Life is full of changes. Some we embrace, and some we resist and avoid. That’s no news to you. Change can bring growth, but can also bring uncertainty. Makes me so glad that God is in control, knows all, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8)
There have been some changes here in Paraguay as well.
Change: Bible translation. Recently Greg Melendez was able to come to Paraguay and do a translation consultant check on the book of Exodus in Nivaclé and the book of Ephesians in Sanapaná. Both translation projects are progressing and the Nivaclé and Sanapaná are able to have more and more of the Bible in their own language.
Change: Home going. We received word the other day that one of our Manjúi brother La’enis had passed away and is now with the Lord he loves. You’ll remember that we’ve mentioned La’enis a number of times. He is the man who used to be a witch doctor among the Manjúi, but who came to a point where he listened to the Bible teaching, placed his trust in Christ, and went on to be an example and leader to the Manjúi Christians. He’s the one that Jeff Hunt once described as “a diamond in the rough”. We grieve, but not as for those who have no hope. (1 Thess. 4:13) Such a contrast to what it would have been like if no one had ever come to share the Gospel with them.
Change: Bible teaching. On March 22nd, Shaun Humphreys began foundational Bible teaching among the Nivaclé. Over the next two months (5 nights a week) Shaun will be teaching from Genesis to Revelation. The session will also be taped and rebroadcast over a low power radio signal so Nivaclé in the area who couldn’t attend the sessions can still hear the teaching.
Change: Bible study. Laurie has been discipling a lady from our local church here in Paraguay and has also recently started a ladies Bible study going through the book “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”. She’s never taught a Bible study like this before, so it was a big step of faith for her. She was impacted by the passage in Paul’s letter to Titus where it says the older women should teach the younger. (Titus 2:3-4) It is going well and the ladies have said they are learning a lot.
Change: Helping others become equipped. With our co-consultant Ithie Jackson now in the U.S. in another ministry, Luci and I have a bit more to keep us busy. Besides teaching and weekly time with the missionaries in language study, I’m preparing materials for the upcoming language evaluations for the seven who are in language/culture study here. Some of them are getting close to finishing this phase of their preparation for working with and ethnic group here in Paraguay, and this evaluation will help us to know if they’re ready for that next step.
Change: Added responsibilities. Laurie continues in here ministries with the ACA school board and Guest House, but has also take on the responsibility of working with Steve Gutzmer to cover the areas Steve Jackson used to cover as our Field Administrator. Steve Gutzmer is also our Field Chairman, so Laurie is trying to free him up as much as possible.
In the midst of the changes, we’re busy, but encouraged. God IS building his church, and we get to be a part of it.