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 www.paraguayschools.org
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.
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 - https://www.themissionsociety.org/people/paige Please designate it for our car fund.
Pictures for the months of September and October can be seen by clicking on these links:
September - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=5479&l=8c20a&id=1332236838
October - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=7876&l=14e51&id=1332236838
Peace and Blessings,
Donald, Carol and Cora