There are many missionaries here, each of different Christian backgrounds, all sacrificially ploughing the land. Being at the SIM compound, we have had the priviledge of meeting a few of the brave families who have also left all to reach the unreached. However, there is a sense of the overwhelming enormity of the task, amplified by the various cultural challenges missionaries face here.
The history of Paraguay, as that of many nations, has left her with open festering wounds, a hot bed of demonic activity, from the Spanish invaders ravaging her natural resources and native peoples, to the dictators of not too long ago past. The motels, or more appropriately the brothels, in almost every town, the scantily dressed women, and fatherless children reveal the resulting legacy of sexual perversion here, not to mention the growth of homosexuality. Religious practices here keep these people in a vicious circle of trying to pay for their sins each Sunday, relying on their various idols for acts of mercy or provision. There is no true freedom, and drugs, alcoholism and sexual immorality plague this nation.
Who are we to make a difference? And in the face of this suffering, we feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Our hearts are being broken for this nation, and we realize that it is going to take all of Jesus Christ in us and none of ourselves nor our own ideas to reach out to Paraguay.
We join our brothers and sisters in Christ here, native and foreign, to harvest this land. The specifics of our task remain undefined, and we have not been settled yet in a place to officially 'begin', but something more important has occurred. Instead of us going about making things happen, and continually failing, we have fallen back into our Lord’s arms of grace. We have cried and struggled, but as we give way to the Lord’s Spirit, we realize that His ways are higher than ours, and that if we allow Him to establish us here, how and when He chooses to, then our foundation will be God made and not of ourselves.
Peter has flown into many nations each with different levels of logistical challenges, setting up mission trips and outreaches within a short amount of time, not to mention building the GOD TV Broadcast HQ in Israel, and helping facilitate that miracle. And yet here He has felt helpless and irresponsible, as we sit in the same small accommodation, limited often by no transport. But as we pray and seek the Lord, we realize that God has us right where He wants us, on our knees! “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6
First, the Lord removes all our comforts and attachments to stuff, and what we may in the first world consider normalities of life. Secondly, the Lord removes boundaries of hygine, cleanliness and expectations of living standards. Thirdly, once fleshly challenges are out of the way, He burdens our hearts with what His is broken for, as I clearly felt when the Lord gave me the prophesy for Paraguay at the end of our first visit (see prophecy below).
Fourthly, He shows us how hopeless we are to fix any of this without Him. A perfect recipe for complete dependency and faith in Him alone. The apostle Peter bravely stepped out of his fishing boat, the place he was so familiar with and felt reasonably safe in. He trusted in the Lord Jesus, looking into His eyes as he made his first steps on the sea. If and when he looked at the storm, he would sink. We have stepped out of our boat, and with some spluttering here and there, for the first time, we are truly walking on the waters of the Holy Spirit.
"My daughters and my sons, I have heard your cry. I have seen your pain and suffering. My heart is broken for you. Many have forgotten you, but I have not forgotten you. Through you I am raising up a mighty army for the end time harvest, to take the blood of my Son to the world..." (Part of the prophecy over Paraguay received in August 2014)
Peter & Evi Ratcliffe