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A month in Paraguay, Sept 10th and Sept 11th

Education, education, education

I went back to school last year thanks to a friend who encouraged me to consider some formal training again. I graduated in 2002 from seminary. Nancy has been very supportive of this decision as well. What motivates me? First, to better understand higher education in the context of Paraguay. Second, is to better be equipped for the ministry I am involved. 

Last year according to records of the ministry of Education, only 14,520 Paraguayans graduated from 60 university’s in the country. This represents 0,22 % of the population. This country is experiencing and awakening in many fronts and higher education is just one of the many fronts to be pioneered. 

This lack of education translates into a lack in many areas of leadership for society. This country’s resources and its hidden potential are starving for leadership. Churches and any type of Christian or secular organization has work cut out. As the saying goes, when there is a problem the opportunities also lay ahead. I am constantly looking for opportunities to maximize my time and effort in ministry.

Baptism in the Parana River

This man traveled all night to for his baptism
Right before going into the water. Twenty 28 baptized
This morning I had the chance to baptize new believers in the Parana River. It felt great, and it was an incredible experience. One man took a bus and rode most of the night, for his baptism. Twenty 28 people said yes to this public step of obedience. Four couples decided to be baptized together.

I realized again today, that very few things on this earth surpass the joy of leading people to Christ and walking alongside them as they grow.

On Saturday night, we spoke to a group of teenagers and youth at the quinceanos birthday. Camila was the birthday girl. It was a moving night. Camila wanted to share the message of Christ on her birthday. I thought about the two girls in my house, Nicole 13 and Anahi 5, in a few years, going thru this passage of rite in the Latin American culture.

Thanks for hanging out. More tomorrow. 


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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?

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A month in Paraguay, Come and hang out with us

Book fair – Freedom of expression
Its was the beginning of the 12th , annual book fair. This event is organized by a local university as one of its arms into the community. Publishers, book sellers and authors come to present their books. Until Sunday Sept 11th, kids, professors from different schools will come and visit plaza de armas (city square of weapons) in downtown Encarnacion to learn and interact. In parallel with the book fair, workshops are going on all day, dealing with topics as wide as social media, religion, politics, team work, biographies, and history.

Just to refresh our memory, until 1989 Paraguay had only two universities in the country. The country was governed by a dictator for 35 years. Freedom of expression could cost exile, jail or even death. That’s only about 30 years ago. Today there are 54 universities, but still only about 4% attending university. People are gaining their voice without fear of repression after two hundred years. You can imagine how these …