Prayer update: Chris and Alison Hawksbee in Paraguay
Casilla de Correo 1124
Associate Mission Partners with the Church Mission Society (CMS) and the South American Mission Society (SAMS) UK & Northern Ireland.
4 July 2017
Dear Friends Points for prayer and praise
1. Two weeks ago, I had two groups of students from Saint Andrew’s College come up to Colonia La Patria to do their community service. These were the 1st and 3rd year. The 1st year group had twins whose dad owns a ranch about 10 kilometres from La Patria so the dad received us all there for two nights as our base. With this group we started fixing up a water storage cistern for harvesting rainwater, this was with the boys. The girls in the group painted the front wall of the church white and then painted a Bible verse in Guarani and the same in Spanish, also the name of the church on the front. Then they painted a classroom for the same village of Las Flores.
2. The second group or 3rd year did a similar activity. We had two water cisterns go wrong on us. The tops caved in. I think it is because we only had reservoir water for using in the cement, it was slightly salty,and so the mortar was weakened. They both had domed tops, and now we have built the walls straight up and are going to put a flat top on them. They also painted the front wall of a school in La Paciencia village painting some floral designs on it. In the afternoon, they went to a school in Paraiso to do some painting as well. The 3rd year are the last year at school and they aren’t so helpful they tend to think it is below them to do this work. However, I was able to have good chats with some of the lads.
3. We have a visit from Hannah our daughter who works on the pastoral team at All Souls. She is with us for two and a half weeks. She has brought her course work with her for her masters.
Points for prayer
1. On the 11th July, we have a meeting at the Rio Verde Centre with other Christian groups who also work in La Patria. These are Mennonite groups. The purpose is to try to work out, coordinate what needs to be done to strengthen the churches in the villages and not be competing with each other. We have had some Pentecostal groups who have no respect of what has been done and they hold evangelistic campaigns and many who go forward who are already members of the local Anglican churches and they insist that all are re-baptised and join them, as the Anglicans aren’t born again, they are Catholics. There is a real lack of respect and no coming to us to find out what we believe and teach. It is a good recipe for divisions not only in the church but alsoin the community in general.
2. We as a pastoral team we invite all to come and meet around God’s word and study it, and so allow the Holy Spirit work in them. We can’t be a policing group!
3. Continuing from point 1, from the 12-14, we will be holding interviews with church workers to see if same deacons can go forward to become presbyters. 4 deacons from El Estribo ( Celino Rodriguez, Gilberto Martinez, Nicasio Martinez and RemigioFretes). These deacons were made deacons a year ago. We only have one presbyter in El Estribo and since they don’t receive a salary they often go away to work to support their families. There has been complaints about this because many churches wish to receive communion and don’t. Some of these have come forward saying that if the Anglicans can’t provide this then they will get other groups in. A year ago, 5 men were ordained as deacons and we feel the 4 can be considered. Being a presbyter also means, they have a higher standing in the communities. So, please pray for guidance and wisdom a we do these interviews. There is a deacon from La Patria, who has been a deacon for a number of years to consider ( Anario Rolon). From Maxlawaya there is Romuado Rojas. There are three to be considered as pastoral assistants for La Patria. Whilst the interviews are going on, we have asked Sally Bartlett, the Bishop’s wife to give a series of teaching sessions to make the most of the time in Rio Verde.
4. On the 16th July, it is programmed for the Bishop to confirm around 70 people. These were meant to be done some time ago but wasn’t possible due to bad weather.
5. In the middle of August, we are going to have another get together with the church leaders and do some more teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and use of them.
6. In La Patria, the two men ordained (Niño Pepe and Agripino Sanchez) as presbyters are really getting around the churches and administering Holy Communion, also, the other Presbyter Robert Fernandez has started joining them. This is good because there is unity. Unity is what I mentioned previously as a point of prayer.
7. So please pray for these important steps in the formation and encouragement of new leadership.
8. We might also be getting another Paraguayan Pastor to join us. He is Pastor Luis Echeverria from Zeballos Cue. He is gifted in music. I approached the Bishop about him joining the team as pastor Agustin can only come once a month.
9. Please also pray for a forthcoming campaign that the Mennonites are working on for La Patria. The training of local helpers for the follow up ministry.
Thanks for your faithful prayer ministry and support.
With our love and greetings,
Chris and Alison
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