Getting ready to equip!

Books. Lots of them. 11,000 workbooks printed locally. A shipment of 10,000 books from Europe. As our family unloaded all the books from their pallets and into our home, we joked, Have we become book hoarders? The answer is “No.”. All these books will be used to train disciples of Jesus Christ here in Paraguay to make more disciples.


We estimate that within a 2-4 year period, over 10,000 Paraguayans will receive training from Creation to Christ, using The Stranger On The Road to Emmaus. If each seminar has an average of 15 people, it will take 600 seminars for us to reach our goal. 

Our initial focus in what remains of 2017 and in early 2018 is to train instructors and facilitators. These instructors will in turn teach through a seminar of Creation to Christ. Please pray that God will raise up faithful learners and teachers. 

How does an initiative like this develop? 

THROUGH PARTNERSHIP!  It takes teamwork. People willing to take a chance and trust the other to keep their end of the agreement. 

Take a Risk, or be at Risk

I’m so excited that I had a part on Clay Scroggins’ launch team for “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge“! This article was inspired by the book. You can read my book review here, or visit Clay’s website.


Leading when you are not in charge is risky. Yet, not leading at all is risky too, especially if it means going against what you value. Every person, at one time or another, has to decide for themselves: 

 

Do I have the courage to take a risk by stepping out and leading, OR will I be at risk of going against what I value?

Paĩ Tavyterã and Paraguayan Pastors receive training together

We have so much to learn from each other! Intercultural relationships can either clash or result in mutual edification.

This month, we traveled North to a Pastors’ Retreat for Paraguayans. Mike invited the Pastors and Christian leaders from three different Paĩ Tavyterã local churches and each committed to sending 2-4 people.

These Paĩ communities, at one time, hosted foreign missionaries whom invested years of their time and energy into their lives. The morning of the retreat arrived, there was 12 Paĩ leaders that came to participate in the day and a half retreat. 

Two women had walked at least 20 miles! Most arrived by motorcycle. We welcomed them into the guest home and offered yerba mate (Paraguayan tea). Then, Mike took them to the location where the retreat was held, sat with them, and provided translation from Spanish to their heart language, Guarani, for those who needed it.

For the Paĩ leaders, this was a rare opportunity to sit alongside Paraguayan pastors and leaders as peers and partners in ministry. Both groups realized they face similar challenges in their respective churches and communities.

During the breaks and meals, the Paĩ took the opportunity to network and catch up on all the news from their communities. Each one expressed in their own way their gratefulness for having been extended the invitation to participate and were challenged to make a positive contribution to their communities as disciples of Christ. 

Book Review: Is Jesus Worth It?

In “Is Jesus Worth It?“, Stacey shares as one girlfriend to another how knowing Who Jesus is changes everything. He is worth seeking, worth trusting, worth following, worth drawing near, worth listening too, worth knowing intimately, worth holding fast, worth our worship, worth the sacrifice. Jesus is worth it all.
 
Stacey quotes, 
With no one to turn to but Jesus, I found Him profoundly faithful and deeply tender. Jesus is truly all you need.
I related to the personal story that she shared, and I could tell you personally stories when I have found myself alone, with absolutely no one to turn to but Jesus, yet in those moments, that is where I have found my faith deepen. My love for Him. My prayer life increase. Him and Him alone. In the valley, but not alone. He is enough.    
 

Book Review: Why Motherhood Matters

In “Why Motherhood Matters“, September shares her heart, her experiences as a parent, offers truth to live by from God’s Word and practical steps to take in order to see specific, parenting principles implemented.
 
As a wife and mother to 10 children, she knows that 
A home is the foundation of our very essence and the beginning of who we become and where we go. When a family thrives with a heart of service and instills an others-oriented principle, those who enter, live, and leave will thrive in an environment of learning and service.

Send your Pastor to Paraguay!

Meadowbrook Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin has stood firmly and faithfully behind our ministry in prayer and giving. The Missions Committee wrote us earlier this year and said that they wanted to engage more in our ministry.

As missionaries serving overseas, this is a really exciting email to receive. The first step towards doing this was sending the senior pastor and his wife to Paraguay in order to get to know our family, learn more about our ministry, and encourage us. Wow! We were thrilled and anxiously awaited their visit in order to show them first-hand what God is doing here in the country! 

During the three and a half days that they were here, they heard the testimony of two key Paraguayan pastors and their vision for seeing Paraguay transformed through the power of the Gospel. They visited an Ache community and met the Ayala family and got a taste of rural Paraguay. They learned about different mission organizations that are making an impact and even stopped by our church in Asunción to meet our pastor and coworker, Luis Diaz. Last, but not least, they experienced some of the Paraguayan culture – shopping in a mall vs. downtown, eating our favorite cheese bread, etc. 

We are thankful for Meadowbrook Church and their investment over the years in our ministry. Also, a huge “Thank You” to Pastor Bryan and Becky who took a week of their time and left their daughters in the USA with family to come visit us. God bless you, and come back! 

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.