“Porque De tal manera amo Dios al mundo, que envió a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en El crea no se pierda, sino que tenga la vida eternal” (Juan 3:16).
The moment has arrived to walk for the pathways that Jesus showed us. Streets, sidewalks, alleys and avenues. There are no limits; Jesus came to the world to show us that a new way of life is possible. The beauty of life in the pilgrimage of peoples and multitudes, along with their complexities, form part of the divine purpose. This Jesus that we knew formed us, called us and commissioned us. And when we refer to our commission we mean that, literally, God sent us. We simply arrived to new lands, new people, enriched by a fusion of two cultures and languages, Spanish and Guaraní. They are beautiful, special, happy people, enriched by a fertile land that literally produces milk and honey. This reddish Paraguayan land produces mandioca, batata, banana, milk, cheese and honey, corn, oranges, lemons, mandarins, mango and many more. God blessed this land with abundance of fresh water. The best gift that Our Creator gave to this beautiful land is that the whole country of Paraguay is settled above the Guaraní Aquifer System, the biggest subterranean source of fresh water in the world.
The first missionaries came to this rich land, commissioned by the God who is always present with the people. They walked side by side with the Paraguayan people until arriving to Tuyu Pukú, in Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. What a wonderful land is Tuyu Pukú! What a wonderful people are the ones living on that place! The children´s laughter, nature´s majesty, their trees, the singing of the birds, everything told us about the glory of our Creator.
We all came here to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tuyu Pukú. The skies were dressed with the beauty of their raining clouds, abundant rain of blessings to this land that produces the everyday bread for this community. Nobody could stop the arrangements, they just changed plans. The big communion table was placed inside the church, where every Friday and Sunday they get together to praise the Lord. It was the open table, ready to receive everybody.
People from Asunción, Luque, Coronel Oviedo and us as Puerto Ricans were invited to the table. Diversity enriched the sharing, the happiness, the fraternity and solidarity in the midst of a not too talkative, widely smiled people and the playing of awakened, happy children.
It was necessary to use the missionaries´ truck to transport some elderly people, founders of the Church, so they could participate in the great celebration. The name of Tuyu Pukú had become a reality in our midst; it had been an “abundant mud” everywhere.
Sunset was going down, the pathways were getting dark and the arrangements continued. There were no worries, because they were so sure that everything would be on time to the great celebration of the Proclamation of the Gospel on this community. Suddenly, from the darkness, came the so awaited dinner and the utensils for the tables used for the great celebration. The majesty of its entrance in the community crowned the effort of the people who have seeded and sowed the land and took care of the animals in the rural areas. It was a wagon, pulled by strong, well raised, elegant oxen. It seemed that they knew they would be the center of everybody´s attention. Every look went towards them, laborers of the earth, bringing a great banquet for the night. Along with their owners, a very well dressed family from the congregation, with their boots still on, brought the elixir of the fruits of the earth to share it with all of us.
Glory is to God. There we were enjoying God´s provision and the opportunity of walking the ways where Jesus is still walking every day. What are the needs of these people? Maybe from our point of view they need a lot of material things. But this people are happy with their way of life and the wealth they receive from God.
Let us be ready to walk along with us in the distance, with your prayers and support, to continue blessing and being blessed in these beautiful lands in Paraguay. Así nos ayude Dios.
Rev. Dr. Amelia Casillas and Pedro Carlo Muñiz serve with the Round Table for Mission Development of the Disciples of Christ Church in Argentina and the Disciples of Christ Church in Paraguay. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.