April 23, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

Three and a half bus-hours got us to the intersection of a dirt road with the asphalt, where we met a pastor and his wife in their muddy 4x4.  They're Brazilian missionaries who have lived here enough years to legitimately be called Paraguayans.  With their two girls (13 and 14 years old), they travel each weekend to a little place called Tava'i.  I was part of a team of 5 that joined them this time, excited for the opportunity to know the people of this little community and share God's love with them.

Tava'i comes out of nowhere after a couple of hours of pure dirt road--orange, fine dirt that, for the first hour, cuts through the middle of a whole lot of immigrant-owned fields of corn, soy, and sunflowers.  
The pastor stopped to pick us a sunflower, which he
quickly turned into a smiley face.  :)

This was one time I was thrilled to be among the oldest in the group.  The four youngest, including two on our team and the two daughters of the pastor, rode in the back so we "grown women" could protect ourselves from the dust and the bouncing.  The pastor has made this trip Lord-only-knows how many times in the 30-something years he's lived here, and he flies down those hilly dirt roads whenever he can build up speed.  Let's just say that our team members arrived a whole lot dirtier than they left, and more than a bit sore, despite wrapping themselves in tarps and sitting on pillows.

After lots of miles of crops, we turned onto a smaller path with a gate and a warning sign: "This road closed when it rains".  We were entering the Caazapa Reserve, home to what's left of a lovely section of rainforest and a couple groups of indigenous people.  Some of the Mby'a people greeted us on the side of the road.

We crossed a few wooden bridges that made me think twice.  Beside one, the passage got REALLY narrow because there was a good portion of the road had eroded away, into the stream flowing way beneath us.

The bridges were a bit rickety, but we made it!
 I gained a new respect for this pastoral family who have invested so much in this little community.  They spent the first seven years of their work there sleeping in the building they'd constructed as the church.  Now, they have a small home built recently by a mission team, where they temporarily move in at the end of each week to minister to the people of Tava'i and host folks like us.  I'll show you some of these lovely folks next time, and fill you in on what we did during our visit.


  1. Looks like you are doing frontier missions work and missionary care all at the same time. Praise him!


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