Come Along on a Typical Sunday – Paraguay

by Chris Kroeker

What does a typical Sunday look like for us? On the mission field, we don’t deal with a lot of typical or sameness in ministry; flexibility and change can be expected.

Let us take you along on a Sunday like this last one. On this particular day, we had arranged to counsel a church couple at our Minga Guazú church for 9 a.m. We leave home a bit too late, around 8 a.m., having our máte and prayer time on the road. Fifteen minutes later, we pick up Mirta, a 10-year-old who wants to go along to visit her grandma in Minga Guazú for the day.

After dropping Mirta off, we head to church. After some small talk, we start dealing with the couple’s bitterness that comes out of emotional pain and the pressure they put on each other. It’s a challenge to keep their playing boy out of earshot, and we aren’t always successful. The husband confesses his sin that caused her to become bitter against him and asks for her forgiveness. After leading the wife in prayer to Jesus’ room of grace and to forgive some of the people who had hurt her, they both feel like they can breathe again. They will both need more counselling, but by now it is lunch time.

Rosey delivers the lunch we bought as a fundraiser for their neighbour. As the weather heats up, we share the meal together with the family under the avocado shade at church.

After a restful siesta in our room, we have terere with Belen, helping her work through her memories of her dominant mom. She needs a bit more time to deal with and pray things through by herself, so we have time to go make a visit in the church neighborhood in the meantime.

Melanio and Gladys are both home, so we visit them for an hour, talking about his physical health issues which have kept him from working, as well as her emotional/spiritual health. We pray for them.

When we get back to our room, Belen is ready to follow in prayer to forgive her mom. It’s now almost 6 p.m., time for her to go to church with Travis and others for music practice. Revita and I quickly eat supper, shower to get ready, and pack up the car.

The partly finished roof and walls of our church help to keep it from getting as hot but do nothing to keep out the noise of the cicadas and the music in the neighborhood. We try not to be too disappointed that the families we visited today didn’t show up for the service, nor too distracted by some of the toddlers running around.

After a lot of singing and sharing, the small kids and pre-adolescents go with their teachers, Revita and Eliza. The rest of us make a circle for the lesson Travis presents and leads, with participation from the group. The lesson is on the return of Christ, and the importance of being prepared. Travis gives us notes and questions to take home in order to study other passages on this topic.

After cleaning everything up and visiting with those who stay longer, Care-giving,we say good-byes and head over to Mirta’s grandma. A used portable wash machine is put in the trunk to take along for Mirta’s mom. We drop off our cargo at Fransisco and Mirian’s, visit with them a little, then continue our trip. By the time we’re home, it’s well past 10 p.m. We catch up with Stefan, our son living with us, then get ready for bed. It’s been a good Sunday, with some positive results from our visits. God is good!

Chris and Revita Kroeker (Rosenort EMC) have served with EMC Missions in East Paraguay since 1991.

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