Here is the latest Prayer Calendar from Paraguay.
Please remember in prayer the Irene family, Latin Partners in La Paz, Bolivia. Ronny is concerned for the safety of Nicky and the children in the area where they live, especially in the unstable political climate. He has asked us to pray for God to help them find a new home, bearing in mind the high cost of renting in other parts of the city. A further cause of tension in Bolivia is a referendum on regional autonomy called by the prosperous Santa Cruz region on Sunday (4th).
On Monday (5th) John Sutton of SAMS flies to South America for a two-week visit to Paraguay and Northern Argentina. Pray for John’s travel, his meetings with mission and Latin partners, and his preparations for key meetings in Buenos Aires on 12th and 13th May with bishops of the Southern Cone and representatives of CMS.
A former primate of the Southern Cone, retired bishop David Leake, continues his 3-month spell in Northern Argentina helping in the closing phase of the Toba New Testament translation project. Pray for that work, and also keep David and Rachel in prayer in all the travelling they are doing.
Finally, a huge change has taken place at government level in Paraguay with the departure from power of the Colorado Party after 61 years and the election as president of the independent Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop. Pray for him and the elected government in the huge challenges afforded by poverty, corruption, land reform, unemployment, health and educational needs.
Are you interested in serving the Lord in South America? Several opportunities are available for committed Christians to work as teachers or with the disabled.
- St. Andrew’s School Asunción is looking for nursery, primary and secondary teachers. Teachers of English as a second language are required at all levels and teachers of GCSE and A Level subjects are also required in Secondary. No Spanish is required as language training is provided. You can view a video of St. Andrew’s in the multimedia pages. Please contact SAMS Ireland for more details.
- St. Paul’s School in Vina del Mar, Chile is looking for English assistants. More details in this PDF document or on their website.
- A three month placement is available for someone interested in working with disabled children in Lima, Peru. More details.
Today sees the biggest change in the political landscape in Paraguay for 61 years. The current government was led by the Colorado Party. They had been in power since 1947, the longest-serving party in continuous rule in the world. Today the opposition, a centre-left coalition, led by Former Roman Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo has won Paraguay’s presidential election. He campaigned on being a government for the poor and seeks to bring real change to one of South America’s poorest nations.
Please pray for the nation of Paraguay at this time of change, and for the SAMS mission partners who work there, particularly in St. Andrew’s School. As Penny and Murray Metcalfe say in a recent e-mail,
“The need for a leadership that can move away from the corruption that is such a part of every public sector is essential.”
More information on the Paraguay elections is available from the BBC.
Today Bishop Greg Venables travels to the Diocese of Northern Argentina for meetings of the Diocesan Council tomorrow and the AGM of the diocesan legal body on Friday. Pray that the proceedings will run smoothly, that the Lord will inspire, unity will prevail and the right people end up with the right responsibilities.
This Sunday a presidential election is held.in neighbouring Paraguay, with current president Duarte Frutos barred by the Constitution from running for re-election. The candidates include the current Minister of Education, a former Roman Catholic priest and a former disgraced army general. Please pray for this nation in its desperate need for a just and trustworthy government which strives for the welfare of the people and against corruption.
Ian & Siméa Meldrum in Olinda, Brazil, have said how important our prayers are against the violence, drug dealers and the dangers of the area; so please keep in your prayers these issues, as well as the staff and 11 boys aged 6-14 being cared for at My Father’s House (safe house). Among these are two drug addicts put there temporarily for their own safety by the court as they are being hunted by gangs. They are causing disruption in the house and affecting the other boys who have recently come off drugs and glue-sniffing and had been making good progress. So please pray.
News from the SAMS GB prayer line:
This weekend the Diocese of Argentina holds its Synod in Buenos Aires, with visitors from its link Diocese of Sheffield. Pray for Bishop Greg Venables in the chair and for the worship, Bible study and discussions on future planning in the light of a severe shortage of clergy.
Far to the north in the midst of the Argentine Chaco Pastor Tuqui Ayala will baptise on Saturday seven new believers among the settlers of the small town of Laguna Yema. Pray God will bless this event and encourage them in their new life with Christ.
Over this weekend the young people of Espirito Santo church in Recife, Brazil, are going away to pray and study the Bible together. Pray for them and for their pastor, SAMS Latin Partner Josias de Souza and his wife Danielle.
From Monday to Thursday (14th-17th) the ‘Gospel in Spain’ conference is held at the SEUT seminary in El Escorial to highlight the vital work of its staff, in particular SAMS mission partners Jonathan & Hilary Rowe. Pray for this event and for its coordinator Tim Greenhalgh.
On Tuesday (15th) Tim Curtis returns to Paraguay after his UK ministry. Pray for his travel, his reunion with the Enxet Bible translation team and the continuing project.
Finally, Tuesday also sees the long-awaited conference on revival held in Santiago, Chile. Alf Cooper hopes for a turnout of 5000 pastors and leaders. Pray for this gathering.
During the coming months several SAMS Ireland teams are heading to South America. Each of them will be doing a variety of work to server the Anglican church in their outreach and ministries. The teams are:
- Lisburn Cathederal – Salta; Red Box Project, from 28th June to 19th July. Team leader – Jonny Best.
- Down & Dromore – La Caldera 2008, Northern Argentina; from 4th July to 25th July. Team leader – Stephen Trew.
- Dungannon / Fivemiletown – Salta; Red Box Project, from 24th July to 15th August. Team Leader Jo Hamilton
- Love For Life – Paraguay; From 1st August to 17th August. Team Leader Hannah Collins. Following up the Love for Life Paraguay 2007 trip (report).
- Eglinton / Ahoghill – Mission Paraguay 2008; From 1st August to 23rd August. Team Leader David Orritt.
From the SAMS prayer line:
Alf Cooper, who arrived back today in Chile, has asked us to pray for preparations for a major event on 15 April. This is a Conference on Revival to be held in the main Methodist Pentecostal Cathedral in Santiago and Alf hopes that as many as 5000 pastors and leaders will attend. He writes: ‘Chilean pastors need great refreshment in their experience of revival and church. Chile’s 20% of [evangelical] Christians [in the population] needs to become 30%.’ Let’s pray with Alf and the church in Chile for all the work for this event.
Though a Bank Holiday here in the UK, Monday is a normal working day in South America. It’s a big day at FEISA, the Anglican Early Years Teacher Training College in Asunción, Paraguay: not only do the new First Years begin their course but the long-planned degree course also starts. Please pray for the students as they embark on these ventures, and for the staff in teaching and administration.
Easter weekend services and outreach events are wonderful opportunities for evangelism and churches across South America, Spain and Portugal will be holding these. At Living Waters in Olinda, Brazil, for example, Maundy Thursday will see a service of the washing of feet, Good Friday a film, Saturday a picnic, and Easter Sunday worship from sunrise through the day. Let’s pray for the events in Olinda and similar ones elsewhere, that many people will be transformed by an encounter with the Living God.