From Asuncion on 6th March 2011

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for rain.  Praise the Lord for his wonderful answer.  The Chaco is like the real Chaco again – green and beautiful and teeming with life.

There are first times for everything and everyone.  For many Indians, like 59 year Dionicio from La Palmera, leaving their communities  and going to a town is quite a shock.  Within a day Dionicio saw the two Mennonite towns of Loma Plata and Filadelfia and later the same afternoon, Asunción.  Going over the Remaso bridge and seeing the huge River Paraguay below; sleeping on a bed with a mattress was sheer luxury for him and finding kind people that spoke to him in Guaraní was a pleasant surprise.  All these firsts enabled him to have a scan and cataract surgery. He can now see properly and his next first was the bus terminal where I took him for the return journey to the Chaco.  I prayed for someone to travel with him to ensure that he disembarked at his destination.  Immediately Miguel Wiens, a health promoter who I had worked with many years ago, appeared. Dionicio cannot read so even finding the number of his reserved seat he could not do without help.

The truck needs a new “T Belt”, whatever that is and is grounded in town until it can be fixed.  I have to sell the truck and according to how the Lord leads purchase a newer smaller vehicle or rely in other people for transport.

A new edict from the Ministry of Health states that Indian health promoters will not receive medicines apart from paracetamol and parasite treatments.  They say a cell phone contact with bring a doctor to their aid if a patient needs antibiotics or other medicines.  It is a ridiculous way to think and absolutely impractical especially now that most of the roads are under water.

Norma, the Health Promoter at Sombrero Piri has been suspended from her job with no prior notice. The M.O.H. owe her for January and February and it was only at the beginning of January that she was asked to renew her contract.  All Health Promoters are having great difficulties without medicines and my supplies and funds have dwindled to such an extent that I am not in a position to supply whole communities with medicines as previously.

Blind Liberato’s health certificate reads, “terminal glaucoma and irreversible blindness”. He will hopefully receive a pension with this certificate but in the meantime he has nothing and like others at Sombrero Piri all the crops were scorched by the sun before the rain came.

Old Anita Severo at Makthlawaiya passed away last Saturday.  We estimate that she was 102 years of age.  Fermina Zavala also from Mak” is to receive her last session of Chemotherapy next Tuesday.

It’s been a long haul for her but at last her prognosis is more favourable and her hair is growing again

Elderly, Elodia Villable from 2 Palmas , El Estribo will have cataract surgery at Yalva Sanga on 22nd March providing I can pass through the flooded roads.

Daily Bible studies with Jeremiah are very worthwhile.  His sister, Brenda is to be a live in student at the Adventist school at Rio Verde. The future of the ranch is unknown and there may have to be changes for everyone living there

In Asuncion,5 year old Brian, Aminda’s grandson has just started pre-school and her 16 year old daughter, Ana, is doing her final three years of secondary education but finding their maths and physics very hard going.

The Paraguayan senators are back after their 3 month holiday and hopefully the bill to make all deforestation illegal will soon be passed.  The heavy rain has put a stop to a lot of destruction these past few weeks.

My health is a lot better.  Praise the Lord.!!

The theme of this morning’s service at St. Andrew’s was prayer so I will end with these encouraging words from God,

1;Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

Love and prayers,