Hello Beloved Family and Friends!
Holy cow, where did the time go? I cannot believe the last time I updated you all was in March! Please forgive me?? Life here is a little busy and crazy sometimes, and it’s getting easier and easier for time to slip through my fingers.
I’ll fill you in about the weather before I move on, though. It’s the talk of the town these days. Haha! It’s been high 60s/low to mid 70s
for a couple of weeks now that we are heading into/in winter. I’m thankful for the cooler temps, though I just want to have a nice big bonfire with s’mores. 🙂 I was telling someone back home about how cold I was, and they asked if I was just being a baby or if it was in fact that cold. Let’s just say my Michigan blood may have already adjusted a bit to this Paraguayan weather because I answered and said that it is indeed really cold and it was in the 70s that day!
I’m keeping busy these days! At the end of March, I started having a Spanish grammar class, making it easier for Spanish to “make sense” to me, so I’m super thankful for that. I’ve also been helping out in my friend’s office (it is a social media/marketing/graphic design company) once a week. It’s a great opportunity to
learn a bit about the young working/business culture, as well as build some relationships with people. Other than that, life has been full with studying, spending time with more and more people, and a few celebrations along the way.
I’m praising the Lord for opening the doors for me to build more and more relationships here. It has been a bit easier as of late, since I am finally able to communicate a bit more then, “Hello!” or “Could I please use your bathroom?” 🙂 God has been so faithful to give me people to not only practice my Spanish with, but people who are my friends. I’m looking forward to being able to communicate and
deepen my relationships with them more and more as I learn more and more Spanish!
Yesterday I had heard back from the lawyer that my paperwork was FINALLY all ready to take into the Immigration office to submit it for my “temporary visa”, which is a year long visa. After that, I will be able to apply for my more permanent visa. Most people get their “temporary visa” within the first couple of months of being in the country, but unfortunately I had had some paperwork hiccups, so was unable to do so. It was a cultural experience waiting in the Immigration office for the entire morning and into the afternoon!! But when I was done, I was able to spend a bit of time downtown and figure out where to catch the buses there. I’m excited that now I’ll be able to travel down there a bit more! So with getting my visa and being able to explore a bit, it made the waiting in the Immigration office for so long totally worth it! 🙂
I feel like I say this in every update, but I’m finding it to be more and more true the
longer I am here in Paraguay. God is so faithful!! I have seen Him provide in so many ways, some big and some small. He has been good to remind me that everything is coming from Him, and there is no need to stress and worry my life away. I may have said this before, but it comes to mind so often. I had a teacher while I was in training with NTM in Canada, and he would always say, “God’s got a perfect record of faithfulness and He’s not going to ruin it on you!“. And how true that is. He may not always provide me with the things that I think I need, or in the ways I think He should, but in the end He always does, and His ways are always better than the ways I could think up.
In May, I was met with a bit of hardship. I was discouraged with my language/culture learning, I was quite homesick, I was even more discouraged because I didn’t “have it all together” yet. It seemed like life just wasn’t going as good as I was hoping it would have. It took a few weeks to get out of that “slump”, but, the Lord used that time to draw me to Himself, and once again show me my need for Him. Praise the Lord, His interaction with us doesn’t just start and end with the death of Christ on the cross! He continues to walk alongside of us, teaching us more and more about Himself and what a life lived walking with Him can really look like. And more and more that life (no matter where you’re at, how old you are, what you do, etc.) is all about bringing Him glory!
One area that is always a struggle for me is in the area of my weaknesses. And, trust me, there are a lot of them!! So often I feel so
inadequate for the situations I find myself in. I still can’t speak Spanish well, I still need lots of help in finding my way around the city, I need lots of help in my language learning sessions. . . and the list could go on and on and on. But, these verses have come to my mind a lot lately from 2 Corinthians:
9 But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What a good reminder that my life isn’t about me and that it’s about Christ. It’s not about me being unable to do some menial tasks or say simple things. My life is, and always will be, about Christ getting the glory. I desire to live my life “for the sake of Christ” in everything I do. And, it doesn’t end there!
I’m continually reminded of the great privilege that the Lord has given me to live here in Paraguay (for over 8 1/2 months now) and learn the language/culture, make awesome friendships, and experience all these new things. I’m so thankful that this is my new home. 🙂 But, He’s got me here for a purpose: there are still people groups living here in Paraguay that don’t know what it’s like to (and are unable to!) live their lives “for the sake of Christ”. Just when I’ll have a “handle” on Spanish and the culture here, I’ll be moving on to another situation where, once again, I’ll be totally helpless and weak. But praise the Lord, it’s not going to be in vain! Praise the Lord, He’s continuing to build His church! And, I’m praising the Lord that I am able to be a part of the work He’s doing here.
THANK YOU for continuing to pray for, encourage, and support me. You all are another blessing that the Lord has given to me, and I praise Him often for you! I am thankful to be able to partner and fellowship with you guys, even though we are thousands of miles apart! What a great and awesome God we serve. 🙂