THRIVE – Right Here, Right Now

After arriving at my destination, my friend and I began talking over a cup of coffee. She mentioned how she feels overwhelmed by the expectations placed on her by others and does not feel at liberty to truly embrace what God has for her and thrive – right here, right now, with her family and home. I listened, and at times, I offered a short story or two of my own experiences.

As she continued, she expressed her heart’s desire to have the liberty to pursue and focus on her priorities; her relationship with God; her husband, and her children first, and then (if possible) do other things too. She expressed that the fear and guilt of her saying “No” or “Not right now” to outside opportunities felt as if she would be “missing out”, and also risking the possibility of putting a strain on relationship. I wholeheartedly agreed, this was a real struggle of mine too, and here is the encouragement that I offered to her…

Continue reading my guest article over on Raising Generations Today 

JOIN ME at Raising Generations Today’s THRIVE conference in Painted Post, NY – October 20-21, 2017!  

 

Informe de la Familia Goddard en Paraguay – agosto 2017

El último informe que compartimos con nuestros amigos de habla hispana fue en noviembre del año pasado. ¡Tantas experiencias lindas hemos pasado durante el plazo de nueve meses y queremos compartirlas! Dios ha sido fiel en nuestras vidas y en nuestro querido país Paraguay. Tome un ratito para gozar con nosotros en los logros y desafíos mencionados abajo. 

En diciembre de 2016, fundamos una entidad sin fin de lucro en EE.UU. llamada “Partners For Paraguay” que significa “Aliados Con Paraguay”. Vemos que la gente de Paraguay ya no busca imposición extranjera, sino amigos y aliados que caminan juntos en los momentos de éxito y prosperidad y en los momentos difíciles y de flaqueza. P4P pretende ser un puente entre Paraguay y personas con ese corazón. Se puede dar una mirada en nuestra página web: 4paraguay.org

Mike sigue en el rol como Director de la entidad sin fines de lucro, Organización Ñandutí. Brindamos asesoría y consultoría intercultural a iglesias, organizaciones e individuos que buscan el desarrollo integral de los pueblos originarios. También acompañamos el desarrollo de la entidad inter-étnica llamada RELIEP (Red de Líderes Indígenas Evangélicos del Paraguay) mientras ellos buscan potenciar al liderazgo eclesial y comunitaria. 

Desde 2015, trabajamos en forma oficial con ASIEP (Asociación de Iglesias Evangélicas del Paraguay) en el Eje Iglesias Solidarias, donde varias entidades y personas trabajan juntos para potenciar la iglesia local en el cumplimiento de la Gran Comisión, demostrando el Amor En Acción. Las iglesias Evangélicas precisan del permanente acompañamiento para no encerrase dentro las cuatro paredes ni tampoco caer en el asistencialismo. 


Red de Líderes Indígenas Evangélicos del Paraguay 

La directiva de RELIEP decidió en diciembre de 2016 para desarrollar sus estatutos sociales e iniciar los trámites de reconocimiento como entidad sin fin de lucro como persona jurídica. Su legalidad les dará la capacidad de ser ente facilitador para el desarrollo integral de pastores y líderes cristianos de todos los pueblos originarios en el país. Ellos dependen de las donaciones voluntarias de sus miembros y amigos. 

RELIEP organiza el Segundo Congreso Nacional en la comunidad Fortuna de los avá guaraní en el Departamento Canindeyú. Será para las fechas 5 al 7 de octubre del año 2018. El evento crea un ambiente donde las “Tres Olas Misioneras” puedan juntamente alabar a Dios, disfrutar de la comunión y ser desafiados por la enseñanza de la Palabra de Dios. En el Primer Congreso de RELIEP (ver fotos), había mas de 600 personas y se espera superar 1.000 en este evento histórico. 

Gracias por tomar el tiempo de leer nuestro informe. Enviamos regularmente informes en inglés a nuestro equipo de apoyo y sustento en EE.UU., pero generalmente nuestros amigos de habla hispana se enteran de los acontecimientos ministeriales por medio del Facebook o Whatsapp.  


Nuestro principal motivo de oración es que el Señor sea glorificado en nuestras vidas y labor y que levante un ejercito de discípulos que hacen discípulos en todas las naciones que aun no cuentan con un claro mensaje del Evangelio con una visión clara de quién es Dios y quienes son ante Él. 

 

Michael & Lea’s blogs

Our children are a part of our ministry, and earlier this year, Michael and Lea began blogging. You can read their blogs by clicking on the graphics or following the links below.

Michael’s blog is Obey God, Reach Others.

———-Lea’s blog is Real MKS.

 

“Come, and die.”

I’m so excited to be a part of Brooke McGlothlin’s Gospel-Centered Mom launch team and book tour! The article below was inspired by her NEW book, Gospel-Centered Mom.


“Come, and die.”

After reading these three words, I set the book, Gospel-Centered Mom, aside. Brooke was bringing out what the True Gospel meant, and these words required me to confront my worst enemy – ME, MYSELF, and I!

Galatians 2:20 NIV says, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

I no longer live. Trisha Goddard is dead. I am made new, and Christ lives in me.

As Brooke continued on through Chapter 7, she shared Luke 9:23 NIV – Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  And then, she nicely summed it up by saying, In other words, ‘Come, and die’. (Thanks, Brooke, for being so blunt!) These simple, yet profound, words affected me to the core. They were saying,  

Dear child of Mine, ‘Come, and die.’ Deny your rights, your wants, your desires, your dreams – every.single.day. You are dead. I live in you. Follow Me, and bring Me glory.

As a wife and mom, I must deny myself – lay aside my rights, my wants, my desires, and my dreams – in order to serve my family well by fixing a meal, homeschooling my children, washing and ironing clothes, playing a game of Monopoly, listening to my family’s excitement and participating with them in where a new adventure leads, and so much more. It is a daily choice…to die to myself and serve my family so that He may be glorified!  

As an extremely organized person, who absolutely loves to have a monthly (and yearly) schedule for “me & my family plans”, there are times that I must deny my plans in order to say “Yes” to God’s plan, like unexpected guests who show up or an event that morphs into a full-blown, serve-your-heart-out weekend. It is a daily choice…to die to myself and serve others so that He may be glorified!  

Christ calls us to die to ourselves and pick up the needs of others instead. (quote from Gospel-Centered Mom)

Come, and die is not possible to do alone, but I can do all this through Him Who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 NIV)God is enough, and as people watch and listen to me and you, may they see Christ and desire to follow Him.

[Because] what we do with the circumstances we are given, how we talk about them, act because of them, and trust or distrust God through them – influence others [and they want to know] whether you [and I] truly believe God is worth following (quotes from Gospel-Centered Mom).

God used Gospel-Centered Mom to remind me that when I daily choose to die to myself and follow Him, I will bring Him glory:

  • in my personal relationship with Himself, which includes digging into and obeying the Word of God and spending time in prayer.
  • in my relationship with my husband, which includes love and respect and the joy of serving alongside him in full-time ministry.  
  • in my relationship with my three children, which includes a mother’s love as I ground them in God’s Word, model for them what it means to love God and serve others, equip them with what they need to live a godly life, and give them the freedom to make their own decisions as they obey God.
  • in my relationships with others, which includes loving, serving, and interacting with people from diverse cultures and languages. 

Let’s be Gospel-Centered Moms [and Dads], who “come, and die”  in order that our children and others see Christ through our actions and words, which express that He is enough and worth following.


 

As you learn to anchor your life in the Gospel, you’ll find increased freedompurpose, and joy in motherhood. Buy Gospel-Centered Mom here: www.gospelcenteredmombook.com

 

Segundo Congreso Discípulos a las Naciones

Tuvimos más de 250 personas durante el Segundo Congreso Discípulos a las Naciones en la ciudad de Encarnación. La conferencia misionera fue organizado oficialmente por CONAMI, ASIEP, APEP y Jesús Responde al Mundo de Hoy.  

Se puede ver imágenes en la página de FB de CONAMI >>

Estuvo testimonios de misioneros paraguayos en varios países en el extranjero y también al nivel nacional. 


Estuvo Pr. Cipriano Ayala, presidente de RELIEP, hablando del ministerio entre pueblos originarios dentro de Paraguay.  

Las flechas son los mensajeros del Evangelio. Para ser útil, necesitan un arco para enviarles hacía el marco. El arco es la iglesia local que envía y sustenta a los misioneros.

Mike dio un taller sobre la cosmovisión animista, dando ejemplos de los pueblos originarios de Paraguay. Pr. Cipriano Ayala dio ejemplos prácticos sobre las creencias Ava Guaraní. Surgió la importancia del aprendizaje del idioma y cosmovisión de la gente antes de compartir el Evangelio y pretender formar discípulos de Jesús. 

Escuchamos sobre ministerios de traducción bíblica y los motociclistas. Había gente de la Red de Universitarios y del Centro de Capacitación Transcultural SAMM. Realmente fuimos muy desafiados y animados por el mover de Dios en Paraguay hacia las misiones locales y mundiales.  

El siguiente Congreso Discípulos será en Ciudad del Este en las fechas 13 al 15 de julio de 2018

 

Third Pastors and Leaders Retreat

We had our third Pastor’s Retreat with ASIEP (Association of Evangelical Churches in Paraguay). There is one more planned this year for Pedro Juan Caballero, near where Mike’s siblings live. As the understanding of church leadership increases, so do the invitations to speak in their churches!  

Our order of 50 books in Spanish of When Helping Hurts arrived this month. It is already playing a key role in our training process as we guide local churches through the maze of spiritual and social issues and how to gain a Biblical view of “poverty” and healthy ways of addressing it.

By early 2018, our team plans to have a solid workshop laid out for training in churches. 

Keep us in your prayers as we mobilize and equip Christian leaders in Paraguay to engage their local churches in the four aspects of the Great Commission:

  1. Jerusalem (same culture, same city)
  2. Judea (same culture, other cities)
  3. Samaria (similar language and culture)
  4. Uttermost Part of the Earth (cross-cultural)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

Kaleb’s experience

He was having a blast feeling the wind blow through his hair as he weaved in and out on his roller blades and down an incline until…  the wall rushed toward him too quickly to brace himself, and he took the impact in the face. Stunned, he quickly held his nose that was bleeding and picked himself up, holding back the urge to cry. No one realized, at that time, that he had broken his nose!

A few days later, after the swelling had subsided, it was evident that he needed a physician to examine it. After a series of tests, he was scheduled for a procedure to re-position the nose before it set permanently. In ten days, it will all be a faint memory and a story to tell his friends and descendants as a bedtime story. 

Discipling the Nations Conference 2017

We were very pleased with the attendance last week from July 21-23 at our Second National Missions Conference held in southern Paraguay! There were over 250 people from Paraguay, Argentina, and even a few from Brazil. These events provide forward momentum to the Missions Movement and a place for people to connect that are seeking God’s direction in their lives, with those involved in cross-cultural training and sending agencies. 

Our specific role was to help put the program together, oversee registration, teach a workshop, aid with logistics, and accounting. Our children were a blessing as they jumped in to help with food service, clean-up, running errands, and entertaining the younger children present.

God blessed and touched the lives of many, as the evenings were open to the community to join in and the special speakers were televised on a local Christian TV Channel and on Facebook.  

Mike taught a workshop on the Animistic worldview and strategies of communicating the Gospel. Cipriano Ayala, president of RELIEP, shared about his people, the Ava Guarani, and their views of the afterlife and struggles of proper contextualization of the Gospel.

 

Pastor Cipriano Ayala gave a powerful challenge using the illustration of a bow and arrow:

Arrows are nearly useless without a bow. Both are required to work together to hit the mark. The bow sends the arrow deep into the target. In the same way, the local church and the missionary must work together; the church sends out the missionary with prayer and support.

A short graduation ceremony was held one evening to recognize the hard work of 8 students of the Paraguayan cross-cultural training center called Parque de las Naciones. The young people are from Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, and Paraguay, including one young lady from the First Nations called Pai Tavytera. Our desire is to see this training institute full of students and additional staff to help with training and administration. Stay tuned for more information on Parque de las Naciones in future newsletters from us! 

Pray for RELIEP National Conference 2018

It was a huge blessing to accompany the RELIEP leaders as they partnered with an Ava Guarani local church and community to be the host for the Second National RELIEP Conference in October 2018. We toured the community and prayed together and committed all the details into God’s hands as we begin to plan out yet another historical event in the First Nations church movement. 

The RELIEP Conference of 2015 was one of reconciliation between the “Three Waves”. So much has happened since then! God has been doing an amazing work in the hearts of Christian leaders in both Paraguayan and First Nations hearts. The Westerners are also beginning to open up to the realty that God is raising up a new kind of missions strategy. 

Please pray for Paraguay! While experiencing amazing progress, we also continually face opposition from the least likely places or people. 

Christ is raising up His Body to reach into areas traditionally resistant to the Gospel. We believe that it won’t be long before we see First Nations missionaries, being sent out from Paraguay and into other countries. 

 

Capacitación de I-FILM

Andrés Ayala, miembro del Directivo de RELIEP, fue el año pasado (2016) a Brasil para recibir el entrenamiento IFILM ofrecido por la organización ITEC (EE.UU. y Ecuador) y tomó la decisión de invitarles a Paraguay para realizar un taller en Paraguay. 

Se formó 5 equipos de 4 distintos pueblos originarios con un total de 16 estudiantes. Llegaron profesores de EE.UU. y Ecuador para llevar a cabo 5 días de capacitación teórica y práctica. Cada equipo recibió un Kit de Filmación armado por IFILM. El Kit cuenta con un iPad mini, micrófono, estabilizador con trípode y aplicaciones para grabar, editar y publicar en linea el material. 

El valor del Kit y del entrenamiento de 5 días por cada equipo costó aproximadamente $680 (Gs. 3.700.000). Encima había el costo de transporte de algunas personas de lugares muy distantes. Ayudamos a RELIEP armar un plan de levantamiento de fondos por medio de donantes locales y extranjeras. Fue de mucho gozo ver la manera que colaboraron las personas de distintas partes y terminamos con superávit en la caja.

RELIEP decidió dar apertura a una cuenta especial para RELIEP Joven, para que puedan empezar a movilizarse y producir materiales de impacto. 


Video hecho por Quesia Ayala en su iPad, del testimonio de su papá Cipriano Ayala. 

Consulté al Chamán más sabio y no me satisfizo su repuesta (sobre la Creación). Estas preguntas me atormentaban porque quería conocer al Creador. Vea el video >>

Había un comentario sobre la capacitación de IFILM que quedó grabado en la mente: 

Como pueblo originario, nunca imaginamos que podríamos aceder a este nivel de entrenamiento y herramientas. 

Otro decía, 

Ahora nuestros testimonios de lo que Dios está haciendo en nuestro medio se escuchará al rededor del mundo.  

¡Que el Señor sea glorificado por medio de Su pueblo!

Gracias por el apoyo a esta iniciativa y otras que están siendo encaminados en 2017 y 2018.