Next generation of local pastors growing the church in rural Paraguay
by Jean and Tony Floyd
21 November 2016
It is hard to describe in any of the three languages that we use here the joy we felt in looking around the circle of people that Sunday morning. We saw people passionately telling, listening to, and commenting about Bible stories. Seventeen years ago we first came to this place when there was not one believer in the whole town of 4,000 people. That Sunday we were visiting the congregation in rural San Francisco, Paraguay that God gave us the privilege of watching grow from the ground up. That morning we were sitting in a circle of about 50 congregants as they prepared to baptize two new believers whom our mentees had led to the Lord.
We listened to the testimonies of the two and were amazed at how God had worked in their lives. For one woman, it had been three years of listening to her neighbor, our friend and a believer from the church, and what she believed about God. Over the years, she had slowly changed her understanding of God and was now willing to show friends and neighbors that she was dead to sin and had been reborn as a follower of Christ. The other person getting baptized was a teen boy. For some time he had attended his uncle's Bible study to find answers to the many questions he had about God. Over the months, his uncle and other leaders in the church had patiently answered his questions and shared the gospel with him. He was now boldly taking a step of obedience in showing others that he was a new creation in Christ.
We marveled at these testimonies. We watched as those whom we had baptized six years ago baptized the two new believers. Only 17 short years ago this town had been like so many others surrounding it with no gospel witness. Previously, if someone had wanted to learn about God in person, they would've had to travel hours by bus to meet a Christian. Today the church is maturing and growing right in San Francisco.
We praise God for answered prayer, and continue to pray for the residents in surrounding towns to come to Jesus.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. -2 Timothy 2:2