Friday, May 29, 2009


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monday evening, tired from the day’s travel and the ropes course, we arrived at Andy and Lizet’s house in Escobar. Andy (a missionary from North America) has a Guarani-Jopara language Institute in the hills of Escobar (great view and great hikes) and is our former Guarani teacher. Lizet and Andy have built an incredible house and makes groups (like TIME) feel so welcome. His wife is an amazing hostess and cook and graciously welcomed 13 extra people into her home for 3 nights.

The first full day (Tuesday, May 25th), Andy reminded the group (me included) that language learning is so much more than just an academic exercise. When Christ become flesh and dwelt among us, he spoke the language of the common people. He didn’t spread his message in the language of the politically powerful (Latin) or of the learned (Greek), but he was born to a family who spoke Aramaic. In his day, speaking Aramaic was a sign of poverty and weakness, yet it was the heart language of the people. When we chose to invest time in learning the heart language of the people we are ministering to (in our case, Guarani), we are following the example of the Christ.

So with that, we jumped into our first three hour crash course on Guarani. Probably a bit overwhelming, but Andy made it fun. After lunch, Bob and Carol Givens, our “senior” missionary couple, came to speak on expectations and cross-cultural experiences. Their love for college aged students and passion for Paraguay oozes out of every story and I think the students were blessed by their testimony.
Wednesday we began our class time with singing in Guarani and then the students began practicing helpful phrases like…my name is Alyssa…I am from the United States….Can I help you?...hold still while I give you this shot. After lunch and a nice hike, Jeff and I shared about Paraguayan culture and then Andy shared about Paraguayan history and how it affects the present.

In the evening we had a time of singing (in English) and sharing. Jeff and I and Andy and Lizet had given our testimonies over the past days, so now it was our turn to hear the student’s testimonies. There was definite a theme of God’s faithfulness. Each student gave a prayer request concerning the next few weeks living with their host family. They asked for prayers about language, letting go of self, not being so timid, and making the most of every opportunity.

studying Guarani with Andy

TIME students, Andy and his family and our family

A side note about the kids…..
I am again reminded (because sometimes I forget!) how God has blessed me with incredible kids! At times like this, our schedules are different and they don’t always get the attention from us like they are used to. I was amazed at the way they play together and entertain one another. They definitely are good at just going with the flow. They rarely complain or make a fuss about situations. Through all our driving, our 5 children have been “banished” to the only remaining space in our Suburban – the trunk space (we pull a trailer with all the luggage). We tried to make it as comfortable as possible – bean bags, blankets, pillows - but they are awfully squished. After our first three hour drive Ryan said, “At first I thought I would be fun, but before we even got out of Asuncion I realized that it was going to a looooong way riding like that.”

The positive influence of having a group here far outweighs the “negatives” (lack of family time, change in schedule, busier pace). My kids get to see Godly young men and women serving God, praising God, and having a fun time doing it.

1 comment:

laura dreyer (Cedarville) said...

this is cool! thanks for posting how the team is doing :)