I had to share this with the world, because it is just so neat for us. We have been in Paraguay for a year now. We have made every effort to get involved with Paraguayan believers, but its not always as easy or simple as we’d like. Sometimes we can get discouraged because we can feel like we’re not having the level of interaction that we want. This past week, we received a huge blessing in being able to take part of a prayer group that meets in different people’s houses. We not only were able to attend, we were able to host it at our house.
This is such an answer to prayer. We’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time, but we couldn’t in our old house. In our old house, if we invited a couple over for dinner, there wasn’t enough space for everyone, let alone a whole group. But since God has provided a new place with more room, we can now take advantage of opportunities like this. It’s a neat opportunity because, not only are we making friends and strengthening relationships, we are taking part of a spiritual activity. We are learning how to talk about Scripture in Spanish. Learning how to pray in Spanish. You may think that it doesn’t sound hard. I dare you to try 🙂 It’s really hard! But that’s all the more reason to practice.
But here is the coolest thing about having hosted a prayer group at our house: it wasn’t our idea. That’s right. I got a call from my buddy, who wanted to know if we wanted to join the prayer group that he started years ago. He’s not a pastor, not a deacon in his church, he’s just a “regular” guy who sees the importance of Bible study and prayer. The rest of the people in the group are just “regular” as well. It’s encouraging because groups like this shouldn’t always be a church program, or at the pastor’s house, or planned by missionaries. Believers should just want to meet together to grow together and encourage one another. As you can see from this event: the church in Paraguay is strong.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of work for the church here. Only about 10% of Paraguayans would identify themselves as adhering to the Gospel as we understand it. Most of the churches are in the capital city, and many places in the country need church plants. But the church that does exist is growing and strong. That’s why we aren’t making this area our goal for ministry. There are still 6 tribes that we are targeting for church plants. We are encouraged to see what the local church is doing here, and look forward to one day going to a people without a mature church.