Peter Hunter is on the Mission Paraguay team in the Chaco.
Rio Verde, The Chaco, Paraguay
As I write this on Friday morning, the sky is overcast, wind blowing and temperature about 25 degrees Celsius…. very pleasant.
After a day in Asuncion and a Sunday service in English (and a refreshing cup of tea and relax with Linn) we headed out to the Chaco (the country), saying goodbye to Laura, Debbie and Mike as they left for the coach to Concepcion. We had a 4-5 hour Landrover trip along the only tarmac’d road to reach Rio Verde where the local garage is also the local store, hardware shop and cafe.
Either side of the road are various homes. Some are of brick, a few official places like police barracks, quite smart……. others small and made from corrugated iron and local trees. The local trees are very hard.
I’ve spent 31/2 days finishing an Indian family’s home. They were slowly making the room from pieces of wood and ‘chapas’ (corrugated iron)….. all held together by wire and a few nails…. a great example of recycling, with the additional factor that most of the wood is so hard that it bends nails! 3 or 4 of us were working on it. Every time we stopped for a break some of the family gathered around. They are very friendly and we try communicating by sign language, or singing!! The smallest girl was astonished when 2 of us joined in humming ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’.
Luke has been with another group working in a different church community, repairing water reservoirs and building a meeting room. All the team are really friendly and the banter through the day is great.
Whenever we come across Paraguayans there is a very sociable greeting and exchange. Most people in the Chaco in Indian communities have very little, if anything. But they are very friendly and smiley. It has been lovely to see the impact on the family of the house we completed. It is more than a building, it is a gift of hope.
The Lord has kept us safe, which is a real gift here where the opportunities for accidents and injury are legion. Thursday there was a huge storm with hailstones, the size of golf-balls and very high winds……… fortunately not where we are. David Orritt, Tim Curtis and I went 3 hrs towards Concepcion to visit another Anglican community where the church roof had been ripped half off and 30 houses had lost part of their rooves. The damage will take a while to repair. It will need outside funding…….. but the people appear not upset.
Thanks for your prayers.