Saturday, February 28, 2009


February 27, 2009 (a few days past my b-day)

I had a wonderful 32nd birthday. The kids made me cute cards – you know, the ones where “love” is spelled “luv” and I was drawn with arms coming out of my head. Throughout the day several of the girls from town brought me gifts or called. Jeff did all the cooking and the kids did the cleaning. Our team mates came over in the afternoon with a chocolate cake. I told Jeff that my only birthday wish was that the day wouldn’t be so hot. The past few days have been close to 100 degrees, humid, no breeze, and just miserable. Sometimes I feel that it is cooler outside the house then inside. My birthday started out just as hot as the previous days, but then late afternoon it began to rain and cool off some.

We planned to spend Monday at our team mates, Dan and Christie’s house in Yuty (1 ½ away) and were disappointed when we woke up Monday morning to pouring rain. We knew the roads would be horribly muddy and we decided not to brave the trip. I am thankful the weather cleared up and we were able to go Wednesday instead (sometimes I just need to get out of town!). The Floyds (our San Francisco team mates) also came, plus we picked up two Peace Corps workers on the way. It was a fun day of chatting (the girls) and playing football (the boys), eating sloppy joes and having hand-cranked cake and ice cream. They even sang for my birthday and I blew out my number 32candle.

The necklace and flowers Ginny gave me for my b-day.

Our family

Hanging with friends

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


At the weekly church leaders meeting one lady, Alva, spoke up with a sense of urgency in her voice. “There are so many that have asked to study the bible and I cannot do it all! I don’t watch soaps and I don’t travel a lot, yet I still don’t have enough time to study with my neighbors, and the women across the street and the family up the road.”

Alva has the heart of an evangelist. She is involved with several studies already. Two weeks ago two youth came for the first time to a study. As the story started, they had several questions. Then they asked (why can’t it always be this easy?), “What must we do to be saved?” So, Alva explained the plan of salvation and told to story of Nicodemas and the two youth prayed to receive Christ as their personal Savior!

We have a team of 7 Paraguayan leaders that have been on the “front lines” – meeting in weekly prayer, leading bible studies, preparing for events, and leading church services. We hope that they will disciple new Christians and train them to join them as leaders. Over the last two years we have seen the little San Francisco church come alive. We have a packed house Sunday mornings, more and more people are requesting to study the bible, and there has been a steady stream of baptisms. We have seen church growth and now we need church maturity.

The baptisms Sunday were very special. All 4 of them are all from the same barrio and just a year ago they didn’t show any interest in our group. A bible study began in their barrio and they (plus several others) began attending. Soon after that they also began attending Sunday prayer services. During Paulina’s testimony she said, “Before I studying about Christ, I was angry all the time and would nag my husband until her was angry. Now Christ has brought peace into my family and He has made me happy.” Before her baptism she gave an invitation for everyone else to consider baptism too.

Group of leaders, plus our team mates

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kid Stuff


There was a fatal accident today in front of our house. Ryan’s retainer bit the dust – literally. While riding bikes, Ryan took his retainer out and put it in his pocket when he was offered a piece candy by our neighbor. 10 minutes later he reached into his pocket and…empty. We looked up and down the road and finally found it, broken, cracked in half, wire warped and way beyond repair. It has been a constant companion for Ryan since July (6 months ago). It was suppose to be with us for another 6 months. We’ll see what the dentist says the next time we get to the city. Jeff and I were both sympathetic since back in the day we too had retainers and we know how easy they are to break or lose. I am truly surprised it lasted this long.


The kids have been bikeless for about a year due to rusty chains, broken parts, warped frame (a car can be thanked for that). We debated if bikes should be Christmas gifts but we decided against it (5 bikes is a big expense). The Lord is wonderful. In January a team mate moved houses and in the process asked if we wanted three bikes their kids had outgrown. One is a little plastic horse on wheels, perfect for Micah and the other two are perfect for Ginny and Joshua. Jeff was able to consolidate three unusable bikes into one rideable one for Tyler. We bought Ryan a new bike last time we were in Asuncion.
So now all the kids have bikes again and they are enjoying riding on the dirt road in front of our house. Ginny had to relearn to ride a 2 wheeled bike and Joshua had to learn for the first time. As you can see from the pictures, Ginny is quite competent on her bike and has taken to doing tricks now. This is Ryan’s first bike with gears.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy President's Day!

February 18, 2009 (two days late)

Today we celebrated President’s Day.

The Menu:
Breakfast: Eggs (FDR’s favorite food)
Snack: Apples (Lincoln’s favorite fruit) and Peanut butter (Carter loved peanuts)
Lunch: Beef and vegetable soup (Dwight D. Eisenhower’s favorite food)
Dessert: ice cream (Washington’s favorite food)
Snack: pretzel sticks (Lincoln’s log cabin)
Dinner: Enchiladas (George Bush’s favorite food)

Lincoln hat
Washington wig
Presidential pennants

Happy President's Day!

Jeff cranking ice cream

co Amy McKissick 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We had fun preparing for Valentine’s Day. Earlier in the week the kids made valentine cards and frosted heart shaped cookies. Today (Valentine’s Day), for breakfast, we ate pink heart shaped pancakes and opened our valentine’s cards and gifts. At 10:30 we went to our team-mates house and ate a romantic lunch of duck, green beans and rice, followed by a chocolate heart shaped cake. For the kids, I made a heart shaped pizza with heart shaped pepperoni on it.

At 5:00 12 girls showed up at my house and we made and decorated cookies. Even thought the kitchen was real hot and crowded and we were without running water, the girls had a blast.

At 8:30pm we went to our friend’s house to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. What an accomplishment! At 9:00, just as everyone was arriving (it started at 8), it began to rain. I felt bad for Florentina, the host, because everything was set up outside already. We moved a few tables and chairs into their small living room/bedroom/dining room and we all crowded in too. Thank God, the rain only lasted 30 minutes and then we were able to go back outside. After we ate and they cut the cake it was 11:30 and we decided to go; the kids were asking to go to bed. Florentina said, “Why? It is early.” I guess we just cannot party like Paraguayans.

Florentina and her husband José have been so kind to us. They have invited over numerous times and we try to visit them regularly. They are very curious about our “religion” and ask a lot of questions about the gospel. We just started a 6 week evangelistic bible study at their house every Tuesday evening. We also want to begin a study at our house Friday evenings and invite our neighbors and the patients Jeff sees throughout the week. Please pray for these two studies – that people would come and hear the gospel presented and their lives would be changed!

Jeff had three emergency cases come to the house on Valentine’s Day. We were awakened by the first. She said she was 28 weeks pregnant and bleeding. Jeff did and ultrasound and an exam and it turns out that she is 36 weeks along and dilated to a 6. He asked her, “Besides the blood (mucus plug?), are you feeling ok?” He responded, “Actually, my stomach hurts every 2 minutes.” Jeff, trying not to sound frustrated, “Does it feel like the time just before you delivered your other 4 children?” She nodded some-what surprised at this epiphany. “You are in labor.” She didn’t want to deliver in San Francisco with a mid-wife so her husband was going to drive her to Caazapa (45 minutes away). I hope she made it!
Another lady came needing IV fluid and the third patient was and machete wound on an elderly man’s hand that needed sewing.

Making cookies

Making cards

Valentine's Day lunch

Saturday girl's club

25th wedding anniversary celebration

co Amy McKissick 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February Newsletter

Check out our February Newsletter (click on the newsletter to make it bigger):
Page one

Page two

Friday, February 13, 2009

Faith Comes By Hearing

Check out this link to see what we're doing. It is very exciting!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Monday, February 8, 2009

After spending 7 hours yesterday outside under the hot sun at church, our family was really looking forward to Monday. We planned to meet up with several other mission families at the Iturbe river, about 2 hours from our house. It promised to be a day of fun, relaxation and fellowship.
At 4:00am Monday morning I was awaken by a huge thunderstorm. I got up, shut the windows, and put towels by the leaky doors. Just as I got back in bed the electricity went off. It quickly got hot and humid in the room and the sheets were kicked off. The mosquitoes began to feast on any exposed skin. Without the white noise of the fan, the crickets seemed like they were chirping from under our pillows. I was afraid River Day was canceled and I could only imagine the disappointment of 17 kids as they woke up and saw the standing water. When it rains our pot-holed dirt roads turn ugly and it makes driving a real challenge. Plus, the river current gets dangerously strong and the beach disappears. The forecast of a 60% chance of rain didn’t help.
After much texting and calling, we all decided to go anyway. We donned our bathing-suits, make a picnic lunch and loaded the car with floaties and sand toys. About 15 minutes into our trip we slid off the road and got stuck. It took Jeff 40 minutes of digging and three guys pushing for us to finally be on our way again.
We arrived at the river about 10:30 and immediately the kids jumped in the water and began playing. God blessed us with a beautiful day with no rain.


Time together with team mates is sometimes few and far between, so when we do meet together we pack in a lot. In addition to it being River Day, it was also Book Report Day. Our team has 12 home schooling kids between grades 1 and 4, plus 4 in Jr High and High School. We recently decided to organize several group events during the year (remember the pictures of Jeff dissecting a pig heart and eye as several children looked on?). Today the kids brought a book report to present to their friends. Each family had practice the week before on eye contact, speaking slowly and clearly and standing tall. Most of them had no problems getting in front of the group and speaking. Even the ones that needed more coaxing (one of which was one of mine) eventually got up and read. I am so proud of all of the kids. They were very brave and did a great job. Next month the kids will present a report on their state.
We also celebrated the 4th birthday of David (son of our team mates who live in San Francisco with us). It was a cute puppy dog theme complete with puppy ears, dog tags, a bone game and a delicious dog shaped cake.
We also squeezed in a camp follow-up meeting and discussed ways to improve future SIM camps.

Jeff digging us out at the start of our trip.

Ginny at the river

Tyler and Micah building...something.

Joshua and Ryan wrestling in the water.

Rocks and snails and puppy dog....ears. Micah at a birthday party.

Ryan giving his book report for our homeschool co-op group. As you can see, it was a very formal event - bathing suits and puppy dog ears.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Today was a beautiful day!

Sunday February 8, 2009

85 Paraguayans met for an outdoor church service.
We lifted our voices in song.
We heard 3 believers share 3 different memorized Bible stories.
As a group we discussed the application of the stories.
We prayed together.
We participated in communion.
We heard 4 incredible testimonies of God’s power to change lives.
4 people were baptized.
The children were taught about Abraham’s trust in God.
We drank terere together.
We peeled mandioca, chopped vegetables and meat
We ate giso.
We fellowshiped under the big shade trees.

Church under the shade trees

We had 4 baptisms today! Praise God!

Paulina's baptism in a cattle trough

Thursday, February 5, 2009



Teen have continued coming to my house Saturday afternoons. The past two weeks I have done something a bit different. Two weeks ago I told the story of Noah using 10 pictures that I printed on 8x10 paper. After I told the story once we told the story as a group by looking at the pictures. Then I gave each girl a picture and they had to put them in order and say their part of the story. They girls had a lot of fun. We memorized Romans 3:23 and 6:23. We are living among evil just as Noah was. Noah had a choice – to follow what everyone was doing and go against God or to maintain a relationship with God. Noah chose to be righteous and walk with God and because of that choice, his family was saved. We too have a choice – to follow the ways of the world or to follow God. Are we (our lives, our families, our relationships) different enough from the world? Can God look at this evil world, disobedient country and luke-warm town and find us blameless, righteous, and walking with him?

Last week I told the story of creation (they learn evolution in school) and Adam and Eve the way as the Noah story – through pictures, retelling of the stories and saying the memory verses. We talked about God’s rules verses our desires. God had one rule for Adam and Eve, yet their desire to taste the fruit was more than their desire to obey God. Sound familiar? God has given us a way to have fellowship and with them fellowship come rules and our own free will. Often my desire to disobey is strong but I must trust that God is loving, just and in control all the time.

I then talked about one specific rule that God has for our lives – to stay sexually pure until marriage and then faithful to your husband. This is a sensitive subject. Just that day I learned that one of the girls had seen Jeff in the clinic and confessed to being sexually active. A father of two of the girls just had his 16 year old girl friend move in. I suspect several of the teens in the group have experimented in this area and have parents who have not been faithful to each other. Believe me, I put in a lot of prayer before sharing on this topic but I felt it was necessary and timely (it being February and all). The girls were silent as I shared God’s perfect plan for their lives and the need to obey him. I said I was available to listen and pray if any of them wanted to share privately.

Please pray for these girls…that their heart will be opened to the true gospel, that they will seek Him and desire to follow Him above following the desires of this world. Pray that they will be like Noah and stand out as righteous among our town. Pray that they will want to make godly decisions, that their bodies will be kept pure and that they will understand the forgiveness of the Lord.

Since my teammate has been out of town, I had the opportunity to share the two stories (Noah and Adam and Eve….minus the sex talk) with the kids during Sunday school. The pictures held their attention well I thought (holding their attention has always been difficult). It is so encouraging to hear these kids shouting out scriptures.

Sunday school class

co 2009 Amy McKissick

Monday, February 2, 2009


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Many people here are subsistence farmers; meaning they grow just enough food to keep their families fed and just enough to sell in order to buy their family basic things. Their land is usually outside of town and they live in town. Since their main income is invested in their crops (mandioca, beans, corn) they spend most of the day, every day, working on their land.

We were invited by our neighbor to have lunch with their family at their ranch. They are among the wealthier in our town because they own the only bakery. They cooked a great asado (meat, chicken and sausage over a grill) for us. My kids love the outdoors and had fun exploring and riding the horse. I am thankful for opportunities like these to better our relationships and introduce the gospel. I told the story (through pictures I had printed) of creation, Adam and Eve and Noah. I had Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23 written as well. Jeff also had an opportunity to talk about Spiritual things especially after the comment, “People of culture (she was schooled in Asuncion) church, it’s just for the poor people.”

Their ranch is located outside of San Francisco in a town called Kuarahy Rese. There is one dirt road running through this town and there are no towns beyond where the road ends. An occasional house has been built along the road but most of the houses are situated away from the road among the trees, fields and overgrown “jungle”. People say two things about Kuarahy Rese…they are very poor people and they all have a lot of kids. The government gave 500 lots to families and now there are 10,000 people living in this town! This town has no health center of its own and relays on San Francisco to meet its medical needs (Jeff is the only doctor in San Francisco). People walk 2 hours to see Jeff. They come in the rain, the heat of the day, very pregnant and very sick.

Co 2009 Amy McKissick

Rocio and her mom preparing lunch


Oven for making charcol

Ginny loves horses

Tyler and Micah riding