The newspaper banner photo read: 45.00° C. That translates to 113° F. The summer heat the first couple weeks here in the capital of Paraguay was even more extreme than I anticipated and it scarcely let up at night. I could only walk a few blocks in it before I collapsed from heat exhaustion. I was envisioning 4 months of summer like that, but it has changed to a variety of lovely weather and much needed rain. God is gracious.
Thanks for your prayers, one and all. I did arrive January 14 without a hitch. It may not be another planet, but it’s another world. I’m not entirely helpless, but nearly so—at least I can speak Panamanian Spanish, which is not entirely the same as Paraguayan especially when it comes to common items. So for these first couple months I’ve been taking time for orientation to this country, its history, culture and distinctiveness. Hermanas (sisters) from local churches are on hand, willing to help us in this. At the same time, I’ve just been learning how to live here—to shop and ride the buses. And I’ll be finding a church home. Our mission is now strongly emphasizing the vital importance of partnering with national churches in the vast tasks of church planting amongst the ethnic groups. So all of us support workers, to greater or lesser extent, become missions representatives to our respective national churches. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest. It is very heartening to see and meet Paraguayan Christians who have risen to the same challenge of worldwide church planting.
A new family of coworkers, the Whitmans, has arrived, and we’re expecting the Whites soon. Others too are en route. God is answering the prayers for more laborers for the harvest! Pray for Whitmans and Whites in their adjustment and Spanish learning.
My coworkers have converted a mission house into a roomy duplex where I can live, above a family of coworkers—so my expenses will not be as high as anticipated (with the exception of flights). I’ve been able to supply many items for the place from two moving sales—rare blessings. I have moved into the duplex. My much-needed new air conditioners are installed. My digs are finally clean (mostly), comfy and ready for service–connected to the means of communication.
During my time in Florida with my supervisors, we decided one of my first regional trip will probably be to Bolivia in the fall to assist again with the literacy (reading) module at the missionary training center there, again with Jerry and Joyce McDaniels, our International Literacy Coordinators, mainly as observers this time. In the meanwhile, I can be corresponding extensively with field leaders and church planters in the region who are soon to begin their literacy preparations. Pray for “fruitful” communications.
As ever, my heartfelt thanks for your sustaining prayers.