June 6, 2012

Country Mice in the City

Back in February, I told you about our vision trips to various towns all over the eastern end of Paraguay (refresh yourself here if you've forgotten that post or missed it the first time around....)  We knew God was calling us back into the thick of things, but couldn't quite figure out where.  And then when we thought we were pretty sure about the place and were ready to pack up and go for it, the car took its long vacation in the repair shop for a couple of months.  Hmmmm, maybe God wasn't quite ready for us to go.

I don't pretend to understand God's mind, but we kept praying in case we were rushing things or not hearing clearly which town we thought He was sending us to.  But when the car finally came back home, we still felt that Encarnacion was the "place we oughta be" so we loaded up the bug and we drove to ....  Okay, "Beverly" really fits better, but we just drove southeast until we hit the river that borders Paraguay and Argentina.

Because realty agencies and classified ads aren't really common here, going in person was our best chance to find a home to rent.  We drove up and down every street in Encarnacion, her surrounding neighborhoods, and even the roads leading out of town.  Encarnacion is a city undergoing a lot of changes this past year, as the lower areas were flooded on purpose to make the city into a sort of island.  Now the only way to reach it is by crossing one of several bridges now linking it to the rest of the world.  There's construction on every side, with road crews and red dust and dump trucks full of rocks.  Building being torn down, buildings being built.  And not many houses to rent.

Looking at Posadas (Argentina) from the Paraguayan side of the Parana River
More than once, I questioned God about Encarnacion.  Are you sure, Lord?  We're really just country folks, and the youth we've worked with in Paraguay have been rural people, as well.  I wasn't really nervous about moving to another little town the size of Carapegua, where we could basically do the same sort of thing we'd done there and fall right back into step.  I reminded Him that I'm comfortable in that, and that we're really used to youth from the interior of Paraguay.  I pointed out to Him that these Encarnacenos are border kids--they have a different culture from living so close to Argentina (just a bridge crossing away, a bridge that's crossed both ways by tons and tons from both countries daily).  And, Lord, while I'm at it, You do know that things are a bit more expensive close to the border, right?  I'm sure God was really glad that I was there to fill Him in on all this!

But I kept hearing all those little cliches we learn in Sunday School:  That God will not call us to something He can't equip us for.  That He's more interested in AVAILABLE than ABLE.  That He wants to take us beyond our own abilities to show His strength in our times of weakness.  Okay, Lord, I'm available.

So we attended a few church services, hung out with a spectacular youth group, met with a few pastors, shared our vision a few thousand times, and found a little house near the downtown area which will stretch us in a whole lot of ways but could really prove to be strategically located.  We're still waiting on confirmation on the rental, but if all goes as planned, we may be looking at living there by this time next month.

As always, we appreciate your prayers.  Prayers that we can tie up loose ends on this side of the country enough to move on, that God goes ahead of us and prepares the way, that we can figure out the best way to move our stuff, and that our girls will do well in yet another time of transition.  


  1. So when should I be there to help pack the car?? I've got a few friends with trucks; we'll just drive down right quick and you can load 'em up...

  2. That is a good tie-in with Ken's blog yesterday. I'm glad you were able to find a place to stay, even if it does come with some challenges. I will pray for the move, for continued healing in your leg and for God to prepare you for all those divine appointments He has for you, which hopefully will not involve buses ;-D.

  3. Well, it's good news to hear that things are moving along with your move! We'll keep praying. One good thing about being in a city is the chance to find doctors/dentists/physical therapists/etc.,etc. NEAR you! ...and MAYBE a good mechanic! Looking forward to seeing how the Lord continues to bless! Have a good weekend!


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