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Land is needed in Paraguay and Panama. The church plant in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, rents a facility that does not have enough room for the current congregation let alone for growth. There are 35-40 consistent attendees while several more participate in different weekly events, and even more visit during the month. They need to purchase land or a building which they can develop in order to grow their church through evangelism and train new leaders to help with the church planting efforts locally and throughout the country. Below is a video made by our missionaries in Paraguay in which they share their need for another place for their people to meet.

To get a jump start on the ministry in Panama, GMI is encouraging the missionary team to purchase land where they can plant a church, conduct outreach, and train Panamanians for ministry. Economic conditions are now favorable to buy property in a strategic and developing area just north of the city of David in the western part of the country. Visit the project page at gracem.org to help with these projects.

 

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A Bible study in Caaguazú

GMI missionary Alex Gulart writes this: “A few months ago, we started taking trips to Caaguazú, a small city of 130,000 people, around 90 miles away from Ciudad del Este, when a friend of a sister from our church mentioned two things to her: 1) the difficulty of finding a church with sound doctrine, and 2) her desire to open her house to study the Word of God. These 2 comments made noise in our hearts and with prayer we started going there. The mother of Elvira (our contact there) had a stroke so we had to stop going for a few weeks while she focused on taking care of her mom. During that time Etienne was born and I had to go to Uruguay for my father´s health. Two weeks ago we started going again. We have had 2 Bible studies so far with 8-10 people attending. There are a lot of possibilities of ministry there (we can visit the prison, the hospital, the nationals, etc.), and we are making good contacts. We are so excited to see how God is blessing little by little our work there. Please pray for wisdom and God´s guidance so we can take the right steps.

“Encarnación is the third main city of Paraguay with almost 210,000 people. It is located around 185 miles from Ciudad del Este. This beautiful city was always in my heart since we came to Paraguay. Encarnación is a mix of cultures, surrounded by different colonies (Germans, Ukrainians, Japanese, Brazilians, etc.), and also a large, growing Muslim population (they have 2 mosques already). We know that there are a lot of people who are searching for a Bible church but they cannot find one – this is sad but true. But God is at work! He provided a young follower of Christ named Natanael (pictured right) from Posadas (pictured left), the neighbor city on the Argentinian side (just crossing a bridge to get there). He moved from Posadas, Argentina, to Encarnación, Paraguay, just following a desire to reach the foreigners in this city. He studies at the University of Posadas, so the possibilities in that city are real and we may start a Bible study inside of the University. Please pray for open doors, because if God opens a door for us, we want to enter and give Him the Glory that He deserves. Please pray that God give us passion for His name…if we are passionate for His Holy name, we will be passionate for making His name known among the nations, reaching the souls that don’t know him yet. Please pray for the hearts of the people we talk to… that they might come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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This update comes from Dan and Mary Sue Reed, GMI missionaries serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

A few months ago we mentioned our desire to work alongside a team of Bolivian leaders at a church plant called Carlos Laborde. Our whole family had really enjoyed our experience several years back working with the Km 14 church plant which later became the Casa de Misericordia Church. We talked with Pepe Yucra (our Bolivian mission president) and Pastor Santos Ortega (our Bolivian mission vice-president) to discuss this new possibility. We also shared with different leaders our desire to work with this church plant and we finally received official approval by the leadership committee. We believe we can work well together as a team with Bolivian leaders. This ministry falls right in line with our purpose in being here as GMI (Grace Ministries International) missionaries. We want to encourage and empower our leaders to do the work of the ministries that God has given them. It has really been a joy to be part of this ministry! On our first Sunday afternoon there, we had to park our 4-wheel drive Mitsubishi half a block away and walk in because of all of the water and mud in the road. Since then some work has been done but the church plant is still on a very lumpy, dirt road. For now it is an afternoon kids club similar to AWANA. We have slowly been learning the kids names and building relationships with them. We are finding out that not only are these kids coming from unchurched families, but some of them come from very rough backgrounds. I’m sure you can imagine that some of these kids can be challenging from time to time. It is interesting that they choose to come back week after week. We hope it is because they feel accepted and loved by the leaders. Our prayer is that they will see God’s love shining through us and that it will ultimately draw them one step closer to accepting the Lord as their personal savior. Another aspect that Dan and I have enjoyed at the church plant is the time that we have been able to spend with the family that takes care of the property. Often in Bolivia people arrive late to events, it is considered cultural. That has often been the case with our kids club at the church plant. Dan and I have taken these opportunities to sit and visit with Adolfo and his wife, Jimena, and their three kids as we wait for everyone to arrive. It has given us the chance to build a relationship with them. We pray that the Lord would use us in bringing them closer to accepting the Lord.

Last Sunday we had the privilege of attending one of our mission churches, Dios es Amor (God is Love) Church. Near the end of the service they had a time of recognizing and honoring all of their leaders who taught in some capacity within the church. They had all of the teachers come up to the front and then Pastor Herland asked Dan to share a few words with them and to pray for them. As Dan shared he emphasized that their work as teachers, sharing spiritual truths from the Bible has ETERNAL VALUE! Their teaching will help children and adults to make choices or decisions that will change their lives. It’s not easy but as they say here, “Es vale la pena!” It’s worth it! Then he prayed for all of the teachers. At the end of the service the pastor asked Dan once again to share some words of encouragement with the congregation. It was a good morning to worship the Lord together with our Bolivian brothers and sisters in Christ. After the service Pastor Herland and his wife, Veronica, invited us to be part of a special lunch that was being provided in honor of the teachers. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and good food around a table in one of the classrooms at the church. These people are precious and they love the Lord with all their heart. We left with smiles on our faces!

Dan has recently had several opportunities to preach on Sunday mornings in our different mission churches here in Santa Cruz. Tomorrow, Mary Sue will be heading to Vida Abundante (Abundant Life) Church along with the women’s committee to encourage the women in the church. They will be presenting a program for the women during Sunday School. We have several church anniversaries coming up that we will be attending. Next week we will be meeting with Yermi Castro, a lady who helps us with our paperwork. We will be finding out from her exactly what will be needed to renew our Bolivian ID cards and drivers licenses.

Thank you for your interest in our ministry in Bolivia. We appreciate your prayers and financial support. Thank you for partnering with us so we can work alongside our Bolivian leaders to encourage and train them, so they can move forward in their ministries. If you would like to donate online to our ministry through Grace Ministries International, please click here.

Please pray:
1. for patience and genuine love as we work with the kids at Carlos Laborde.
2. that our renewal process for our ID cards and drivers licenses will go smoothly.
3. for our Bolivian pastors and their families.
4. that we would have an opportunity to get to know the neighborhood and families around Carlos Laborde.
5. for our health and safety.

Praise:
1. for the growth in the lives of the young leaders at Casa de Misericordia (House of Mercy) Church.
2. for the example of our fathers in family life and ministry. (missions and pastorate)
3. for our faithful prayer warriors who cover us with prayer.
4. for the Church, the Body of Christ, here in Bolivia and around the world.

Serving through Christ,
Dan & Mary Sue Reed

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Jerry and Sandi Bomers recently wrote this encouraging update praising the Lord for the growth of the church in Paraguay:

We have had some excellent moments in ministry over the past month as we just finished our first segment of the men’s Bible study and a women’s Bible study started up two weeks ago in our home. We can already see how God has been using these studies to develop relationships on a more personal level. We’ve had close to 100 people coming to the church at least one time per month now. We would love to see the consistency increase as these numbers are right around 35 adults, but this is a huge praise. In the last month we’ve had three new couples consistently attending. We will celebrate our one-year anniversary as a church in just two weeks.

Pray for God to open doors for a piece of property or larger building to rent as we move into the next year of ministry. We are finding that property and rental space are quite expensive within the city of Ciudad del Este.

Please pray for safety in travel on our two-hour drive to and from the city of Caaguazú. We will be changing the time of the Bible study to accommodate the work schedules of some of the Bible study members there. Please pray for the hearts of the people there to be open to the gospel and also to their call as a part of the Body of Christ.

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