Dear Friends and Family:
Paraguay doesn’t really have high mountains, but 1,230-foot Cerro Corá stands among the nation’s highest mountain range. “Cool and scary” summed up Ana’s impression of our recent ascent of Cerro Corá on a brief trip we took during the winter vacation. When she gazed upon the size of the obstacle that she had overcome, she realized that with determination, persistent steps, and a little help from her grown-up relatives she had achieved a seemingly insurmountable goal.
|Gabrielli made it 3/4 of they way up the mountain, but then stopped to eat and play.|
Understanding the unique culture of the Mbya Guaraní and engaging them in a manner that counteracts the long history of unedifying experiences they’ve had with outsiders presents a significant challenge to us and our non-Mbya colleagues. We recently visited a German missionary who has served as a nurse and educator with the Mbya Guarani for over 30 years. Her advice to us was to “love with patience; be persistent in biblical teaching; and wait for God to reveal his power.” Pray for us and our colleagues to show the Great Father's love through our educational outreach among the Mbya.
The winter vacation is ending, and we are resuming our work in the urban Native communities. At one community, we teach students and train a young Mbya woman, “E.,” to develop her skills as a new teacher. I continue meeting with the shaman, who teaches me Mbya language and culture. Our discussions frequently touch on themes that open opportunities for me to share biblical stories. Margarita hopes to soon start a Bible study with “S.,” who might be the only community member with a church background. Please pray for God to reveal himself to the Mbya. Additionally, pray for visits by short-term mission teams from Illinois and Arkansas as well as for a number of outreach events we have planned in August.
|Students at the Ñendua Mirĩ Mbya school.|
Margarita and I thank God for the house church that is forming in a nearby Ava Guaraní community. Thank you for your prayers last month for “Juan’s” brother, who lives in this community and is recovering from his surgery. Your support enabled “C.,” a young Ava leader, as well as “E.,” a young Mbya man, to attend a Christian Native youth camp last weekend. Furthermore, the students in the literacy class at the Ava community are already reading texts. The class includes a devotional and a children’s time, and is the product of collaboration between local churches and ministries that represent five different evangelical denominations. Give thanks to God for mobilizing the Paraguayan Church to do his work among the Ava.
|Ana and Antoine at the top of Cerro Corá.|
Four-year-old Antoine proudly states that he also climbed Cerro Corá. What he might not say is that his father was with him every step of the way, bracing him, lifting him over rocks and even carrying him in the steepest parts. Likewise, when we look closer at the mountains we’ve overcome and jungles we’ve cut our way through, we might see that it was really our loving Great Father who brought us out into a spacious place--and one with a beautiful view.
Tim, Margarita, Ana, Antoine and Gabrielli