September 29, 2009

A Feast of Trumpets

The last 8 days have been like a whirlwind. Last Friday I sent out an email to the majority of you sharing about my awesome experience at the youth camp as well as the subsequent theft of my duffle bag, Donald’s backpack and my trumpet from our car.

We have been so blessed by the outpouring of prayers and encouragement that we have received from both people who are close to us as well as those we have never met. God has and is working in an amazing way through this incident. He has taken what the enemy intended for evil and is using it for His good. In ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him!

Last Tuesday as I was waiting for the window to be replaced in our car I had a lot of time to pray and work on my Bible study (we are currently doing the Experiencing God Bible study in Spanish). One passage that stood out to me in particular was Matthew 6:19-21.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

After reading that, I felt God say to me, “Trust that I will provide. It’s not your trumpet that was special, but the gift I have given you to play it for me.” He knows how special that particular trumpet was to me. After all, I had had it for almost 20 years and had learned to play praise music on it.

When I returned home there was an email from my mother saying she had found me a brand new trumpet for less than a used one. There is also a missionary from our team in the States right now who will be able to bring it to me tomorrow.

However, this is not the best of the news. Around the same time, I also received several other emails from people who would like to send me trumpets!

My trumpet was stolen after sundown on September 18th. I did not realize the significance of the date until someone pointed it out to me. That is when Rosh Hoshana was observed this year. Another name for this holiday is the Feast of Trumpets. For this feast God commanded the Israelites to have a day of rest and a memorial of blowing of trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25 and Numbers 29:1-6).

I believe God wants to redeem this situation and provide instruments for others to learn to praise Him on. The school I'm working with (New Horizon School) is in the process of building a new Sports and Music Center and is in need of musical instruments. Hardly anyone can afford them and band instruments like trumpets are practically nonexistent.

If we receive more trumpets, I can start teaching a group of students when the new school year begins in February. What better way to thwart the enemy and bless a community than by having our very own feast of trumpets!

If you would like to donate a trumpet (or any other instrument), please see the information below for shipping information. There is a US military shipment coming to Asuncion in the next few months. If the instruments arrive to the Minnesota warehouse by OCTOBER 21st, they will get to the school without any further charges to you or us. The school received items in this shipment last year without problems. It is safe and secure!

Blessings to you all,


Special Shipment to Paraguay Instruction Sheet

This is being made possible through the Denton Project- a US military transport plane that transports items to non-profit organizations in third world countries.

For our school, other schools we are assisting, and for other ministry needs, Please follow these instructions to donate items to be shipped to Paraguay:

The items that we can accept need to be in excellent condition, arrive by OCTOBER 21st and include the following:

All items must have a packing slip with an inventory of the contents plus a copy of the packing slip needs to be emailed to: Sheri Bitzan and to Carol Paige.

The packing slip must be marked: Donation to Sue Givens-Horizon School.

All items with shipping paid should be sent to:

Budde Trucking

Attention: Sheri Bitzan PPP

34082 Char Avenue

Avon Minnesota 56310

Once they ship the box/s they should notify Sheri at to alert her that there has been something shipped to the warehouse at Budde Trucking. If the donor could give Sheri an estimated time of arrival for the shipment, that would be super.

All Communications must be done only by email.

September 24, 2009

Our First 6 months in Paraguay

We made this video presentation of our work in Paraguay about 9 months ago. I had forgotten that I had uploaded it to the shwup site. After posting it to facebook yesterday I realized that many had not seen it. We are so blessed to be serving God in Paraguay!

September 19, 2009

Blessings and Attack

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to you full of the joy of the Lord for an awesome victory and righteous anger toward the enemy. As many of you know I was at a camp the last 2 days with the 7th and 8th graders from our school. I have been doing a Bible study with the 8th grade girls for the last 6 months, and they invited me to come. I also brought my trumpet in order to join in with the worship team. While at the camp several of the staff members and I felt a burden to press in and pray against a complacent spirit among the youth and for a real desire to have a relationship with God. During the last chapel time the Holy Spirit ministered to those children in an amazing way. One 7th grade boy got up during the talk, took a teacher aside and asked her to pray for him to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. After the talk, the teacher shared what had happened with the other students. It was like a floodgate was opened, the youth started spontaneously coming forward to be prayed for. Tears of brokenness and new found joy were mingled together as they prayed to receive Christ and to renew their walk with Him. The youth were also praying for each other and asking for forgiveness when needed. Even as we left the building for lunch, groups of twos and threes could be seen scattered around the campground holding each other and ministering to each others' needs.

I had the privilege to pray with several youth during this time. They approached me as I was sitting in the back of the chapel. Three received Christ. One of those was a girl from my Bible study who attends a Mormon church. I had been praying for her for 6 months. Glory be to God!

Donald picked me up today after the camp and we had to go straight to a friend's house for a dinner. While we were in the home somebody broke the back window out of our car and stole my TRUMPET as well as my duffel bag with all my clothes, shoes and supplies. I was struck with a mixture of grief and anger. Besides being one of the most valuable things I own in a material sense, my trumpet had a lot of sentimental value (I had had it since high school). Most importantly, though, it was a very important part of my ministry here. I use it every week as part of the praise ministry in the church and to teach a young man how to play. It is hard to describe how God has used my trumpet to open doors with people and as a special way for me to give praise to Him. I know He used it at the camp.

I feel that this robbery was a direct attack from the enemy. He took something from me that was very special and had been dedicated to Kingdom work. However, he cannot rob the joy of the victory that was won today in the name of Jesus Christ! Please pray for the 7th and 8th graders from the school, that they will continue on their new found journey with the kind of faith that continues to trust in the Lord in the face of adversity. Also please pray that a way will be made to replace my trumpet since they are not available in Paraguay.

Peace and Blessings,


September 8, 2009

August 2009 Update

It’s Been Awhile

It is hard to believe that it has been 4 months since our last update. We apologize for not keeping everyone up-to-date. Life got very busy for us, then, on top of it all we had about 4 weeks of
house guests. It was great, but it is nice to finally start getting back to a routine of sorts (whatever that is for a missionary!).

Ok, so what have we been up to? Actually, God has been leading and equipping us in some amazing ways. We have been led to do several things where He has definitely been “our strength
where we are weak.”

Donald did not study Spanish before we went to Costa Rica. He has improved a lot, but still struggles with the language. However, God has been using him to evangelize to his silversmith friends as well as the people we see daily on the streets. He has also helped translate for short-term teams and has been asked 3 times to preach at one of the churches.

Carol has never taught the trumpet or been involved in youth ministry. Now she is giving trumpet lessons twice a week and doing a Bible study with the 8th grade girls. Both are going great. She has even been requested by the girls to come to their school camp and stay in their cabin. They also want to learn more about evangelizing to their friends!

Carol’s Spanish ability has also been stretched as she has found herself counseling and praying with more and more students and parents. There are so many difficult situations and very little
community or government resources. Where can they turn for help?

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

Our Paraguayita

Cora is doing great in school and adapting well to Paraguayan culture. Her favorite foods are chipa and beef empanadas, and she likes to drink terere. She has developed a fondness for grilled chicken hearts as well, something we refuse to make. She also loves to do the traditional dances. She is very proud of the new outfit we bought her for her class’s “cultural day.” She danced with her friends and ate mbeju (a pancake-type food).

We are also blessed and humbled by Cora’s heart for God and those around her. Her Jardin class “adopted” a class at a nearby public school and made special boxes for each child. Cora was very excited about giving gifts to her amigita (friend). She also gives her own money and candy to children she sees on the street. At home her
favorite DVDs are by Hillsong Kids. She watches them over and over with her arms lifted high,
praising God!

On the Horizon

Filigree School: Donald is still waiting to learn the Paraguayan art of silver filigree. Classes are waiting for government funding to begin. Until then, one of his friends has begun teaching him. Here is an example of what he will be learning:

New Horizons Registration: The deadline is fast approaching and Carol will soon be visiting at least 100 homes to help with the selection process.