It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Paraguay for over 3 weeks already! This is just going to be a wee update of how I’m getting on, and some of the things we have been up to.
Melissa and I arrived in Iguazu Brazil on 21st August, all travelling went really smoothly, it was a long trip and we were both glad to finally arrive! Claire met us at the airport and after a few hours rest we went to Iguazu falls, which was one of the most incredible experiences. It was such an amazing way to start things off, surrounded by Gods amazing creation. As I stood there singing ‘How great thou Art’ over in my head, I was reminded that God is so much greater than anything I may face over these next 5 months, and also so so present, I know I can turn to him in the good times and the tough times, because he has been and will be so faithful through them all.
That night we got the 10 hour overnight bus to Concepción Paraguay, where we will be staying for the next 5 months. We arrived the next morning, and after almost 48 hours of travelling we were exhausted. Melissa and I are sharing a house together, Claire is next door and it is right beside the church. Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming, Claire is also an absolute star and made settling in so quick and easy.
Getting used to a different culture and way of life has been very interesting. It’s nice being able to turn up to church 20 minutes late and still be one of the first people there, i find the money very confusing and I’m now used to getting sweets or a box of matches as change in the shop. We’ve had a few cockroaches and lizards move into our house, been woken by bangers and fireworks going off in the middle of the night from the party next door and also had a few minor disasters like our toilet falling off the wall haha. But it has all been lots of fun!!
Life here can be really busy, but it’s really good!! Since we have arrived we have been involved with lots of kids clubs (which are definitely my highlight) youth groups, prayer meetings, Bible studies, visiting people and English lessons. Claire has been working here now for 18ish years and had been working in several areas. There are meetings and kids and youth clubs in Ramonita, Villa Alta, San Antonio, Immaculada and also in the centre where we are staying. Also on Sundays we go to the Chaco, which is outside of Concepción and is where the indigenous people live, here there is a meeting with people of all ages. We will also be starting to teach some English classes this week in the local Anglo school.
I am loving life here, but to be completely honest, sometimes it is hard! It’s very very hot, I can’t speak the language and sometimes it’s just completely exhausting. Last week I was struggling a little and questioning why I was even here at all. What difference could I possibly make if I can’t even speak to the people. But then I was reminded that I need to focus on the things that I can do, rather than what I can’t, and if that simply means sitting in the dirt and playing with a few kids, just to try and show them Gods love, then that is what I will do. I was really reminded that despite my inadequacy and my inabilities he is always more than enough, he has been so faithful, and I just have to trust him each and every day.
I really appreciate all your prayers and support a lot. Already I have been challenged in so many ways. Here’s a few wee points I would really appreciate prayer for...
●Please pray for Claire, she is an absolute star!! She has definitely went the extra mile to make us feel welcome. She has such a heart for the people here and her Faithfulness to his call is so inspiring. So thank God for all the work she is doing and pray that he will continue to guide her and give her all the energy that she needs.
●Also pray for Melissa we are getting on really well, so pray that this will continue.
●That we will find time to rest and spend time alone with God and continue to grow as well as give and serve.
●Since I don’t speak Spanish it can be really frustrating at times. I’ve been picking up a few words, but its so hard to just have a conversation with people. It’s also very exhausting with the heat and also so many new things to learn. So prayers for energy and motivation to continue learning would be really really appreciated!
●Can you also please pray for the children and young people we are working with. A lot of the children come from quite rough Backgrounds. It can be absolutely heart-breaking at times, please pray that they will know that they are actually so so loved by God!!
●Opportunities to share Gods love and gospel with everyone we meet. Pray that relationships will grow and although I can’t speak Spanish that I will have opportunities to share Gods love with people through my actions.
●There is a woman called Norma who heads up all the children’s work here and her mum is in hospital, so please pray for her and her family.
●Also as I start to teach in the Anglo, that it will all go okay, I’m taking 2 small classes of 4-6 year olds, but I’ve never taught before and it’s quite daunting, so prayer for that would be really appreciated.
●And finally just thank God for his Faithfulness and goodness, and continue to pray that he will be Glorified in everything and will be in the centre of every action done and every word spoken.
One verse that has really stood out to me recently is Isaiah 3v22-33 “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulnesshis mercies begin afresh each morning.”
It feels like such a privilege to be here, and despite my doubts and fears, God is so much greater, so so faithful and also so present, something that I need reminded of daily.
Thanks so much!! I really appreciate all the support alot!! ,