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May 15

Spring Report from Joy and Robert Varga in Paraguay

Dear Loved ones and friends…
God bless you, thank you for caring and praying for us…

I have started this newsletter at different times, but l never got to finish it…please forgive me…
Many things have happened to us since we were transferred to a new church in January and Robert and l had to cope with several health issues and lots of adjustments.

In January just during our change to the Camp church in Carrepeguay, we had some emergency situations in our former church…
The new pastor had vacation time so we had to attend to a funeral and support the family.
We also had a terrible storm that flooded the church and had left the second floor of the church with a lot of water damage that had to be taken care of. Robert had his hands full.

Problems AND solutions.
Then we found out that the medicine storeroom of the “clinic ministry” my responsibility, and part of our ministry located in the same church, was full of “cupei”, a type of termites that had gotten in somehow and had a “party” eating away at the shelves in the storage place…something that had never happened before…
Walls and electricity sockets were also affected…It was a mess!
The room had been recently repainted and repaired and we had no clue as to how that could have happened…
It was a major cleanup, which caused me having an asthma attack and developing bronchitis.
But the Lord was merciful through it all and healed me, and bit by bit showed us how to resolve the problems…


Most of February and part of March had gone by…
It did take us a while to get all that worked out and cleaned up and also to get adjusted to our new church at the same time.

Now it is all resolved… Praise the Lord!
We love our new church!!! It’s a one-and-a-half-hour trip to and fro, but we don’t mind.
They had planned a surprise Birthday party for me on the 25th of March at the church,
with a harp and guitar serenade in Guarani; 3 beautiful songs about Jesus and a Happy Birthday!
In the Guarani language, English, and Spanish.
They had made a big cake and gave presents; it was so thoughtful and sweet!
At the same time we celebrated the Birthday of our oldest member named
Siriaca, she turned 78 years “young” and she is a strong, and happy little woman of faith and so very precious!
There was a lot of love to go around! We had so much fun!
We felt so very blessed!

Being hit by lightning…and our Easter celebration
Also at that same time we were busy for Easter!
We had a program planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but very bad weather hit and the church was without electricity for Friday and Saturday!
Saturday afternoon it hit us here in Lambare, with a big storm and forceful rain and then the corner our house got hit by lightning!

l was laying on my bed revising my sermon for Easter Sunday while it happened it was scary!!!
Our house trembled and so did we…
Robert was in the living on his computer and he got shocked by the current… not too bad but it passed through his body and made his fingers cramp.
Then we were without electricity and when it came back on after a long while we found out it had burned out the transformer of our WiFi…and our printer that we use for church projects…
But praise the Lord!!! Only that!!! Nothing else!
It took a while to replace the transformer and we had to do away with the printer.

On Easter Sunday we woke up at 2am. The weather had changed but it was very foggy…and we had to drive slowly…We left at 3 am for church, got there at 5 am…

Only 3 couples could make it for the Sunrise Service, for the storm had cut off many people and the way they had to come were mud roads full of water…
So we sang and praised the Lord and prayed together sitting outside, watching an incredible beautiful Sunrise!
Sharing testimonies on what the Lord had done in each of our lives…
One of the couples shared that this was the first time for them to have a Sunrise Easter and shared how very special and meaningful it was.
They wanted to do it every Easter morning from now on. Our Lord IS wonderful!

Then at 7:30 am the rest of the members came in, really disappointed they couldn’t make it for the sunrise…
So we did the Easter service then, with Holy Communion, a special number by the children and after that…
sharing a Paraguayan breakfast all together…with Cocido (a hot herb drink and Chipa, it’s like cheese bread made in the shape of a donut…)
Nobody wanted to go home, it was such a special time, the weather had cleared up and was drying up the roads…!
When everyone went home for lunch they asked if they could come back at 2pm so that they could see the movie “Jesus of Nazareth” on the big screen…
for the electricity had returned!

So Robert and l stayed had a sandwich for lunch, closed our eyes for half an hour sitting in our car,
and then the people came back and we did the movie…
They had even brought self-made popcorn fixed at their homes!
They stayed to the very end and were glued to the screen…
Afterwards we closed with the Salvation prayer and ended with a prayer session for the sick and thanking the Lord for a beautiful day and His wonderful love!

By that time Robert and l could hardly keep our eyes open but we still had to drive home…
That was at 6pm and with all the traffic it took a little while longer…
We sang our hearts out at the top of our longs for 2 hours to keep each other awake and we had a great time praising the Lord!
l guess the Lord held His ears closed with a smile for it was nothing more than a joyful noise!!!!
We were in tune with Him…. but our singing wasn’t ha!!!

At 8:15 pm we made it home and went straight to bed….so tired but also so thankful that He had given us and our church beautiful Resurrection day!
We have an AWESOME GOD and HE is so ALIVE and REAL!
We hope and pray that you all had a good and blessed Easter as well…Our church is growing!!!

Other news:

Robert is planning and busy building a Sunday school room for the kids, but it will take some time…
Some of the men are helping him when he drives out there…
The church and us decided together to build a temporary (one) big room from wood, because the weather is changing and they need a place soon…
Meeting outside is harder now since the weather is very unpredictable…
In the meantime will have some more time getting everything legally in order to build one of concrete…
Please help us in praying for this project!
Everyone is very excited about it!

April…The 30th year Anniversary from the National Methodist Church in Paraguay.
Was on the 12-13-14th of this month…There was a lot of organizing involved…
l had to do an exposition of the Clinic ministry and all pastors and missionaries were involved for those 3 days
from 7am to 10 pm… We were also in charge of bringing a Pastor guest speaker from the U.S
(President of the Mission Society) back and forth to his hotel in Asuncion…
Everything went well and we are so very thankful! Looking back, those 30 years have been tremendous and the Lord deserves all the Glory and Praise! He has BEEN and IS so faithful and merciful!
We did a lot of praying, soul searching and spending time with the Lord these last few months and He answered us in very special ways!
We love you all very much and are praying for you…
Thank you for your patience, prayers, support and love…
A big hug, Robert and Joy Varga.

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