Saturday, November 23, 2013


November 10, 2013
Last Sunday we had an encuentro (a gathering) in San Francisco (where we use to live and where we still attend church).  Encuentro Sundays, which happen every few months, look a bit different than a regular Sunday service.  Since there tends to be more non-believers in attendance, the service is more evangelistic.  The San Francisco believers tell memorized Bible stories and everyone has a chance to discuss them.  Discussions carry into terere time as we wait for lunch to be ready.  The women always prepare huge amounts of stew and mandioca, which they’ve cooked over a fire.  After lunch we take communion.  We sing A LOT, taking requests from the crowd. 

Last week’s encuentro was extra special for us because it was the first time people from our town, Jataity, went (we’ve been inviting them to church for over a year).  They had a great time and when the service was over and we began discussing next week’s service, our friends invited everyone to come to Jataity!

 The women preparing lunch at the San Francisco encuentro


Jeff and the kids put in a lot of hours getting our yard and surround area ready to host Sunday’s church service. They mowed (it was Tyler’s first time), hacked away at weeds, raked, chopped fire wood, picked up trash, and put up tarps for shade. The place looked fabulous when they finished!

Sunday we welcomed over 80 people to our house.  A bus drove the San Francisco believers along with all the plates, pots, and food for lunch to our town.  Several people from our town as well as neighboring towns attended.  It was special to not only see the new Jataity believers fellowshipping with the more mature believers of San Francisco, but to know that they had planned with time together.  Christian fellowship does not happen naturally here but is vitally important when you, as a Christian are in the minority, standing alone for your faith. 

 We always sing tons.  Jeff, Ryan and Rene (from our town) did a great job.  Have I mentioned before that I love it when Ryan gets to help lead worship?   

a crowded porch and crowed overflow tents

 Lunch preparations.  One thing that Paraguayan women do really well is cooking for a crowd of people without even blinking an eye at the idea

At the encuentro two recent believers from our town volunteered to tell from memory 2 of the 6 Bible stories presented that day.  God has given them (a married couple) great memories and boldness.

Sweet fellowship with believers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

JOSIAH at 7 months

10-20-13: the kids were so excited to hear his first “word” -  bababababab.  Since then he has added fafafa and dadada

Josiah loves his toys and plays so contentedly with them; like they are brand new every day. 

He inches around on back which is funny to watch.  He’s pretty fast as it too. It’s amazing how much he can get into by inching and rolling around even with all of us around to keep an eye on him!

He can sticks lips out his lips and give the wettest, longest, loudest and funniest raspberries you’ve ever heard!

When he’s frustrated (usually because he wants something he can’t reach or can’t have), Josiah will scrunch up his face and let out a deep, long grunt

Josiah is still not a good nighttime sleeper – UG!

He is sitting up unassisted well and has changed from lying down in the bath tub (a literal tub) to sitting up.  Oh, how he loves to splash!

He and his brothers can already get into mischief getting all the diapers out!


Monday, November 18, 2013


November 3, 2013

Friday our family was invited to share in a special lunch for my friend Alba’s 50th birthday.  She wanted me to come over earlier in the morning to help prepare the sopa paraguaya, a traditional dish.  I love being invited to share in the daily events of my Paraguayan friends.   

Sarah and I helping to make sopa Paraguaya

Homemade Paraguayan cheese made by Acela


Sopa Paraguaya ready to be put in the tata kua (fire hole)


 Higinio manning the grill, drinking terere, and playing with Josiah

A picture with the birthday girl (in purple)

Friday, November 15, 2013


Since moving to Paraguay 8 years ago, we have had a sloooooow internet connection.  Each year, as the world becomes more internet savvy, we find more reasons to need a good internet connection – filling out recommendations (which come with a deadline), updating computers, sending out newsletters, homeschooling resources, continual education, keeping up with supporters and interacting with potential interns – to name a few. 


We’ve looked into boosting our signal but the only option (which wasn’t really an option) was putting a 250 foot tower in our yard.  The tower our service taps into just wasn’t capable of a higher speed.


However, as of last weekend, that tower got an upgrade and we are so excited to finally have a higher speed service.  You might not be impressed if you came to visit (it isn’t “high speed”, only a “higher speed and it isn’t WiFi), but it’s great for us.     


The kids enjoyed skyping with their grandma and grandpa for the first time at home.  We took them on a tour of our house. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


October 10, 2013


The 6th Timothy Training has had to be cancelled 6 times due to rainy weather.  So when the forecast finally predicted sunny skies, the men jumped on the chance to hold the next story telling/story learning training.  The 25 men were super encouraged learning the 6 story Gideon set (all stories and discussions were led by the San Francisco believers).  For many it was their first time to hear of this mighty, godly warrior. Please pray for these men as they go back to their villages and share these stories with their family and disciples – the idea is for the next generation to be mentored and trained as well.

Jeff was encouraged that Cesar (see story) from our town made it a priority to go.  He only recently received Christ but comes to Bible study twice a week and hangs on every word.  He loved the time of story learning, basketball and fellowship at Timothy Training.  When he arrived home, he immediately taught his wife all 6 stories. 

This training was the first time for Jeff to introduce the Bible metanarrative –the story of God’s salvation from Genesis to Revelation – all drawn with stick figure symbols (you can see the 5 meter long butcher paper spanning the wall in several pictures below).   As an incentive to learn this 10 minute narration, Jeff offered a new Guarani Bible to the two men who could retell the story with the fewest errors.  Although several men were seen throughout the conference studying the story, Jeff could tell that Cesar had his eye on the prize.  When Saturday morning came, he told the entire story with the fewest mistakes, and earned his very own Bible- his only one! Pray for Cesar as he continues to store God’s word in his heart and as he learns how to lead a Bible study in our absence.


Small groups meeting in and around the completed Timothy Training pavilion during the October training session. 

Side view of the Timothy Training pavilion.  The wooden building in the background is the new bathroom and shower facility.

Tetito, one of the local church deacons, helping Emiliano (in green shirt) learn one of the stories.

Jeff McKissick teaching the ten minute panoramic story of salvation from Genesis to Revelation in Guarani to the training participants.  Hung on the wall is the 5 meter long story board.

Breaking into small groups to learn the story.  Some prefer literary methods while some prefer the visual/oral method.

The oral/visual method using the storyboard approach.

Working alone or working in groups to learn the stories (while sipping terere, a cold tea of yerba mate leaves)
It was the first Timothy Training held in the new pavilion.  When they first began discussing a facility to host the training sessions, Ka’aguy Oke (the San Francisco church) lacked finances.  What they did have, however; was manpower, vision, and faith.  Although they had to hire an architect and a few professionals (thanks to SIM’s help in promoting Timothy Training), the men (and women) worked diligently putting their time, abilities and muscles into the building’s completion.  For 3 months they worked around their farming schedules, turned down paying jobs and had family members cover for them, so that they could be at the building site working. 700 hours of volunteer labor put in by the church members!  There is now a pavilion for the men to meet under and sleep under – no more sleeping on the grass.  There are 4 bathrooms and 3 showers – no more hose for a shower with trash sack walls or a hole-in-the-ground bathroom.  Pray that the facility will be a blessing to the church.

Jeff working with local church leaders to fill in the future floor for the Timothy Training pavilion in San Francisco

Friday, November 8, 2013


Playing outside in cammo with slingshots or handmade swords or bow and arrows – it doesn’t get any better than that for my boys.  They’d play together all day if it wasn’t for school. Our neighbor kid come over each day to join in whatever adventure is taking place at that moment.

Micah says, “Tyler speaks Spanish a lot to Willian (our next door neighbor and I don’t understand, so I just speak to him in English and he doesn’t understand.”

Monday, November 4, 2013


I’ve been doing some sewing lately.  Here are 2 skirts and a dress I made for Julia recently.