionaries that not only impressed us with their unique gifts; they blessed us immensely.  Jamie is an artist and Marion works creatively with children's ministries.    These fine folks gave us four beautiful paintings of Biblical stories to hang in public places in our part of Paraguay. So far, they have distributed 350 paintings all over the nation with colorful messages of hope!  Plus, they shared with us some wonderful children's resources that they have created in Spanish for our work with kids. What a dynamic duo!

This week we had the privilege of sharing the gift with the Church of God in Obligado:

The kids were so excited to see the beautiful scene of Noah's Ark on the wall, that they jumped up an…