Be Brave

As we headed to a Pastors and Leaders retreat with my family, I had to keep telling myself,

I choose to be brave.

It was a retreat with all Spanish speakers, most of whom I knew, yet I did not want to go.

WHAT! A missionary that speaks Spanish, has lived in Paraguay for almost 13 years and whose main ministry focus is Paraguayan churches and First Nation churches! Yup. Newsflash: Missionaries are normal humans too!

Yet after arriving, God used that day and a half to show me what an awesome role my husband has and the unique opportunity that God has given us to influence and participate in what God is doing in the hearts of Paraguayan pastors and leaders.

And in that moment, I no longer had to choose to brave as I was reminded that this is where God has me, as stretching as it can be. 

During that same week, I recorded (with the help of my amazing husband) a Spanish video clip for a group of ladies in Uruguay. This is definitely not something that I would not normally “do”, yet because a friend extended the invitation, I knew God wanted me to do it, ALL for His honor and glory. 

Watch the Spanish video clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0NXcmjLvU0


 

Be ALL There

Be ALL there, mama.

Ignore those notifications that keep lighting up your cell phone screen. Set aside the camera. Turn off the music. You can be all there and embrace the moment.

As I was reflecting on last year and looking ahead to this year, the word EMBRACE continued to stand out, and my need to be ALL there. I realized that I often am on my own agenda and rushing through a day without taking the time to truly embrace what God has for me and to be ALL there.

It is summer here in Paraguay. Our Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of friends going to the creek or the beach, except of course, for those friends who live in the USA and are buried in snow. So as we sit here in 100+ degree weather, working with the ac on high, as a family we are continually joking around that we could have our bags packed and leave for Brazil anytime to enjoy a few days at the beach.

Continue reading this article on Raising Generations Today: Be ALL There

Resumen Biográfico

Mike y Trisha se casaron en el año 2001, tiene tres hijos, Michael, Lea y Kaleb. Son misioneros a tiempo completo y desde el año 2004, viven en la ciudad de Asunción, Paraguay.

Su iglesia enviadora es una iglesia Bautista y se llama Grace Gospel Church de la ciudad de Huntington, West Virginia, en EE.UU. La iglesia local en Asunción donde se congregan, se llama Iglesia Cristiana Evangélica Renuevo de la línea Hermanos Libres.

Mike y Trisha son directores de la organización estadounidense llamada Partner For Paraguay, y también dirigen la Organización Ñandutí en Paraguay. Su ministerio consiste de movilizar, capacitar y empoderar la iglesia nacional e indígena para liderar procesos de transformación integral en sus comunidades.

Su visión es que el Evangelio y la Palabra de Dios esté al alcance de toda la población paraguaya. Por ende, creen que esto solo puede convertirse en realidad si el Cuerpo de Cristo aprende trabajar en unidad por medio de distintos niveles de cooperación.

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.

 Isn’t it hard to believe that 2016 is gone? Wow! It was quite a year! 

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.

This year, I will EMBRACE whatever God has for me each day.

As I look ahead and welcome 2017 today, I took a bit of time to look back on 2016 and what God allowed us to do and experience. I am overwhelmed at how He protected us and showed Himself faithful and good.

I do not know what 2017 has in store for my family, yet I was reminded in my personal devotions today in Matthew 1 that God is Immanuel – GOD WITH US. Some days will be wonderful; some days will be hard. Yet, God is Immanuel, and I will magnify Him! 

Embrace

Embrace. My word for 2017. 

A few days ago, I was reflecting on 2016. My word was THRIVE, and Psalm 1:1-3 were the action verses that I focused on:

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to put these verses into practice. To learn more about thriving. To be …that person … planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 

I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness and thankful for all that we as a family had the opportunity to be involved in. It was not an easy year. There were challenges, yet God taught us so much. He used the hard to draw us closer to Him.

Your Partnership with Us in 2016

Mike and Trisha are all about mobilizing and holistically empowering the national and tribal church. Their passion is to serve the Lord and seek to inspire people into a deeper relationship with God and to live out their faith within the community of Christians and among those still without knowledge of the Gospel. 

Mike’s ministry focuses are serving, assisting, equipping, and accompanying tribal believers in the ongoing growth and development of First Nations Pastors and Christian leaders which involves training, consultancy, informal meetings, and lots of travel. Mike also serves in the capacity of a Missions Mobilizer and Consultant to local churches and mission entities endeavoring toward effective intercultural ministries.

He is the Director of Organization Ñanduti, our receiving organization here in Paraguay, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Partners for Paraguay.

Trisha’s ministry focuses are family care, homeschooling, and complimenting Mike in his daily responsibilities.

She is also involved in mentoring other women through personal encounters and serves on the Raising Generations Today team.


This year, we invested a lot of time and energy in the people groups. We attended various conferences in their communities, aided with a 2-week Bible translation workshop, provided consultation and practical help for RELIEP, and participated in CONPLEI’s tribal conference in Brazil and the 4th Annual Aché Culture Week.

These events provided many opportunities to build even stronger relationships and be intentional about listening to the tribal voice and empower.

 

Christmas in the heart of South America

Celebrating Christmas in the heart of South America is unique. The weather, traditions, and foods are different, yet Jesus’ birth and time with family remain the focus.

goddard-christmasdecoration


Growing up in cold, snowy Wisconsin, the artificial Christmas tree would be set up the day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas music would play on the radio for the next month. On Christmas Eve, each person would pick out their favorite snack to eat that night. A trail down memory lane: I remember great discussions among my three siblings and me to make sure all the main favorite foods were covered – pudding pops, Doritos, cheese whiz, and candy. In the evening, we would open one gift, eat all our yummy snacks, and watch a movie.

Sometimes, my siblings and I would sleep out by the tree. On Christmas Day, we would anxiously await my parents to open their bedroom door. We would begin the morning with my dad reading the Christmas story. After that, we would take turns opening gifts and eat our breakfast, usually cinnamon rolls. The rest of the day, we would have a delicious lunch and enjoy time as a family.

In the heart of South America, Christmas happens during the heat of summer.

Read the rest of Trisha’s guest article here: Christmas in the Heart of South America 

Letter from our Sending Church

The past two months, we have worked closely with the Senior Pastor of our Sending Church in Huntington, WV. Here is a letter that he wrote for us to share with you. 


letterfromggc-nov2016

Dear Friends,

I recently returned from a trip to a country where people are begging missionaries to come teach them the Bible. The believers there are working as hard and as quickly as they can to share the Gospel as far and wide as they can, but they need help.

I am so thankful for the faithful ministry of our missionaries, John and Barb Windler, and Mike and Trisha Goddard. Grace Gospel Church, as their sending church, has supported them with our prayers, counsel, and resources for many years, and we are excited for the Gospel opportunities God continues to make available to them in Paraguay.

Recently, the Goddards and Windlers have made a decision, with our support, to transition to a new sending agency that will better facilitate the continuity and effectiveness of their ministry to reach the tribal people of Paraguay. They will be partnering with Biblical Ministries Worldwide, a mission organization with which our church has enjoyed a close relationship for many years, for ongoing ministry evaluation and accountability.

I hope you will continue to support their ministry and would even consider increasing your financial support as they represent our churches in taking the Gospel where we cannot.

May God bless and strengthen you as we continue to serve and glorify Him together, because life is short, people are precious, and eternity is forever.

Sincerely,
Pastor Keith Wiebe, Jr.


As for financial donations, ALTECO has graciously allowed us to keep our account open until December 31, 2016. Any donations sent through them needs to include a note saying, “For Mike and Trisha Goddard”. 

Starting in 2017, all donations will be sent through another non-profit organization. More details will be shared mid-December. 

Thank you for your prayers and patience during these days of transition. God is good!

In Christ,
Mike & Trisha Goddard