Wow! What a busy and exciting month it has been for me! God’s grace has been evident over and over, which I am so thankful for.
On March 12th, I was able to celebrate with my friends here my 6th month anniversary since coming to Paraguay! 4 months ago, I would have been celebrating quietly by myself, but this was much better. My friends and I went out to one of my favorite sandwich places, Smuchi, and had a time to hang out together, and my lovely friend and Paraguayan sister prayed for me and for the time that I will continue to have here. I was truly blessed by the time, and am thankful for these people that I can call my friends.
I learned how to pay my water and electric bills this month, as well. I moved into my apartment in November, but hadn’t recieved any bills to pay, so I decided that it was time to investigate. I caught them JUST in time, and in fact had to pay a “reconnection” fee for my water – they were coming that same day or the next day to shut it off! I’m thankful for neighbors who are willing to help and for friends who are willing to drive me where I needed to go to pay them. And obviously I’m thankful the Lord was gracious with me and had me catch it just in the nick of time. 🙂
Today I was my first language evaluation! Since I have lived here for 6 months now, I am eager to find out where I am at and where I can go from here. My evaluation went fine, and in fact was encouraged by some things that Alba (the Paraguayan woman who does the
evaluations) had to say. Would you please pray with me that I would continue to plug along, studying hard and that I might have continued wisdom on what and how to study?
Some people have been asking me what I do all day long. 🙂 Well, my time is spent doing lots of studying (both on my computer by myself and with 3 awesome ladies that help me 1 or 2 hours a week each), planning out the things that I will be learning or making goals and plans for my future learning, working (2 mornings a week) in a friend’s office (which gives me lots of exposure to language and culture), going to church on Saturday nights and Sundays, and just generally spending lots of time with people, both to experience Paraguayan life and practice my Spanish skills. I have a GREAT host family, so I do spend quite a bit of time with them as well.
One of the most exciting things this month is that God is continuing to settle my heart and my life here. The first few handful of months here were quite trying, but God was faithful to bring me through each and every hardship. He continues to show His faithful hands guiding and leading me. I am excited that I am not only living here by faith that this is what God has for me, but He is continuing to give me more and more of a love for the country of Paraguay and for the people here.
Having said that, it is still a constant battle within me to trust the work and hands of the Living God or focus on my circumstances which will lead me to the pits of despair. Trying to live in a country where I can’t communicate, don’t know how to get or pay my bills, and just don’t know how things work in general can be quite discouraging when those things are my focus. I’m so thankful for God’s Word and His faithful people who have taught me to focus and rely on Truth. When I am thinking and believing on Truth, my attitudes will align with those Truths, and my actions will reflect that.
The Truth is, God has given me a GREAT and AWESOME opportunity to live here in Paraguay to reflect His Son to those around me, which will eventually be those lost and hopeless without access to the Good News in the remote parts here. The Truth is that He is good and He is working all things out for HIS GLORY. And the Truth is that no matter how hard things get He is always there, graciously pouring out His love and care for not only me, but for the whole world. And the craziest Truth of all? He invites me, a broken and sinful woman, to work through and for Him.
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me . . . it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 1 Cor 15:10
I am so encouraged by all of you, and praise the Lord over and over again that I am not here alone. There is a multitude of people standing with me! God continually shows His grace to me through all of your prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts as well. THANK YOU for choosing to walk in Truth in those things! 🙂