Bible-based | Christ-centered | Family-focused | Mission-minded
I feel very happy for this [past year] 2022 that God allowed us [here] in the Church of Christ in San Lorenzo. Without a doubt, it was a different year, we have learned to share more, we have focused on our congregational development without neglecting to preach to our families and acquaintances. Our progress can be felt if we look back. And one reason for my happiness is because the church of San Lorenzo is developing as a Paraguayan church.
I respect culture, and I like solidarity. Before, I sought help, believing that I needed help from foreign preachers who came to work in the country, I prayed many times for several years; but after several failed attempts, it seems that God is answering our prayers in a different but better way. Amazingly, Brother Ricardo was baptized last October. And [now frequently] I travel to his home, to spend time with him, teach him and answer his questions. I am motivated by his desire for Christian improvement. He wants to do the readings, he’s putting together his library, and it seems like he doesn’t want to just be a brother anymore. He wants to learn to speak Spanish well, because his native tongue is Guarani, and he wants to teach the Bible. God is wise!
For the past four years, I have urged the membership that we can make our dream a reality with God’s commitment and providence. There [is an ideal location available] that was [previously] a Pentecostal church in the city of Luque. It is the ideal size and fits exactly what we have as a goal. Its measures 9 meters wide by 12 meters long. Some years ago we tried [to rent it] it but the brethren were very fickle, and few were interested [in pursuing it].
Now that we have made a report of everything we paid for in rent since 2017, it was enough money to own [our own] place. That’s why this year, when we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it is the ideal time to start raising funds to make our dream come true. My plan is first to start motivating local members, to each give a special offering every year for this purpose. My wife and I will start, so that the rest are also willing to do so.
In 2020, we made a deposit of 6,000,000 Guaraníes ($869.00 dollars to a mutual growth account) so that it earns interest. To date it has almost 7,000,000 Gs. The purpose is for that money to grow and with the power to make at least half the downpayment for a piece of land for the church. The average lot is from 80-100 million Guaranies ($11,000.00 USD).
In the past, we have found it convenient that the purchase and ownership in the future is registered with the legal status used by Avenida Sacramento and not in the name of a native citizen. We have already discussed with them a little on this matter, given that some of our members are in the legal entity of Avenida Sacramento.
At the end of the year, as a church, we donated food and toys to a shelter for mothers who have drug addiction problems. They all have children from a few months to 8 years old.
As a family, my wife, myself and Alison always get them a few groceries, clothes and other things to help them through the day.
The manager is a close friend of Raquel’s.
Our brethren, Herlinda and Pedro Martinez always wait for me on Tuesday afternoons. In this month I went with my wife and our daughter. This month was very hot and to go to their house you have to cross the city of Asunción, which is 24 km across.
It is always nice to spend time with them. Brother Pedro studies the book that we did for Vocational Worker. His family is not very open to people from the church, but we try to be nice to them.
News About Us
In January we began a series on the Deity of the Lord Jesus. The reason is that the Centro congregation is not very clear on this matter. And what we observe is that probably later some of the brothers from Centro IDC will begin to meet with us, because the only young man in whom brother Jorge Vera (in charge) had hope and the only leader apart from him, went to live in Spain with his wife before December 30. Brother Jorge is already old and quite sick after the covid. And not only that, but some members of Centro have been communicating with our brothers in San Lorenzo, telling them that “Jesus was not God”; “You should not sing with repetitions, etc.”
In January, I have coordinated to start recording the studies, accompanied by brother Ricardo, to help me; but the original idea is that he learns to function in the church. I want him to help me with the recordings of devotionals and the videos that we need to make.
On January 10th, I start a Course in Digital Marketing. I have been waiting for this course for a long time, I want to optimize the way we can improve our tools as a church. I have learned that all churches, denominations, do not do anything haphazardly. They all have a Marketing plan, a consultant to direct their projects.
I also began writing the second book of Vocational Worker and its 8 more lessons.
Thank you very much brothers and sisters in Christ from Margaret Street for joining us in this work!
As a church, we are improving in every aspect during these last few months. We are learning to correct some details that we previously overlooked due to our ignorance. A real truth is that church members come together voluntarily and not because they are forced to. Our perseverance in the Christian faith will always depend first on our understanding of Who God is. And secondly, why we should obey Him.
[We] teach the church that God is does not change, [that] His purity will always be unique, even though the world is changing, that He has an eternal reward for those who die faithfully in Him, and also for those who are alive when the Lord Jesus comes in heaven. It is motivating for any Christian who is having difficulties in this life. We have been teaching this month that the God we worship cannot be manipulated, nor can we offer Him what seems right to us, as Cain [tried to do] and the people of Israel with the Golden Calf [did].
We also kicked off a hands-on series, or an evangelism workshop. Our purpose has been to implement and encourage everyone to work as a team to fulfill this task that has been entrusted to us. For this reason we had to carry out a self-analysis of some possible weak steps when it comes to evangelizing. We divided the series into three parts: Pre-Evangelism; Evangelism; Post- Evangelism. As well as providing some personal resources that I use to teach people.
We have taken for granted that we need brothers like Ananias, who although the Lord Jesus sent him to preach and [even though] he made complaints, he [still went] to preach to Saul. And others like Barnabas, who introduced Saul to the brothers in Jerusalem and accompanied him during his early days as a Christian.
This month’s sermons were: What do you think about God? / Jesus cause of Division / The initial model of the Church (Acts 2) / The church as a Family.
With this month, I finished the 15-minute devotionals of Ephesians, because now I have to start recording the free themes that can be shared on social networks with friends.
Now I have the printed book, and some of the brothers in the congregation already have it! They can read it quietly from their homes with greater comfort.
It was fantastic for me to see it printed, after a lot of work, although now to be able to see it exactly I need to correct some details that change to the pdf or web model when printed.
To see the courses go to: https://iglesiadecristo.com.py/Cursos.html
I visited brother Ricardo once a month in his home, to have contact with him, and teach him many things about Christianity. He and his wife always have many questions, plus a son of Sister Elia lives with them and has already visited the church.
Formerly his son, Rodolfo did not want to know anything about the church nor did he believe in God, but since I [started] visiting them I try to treat him kindly and be sincere with our way of being. I ask for his prayers for this family. God bless you!
Although they are members of Avenida Sacramento, my wife and I have always had a good relationship with these brothers. I visit them two Tuesdays of each month because they are older and brother Pedro has had two traffic accidents on his motorcycle. Thank God it has not been serious, but it has affected his health.
I finally finished the English course which had to do a module every day.
I have signed up to start a Diploma in Marketing and Digital Advertising that will last 4 months,
I hope to learn how to develop a better media plan to implement in the church.
On November 12, the census was carried out at the country level, it was prohibited to leave homes to have a record of how many inhabitants we have for this 2022. The last census was carried out in 2010, which was 6,451,122 people.
We are having a heat wave that has registered 45o [113oF] degrees in some sectors.
[We’ve] also had some heavy rain with thunderstorms especially on weekends.
We have also repaired some things in the house before the summer, especially in January. I have had to do carpentry and construction work since the heat is stronger in January and February.
Alison is already signed up for her first school year next year in February. It will be quite an adventure!
Thank you very much brothers and sisters in Christ from Margaret Street for joining us in this work.
Although it may seem strange, we can spend a lot of time with some people without realizing some extremely important details. For example, in our case, I have been with the brethren of our congregation since 2013, and we are good friends, but I never realized until this month that they all come from a non-Christian family.
We have felt alone, an old feeling. Sometimes the brothers ask me, if there really are other congregations to help each other in the building and evangelism. And I don’t have many words to encourage them.
However, seeing everything with a more serene mind, we can say that the Lord has always been with us. And that’s the most important! This 2022, including from the time change, improving the Bible studies, recording and editing the sermons, having our own website, placing breakfast before the study, making a program of Bible courses (Vocational Worker), improving the appearance of the premises with their support and receiving a visit from other brothers outside the country (Troy and Andrea) especially to worship with us. It has been of great motivation and improvement for the congregation!
Then we can confidently say and believe that as a church, although small, we are making good steps. Thank God!
The last study in the “Know Your Bible” series ended up studying 1 Peter 3:19. “The Imprisoned Spirits”
I demonstrated to the entire congregation all the steps to follow when studying a passage. Using Bible Dictionaries, Vine OT and N.T Words, Concordance, New Testament Line Spacing. Underlining the passages within the book, until you find the right answer.
They all understood that a passage of Scripture cannot be taken lightly and given their opinion.
So, having finished with that. We have started with Evangelism. The purpose of this series is not only to teach the importance of spreading the good news, but to teach the brothers different methods with which you can understand.
We continue to listen to the devotionals on the letter to the Ephesians by brother Larry J. White, while I prepare and record my own devotionals to send to the brothers, with the purpose of encouraging them in the week.
Ricardo Ortiz, was baptized on the 15th of this month! First, on October 8, I went to his house in Toledo, Cañada Capiatá to make sure that he fully understood the purpose of baptism and what it would be like after he was baptized.
We asked for permission to perform the baptism at the location on Avenida Sacramento because they have a baptistry.
Since then, I go to his house to study with him. Taking into account the principle of Ephesians 5:19 “Do not be drunk with wine, in which there is dissipation; rather be filled with the Spirit,”
Such a principle teaches that we should all be filled with something. He left a past life, now he is our brother, a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) but he needs to be filled with the Word. That’s why I take the time to guide him. Ricardo is the husband of our sister Elia, he has visited the congregation and now he is our brother in Christ. Glory to God!
“Not everything is a matter of faith alone” – “Resist” (1 Peter) – The Lordship of Christ – Empty soul?
Finally the book of the first level is finished. It contains the first eight courses of the program.
And from my perception the book would be the most expected and used material. Being that [the students] can have it at home, read it at any time, and complete the evaluations.
Printing cost is also quite low, 44,000 Guaranies ($6.00) per book.
The month of November and December I will take a break from preparing the other eight Level 2 lessons. Both on our web pages and in the book.
To see the courses go to: https://iglesiadecristo.com.py/Cursos.html
This month we have received the visit of our sisters Delci and Carolina Achucarro. Delci explained to us that she did not look good after having been hospitalized for Covid, now she is better. And we are all happy to see each other again to worship God!
On October 7 I met with Giacomo Sardone. He is a missionary for the Evangelical Reformed Church of Perunia in Italy.
He came in January of this year to plant a congregation, he is looking for contacts among the youth of the University of Asunción in San Lorenzo.
Giacomo and I had a good talk, although we have some differences in what we believe in Scripture. He is sponsored by several churches in Italy and others in the USA.
Giacomo’s project is to form a group of young professional missionaries who can work with university students. He is apparently looking for a preacher for his congregation to join his Reformed church project.
For my part, I am interested in forming a contact with him, because his project is only for two years and he has no problem with his contacts attending another church. And then they will probably have to return to Perunia. The congregation where he comes from can be seen here: https://www.chiesailperugino.it/
I visit our brethren Pedro and Hermelinda, twice a month.
I continue studying English with Discovery English
Alison and I continue planting vegetables, now we have Locote (chili). The tomato season is over.
Alison and I celebrated [birthdays]. I on October 7 and she on the 13.
I’ve also done some repairs around the house. This month it has rained a lot.
Thank you very much brothers and sisters in Christ of Margaret Street for joining us in this work.
It was a pleasure and comforting for us, as well as, for the church, to receive the visit of our brethren, Troy and Andrea. [It was] nice to be able to discuss issues with them that we cannot speak freely with other brethren.
We now know that Margaret Street Church prays for us on Wednesdays, and is always looking out for us, [for which] we are more than grateful. It is a relief for us to know that we are not alone in this work being done for the Lord [here] in Paraguay, but that the church is aware of what is happening in this South American country.
Our long-term vision is the stability of our brethren in Christ, in faithfulness to the Lord and to His church, which should be our [compass] to be able to continue with courage in this life. The men are [becoming more involved], so I have been gradually reducing my leadership [responsibilities] in organizing the worship service and making decisions [for the church]. [At the same time], I am educating them with Bible studies and sermons, teaching them that “There is NO predestination; not everything bad happens because the devil is very strong, and that each one of us is responsible for his own life and many things, both good and bad, happen because of our own decisions instead of blaming others.”
[I was raised] in Panama, from a young age, that we were always responsible for the [consequences of] our own mischief. The only one guilty of doing something bad always remained with yourself, because we each had the power to decide what to do, at least that’s how my parents raised me and my sisters.
[Unlike Panama], many Paraguayan families, as in other countries here in the “Southern Cone,” have a strong culture that believes whatever happens is “the will of God,” or because someone else ruined their life. [In other words, their problems are never their own fault, or because of decisions they made themselves]. Being [here as a missionary and] able to focus on the Church and our members has allowed me to learn these little details. Details [about accountability], that by the grace of God, our current brothers now understand and are trying to teach to their families and friends.
All studies are recorded, edited and posted on the church’s website so that the brothers can listen, even those who could not attend.
On Wednesdays, since we don’t have services during the week, I send out a series of devotions. At the moment, we are listening to devotionals from brother Larry J. White’s letter to the Ephesians.
Having completed level one of the project, making the pdfs of the first 8 courses and their respective videos, I am culminating with a first level book. Possibly in the month of October I will finish the book, where each course also has a section for the student to test the knowledge learned.
Seeing the printed book, “Elementary Principles of the Oracles of God” by brother Troy, he gave me the idea that I could do the same thing too. When I put together all the materials from just the first 8 courses, each one written, studied, edited with images, I also understood why I was a little stressed (Haha). A total of 97 pages of redacted material so far!
On Saturdays and on Thursday, September 15, the men agreed to work in the building where we meet, to advance in the comfort of the place of worship. Marcelo, Lamar and myself [did much of the work]. The rest of the brethren also collaborated financially to help us complete [upholstering] more of the chairs.
A recent “Ladies’ Tea” took place at the Hotel Los Alpes., [which is] a devotional and snack among the sisters. Some sisters from San Lorenzo could not attend because of the distance they live, or that there was no longer a bus to get to their house. So now the women of San Lorenzo are planning a lunch to invite their friends over for the next one, as an evangelistic opportunity.
Raquel took care of booking the hotel, making it comfortable, nice and accessible, so that everything went well. She was very happy that Andrea liked it.
From what we [were able to] see, the brothers of the congregation felt very happy to receive the brothers, in addition to feeling that they came from far away especially to worship with them.
Now we have two large print Bibles, books for new converts, and I have a new light to make the videos for the church. Brother Troy spoke with the men to encourage them and show their support. And they are grateful.
The sermons are always updated every week and shared on social networks.
Through the website, I found an Italian couple who have lived in Paraguay for 8 months. Apparently they belong to a Reformed church mission, and they planted a church in Perugia (Italy). Giacomo, (the missionary) wants to know what we do in the church of Christ.
We pray that with the help of God they will come to know the truth!
I accompanied brother César Gadea, through the area of Luque Cañada. He wanted to visit and scout it out to see if it is possible to move and establish a work there. However, as seen in the photo, the area is very desolate. And [it is] difficult to access it or get to without a car. He thinks that he should look for another area and not Luque.
César and I also went to visit the brothers Pedro and Hermelinda Martinez on Tuesdays, and when one of the two cannot, then we go to Thursday.
Some brothers from Ecuador (Tumbaco) contacted me to make them a booklet for evangelism.
These brothers say they work for a group: Gospel Share Missions which is from the churches of Christ. www.gospelsharemissions.org
With my daughter, Alison we have harvested many tomatoes, and we have given them to the brothers of the church, my wife’s family, and even some we have had to make homemade sauce to prevent them from going bad.
We like to do these things! Now we plant peppers and walnuts.
Yesterday (9/6/2022) during a meeting with some brethren, I heard for the first time the date on which the first missionary efforts arrived in this country: “1973”. Since that date the church of Christ has been in Paraguay. What I still cannot understand is that the effort to plant congregations has been made since then, however to date there are still [only] three congregations.
It is not that I believe that the Word of God did not bear fruit, please do not misunderstand me, nor that the ground is as hard as a rock; but what I do believe is that we must change our strategy without neglecting new churches.
When we read Titus’s letter, I see a plan in both God and Paul. Not only planting churches, but transforming the leadership, so that they themselves resolve their own issues and with this they ensured both their growth, reproduction and their autonomy. “For this reason I left you in Crete, to correct what was wanting, and appoint elders in every city, just as I commanded you” (Titus 1:5). So I ask for your prayers for the brothers of our congregation in this process.
In the month of August we finished the entire series on the Family. All the studies were made available for the brethren to consult at any time. Family studies were approached from the point of “Christian Counseling” such as: The role of the wife, the husband, and especially the children in the Family.
Since the family study is now finished, we have started with: “If your brother sins against you” from Matthew 18:15 to 20.
We believe that the church needs to know about this, because the Lord was concerned with how the church should deal with failure. In addition to showing the proper procedures. We start with: 1) The first step, “One to one”; 2) Second and Third Step: “the need for witnesses and tell the church”; 3) Consider him a Gentile and a Publican.
But above all; the purpose is to restore a brother to the way.
Marcelo and Lilian had the desire to change the upholstery of the chairs, so during the week we are working on the church premises. They took the initiative to do it themselves, and it’s going very well. Now the chairs are more comfortable.
On this same page: www.iglesiadecristo.com.py I have attached more professional correspondence courses: Vocational Worker.
Now it is more organized in three levels: The first level has 8 courses, the second 8 and the third 7 courses.
The idea of ordering them and doing it this way arose from a query I made with the “BibleProject”, a project in English. What does the Bible teach by animated videos and now offers online Bible courses.
All the sermons are added to the page every week: which has become very useful for the brothers, as they share the message with their friends.
And for them it gives the image that we are responsible and professional in what we do.
But I use the site: “conocerlapalabra.com”, for the files that I have to host. And links that I need to link from one site to
This month I recorded and edited the course: “Making Disciples.” I uploaded it without publishing it in the media so that the brothers do not get ahead of the course. However, they already saw it.
The Vocational Worker courses this month were: Organizational Development and Making Disciples.
Now the brothers in San Lorenzo are going to start. In addition, their families can also participate because it is free.
[I went together] with brother César Gadea to spend time and visit Pedro and Hermelinda Martinez.
They did not miss the opportunity, because they not only expect to be visited, but also invited their neighbors to participate in the study!
So we [were able to] do two things at the same time: visit and evangelize.
A brother from Colombia called Humberto Velazques contacted me. He works with some brothers from Brazil in “Porto Alegre” who wanted to pray and get to know the church in Paraguay.
It was a group of brothers from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.
He informed us of the intention to organize and visit Paraguay to support evangelism.
It is impossible for me to begin my report without thanking God and you for always helping us and praying for us. Working for the church is a
privilege but at the same time a great responsibility, for we are ambassadors of the Word of God.
This month turned out to be one of our best months in the congregation so far this year. In addition, I was able to recognize that there are [spiritual] issues and [lessons]
that we have omitted for a long time, such as marriage, family and children, which are apparently the issues that most of our people in Paraguay are concerned about.
Paraguay among the South American countries is one of the most conservative for the family and that’s pretty good, so if our people fight for the true model of the family, we as a church must also further reinforce [those] biblical principles.
Our Bible studies have focused on Marriage. We began by studying God’s design, followed by “What does the Bible say about divorce?” And “When can a person remarry according to Matthew 19?” then, “What should a Christian do who is married to a non-Christian?” (1 Corinthians 7). In addition, we studied 2 Corinthians 6, on some recommendations or advice using the principle of the Unequal Yoke. On July 31 [I presented] “Eleven Tips before the Wedding” for those who have not yet married.
All the studies were recorded, the brethren listened, then sent it to their friends. This has resulted in 4 visits to the congregation in the past month! Of course this topic has taken a lot of my time to prepare because there were many questions, doubts and questions. For the first time, a Bible study topic has demanded so much of me that I prepared more for the study than for a preaching. But thank God everyone can understand now. To God be the glory!
In August, we have continued studying under the theme: Family. But from the role of each member as husband, wife and children. [We are examining] unacceptable behaviors such as Machismo and Feminism.
The website has become a useful tool for everyone, [not only] for evangelism on the part of the members, [but also] for me, it relieves me from the work of not having to repeat learning what I have already studied.
1. A request worth more than gold.
2. What is our life’s purpose?
3. Jesus, the most obedient.
4. The business of God vs the business of life.
We also made a link: https://conocerlapalabra.com/video-del-matrimonio/ to save the recorded and edited Bible studies where the brethren can go back to review what they studied on Sunday about marriage.
We visited brother Pedro and his wife Herlinda Martinez, two Tuesdays of the month. They are of elderly and the brother has Alzheimer’s.
The Sacramento Avenue congregation invited me to give the Bible study on a Wednesday, the topic we studied was: “Wisdom” Proverbs 3.
My wife attended a Babyshower with the Ave Sacramento sisters for Leticia Riveros, she is about to give birth to her first child.
In the San Lorenzo congregation, the sisters made a box with the aim of collecting money to fix the chairs of the congregation. The boys will do the work, but we need to raise funds for the fabric, foam and wood.
This month of July, I could not do the two Vocational Worker courses for the brothers because I concentrated on elaborating and structuring the theme of Marriage. But this month I will resume the studies.
I invited César, Pedro Verá (Sacramento leaders) to make some videos about the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. I sent them the material and the script to study and then we can record them.
Brother César Gadea is a missionary to the Sacramento Avenue Church of Christ and a congregation in the USA (Texas) recommended by Grace City and Chris Fry (former missionary in Paraguay).
He came for the first time in March 2019, he was finally able to come to the country in February of this year. The plan of the congregations for him is that a new congregation can be planted near Avenida Sacramento, possibly Mariano Roque Alonso or Luque. Cesar and his wife were trained by a Grace City program where they studied how to do missions. And then immediately, together with another team, they tried to plant a work in Mexico City.
I have met with him to encourage him and give him information about the work of the church in the country, since he feels that the work is very difficult to fulfill and he does not have advice; César and his family are Nicaraguans, graduated from the Baxter Institute in Honduras in 2011.
As some of you may know, I grew up in a Christian home, and since my baptism I have been part of the leadership of the church. I learned from many
brethren, all through evangelistic campaigns and staying in their homes for a few weeks while I was a minor. I later studied the Bible at a school in Guatemala, and
now I am a Latin missionary in Paraguay. During this process I thank God for blessing me in many ways, for I have never lacked His help and knowledge.
I have also learned that the work of those who work serving the churches should not be underestimated. He who thinks it is easy to teach and work for a congregation really has no fear of the Lord, nor does he have any idea what he is up against.
However, despite being Latino and having a lot in common with the Paraguayans, there are some things I still don’t understand. Yet, my purpose is clear: that this congregation have their own native leaders, make their own decisions, lead righteously and persevere alone, despite discouragements.
There are things that have happened for the better. For example, brother Antonio Lopez, on his own account, decided to start leading the songs. Also, being an older brother than me and having his family (although not yet Christian), I have found more support to lead the church.
In this photo, some members are missing, such as Raúl and Patricia Larrea, who make up the active and constant members of the church in San Lorenzo since March 2021.
This month we culminated our series after almost three months of studies:
The Posture of Worship – Teaching, singing without instruments, the Lord’s Supper. Why on Sunday? The offering of 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, and what the Bible teaches about heaven and hell.
In the month of July, we will study everything concerning Marriage. One’s legal aspect before God and the government. What is not marriage? Also about Divorce and New Marriages because we have three couples who are thinking of getting married. We just don’t know when!
www.iglesiadecristo.com.py continues to improve. Since I was in isolation this month due to Covid, I had the opportunity to dedicate myself to improving what was missing on the page.
I have also explained to the church that this should not only be seen by them as something I do, but that they appreciate it as a church project and a tool for them [to use] by sharing some of the messages with strangers.
One way they have come to appreciate the work of the website was by explaining to them that annually the cost of things like design (Adobe Illustrator- Photoshop, Premier- After Effects), programming (HTML5- CSS3) and updating plus internet space (Cpanel) and taking care of social networks is around $1,800 a year. That’s what must be paid and if there was no one to do it, then we wouldn’t have it available to us. It seems sometimes we need to explain with cash amounts [to help them understand better]!
The women of the congregation want to change the lining of the chairs. And repaint them, but since our budget mostly goes to rent and supplies, we still haven’t been able to. So we will find a way to do it without affecting the offering.
The correspondence courses, recently made and sent to the brothers in Panama were:
1. Christology: The different facets of the Lord – Jesus as: Redeemer, Christ, Prophet, Priest and King.
2. Human Talent Management: How to try to work as a team valuing the effort that each one makes for the Lord. And the challenges that hinder good planning in an organization where those who attend volunteer.
Our brethren, Pedro and Herlinda Martinez, who are members of the Sacramento Avenue congregation came to visit us recently. They have not been attending since our brother has been having episodes of delusions (memory loss).
They invited a neighbor of theirs to join us in a devotional. It was a nice opportunity to study the Bible.
We have [been investigating and have] learned about the process for having legal status [in the country], so that the church can have its own bank account and title. However, after seeing the requirements that are necessary, such as, [required] registration with the Ministry of Worship and Advocacy of the Treasury, [the various] accounting measures and requirements before the Ministry against Money Laundering and illicit enrichment (called “Seprelad”), we have concluded that our congregation is not prepared deal with all the procedures at this time.
Therefore, we will speak with Sacramento Avenue to see if we can be umbrellaed under/into its legal status as an allied church.
We are very grateful to Our God for the opportunity to serve him in this month of May. This month in Paraguay, as in many other places, Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 15, which fell precisely on a Sunday.
This month, concerning our local economy, many things have happened, such as the increase in fuel that has also happened everywhere, which is reflected in the cost of food and other things. Although now a law has been enacted whereby the government makes direct purchases and eliminates intermediaries to relieve the population.
The temperature at the end of the month corresponds to autumn, however it seems that winter has come early with temperatures of 5 degrees (celsius) on some days.
On the other hand, with the start of school, the weather has caused hospitals to be overwhelmed and there is no more room. This has resulted in virtual classes being recommended again through various courses.
Our daughter, Alison, got sick but thank God she has recovered.
We recently worked to improve the signage for the locale of the congregation, and the appearance, or the presentation a little bit.
The previous sign was badly faded and had no information to offer Bible studies, nor a website address.
We are continuing our Bible study series on Sundays from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. on “The Doctrine of the Church of Christ.” This month we covered:
1. Sin – What does the Bible say?
2. Salvation – What does God say in the Bible? 3. The doctrine of Baptism.
4. The Position of Church in the Bible.
Unfortunately not all the brothers are arriving for the study, however we print all the lessons at the end to distribute to everyone. These are lessons that we all have to deal with.
Finally, sister Elia married Ricardo on May 21, so that she is right with God. Since she started coming to church, she would bring Ricardo to listen to Bible studies and sermons.
Ricardo comes from the city of Pilar, and now they both live in Capiáta. Elia was previously a widow, but now she returned to realize her life. Unfortunately, Sister Elia had bad experiences with the Church of Christ in Centro where she previously attended. She was a victim of domestic violence.
That’s why now, she asked us to teach a biblical study on marriage, concerning what the Bible says and what coexistence between the couple should be like. For the moment they have been comfortable with us and we with them. We pray that Ricardo will become a Christian.
On the page of the Church I have worked to have a section where you can listen and download the preaching. Normally after the service, at home I repeat the sermon again but to compress it into a file that weighs less than 15mb so that it can be distributed by whatsapp by the members.
Our sermons are also written and uploaded to the internet. Two sermons were recently written: “The family – as God desires it,” and “Such are the words of Jesus!” We also added two audio recordings: “He is the Messiah,” and “He is the Seed.” These can be accessed at: www.iglesiadecristo.com.py We also share these on Facebook and it is achieving good growth.
In December 2021 we had 180 followers, but now we have grown to 504 followers. 90% are Paraguayans, who listen to and read our messages.
We have also pursuing an opportunity for a space on the local radio, but it has not been granted to us yet. God willing we can get a space soon to help us evangelize. Meanwhile, the next step is to edit brochures to be distributed in our area on Sundays after the worship service.
This month we had a visitor in the congregation, the wife of our brother Antonio, she has already attended a little more. She is Catholic, but little by little she is coming more to the congregation to accompany her husband.
The Vocational Worker Course (long distance learning from Paraguay to Panama).
The brethren have been studying the videos, and the reading material. This month two courses have already been sent to them:
1. Christian finances. 2. Sociology.
The resources are also available at www.conocerlapalabra.com
However, the “pdf” option is more complete. Which takes more time for editing and design.
I am finishing my 12-month English course, as a requirement for the University degree. • Raquel, undergoes physiotherapy treatments for the rupture of her knee ligament.
Since ancient times, man has always had an interest in finding truth.
But the question is whether truth is absolute or relative. If it is absolute it means that it cannot be changed or altered. And if it is relative, it means that it depends on other factors; reason why it can be changed.
The Greek philosophers always examined what Truth is. The Jews on the other hand, knew a set of ordinances from the Old Testament, what God commanded to do was not subject to interpretation or opinion. But that was the Truth.
Yet many disobeyed what God said through his prophets and the writings of Moses. Perhaps 700 or 600 years before Christ, God commands Isaiah to proclaim the following words: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness of light, and light of darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and those who are prudent in their own eyes!” (Isaiah 5: 20-21).
It seems that our efforts remain the same even today, to find a truth that fits our ideals. This has always happened, but it was not so damaging until the years of the German philosopher: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
(1724-1804). Commonly called as “the conscience of modernity”
Why was it harmful? Because Heguel rejected in the development of his theory of idealism: the Absolute. With Heguel, the dialectical triad is born: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis. These three in philosophy are the basis of an evolutionary process of the human spirit that repeats itself in search of truth. The thesis is a proposition or an affirmation, the antithesis is the contradiction of that affirmation, while the synthesis is the combination of the previous two, but now as a new theory.
Years later, this theory of idealism served as the basis for another thinker: Ludwig Feuerbach known as the father of Humanism. He went even further than Heguel’s theories, he held that if there are no absolutes as Heguel claimed, then there is no God.
Although he was not really interested in the existence of God, but more in the process as the idea of God arises in the mind of man.
Unfortunately, today we are still dealing with the teachings of Heguel and Feuerbach, as a consequence, God is hardly taught in institutions anymore, instead we are now taught philosophy as if it were an urgent need. And there is no sin more regrettable than teaching others to sin as Jeroboam did. Furthermore, this theory provides “modern” people with a truth of pure convenience. A relative truth.
However, before these men, a governor asked Jesus: And what is the Truth? (John 18:18). Jesus had already answered that question before: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6).
Today, the Son of God is not physically with us, therefore he cannot speak to us directly as he did with his disciples. But to our comfort, he said that God’s words are true. John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your truth; Your word is truth.”
But what do we think about this? In short, I cannot speak for others, but for myself. God’s Word, His Holy Scripture that is available in many languages today is an Absolute Truth. And being so, he challenges us greatly by calling ourselves Christians.
For example: Jesus used absolute and conditioning expressions. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).
Not in vain many of the disciples said: “This word is hard; Who can hear it? (John 6:60). These are, without a doubt, hard passages for all of us as well. But they are the words of Jesus, therefore they are Truth.
The truth can be known and it is not hidden (John 8:32). But it is not enough just to know of its existence, but also to be firm in it (John 8:31).
So hard is the TRUTH and the words of Jesus!
God bless you!
Our absence in the month of March represented a small advancement for the congregation in a certain sense. During my presence in the church, the brethren take their responsibilities rather lightly, and sometimes even don’t show up, without giving me any explanations.
But our absence for vacation forced them to take responsibility for the church on their own and that has been wonderful news to the glory of God! My work, that I have focused on with the help of the Lord, is that the church be led by its own native men. This occasion has made it clear to me that they can do it.
Previously, the decisions for the church were made by Raúl Riveros (pictured, left) and myself as the responsible men of the congregation. Years ago we wanted to integrate the rest of the men, including the older ones, however they ended up rejecting that responsibility while others were not ready to support decisions due to personal problems, that they stated to us.
Now, we are seeing the advancement of two brothers in particular that we want to help in supporting us in the leadership of the church . They are Fabio Ruiz and Antonio.
Antonio is a brother with many years in the church, he is married and although his wife is not a Christian (she is Catholic), he has been coming to visit our new congregation in Reducto. He has also been more persevering than in previous years.
While Fabio (pictured, right) is a single man, he has always been quite steadfast and supportive of what is done for the church.
In April, we began Biblical studies that started with a series on the “Doctrine of the Church of Christ”
The original OV project, which consisted of training youth for leadership, has not changed, but I have had to make some changes. There were always interested parties, but when they realized that a scholarship would not be awarded for studying, they rejected it. But now I have 10 students, and some of the changes made are: that instead of just a few, now it is for all men and women regardless of age. And instead of bringing them to the website, I send them the material.
This means I have to rewrite the course by computer into a single file, even if it takes a long time. I must then prepare the same file to record on video, edit it and send it to the group where they are – all through social network. I will give them a month to complete two courses, and so on until they complete a year. In addition, everyone is aware that the material is more focused on practical development, therefore it will be their responsibility to put it into practice. A brother in charge there will supervise and take exams if desired.
Two of our students are the Cesar brothers from Panama. I am very interested to see them learn everything they can. They are very young and will be very useful to the Lord.
Through this model of correspondence, the OV project is more efficient. Plus, they can have all the files in an orderly manner at the end of the course. Their first two courses are: Communication and Prayer.
I have produced a series on Moses, Nehemiah, Paul and Elijah, focusing on the role they played as leaders entrusted by God and the challenges they had as people.
The site is now more competitive, after a lot of effort. Initially it was buried deep in the search engine, but I have corrected that and made it more attractive, plus the amount of clicks it has received has put it at the top of the browser in the first pages. I have to keep working on it to compete with all the denominational church pages.
All Sunday sermons are written and shared on this web page.
Elida, who is a sister from Centro COC, wants to return to the church, so she is getting married this month to correct her condition and be able to meet with us.
To God be the Glory!
Some of our sisters in Christ, along with the ladies of the Sacramento Avenue congregation had a “tea” at the home of one of the sisters. Among them was Sonia, the wife of the Sacramento Ave Missionary for Paraguay. They are a family from Nicaragua who came to work here in the country.
Our missionaries, Eliezer and Raquel Perez, along with their daughter, Alison, are working with the Iglesia de Cristo (Church of Christ) in San Lorenzo, Paraguay – just outside the capital city of Asuncion.