by Joanne Martens
PARAGUAY Often when we send in prayer requests we concentrate on the negative or all the things we’d like God to change in people or certain situations, and then rarely share the results of answered prayer. However, I’d like to make a list of positive things that we see happening here in our church plant.
- Two men made a decision to follow the Lord in my last Bible study with the women. They have both agreed to join the women in a discipleship study.
- A couple who went through the marriage course finally decided to go through with their marriage. After the wedding they plan to be baptized.
- Two couples started the SEAN TEE course and have experienced God’s work in their lives. We have seen changes in the attitudes of one couple who now arrives early for Sunday services and attends other services more regularly. The other couple is experiencing new trials in their work and family that seem to point to the Lord doing a refining work in their lives.
- We are seeing a rising up of the youth in our church. One young man got baptized not long ago and others are showing more interest in the things of the Lord after having the opportunity for the first time in their lives to attend youth camp.
- The over-all attendance in our church services seems to be up somewhat, although it varies depending on the weather, holidays, work schedules, and health issues.
- We are “expanding” our church facilities by adding a roofed area with a cement floor in the back of our church lot. This will help give shade and protection from rain when we divide for Sunday School as well as when we have special activities like weddings, VBS, and Easter and Christmas programs.
- We are seeing a gradual improvement in the participation of our members in the activities of the church (teaching Sunday School, involvement in VBS, sharing and praying, regular attendance in weekly services).
- Personally, my health issues have regulated themselves after my post-op depression and other minor physical complications.
- In recent weeks we have had the opportunity to share the gospel with various new contacts. The Lord is gradually bringing more people to us to get to know and draw to Himself.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily business of life and one crisis after another that we forget to look at the big picture and see how God has been working slowly but surely to grow his kingdom before our very eyes. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches” (Matt. 13:32-32).
As we continue to sow the seed of God’s Word, we trust that God is causing it to fall on fertile ground, bear fruit and grow so that the whole community of Guavira Poty will not only see the power of God in the lives of those who accept and follow him, but also experience an overflow of that power and goodness into their own homes, and give glory to God.
Joanne Martens (Kola) serves in Guavira Poty, a neighbourhood in Minga Gauzú, a city in Paraguay located near its border with Brazil.