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What would you say if I told you that this summer, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, you helped birth two churches? Would you say I am crazy? Would you look at me with stern eyes asking for an accounting of my mental health? Or would you get excited about the prospect of new life and kingdom growth and ask to hear more? I hope the latter because that has happened!
Yes, I know, most of us have barely been able to work or worship normally, and almost no one has been able to travel across borders. Yet here we are! Your brothers and sisters serving in Paraguay planted not only one church but are well on their way to a second church. Although you haven’t been able to travel to help, you have been a part of the excitement nonetheless.
How did this happen? Your Gospel partners in Paraguay saw the panic in people’s eyes as the pandemic shut down factories, halted harvests, and derailed schools. However, instead of looking inward to preserve what they have, they began to reach out to areas filled with people out of work and rapidly losing hope. They didn't just go into these communities with words of comfort either. Instead, they leaped into action bringing food and supplies to carry the day.
Over the months, in a little area known as Ypanee, what began as a small endeavor, evolved into the church and community leaders, with the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, discovering resources and partnerships to feed between 850 – 900 people twice a day. The outreach has been so successful and powerful, that many neighbors brought items from their own homes to share in community pots. Lifting one another up so that no one goes hungry.
In December, church members brought bags filled with treats to help make Christmas possible for children in the community. Many adults and youth also received gifts of sweetbreads and bibles. From this simple and practical exercise in faith, service, and sacrifice, they decided to build a church. Creating a place to hold Bible studies, worship services, prayer vigils, and children's programming.
Now the church is working in a small community called Iuque, near the airport in Asuncion, to do the same thing. Joining them are members from the community of Ypanee, with the little they have, adding to the pot to rekindle hope there like it was sparked in their own community.
Where are you involved?
In April and May, you sent in funds to help Brethren Relief efforts throughout the United States and Globally. Your prayers went out, asking God to use these funds to help those in need and make a difference for the kingdom. Some of those funds went to Paraguay for the church's efforts to serve the community of Ypanee. These funds were combined with offerings and sacrificial giving from Brethren in Paraguay and their partners throughout the region. Simply put, you got to be part of the church being… well, the church. Acting out an Isaiah 58 moment. Your prayers were answered in a big way!
When you give to Brethren Relief and Brethren Global Partners, you are part of ministry endeavors that change lives daily! My friend, you are making an impact both in the immediate and the eternal! Providing food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, mercy to the orphan, and love to the unloved, you help bring hope to the hopeless and spark the embers of new life in and through the one who changes your life as well, Jesus Christ.
If you are already a supporter of Brethren Global Partners, I hope this story encourages you about the impact you have in your own church and globally. If you are not currently a supporter, I hope this story and others like it moves you to action in becoming part of our team. Through prayer, participation, and provision you have an impact that will far outlast your time here on earth and extend into eternity. You make a difference!