Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October News Letter

This must be how someone feels who goes to Africa and sees little children dying of hunger. For us, it is not hunger of food, but hunger for the Word of God. there are so many Local assemblies with no pastor and no one to give the Word. Many places simply read the “El Glorioso Evangelio” magazine. Someone referred to it as "our Bible School at home".

"...how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" Romans 10:14-15

I will start with a tragic story to illustrate my point. On Tuesday (10/29), we headed out from Ciudad Del Este to spend several days ministering out in the rural area around Juan E. O'Leary. On our way we stopped by a little church just off the highway at Km 31. The brother that is in charge there does not consider himself a pastor and does not give the Word. They simply meet with other believers; sing some songs and read a portion of scripture.

Friday of that same week, three days after our visit and just before our last service in the area, Bro. Esteban got a phone call from this same brother, that his daughter, age 13, had just passed away under questionable circumstances. After service and on our way back to Ciudad Del Este we stopped by to be with the family for a little while. 

We held a short service. We prayed, I gave a short sermon and we sang a couple of songs. If we had not stopped by, there would have been no service for this little girl. The many unbelievers there would not have heard the gospel. We drove back again Saturday afternoon to say a few words before they went to the cemetery.

"But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “ The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”"  Matthew 9:36-38

Back to the beginning of our trip. We left our house on Friday the 25th for special meetings with Bro. Arce in Franco. We had services Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday morning, followed by a barbecue at Bro. Flores's house. Sunday evening I spoke at Bro. Braulio's. We spent the nights at Braulio & Lilia's (Loida's parents) while in CDE.

Monday we went over to Iguazu, Argentina. We crossed at Tres Fronteras on a ferry. We did some shopping while we were there, but mostly we went to get our passports stamped as we have been in Paraguay 90 days. 

Tuesday we headed out for O'Leary and then to Mbaracao, 17 km in from the highway on dirt, gravel and cobble stone roads. We slept at Esteban's sister's house the three nights we spent in the area. 

Tuesday evening we had a service in a place called Candelaria. A small congregation about 4 Km off the main highway. 

Wednesday we held a service in a place called Tarovy. The lady that was pastoring there (Erma Garay) passed away five years ago. Her husband continues holding services, but he is not prepared to give the Word, so they mostly gather and read the Bible and sing.

Thursday we visited Malvinas, where Bro. Esteban was pastoring before he moved to Km 10 CDE. There is still a good group of people there and obviously desirous of the Word of  God. 

Friday afternoon we left our humble hotel and headed out about 30 km to a place called Jose D. Ocampos (Pastoreomi). About 3 km from the blacktop. This is a meeting that was established some 60 years ago, but the actual church building was moved to a new location just a few years ago.

Friday night we headed back to CDE to spend the night at Loida's parents and had special meetings Saturday night and Sunday morning in Km 10 where Bro. Esteban is pastoring. All these meeting are very humble meetings; that is, the brethren are poor and the church buildings are not finished or made of planks, one lightbulb, no fans, etc.

Speaking of church buildings, the construction in Villarrica is going well. There is a full time bricklayer now and the walls are about three feet high half way around.

It was so good to be home! So much involved in traveling and staying in another peoples homes. Living out in the country also presents it's own challenges, but also makes us grateful for what we have. Even here in Villarrica, we have so much more, in regards to comforts, than people who live out in the country.

The Lord willing we are heading out to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday (11/06) for special services there.

We cannot express our deep gratitude enough for all that the Lord is providing for us and for the privilege of serving Him in the way and place that He has directed for our lives! We are grateful for all of you who are a part of this ministry through your prayers and faithful support.

All our love in Christ Jesus,

Randy & Loida Crook

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