Everyone arrived safely accompanied by all their luggage, almost two weeks ago now although rather tired after a 16 hour wait at Sao Paulo airport. We have had a very full programme with redecoration of part of the Diocesan Offices in Asuncion and some very successful sewing workshops. Despite 2 days of constant rain and cold weather immediately after arrival which necessitated some quick changes to the planned schedule we have visited a number of communities in the Asuncion area where the Church is working to assist with the mobile toy library operated by FEISA the Anglican teacher training College, to distribute spectacles many of which were donated from Northern Ireland (there are more to come in August with Susan McCaul for distribution in the Chaco) and to undertake a range of work with children. Last Sunday we worshipped at Roque Alonso in the church where groups from the UK and Ireland have been based on three previous occasions.
Last night we arrived in Concepcion after a 6.5 hour bus ride. The road from Pozo Colarado to Concepcion has deteriorated considerably since last year with massive potholes but after years of waiting for permanent repairs they are now underway with the route diverted in a number of places which gave a rougher than normal ride. We arrived to a great welcome from Bishop Andres and Estella who were eager to know about the folk from St Canice´s and the other Irish churches, who had visited in recent years. Papa Noel (Noel Boyd from Donegal) received a special mention!
Please continue to pray for the group and for the work of the church in Concepcion. The 2nd group are scheduled to arrive on 7th August for a three week visit which features a range of building work in the Chaco. We ask for your prayerful support as they make their final preparations and for their safe travel.This year we have once again been greatly blessed by the Lord and we thank Him and so many friends in SAMS Ireland and other supporters who have once again generously donated towards our work and given clothes, spectacles and sewing materials all of which will help the people of this needy country and promote the work and ministry of the Church here.
David Orritt (Coordinator Mission Paraguay)