Saturday, March 03, 2007

Late February In Paraguay

The last week spent in Paraguay was one of much travel! We started out our trip with a day at the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls, located just past the Paraguayan/Brazilian/Argentine border (all three countries meet near these water falls, which are some of the largest in the world!)

Josiah had a blast at the falls, even though it was over 100 degrees. He enjoyed playing with the many butterflies flying around the park, but was very facinated by the waterfalls. He got upset when we wouldn't let him lean over the rail to play in the water!

While at the park, we bought some handmade goods from Guarani Mby'a Indians, of the same tribe that Tonya worked with while she served in Paraguay. Currently there is no Christian worker working among them. Please pray that God will privide someone soon to continue teaching those who were seeking to know Christ.

After spending two days in Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay (and visiting the falls), we spent two nights and a day in the Hohenau area, where Tonya used to live. Our first stop was to visit the Wanderer family, a German-Paraguayan family who worked with Tonya in her ministry. Jonathan, who is now 17, loved meeting Josiah and introduced him to Lucy, who used to be Tonya's dog! They were instant friends.

Here is the Wanderer family with the Dixons.

On Sunday we visited the Baptist Church in Hohenau, where Tonya usually attended. Due to a rain storm that lasted all morning, only 4 other families attended, one of which Tonya knew well and the others who were newer families. It was good fellowship, but also dissapointing since she didn't get to see old friends.

Sunday afternoon we travelled to Jesus, a town
Tonya worked in as well. Fidelina, a woman Tonya was friends with and her family were home and caught us up on the local news and needs of the church there. It was an encouraging visit!

The volunteers from Holland Ave. Baptist, Tonya's home church while growing up, constructed this large room while on a missions trip in 2003. The room is now fully functioning as a children's ministry room. Fidelina heads up the ministry and reported 85 children attended last week!

Here is Tonya with Josiah and Fidelina in front of her house.

Our last visit was to Ramona and Ramon, a couple who have been married and baptized since Tonya left Paraguay. Ramona was a new believer who Tonya discipled and worked with to start a church in Trinidad where they live. Ramon accepted Christ shortly after Tonya left and their family became the first regular attenders of the church plant. Unfortunately, the church closed its doors last year due to the leadership leaving (two families went to Spain to work and a missionary family moved to a different area in Paraguay). This is a sad story of many people who are believers and have no church to attend. Please pray God will provide and inspire the existing families in this town to meet on their own for worship and fellowship.
Here is a picture of the Dixons with the Starkey family. Tonya is almost half way through her pregnancy now!


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