Make Him Known

Make Him Known

By Trisha Goddard, Partners for Paraguay

www.mtgoddard.com

In 2006, Mike and I bought our home here in Paraguay. For years, we dreamed of having an office built, and this year it became reality. I could have easily become frustrated with the way construction is done here because it is nothing like how my professional contractor dad would do it. Instead, I decided to take the opportunity to learn, watch, and value the construction workers by saying “thank you” in tangible ways  – providing ice, cold water, or a treat of hot cinnamon rolls, and offering the use of our ladders and extension cords to make their job easier. We made a bathroom and shower available so they could clean up before heading home from a long and dusty work day in 100-degree weather, and we  cleaned up the bathroom and job site daily.

The Benefit of Conflict

The Benefit of Conflict

By Kraig Sorvick

I spent seven years as a Customer Service Supervisor in a grocery store and it provided me with a plethora of memories – customer fits of rage, aisle 5 clean-ups, and awkward conflicts. As a supervisor I routinely interacted with unhappy customers. One conflict still bothers me. A customer had a disappointing visit to our store and irately confronted Stephanie, the cashier. The customer spent several minutes insulting her and yelling at her. Stephanie apologized for the poor shopping experience and asked how she could help. The angry customer refused to listen. I observed this but did not know how to react or respond. I stood there as if I was frozen. After the customer left, Stephanie turned to me with tears in her eyes and exclaimed, “Why didn’t you do anything? Why didn’t you help me? You’re supposed to have my back!” Stephanie was right, and it vexed me. My job was to handle unhappy customers, make their experience better, and protect my employees from tantrums. This conflict taught me a great lesson. It enabled me to see my responsibilities and my need to act rather than hesitate.

Be Grateful for the Present

Be Grateful for the Present

By Jen Akin

Last fall I had trouble getting to one of my son’s soccer games.  The field was hard to find and my mind was preoccupied with a conversation I had earlier in the day.   After finding the field I sat in the car and called my husband because I needed to process that interaction.  As I arrived thirty minutes late to the game, one of the coaches shared that my son had scored four goals in a five-minute period -- the time I was in the car. Even now I get a pit in my stomach thinking about it.  My concern about something from the past, and worry about how to handle it in the future, had fully taken over the joy available to me in the present.

Already Clean

Already Clean

by Christina Crumbliss

            From childhood, I grew up in the church and was raised on Sunday school answers. I did my best to keep good morals and stay out of trouble. In fact, I was pretty good at it. From the outside I was certainly the model young girl without any glaring issues. If I’m honest, looking back, this created in me a false pride and a terribly sinful sense of “being better”,  not to mention a completely distorted foundation for my understanding of my identity.

Being Obedient to God

Being Obedient to God

by Trisha Goddard, Partners for Paraguay

www.mtgoddard.com

Mike and I have the awesome opportunity to partner with 13 First Nations men (one Ava Guarani and twelve Ache) in Eastern Paraguay. A few years ago they realized that other people in their region needed to hear God's word, and they stepped out in faith to obey God's call on their hearts. They began reaching out to three communities, and that number has grown to 11 – one Paraguayan community and 10 First Nations communities of Ava Guarani and Mbya.

Home Grown

Home Grown

By Eric and Mollie

Just last month we sat down with our boys and listened intently to the story of Larry Gray, a front line, old-school missionary who lost his son to appendicitis in the bush of Chad, Africa. Just a few months later, he witnessed the destruction of his home and vehicle by an angry Muslim mob. It was this very same story which Teri Bittner heard some 20 years prior when Larry spoke at, what was then called, Meadowbrook’s World Fest. From that moment, Teri began to pray that the Father would send more workers into the harvest field of Chad. Much to her amazement and delight, the Father would honor that request with a family from her own church community.

Hopeful Thinking

Hopeful Thinking

By Jen Akin

My oldest son has always been full of hope and optimism when it comes to things he wants to pursue. As a young boy, he was never afraid to ask for the free scoop at Culvers with Oreos on top – hoping the person waiting on him would bend the rules a bit.   He operates similarly now, only he hopes for things like getting his learner’s permit early.  And while I might try to reason with him, he will often combat my response to such things with, “Mom, you gotta have hope.”