Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 2015 Newsletter

Dear Saints,

Another year has come and gone and our hearts yearn all the more for "that glad day". We are reminded of His coming as an innocent babe born in Bethlehem, Judea, but our desire is for the first trumpet to sound; "come up here" and those glad words; "well done, good and faithful servant". 

¨For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:37. But "till He come," may we be occupied doing His will. Not just occupied, but occupied with His will.

The last few days have been difficult as I have been battling with the dengue virus. Before that we hit a horse on our way home from meeting in Cnel. Oviedo on Saturday the 5th and on Sunday a stone hit the transmission casing. I'm not complaining or looking for pity, but simply stating facts to point to what we might learn. Up to this point, our ministry has been very protected by the Lord and very blessed in many ways. There are many lessons to learn through our trials and the main lesson is that we learn to ask the Lord what it is that He wants to teach us, instead of complaining and finding fault and trying to get out of the situation. So the main lesson is: that there is a lesson in every circumstance that our loving Heavenly Father allows in our lives. One of the first things that came to my mind is, to not take for granted the prayers of the saints, but also to not forget to stop and pray every time we leave town. There are many other things that the Lord has dealt with my heart about and I will simply say that I am grateful for His patience and grace and mercy and kindness. 

I actually started on this several weeks ago as a November newsletter and got distracted, so now it is our December newsletter. So merry Christmas to one and all!  We did not make the trip to Formosa that was scheduled for the weekend of December 17th through the 20th on account of my dengue, but sister Graciela did make the trip and sister Elva Romero from Resistencia is also there. 

We had a good weekend in CDE at brother Esteban Paniagua's meeting at Km10, Acaray the weekend of November 7th and 8th. It rained Sunday, but we still had a good turn out. There is a very good spirit in the meeting and many hungry hearts. This meeting has grown a lot since it started in 2012. Not only has it grown in size, but more importantly, it has grown spiritually. 

Satan has been fighting us in our health, especially Loida with her broken foot and then a sinus infection right before our trip to Clypoles. We are grateful for the healing touch from the Lord and the strength that he gives each and every day. Loida was able to do the packing and preparations for our trip.

We decided to take the bus to Buenos Aires this time and so we left for Clypoles, November 24th. It was a very different experience for both of us. As most things, it has its pro's and con's. We were able to rest more, but even with the business class seats my knees and back hurt a lot. Sister Graciela traveled with us, but she stayed longer to visit with her family and visit some of the local assemblies. We spent Wednesday night at brother Barrionuevo's house and enjoyed a time of fellowship with them. The camp started Thursday evening and ran through Sunday noon with a total of 14 hours of Bible study. I noticed that the current building where we have services is getting small. I think it will be very inadequate for January. There was a very good spirit of unity and worship. The Lord spoke very strongly to many hearts and many gave encouraging testimonies Sunday morning. 

We had a very short meeting Sunday after lunch with the local pastors to discuss the week of Bible study that they want to have following the January camp. Please be in prayer for these events. The enemy has already began to fight this on several fronts and we need prayer for protection and guidance and wisdom and patience and peace and strength. The January camp in La Colonia will start on Thursday the 14th through Sunday noon. There will be about 18 hours of Bible study then they want to continue with a week of intensive bible study for pastors, workers and young people, who feel they have a call on their lives. The week of bible study would consist of 6 to 8 hours of study a day Monday through Saturday. 

This will be preceded by our family camp in Isla Vega, January 7th through the 10th. This is the first time that we have moved our camp time up here in Paraguay. We are praying for good weather, especially in regards to the heat that can be so intense in January and February. This camp will also be about 14 hours of Bible study, but usually at least 700 people attend.

Construction on our house has been going well. There will be a guest suite and the printshop in the walkout basement and our living space on the main floor. We are just beginning, but we look forward to moving in as soon as possible. 

Thank you as always for your love and for your prayers on our behalf. We usually try to post a little more on our blog and you can also find our contact information and more about Paraguay and especially the Lords work here. 

Sincerest Love,

Randy & Loida Crook
Even so, come Lord Jesús!

Loida at the construction site 

The Lord has provided us with a nice well. The water seems good but we have not had it tested yet.

On the site with Yoyito, the contractor.

Sister Graciela and Loida on the bus ride to BsAs

Drinking mate with Sis Graciela on the bus

Loida, Graciela, Veronica

Sis Veronica and Bro David Barrionuevo

Loida at La Colonia

Our head chef this year

Most everyone has to camp. There are no cabins yet.

The meeting hall

Bro. Barrionuevo and his family

Bro. Sergio and Susana Nakasone. Pastor in La Colonia

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