We are so excited to share that the ICCI (Christian Institute for Integral Training) classes began last night! We had 8 students for English class and 12 students for spiritual formation! This is our teaching classroom, which we've been working steadily to prepare.
We are so grateful to God for this beginning and we pray that ICCI continues to grow and impact lives.
Only God could orchestrate that. Plamen came to know the Lord in an underground church during the communist regime. Shortly after the fall of communism, he founded this church in Bulgaria (which is one of the largest in the nation). He is passionate about God and motorcycles. His dream was to bike through South America and he made it happen after months of planning and preparation. However at the last minute his two riding partners backed out and he did the trip solo!
He started in Texas and arrived at our house yesterday after 45 days on the open road. He found us through the CMA website and we are so honored to have him stay with us! Last night he spoke at our CMA meeting about his amazing adventures.
Today he, Roland (CMA Paraguay president) and Norberto are out on a day ride to show him the beautiful region of the country in which we live.
Plamen flies to the US tomorrow and back to Bulgaria later in the week. What crazy and absolute adventures Plamen has shared with us about God's protection and the goodness of the people he met along the way. We love being a part of the CMA family and are grateful for the cool people we've met who love Jesus and love bikes.
E and V are two men that are being helped through your support of the MV Gift Catalog. They are living at CECI institute in San Lorenzo. Through Missionary Ventures' Catalog projects, the institute received wheelbarrows, tools, seeds, and help in building chicken coops for their community vision to help change lives in despair.
These men are learning how to live their lives without the use of alcohol. They are being discipled in God's word and using their skills productively to aid their own community.
Please pray for CECI as it reaches out to more hurting people in the community and shows them a healthy way to recovery and fulfillment. Their next project is to start a Christian daycare for poor families that need a safe and loving place to send their children while they work.
Thank you for your help with the Gift Catalog this past year! There are many more ways you can bless a life with this year's gifts, so check out all the ways you can help make a difference HERE!
We can't stop watching the videos from Japan. Timmy was watching and said, "Mom, why is there a house floating down the street?" We're praying for all affected and we loved this miracle rescue story from the rubble. A-MAZING!!!
We loved hosting a myriad of different folks this week for meals and counseling in our new living room. After four years of building, we never thought we'd finish, but we are so grateful that we are wrapping up the details and are now able to show hospitality to more people, something we love to do. A big thanks to special people who helped us finish.
We cleaned the classroom and office for ICCI this week, pictures to come. It was a disaster.
We took out four piques (sand fleas) from timmy’s pinky toe. Um, no pics of that. He’s getting so good at this, he is the surgeon’s assistant!
Here is a great post on the harms short term missions teams can do if they are not wise to culture and heed cues of their hosts.
We are just a few days away from the beginning of ICCI leadership institute. Please pray for the new students as they arrive on campus.
We are slowly moving into fall and are grateful for a break in the hot, hot weather. March is our favorite month of the year for temperatures in Paraguay.
Off to Ciudad del Este for business/pastoral meetings this weekend. Have a great one yourself!
The last few weeks have been filled with travel and activity. Paraguay hosted the CIID conference (Interamerican Conference of the Church of God). There were representatives from over 13 countries in Latin America!
Here are the Paraguayan representatives in their typical dress.
It was a five day conference packed with workshops, networking, worship services, good food and fellowship. We led a session on "Integral Mission." The next CIID conference will be held in Nicaragua in 2013.
On the tails of the CIID conference was our South American missionary conference in Montecarlo, Argentina. Sometimes you get so used to serving others, that you're not accustomed to being served. The local church treated us so well with local food (can you say BBQ). The missionaries came from Haiti, Colombia, Bolivia and Belize and the Ecuadorian group missed their flight. We had some meetings and time for site seeing as well. After being to the Iguazu Falls 89 times (not really, but at least 20 times) we finally got to see them from the Argentinian side and were we ever impressed!
They even had a little train ride that Timmy loved! The conference was a good mix of fun and business and we were able to get better acquainted with other missionaries serving in the western hemisphere.
and that's OK. Let the mantle pass." -Miriam Adeney. I'm reading Kingdom Without Borders, which I definitely recommend. The author, Miriam Adeney, argues that today we must partner globally in missions and that the West will need to learn to follow. She says that even though most of the money, power, training institutions, publishing houses and international organizations are based in the western hemisphere, God is doing something new in our time that involves a shift from the West to the East and South. (p.40)
There is much to say about this issue, but I'd like to hear from you. What do you think? Should the west move over? How important is it for you to be "linked" to believers in other parts of the world?