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Learning Culture and Language Is Mostly NOT Deskwork

POSTED ON Oct 28, 2018 by Bill and Debby Abitz and David Pierce

One Year Anniversary in Paraguay

This week's prayer email is written by Bill and Debby Abitz, serving in Paraguay.

t is hard to believe that we’ve been in Paraguay for a year already. October 4 was our official anniversary, and we just wanted to share some highlights in pictures of our first year.

Finally Settled in … for Now

Of course, just arriving was a highlight. For those of you who know us well, you know we’ve been talking, praying and planning to serve overseas for a very long time. God in His sovereignty was gracious enough to allow us to move. And move we have. Three times already in this first year.

Paraguay

First, we moved into our mission’s guest house while we looked for a place to stay. Then, after eight weeks, we found an apartment and moved into it. Before we even came to a place of seriously considering the need to move [so the boys could be involved in sports], a house became available that is a 7-minute walk to the boys’ school. So, once again, we moved. We do hope we’ll be able to stay in this house for a while and not have to move again any time soon.

Living Life, Learning Language

Most of our time is spent in culture and language. That’s sort of a fancy title for living in another culture and language foreign to ours, building relationships and beginning the process of making disciples. So, it looks like….

  • Visiting immigration to get proper documentation to stay in Paraguay

  • Getting a haircut at the local barber

  • Grocery shopping

  • Ordering empanadas at the store

  • Attending church

  • Taking public transportation

  • Having formal language sessions

  • Going to the dentist

  • Meals with friends and family

  • Attending cultural events

We are so grateful to be here even though our first year has had its challenges. Our ministry, just like every other Christian believer, is to make disciples. We look forward to the day when we speak Spanish well enough to start making disciples here in Paraguay.

Thank you for praying for missionaries studying culture and language. As they make friends and build relationships, they move to the day when they can effectively reach these people with the gospel.