November 17, 2008

Unexpected Opportunities

Last week both Donald and I had opportunities placed before us that were totally unexpected. The first one was an email from a woman in the States. She had found our website through a goggle search and decided to write to us. She was an exchange student in Paraguay in the late 70s and continues to have a close relationship with her Paraguayan host sister. Her host sister is a cancer survivor and is currently struggling with depression. She gave us her phone number and asked if we would visit and pray with her. The most interesting thing about the request was that the women herself has had some traumatic life events, seems to dislike Christians and is angry with God.

I called the host sister and she invited us to her home last Saturday. She welcomed us with open arms and was excited to have us pray for her. She told us that she did not think that it was a coincidence that her friend found our website. The prayer time was wonderful and we could tell that the Holy Spirit was working in her. We are going to continue to keep in contact with her and her family!

The other unexpected opportunity came when Donald went to the video store to rent some DVDs. He has been speaking with the owner of the store off and on. He knows a little English and enjoys practicing with Donald. Anyway, as Donald was checking out, the owner asked him if he believed in demons. Donald told him that he did. The man then started to share how he believed that there was a demon in his home. This opened the door for Donald to speak to him more about spiritual warfare and living a Christian life. A few days later the pastor of one of our churches and his wife went to the man's home to pray over it. Donald was unable to go at that time, but has been following up with him.

As Christians, we should always be ready for the unexpected opportunity to be used by God.

November 10, 2008

A Small Miracle

Whenever God does something in our lives, it is important to share it. Not only does it encourage and build faith in others, it testifies to the power of God. Our God is all powerful and there is nothing, I repeat, nothing impossible for Him!

Two weeks ago Cora fell at a friend's home and hit her mouth. After that, one of her front teeth was loose. We took her to a dentist, but she said that it was not loose enough to worry about.

Well, last Wednesday we had gone to Burger King (yes they have them here!) and Cora was playing on the playground. We were just getting ready to leave when Cora came running up to us crying. Her mouth was bleeding and her tooth had been knocked way back. It was not a pretty sight!

At that moment I got angry. It was a righteous anger against the enemy that welled up in me. Since we have been here, it seems like something different has happened to Cora every week. Either it is coincidence, or the enemy has been attacking in his subtle way. Regardless, Donald and I prayed for Cora and the bleeding stopped immediately.

Since it was evening, we could not take her to the dentist until the next day. That night we laid our hands on Cora's mouth and prayed for her tooth again. The next morning when I checked her tooth, it was back to where it had been before the accident! There was no need to call the dentist.

Miracle or Coincidence? Just ask Cora. She will tell you that Jesus healed her tooth.

November 4, 2008

October Update

Dearest Friends and Family,

It is springtime in Paraguay , which means longer and hotter days. It also means that our time has “sprung forward” an hour while those of you in the States have “fallen back” an hour. That now puts us 2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Good thing to know for all those who want to call us!

The changes in the weather also brought on a nasty respiratory virus that made its way through all 3 of us. After the fevers and coughing, it took about 2 weeks for us to recover. We apologize for a lack of communication during that time. We are told that most new missionaries here get this thing and it usually lasts for more than a month. Thank you to all those who were praying for us.

Happy Birthday Cora

Cora celebrated her 4th birthday with a small group of missionary friends on October 10th. However, since birthdays are so important here, we also wanted to celebrate with the children from both churches. A woman in one of our churches made 2 cakes for us to share. Everyone had a good time. It is good to see Cora adapting and making friends. It took her awhile to start separating from us and going with the kids to children’s church. Now, however, it is hard to get her to leave. She is also speaking more and more Spanish every day.

New Horizons School

I am continuing to help out in the school with the selection of the new students for the upcoming school year to start in February (remember our seasons are opposite…summer break is in December and January). Over the next few weeks I have 68 homes to visit. I am visiting with the families and doing a social history interview for each child. One of the school’s secretaries, Perla, is currently studying social work at a local university in the evenings. She has accompanied me on several of the visits. She is only 19 years old, but remarkably mature and has a strong relationship with the Lord. I think I am learning as much from her as she is from me.

One of the questions that I have been asking as part of the interview is if the family attends church. This has opened the door to some good conversations with the parents. It has also shown me that many do not know Jesus Christ. For many of the children, the New Horizons School will be the only exposure they have to the Word. It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility.

Since the school is primarily for the poorest children in its surrounding neighborhood, many are able to pay no more than $10 a month for the education. That means that each child needs a sponsor to help with the tuition. 30 children this year are still in need of sponsors, and 54 more will be added for next year. In addition to the tuition that we will be paying for Cora, Donald and I will be sponsoring a child next year. If you feel God calling you in that direction, check out the school’s website at

Cristo Viviente Church

In our last update we mentioned that construction was started for a new church building. Steady progress is being made every day. The next stage is to add a roof. Donald has been helping out during the week. When I am working at the school, Cora goes with him. She loves hanging out at the pastor’s home. They have taken her in as another daughter.

Pozo Azul Church

On October 18th the church had an evangelistic campaign. Church members went door to door in the neighborhood during the day and there was a special service that evening. Cora and I were sick, but Donald participated. He said it went very well. Several people came to the service, with the majority being children. Donald also met a couple who had lived in the United States . The husband is Paraguayan and the wife is German. They asked if Donald and I would come back to their home to share some more.

Our Residency Status

Since we will be in Paraguay for at least 3 years, we need to apply for residency here. It is a long and expensive process that has many different steps. We are blessed to have someone who is helping us through each step. Before leaving the States we gathered all the required documents and had them legalized at the Paraguayan embassy in DC. Unfortunately, the Paraguayan government decided to change part of the requirements last month. That means that our Virginia State Police background checks are no longer satisfactory. We now need background checks from the FBI.

This seemingly small change has completely stalled our residency process for at least 3 months. We went to Interpol last Friday to get fingerprinted. We then mailed a background check request and the fingerprints to the FBI in West Virginia . It will probably take 2 weeks for that to reach them, then 4 weeks for processing. After that, they will send the reports to my father in Oklahoma (our address in the States). He in turn will send the reports to the Paraguayan embassy in DC to be legalized. After that is done, they will be sent back to my father who will then mail them to us here.

Of course, all this will only happen if the fingerprints were done correctly. We did not have a lot of confidence in the guys who did them at Interpol. We do have confidence in God, however. Please pray that everything goes smoothly and the fingerprints are accepted.

Prayer Requests

In addition, please pray for:

* Language Acquisition – We are all improving in our Spanish! Donald has continued with the tutor and is making good progress.

* Cristo Viviente – that the church will continue to be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and for the construction.

* Pozo Azul (our other church) – the pastor is open to us doing an Alpha course with the youth in the beginning of the New Year. Pray that the youth will also be open and that they will bring their unchurched friends.

* New Horizons School – wisdom and discernment as new students are selected for the school and that the school will continue to be a beacon of light within its dark surroundings. Also that more people will feel called to be sponsors.

* Our Witness – that we will be faithful and bold witnesses for Jesus Christ everywhere that we go!

* An Automobile – In order to reach all the places we are doing ministry, we need to be able to buy a car. Tax deductable donations can be made on The Mission Society website - Please designate it for our car fund.

Pictures for the months of September and October can be seen by clicking on these links:

September -

October -

Peace and Blessings,

Donald, Carol and Cora