By Trisha Goddard
We were excited when Meadowbrook Church expressed the desire to send a team to Paraguay to participate and serve in the First Nations Conference! The MBC team of four arrived on October 3, tired from their trip from Chicago to Asuncion, and yet, at the same time, with smiles on their faces. The next morning after breakfast at the guest house, they walked to our house, just four blocks away. I can only guess what a culture shock it was hearing Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Korean being spoken by the five men who were staying with us.
After eating empanadas (meat pockets) for lunch, we all packed up our personal truck and a rented 15 passenger bus to travel five hours to the First Nations community. There we were blessed with a huge indoor room to set up our tents, where all 24 of us could feel at home. We also had use of the simple kitchen and one bathroom (of which the door did not close all the way or lock). Many of us became experts at rigging the door to stay shut when in use.
During the First Nations Conference, volunteers helped with registration, food preparation, supply buying trips to a nearby city, soccer and other games with children, and interaction with attendees. There were thirteen main sessions with different speakers, as well as breakout sessions for men, women, and youth. The 500 participants included 11 nationalities, nine First Nations ethnic groups, and 18 First Nations communities. Twenty volunteers helped facilitate the children’s program that served approximately 125 children. We have heard many stories of how God used this event in the lives of those who attended!
The MBC team demonstrated love in action by investing seven days to be with our family and to ask questions with hearts willing to learn. They prayed for us, showed compassion, encouraged us by their words, and served with joyful hearts. Their love and support spoke volumes to us. Thank you, team and Meadowbrook Church family for loving and partnering with us in this way!
Jesus is the best Teacher about love in action. He said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15). He listened, invested, prayed, showed compassion, encouraged, served, and gave His life. Let’s each follow His example.