News & Prayer Update from Gwen & Mags in Paraguay

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all your prayers and support for our work. It’s been another busy month and the temperatures once more dropped and we have just had a week with temperatures barely above freezing! This is “sunny Paraguay”! I am pleased to say that it has once more started to warm up but we are still in jumpers.

We had a sad start to the month when one of our annexe pupils was killed when she was knocked down crossing a road on the way to a sports competition. She was in 9th grade( 15 yrs old) and the top pupil who was working hard to get into a good secondary school. She was the adopted daughter of a single mother. The mother is a Christian  and it was very moving to see her so firm in her faith. The girl was also a Christian.

The month has ended the same way as, on Monday, we heard of an ex pupil and her husband who were killed in a car crash. Again they were strong Christians but leave two sons of 20 and 17 years old.

The lower secondary boys seem to have been on a roll recently with bad behavior and we have one boy hanging in by his teeth! I feel sorry for their families  and, in this case, the mother, who has made herself ill with worry. She’s an ex pupil. Still, I am thankful that we are able to work together with the parents and quite a few have been called in in this last week. Many cases involve the mis-use of their cell phones and they fail to realize how dangerous this can be. We have called in an ex pupil who is a fiscal to talk to them. He came in today to talk to us first and it was great to see this professional, responsible man, a strong Christian as I remembered him as a naughty 10 year old! He actually said how he had regretted many of the things they had done as kids.

We have had some tough moments recently but in among them the Lord has sent encouragements. We have seen ex pupils who are strong in their faith and active in their church. In many cases some of these people have been pupils we never thought were listening or interested in spiritual things. It’s so good to see how the Lord’s word doesn’t return void.

Celebrations this month included Children’s day when the infants and primary celebrated with a morning of games and fun. The  day before that we saw the new president inaugurated . His name is Horacio Cartes and he promised lots of things in his inaugural speech. If he is able to fulfill his promises it will make things so much better for many people and especially the poor. There is optimism  for his term of office although he also inherited a teachers’ strike which finally ended yesterday. Many children in state schools haven’t had classes since the beginning of July. Needless to say, we have gone on as usual!

After two postponements, the Primary enjoyed their Interschool sports competition, with eight other schools taking part up at the Sports Ground. It was a cool day but brightened up later and the kids played their socks off. It was all very exciting with the under 8s winning their cup.

Our pupils sit the Cambridge IGCSE and AS level exams and on Friday we had the Certificate ceremony to which came the new British ambassador to give out the certificates. It’s great to know that the embassy has returned after 8 years absence. The ambassador also asked if he could come into school the day before to see what he was coming to and to get to know us. It’s good to see him interested in education and wanting  to send students to the UK to study. The embassy has offered Gwen the chance to go to Ecuador at the end of November to a British University exhibition

At the moment we have a new house guest. Deborah goes to the English chapel and works in the American school and recently was knocked off her bike by a car. She had to have a knee operation and has her leg in a splint and so was unable to climb the stairs to her flat! She has come to stay until she is able to return home.

We are both fit and well. Our animals are fine although we had a fright on in the middle of the month when our dog, Munchie, was ill and we thought it was the end. We took her to the vet’s and left her. It was remarkable to see how well she was when we returned two days later.

Thanks for all your prayers and support.

God Bless and love from,

Gwen and Mags