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Baptist Church
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and to grow in Christ
News from Paraguay
by Ps. Bill on December 8th, 2015

Greetings from the Republic of Paraguay
I hope you continue to be patient as we continue to represent all of you for the glory of God to His Church and the people of Paraguay.  We have been having a wonderful time.  The country is beautiful, but the people are even more beautiful.  Please pray that the Spirit would come mightily upon this country and that their hearts would be opened and they would see that they are living in darkness.  Those that have come to Christ are definitely lights in their tribal communities. 
We journeyed from the NTM guest house in Asuncion on Saturday morning and since then we have been without WiFi, so I was not able to keep up on getting you updates.  We traveled on bus for 7 hours to Mark and Odie Goddard’s house.  They share the work with John and Barb Windler, what a blessing that was.  The ride was long and boring, but when Randy is part of the group there are always interesting times.  He was trying to teach some young men English, they were not always willing students, but Randy’s joy kept them going.
On Sunday morning I was reading Ps 51 as part of my devotions, I was struck by these verses:
10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11  Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
I wonder if the reason we do not see more people coming to Christ is because we have lost the joy of our salvation.  Why would people want to listen to the awesome power of the grace of God when they do not see the joy of our own salvation.  Instead we wallow in our self pity.  Why would anyone want to hear what we have to say when they see our lives.
On Sunday morning we went to the tribal church where we shared testimonies and they shared testimonies.  God is doing a magnificent work.  It was amazing, as all the people came in, they would all come, shake our hand and greet us.  From youngest to oldest, it was totally awesome.  Even mothers who were carrying their children would come and the child would stick out his hand so we could shake it.  It was such a pleasure to be with the family of God here in Paraguay.  The place was filled with joy.
The morning service was about 3 ½ hours long.  Then some of us went to an afternoon service in a different location.  The group was smaller, but it was still a blessing.  One of the men stood up and shared how he used to drink and beat his wife, sometimes with a machete.  But since he has come to faith in Christ he has put away the alcohol and no longer beats his wife.  They had seven kids, and one young woman lived with them whose parents died.  They had twin girls that passed around the Terere  from person to person the whole service with a smile the whole time.  They were so beautiful.
Even though there are two small churches planted and in operation, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Leaders need to be raised up, and church structure needs to be established.  Keep praying for these churches as they strive to bring glory to Christ.  There is a lot of spiritual warfare.  This is an area with much drug trafficking and prostitution. 
Monday we had the pleasure of meeting with some of the tribal people.  The men went and visited Alejandro, an elder in the community, but as yet, an unbeliever.  He showed us some of the traps he has made to trap animals, quite unique.  He then showed us a bow and arrow that he made; of which Jacob is now the proud owner.  He also told us of some of the traditions of the Pai’ people, many of which are no longer followed.  One of the main traditions he spoke of was the lip piercing tradition. 
When a boy reached 12 years old, his father would take him to one of the holy places where the boy would stay 30-45 days.  During this time the chief priests would teach the boys what it meant to be a man.  They were not to steal, kill, get drunk…, that they should not marry until they were at least 18, after that time was complete they would have their lower lip pierced and a small wood peg inserted into the hole.  If the boys did not do this he would bring evil down on the family.
The women went with Hermalinda and Selaia.  You will hear about their time in a future post.  However, the women cooked us lunch.  It was called Dog Boots.  And no it was not dog.  It was rice with a sauce made of Yucca root and sausage, and some dish made with beef.
I wish I could fill you in on all the details and share all the pictures, but you will have to attend the big event on Dec 31 at 6Pm at BRBC. IBC friends will see this when David and Lynn return.
Prayer Requests
Pray for Odie and their son, Connor.  They are both feeling sick and the Dr’s do not have a final diagnosis as of yet.Pray for Spencer Goddard and Josiah Windler as they look to making post-high school decisions concerning schooling and career direction.Pray for John and Barb Windler as an opportunity to start a Paraguayan Missionary Training Center has come to the forefront.  Pray for wisdom and discernment as they decide if this is from God.Pray for Mark and Odie as they will be making decisions concerning their next furlough, the timing and duration of it.Pray that the Paraguayan church would continue to grow spiritually and numerically.Pray for our time at the conference next week.  That we would be a blessing and encouragement to all we meet. 

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