This month has flown by so fast. The leaves are starting to change here and can’t wait to see them at their peak. It is a constant reminder to us of the change that will be taking place in our lives when we leave for Paraguay. We want to thank you so much for praying for us and for financially supporting us. You are a great encouragement to us and are so blessed to have you on our team.
This month we have had the opportunity to be in three churches. Praise the Lord for those opportunities. Thank you to Calvary Baptist, Litchfield Methodist, and Lounsberry Methodist for having us come in and share. Another big praise! Our support has jumped to 65% ($3479.00). We currently have 5% ($271.00) left to go in order to reach our goal of 70% to leave for Paraguay. It has been a great watching the Lord work on our behalf. We are becoming more and more excited as our departure draws nearer and nearer. There are still many things that need to happen before we leave on a jet plane. We need to raise the 5% still needed for our ministry, we need to raise the rest of our start-up costs, we need to sell our van before we leave (we would like to use these funds for start-up costs), we need to purchase our children’s visas, and we need to pack and go through our storage unit. Please pray with us about these needs and would you also prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you be involved in our ministry.
This month was full of fun for our family. We were able to go to Knoebel’s Amusement Park with Colton’s parents, siblings and their kids, and his cousin Shanine and her family. A great time was had by all and it was great having that family time together. Gideon started pre-school; he is attending Bright Beginnings in LeRaysville PA. He goes three days per week and loves every minute of it. He wants to go every day. Malachi and Noah are enjoying school and have both received great progress reports. We were also able to help Colton’s mother host a second wedding reception for his brother Curtis and his wife Amy. It was a wonderful reception full of great food and fellowship.
NEWS FROM PARAGUAY ~ To Buy Her Soap
The long-awaited day had finally arrived. Missionaries to Paraguay Jamie and Char Hunt sat in attendance at the wedding ceremony. The young couple had planned a blending of their own culture into a western-style wedding, requiring months of planning and significant financial cost. Those attending the wedding sang as the bride walked down the aisle. A young “cake-bearer” led the way. In many ways, the wedding was similar to many other weddings they had attended. Then it was time for the vows. “Do you, (bride), take (groom) to be your husband? Do you promise to cook for him and to do his laundry … ‘til death do you part?” To this, the bride shyly replied, “I do.” “And do you, (groom), take (bride) to be your wife? Do you promise to buy her soap so she do your laundry, food so she can cook for you and to buy her a skirt if she needs one … ‘til death do you part?” To which the groom responded, “I do.” Then “You may shake the bride’s hand. You are married.” And at this point, the Hunts say, the couple shook hands and joyfully turned to face their well-wishers. The Hunts say their initial response was “a touch of flabbergastation.” Amazed, they thought, “Really? The wife promises a life of hard manual labor and the man’s only promise is to make sure she has what she needs to complete those back-breaking tasks … with an occasional skirt to sweeten the deal.” It seemed to Jamie and Char that the scales were tipped quite significantly in favor of the groom. But then they re-evaluated. There was that very large factor of culture to consider. And considering the setting of culture, the vows started to make a lot of sense. The local people highly respect young women who display their clean laundry hanging around their yard. If a young husband is forced to take his laundry to her mother, his wife will be ridiculed. With cooking it is much the same. A young wife is highly thought of is her husband’s stomach is always full. This must indicate that she always has his meals waiting for him when he comes in from working in the fields. The Hunts share, “The young groom, in promising to provide soap and food for his wife, was ensuring that his bride would be accepted and praised among her people, thus saving her from great shame. In their culture, this would be true love.” Jamie and Char observe, that it would be very easy to conclude untrue things about the bride and groom if they failed to view their vows through the tribal worldview and value system. “Sadly,” they say, “something very similar has happened in the spiritual lives of many local people. They have concluded wrong and untrue things about their Savior because there are gaps in their understanding about the character of God and His promises to His Bride. Many are trying to appease God through the outward display of different acts of Christianity in hopes of attaining good health, prosperity and even salvation.” Pray that God will continue to equip Jamie and Char Hunt with deep understanding of tribal culture and language. Pray that He will enable them to help their local friends to see Jesus, the Bridegroom, for Who He really is and to understand the deep love He has for them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update and for taking the time to pray for us. We appreciate you all and pray the Lord’s richest blessings on you.
For His Name and His Glory,
Colton, Tanja, Malachi, Noah, Gideon, and Jehiah