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

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