How is everyone doing, now that the worst of winter (or summer if you’re from the lower hemisphere like me) is now over? I’ve LOVED the weather we have had here in Paraguay the last few weeks! Where last year I remember it being in the high 90s-100s, it’s only been in the high 80s-low 90s! So, it’s felt quite lovely lately, and isn’t quite such a bear to go along with daily life.
I’m coming to a close of my 2nd month of Enlhet language study, and have seen little bits of progress, and handfuls of new words learned. I have become more comfortable in the village, Casique Mayeto. I have gotten rained out for some of my lessons, and there have been other complications on my language helper’s part (the lady who is helping me with language). A few weeks ago she fell off her moto and broke her back! But, the very next week she was up walking around and we resumed our classes. One thing is for sure, the tribal people are tough cookies! She’s since had a large gall bladder stone flare up and is waiting for the operation to be scheduled to get it removed. She also deals with migraines. So, needless to say, the hunt has been on to find another language helper, as sometimes life just takes over and we don’t have control! I have found one, and will have my first class with her tomorrow. Her name is Griselda. I’m looking forward to getting to know her more through this platform of language learning, and praying that the Lord would continue to help me form necessary and essential relationships with more Enlhet ladies.
I also had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the mission a couple of weeks ago. They went on furlough for a long while, but the Lord blessed me to be able to go and surprise her with a “goodbye” weekend before they took off. One of her son’s made a request that we get waffles from his favorite place together, and I got to snuggle their little lady a few last times, as well as hug my dear friend. Life is full of hellos and goodbyes, and missionary life is no different. But I am so very, very blessed by her (and her family’s) love and care for me, and for including me into their family.
Last Saturday I was able to attend a conference for the 8 Enlhet Mennonite churches (as in those who are a part of the congregation are Enlhet, but they are Mennonite in doctrine). It was so great to meet other Enlhet and gather some contact information from those from some of the other villages, and I’m looking forward to making visits soon! NTM’s desire is that not only would the sound, gospel teaching we are presenting affect the village where we are teaching, but that it would go out from there to all the others of that same people group, hopefully one day involving the Enlhet themselves! So, knowing where they are and forming relationships with these other villages is an essential part in the future strategy of the Enlhet work we are doing here.
Life has been so very good and so very interesting this past month! I am learning new things about the culture of the Enlhet, I have made new friends and deepened some friendships, and the list goes on!
Some have been asking what my schedule looks like these days, so I’ll give ya a quick run-down for those who are interested:
Monday – Plan for the week(s) ahead (making up lessons and preparing materials), studying the words I have learned in the previous week (using a flashcard app on my phone)
Tuesday – Give an older man, Wili (an Enlhet man in his 80s) a nebulizer treatment in the village, then studying with Cristina until about lunch time. In the afternoon, writing down any new information I gleaned culturally or language wise from my class, studying, and preparing for the next days’ lesson. And I’m a part of a Bible Study in the Mennonite church where I attended before working with the Enlhet at night.
Wednesday – Morning class with Griselda, and in the afternoon a prayer meeting in the village and more studying and writing info down, as well as making sure I’m prepared for class the next day.
Thursday – In the morning, Wili’s treatment and a study session with Cristina. In the afternoon, helping the ladies clean the church yard, and then again, writing down info and studying.
Friday – Wili’s treatement and then visiting with different ladies from the village, and in the afternoon studying.
Saturday – catch up/laundry at home, various activities
Sunday – Wili’s treatment, and then church in Casique Mayeto, then home for a restful Sunday.
Of course, things change. This is just my “loose” schedule. There’s meetings with leadership thrown in there, as well as visits with different missionaries when they come into town to buy supplies or whatnot. I also try to stay connected with those at the Mennonite church where I attended as well, to help bridge that gap between the local churches and what God is doing among the Enlhet.
If you think of it, please be praying for me as I go about these daily tasks, that I would not loose heart. This language seems to be a hard one for me, but I’m trusting and knowing that He will help me learn it because it is what He has asked of me!! Please also be praying that I would continue to be able to build those essential relationships within the community, each time gaining more trust and mutual love between myself and those around me. Please be praying I would look to the Lord, growing in Him more each and every second so that I can in turn give everything I have to those around me.
I’m nearing the end of my Acts reading, and keep thinking back to Acts 20:24&29, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God… Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”
What a job He has left us believers with! To think of ourselves as nothing, but give all we have to the ministry that He has called us to do – to testify to the gospel of the grace of God! How overwhelming and huge a task! But, there is that reminder that He bought the church with His own blood – He did something much larger and more difficult than I am being asked to do, and look what Him laying down His life accomplished! LIFE! RECONILIATION! US BECOMING SONS! And so much more! And that power that it took Him to endure, saying yes to the Father’s will and buying the believers with His blood, is living in US to accomplish the tasks that He has given us to do!!
What a great reminder and help to not loose heart!! And again, I think of the privilege God’s given me for the ministry He’s given to me to be here in Paraguay among the Enlhet people.
So, thanks for keeping on in the ministries God has you in, and encouraging and being a part of the ministry He has me in. I’m so very thankful for the body, and that we are all in this together – testifying to the gospel of the grace of God in the different places He has us, and spurring one another on to do the same!! Thanks for loving on and spoiling me, once again, through encouraging notes, packages, praying for me and the ministry here, giving financially every month, etc.! I’m seriously so overwhelmed by the goodness of God through His Bride. <3
And I’ll end with some things to be praising God for and praying with me about!!
1. God’s goodness and faithfulness extended to me each and every moment, as well as loving me to the very end.
2. Continued relationship building with the Enlhet ladies
3. The ability to study and learn new things, and finding joy in it
1. That I would love the Lord with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love my neighbor as myself
2. For continued abilities in language and culture learning, as well as relationship building!
3. For God to provide the rest of the funds for my computer. (Which is another praise! He’s providing for a new one!! THANK YOU to those who asked how and have given towards it! I’ll provide the info on how to give below!)
4. For a different house to rent – one that would be big enough to have a proper place to study, as well as host my Enlhet friends in my home, as they have asked me to teach them various new recipes and such. It would be a wonderful ministry tool to relocate to a bigger place! (I’m currently renting a bedroom with a bathroom, and a closet-sized kitchen.) And it’s TRICKY to find rentals here! I’ve been looking for 3 months now, and nothing has come up!
To donate towards my new computer, you can send a check (with “Katie Mae Sawyer – 202511” and “computer fund” in the memo line) to:
312 W First St.
Sanford, FL 32771-1231
You can go to the “Donate” tab at the top of the homepage of katiemaesawyer.com and it will lead you to the Ethnos360 page where you can give.