Greetings Dear IGO Partners & Friends
The winds of change have blown this past month in Paraguay. The national tree, Lapacho, declared God's glory in pink, white & yellow lending breathtaking beauty to behold. The weather was in pendulum swings, some days we had temps in the 30's & a few days later, it was 101°!
In ministry, we've searched our hearts & sought the Lord for our future direction & timing as we're entering 7 months in Paraguay. Hearing nothing specific, we have waited hoping something would show up for returning to Kenya to see our team, be with our precious little dog, Jozi, and somehow restart & recover ministries cancelled due to covid restrictions.
But both here & in Kenya the restrictions tightened. Paraguay's borders remain closed & a stage zero returned. Kenya's borders opened, but both a COVID test & 2 week quarantine is mandatory if we travel from Paraguay. However, no flights are available; but even so, no way will we submit to following a corrupt healthcare system involving schemes.
It was frustrating being forced to face limited choices even though our experience here in Paraguay has been a great one. We've made new friends, been blessed to help build a team of workers, enjoyed a new culture of food, traditions & language. We're very grateful for being in the shadow of El Shaddai thru these months.
However, we gradually began to sense in our spirits a window of time was here to move. So our mission in Paraguay is coming to an end Sept 16th as a repatriation flight showed up & we're booked for it. Praising the Lord all goes well.
Meanwhile, our Kenyan team has continued to advance the Kingdom of God in boldness & confidence in spite of having challenges to include arrests for preaching the gospel during covid restrictions. They tell us that police actually forced their way into 2 homes when it was learned of the missionaries presence in a village. Police took them off & held them for hours. Another was handcuffed & held for hours before release. He had wounds & bruises on both hands the next day as he once again went to preach & guide souls into godly sorrow leading to repentance & salvation. Thankfully the Lord God was with them all as they made the decision to stand in truth & not submit to paying a bribe.🙌🙌
In Paraguay, our teaching & training was put to practice as the team went for their first outreach mission in a rural village. It was a true learning experience as the depths of traditional religious mindsets evidenced. It's estimated that 95+% of Paraguayan people are bound in religious rituals & traditions. The majority are Roman Catholic, but also includes Mormons & Mennonites who are perishing for lack of knowledge of truth as their minds are filled with false information & ideologies. Additionally, homes & gardens are filled with idols. A common sight is yard altars (looking like little temples) constructed of stone or wood where there's ongoing activity with burning candles, "prayers" & laying offerings on the altar.
With practical knowledge gained from local & far outreach missions, we've been able to target our teaching even better. It's been wonderful hearing the feedback of the student's as we sustain a teach/practice format preparing them for effective evangelism. A beautiful blessing is that those here are standing strong in their desire to reach the lost just like our team in Africa.
We're so thankful that this 1st week of Sept., our 2 missionaries - Cathrine & Zaddock, who wedded in April, will have their official honeymoon!! They've had to wait to take up their gift that we & several partners contributed to for a special beach holiday where they fell in love. 😍😏
Home church groups are doing well & have experienced godly values in meeting & multiplying. REAP Ministry disciples have started several groups in Kenya & here in Paraguay. We love that children are included in our meetings. Since they learn by copying what they see & hear, it's been easy for them to participate with the adults & everyone is blessed by it.
Small groups modeled after the early church in the New Testament are the foundation we believe, of the future church as the prophecies of the bible rapidly unfold. We believe that up until the end, we & others need to commit to our role in fulfilling our Father's heart desire that all come to repentance. And may we be ready with our lamps filled with oil & burning brightly when our Lord returns.
💗Anthony, Cindi & REAP Team