Dear Friends and Family:
of Native affairs demonstrates through their inactivity a sense of hopelessness
for those who live around the bus station. Indeed, systemic socio-historical issues
significantly complicate an effective remedy. We will soon discuss with an area
church as well as with two young Ava Guaraní adults who gave their lives to
Jesus last year how to reach these at-risk children and teens. Please pray for wisdom for this situation,
recognizing that the Lord gives generously to all who ask.
The other night Margarita and I walked around Paraguay's largest bus station and observed dozens of Native children and teens, mostly from the Mbya Guaraní tribe, living in deplorable conditions and subjected to human trafficking. The girls sat in shadowy areas and wore bright-colored summer outfits. The boys stood barefoot in the middle of the intersections washing car windows or selling fruit. Many of them were inhaling glue from plastic bags in plain sight. A 12-year-old boy named “A.,” with his glistening eyes barely open, asked us for money. He shared with us that 2 months ago he traveled more than 4 hours by himself from his community to the bus station. Although, for some reason, leaving their homes seemed right to them, pray that “A.” and his peers will find the path that does not lead to death.
Last Saturday a professional hairstylist volunteered his time to give haircuts to children at the Ava-Mbya community.
The Ava and Mbya children at a community on the outskirts of Asunción have a slightly better life than those at the bus station. Since classes stopped, we haven’t served our weekly lunches there; however, we visit them each month. In December, when we taught the Christmas story and sang songs with them, they told us how hungry they were. Thanks to a local foundation, we gave bags of rice and pasta to each family. Thanks to your support, we helped a few receive urgent medical attention. Ask Ñanderuete, “Our True Father,” to continue to work in this community.
We also visited two other Ava and Mbya communities in early January to give out toys for “Three Kings’ Day” and tell the story of the magi’s visit to Jesus. A father in one of the communities asked if we could provide educational support for their children, who haven’t attended school in almost two years. Give thanks for the parents’ concern, for the church who offered a space for classes, and for the local ministries who provide educational materials. Ask the Lord to lead us to the right volunteers to help us minister to the educational needs of these Mbya children.
Between our various activities this summer, there have been moments of recreation and escape. We took short trips to two tranquil, rural towns. The highlights were the pools, where Ana and Antoine demonstrated their increasing swimming proficiency. Gabrielli kept Margarita and me on alert as she demonstrated no fear in jumping into the water. Next week, Ana will start back at school, while Antoine enjoys another month of vacation.
|Gabrielli, Ana and Antoine (in his tiger/jaguar suit) bringing in the New Year|
In his hands,
Tim, Margarita, Ana, Antoine and Gabrielli