Gwen & Mags Update recently received into the SAMS office:

Dear Friends,

The weather has taken up much of the news here recently as the river has flooded and we have had lots of rain. Throughout the country people have had homes flooded and have had to move. In the Chacarita many have had to move up to higher land. In our Annexe school 64 families have had to move. Government agencies have been helping by supplying wood and corrugated iron for the roofs. They also send in chemical toilets but there aren’t very many for the number of people affected. Very near to our house the local plaza is now host to a good number of families. In school we have been collecting food and clothing to help the children and the families of the Annexe school. More rain is forecast for this week and some even predict El Niño’s return which could be disastrous. Many parts of the Chaco and other parts of the country are also badly affected.

On a more encouraging note we had a meeting for ex pupils from the Annexe school at the beginning of June. We held this one Saturday morning and over 20 turned up even though it was raining hard at the time. They were all so pleased to be back in school and thrilled with the new bathrooms. Pastor Donald spoke to them. It was encouraging to hear them and one boy was brave enough to stand up and admit he’d been involved in drugs but that the Lord had freed him. We hope to repeat these meetings monthly and they have been invited to the church youth camp in July. They all seemed quite eager for both things.

This seems to have been a very busy month in school and reports are due out next week. Some of the older ones have been hard to settle and the 6th form are planning their dance competition this week and then their trip to Cancun in the winter holidays. Likewise, the 15year olds are all planning their trip to Disney in the winter holidays. That, along with all their 15th birthday parties (grand affairs!),  don’t make classes with them easy! We have had quite a lot of illness in school too, mainly coughs, colds and chest problems due to the cold and damp.

Please pray for our pupils as we see they tend to believe in Jesus but they struggle to let Him make a difference in their lives and to put Him first. Peer pressure and a busy social life don’t help here.

On Saturday we had our inter schools sports matches. We invited 12 other primary schools to our sports ground to play football and handball. The weather was fantastic; the sun came out, the sky was blue all day long and there was a slight breeze which meant the temperatures were also great. The Lord blessed us with a great day. Turn out for the day was also excellent with well over 1,000 people there. Mags was chief photographer and Gwen was counting points in the office. It was a long day but it went very well. The weather was amazing considering it hasn’t stopped raining since then.

Some of the older classes were due to go to the Chaco in the first week of July to dig latrines…but it has rained again! They really wanted to go to the Chaco as they haven’t been able to go for the last few years due to weather problems..(either rain or drought!)

The 5th Form organized a Prayer time for Arlan Fick. Everyone came in white Tshirts and held a white candle as representatives from each class prayed for his safe return. Arlan has been missing for 90days now and the ransom has been paid.

We have taken the service at church again this month and seem to have settled into the  pattern of once a month. Our next one will be at the end of July. It’s been going well but our winter is the time when many foreigners finish contracts and return to the USA or other countries so we might see a diminished congregation soon. This Sunday we are having a farewell for someone returning to the UK.

Last week we were invited to the Queen’s birthday celebration here in Asuncion. The British embassy hosted it and it was a very nice evening and we were able to meet up with some ex pupils and ex parents there.

We are off to Atlanta, USA at the beginning of July for a conference which focusses on the management software that we use in school. We are into our 2nd year with it but we feel it could do so much more if we knew more about it. Four of us are going. We will miss the last week of school before the holidays. It finishes just as the winter holidays start so we have decided to stay on a week extra. We were only going to stay a few days extra but it would have cost more on flights to come back sooner so now we will also spend a few days in Miami…we had to change planes there anyway! We are looking forward to it as we had been wondering what we could do to celebrate a certain special birthday (Mags’)!!

Our animals are all fine. Splash, the puppy, is now 9 months old and very strong and strong willed but cuddly with it! He’s taken to eating books recently and also chews  furniture so it’s been a battle with him. He’s full of energy and the others get cross with him every so often. So much so that even the Poppy, the oldest cat,  has smacked him twice…that made him jump!!

Thankyou for all your support. Please keep praying.

God Bless and love from Gwen and Mags xx