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News from the Spradlins in South America

OCTOBER 2013 / Vol. 5 No. 10

Spiritual Strengthening, a Safari, and Studies!

This month has been a real blessing as a lot of great things occurred which were fun, rejuvenating, or just very encouraging. We are excited to bring you news from Paraguay in this months mission report! We pray it brings you much joy as we work alongside each other in His kingdom. DEVELOPMENTS AT AVENIDA SACRAMENTO We hosted a Scavenger Hunt for the youth group this month. In Paraguay, they call it a Safari. We had them go all over town collecting clues and taking pictures in many fun, but odd, requests. After having two hours to complete the tasks, they then arrived at our house for singing, a devotional, and fire-grilled pizza. Several visitors also came and the whole event was just a ton of fun! Every two years, there is a mens conference held in Brazil for South American missionaries called Continent Care Connection. It is five days of spiritual renewal through some great lessons and Missionary mens retreat: Continent Care Connection 2013 seminars, as well as, recharging by getting to rest and spend time fellowshipping with other missionaries. My teammate, Josh, and I were able to attend this year and we came back to Paraguay refreshed and ready to tackle more challenges. Wed like to say Thank you to all those who made it possible! DEVELOPMENTS AT EMBY CONGREGATION Last month we reported that the emby congregation had obtained a place to rent for their worship service. After several weeks of cleaning, painting, and repairing various needed items, they began meeting in the facility this past month. They are blessed with lots of room to grow! They also held a congregational business meeting to discuss their goals and the direction that the congregation wants to go. It is so exciting to watch this young congregation growing while having the opportunity to assist them in the effort! ASUNCION BIBLE ACADEMY UPDATE The students are close to finishing up their third quarter and all are doing very well while continuing to grow spiritually. They recently participated in a hands-on baptism workshop where each had the opportunity to practice how to administer a baptism. We took turns (except for the young lady) practicing what to say and then actually immersing the person. We also practiced how to baptize someone who may be disabled or in a wheelchair. Brother Ike Yegros taught our short course for this quarter on Romans. We were excited to have Ike in the classroom!

emby congregation meeting in their new facility

ABA students practicing how to administer a baptism

Evangelistic Contacts / Bible Studies / Activities: Eliezer and I have continued our study with Sandra Durarte. We have now completed the Searching for Truth study, which she mostly did on her own, and have discussed baptism along with salvation in great detail. She understands very well but does not yet want to be baptized. So, we will continue to study with her while the Word works on her heart. I also had the opportunity to study with Gabriel who is a coworker with our sister, Raquel Franco. He is seriously studying what the Bible says about salvation and considering baptism. Please pray for Sandra and for Gabriel. We also ask you to please pray for our students in our Learn The Youth Group at our house for devo and dinner. English Using the Bible program: Jos, Max, Martn, Aaron, Felix, Adriana, and Oscar. We are still gaining more contacts and several of these studies are now serious Bible studies. Please pray for the several new contacts that have been made in emby: Graciela, Issa, Salvadora, and Ruthy. Worship and Bible class attendance (Ave Sacramento): Sun am 42 (6th), 58 (13th), 52 (20th), 51 (27th) Sunday Bible study average 39 Midweek study average - 24 Current members: 76 Baptized (42 Family Units) Worship and Bible class attendance (emby): Sun pm 19 (6th), 25 (13th), 22 (20th), 26 (27th) Midweek study average - 8 Current members: 10 Baptized (6 Family Units)
The first group to arrive from the Youth Safari

Other news and upcoming activities: Our sister in Christ, Norberta Vera passed away this month. Here is what Andrea posted: Please pray for our sisters in Christ, Pochi and Mirta, and their family, on the passing of their mother, Norberta. Mirta is our church secretary and has had her elderly mother living in her home for quite some time emby congregational meeting now. In the Paraguayan culture, everything must be done and the body in its final resting place within 24 hours. Imagine... working all day, then having your loved one pass at 6pm, the body prepared and ready to receive visitors by 11pm until it is time to leave at 5am for a 5-hour drive to your home town, where there is another receiving of visitors, until finally, before 6pm, the body is laid to rest. Although Norberta passed from her physical life at the age of 91, in January of this year, she was blessed with the opportunity to FINALLY have the CORRECT Bible teaching and understanding about God's will for her life. At that very moment, just as we read the examples in the New Testament, she obeyed the Gospel call by putting on her Lord in baptism so that she could enjoy eternal life and receive her reward in Heaven. When we left the family last night, how Pochi and Mirta, and their mother, Norberta beautiful it was to hear Pochi say, with a big smile, "Mission complete!", KNOWING she will see her mother again one day!!! Our brother in Christ, Joe King, from Margaret Street COC in Milton, FL is coming to visit next month. Our Annual Mens Planning Retreat is coming up November 1. Mujeres de Fe Ladies Seminar will be November 9th.


Persomal Activities: Andrea and I reached a new milestone this month: 18 years of marriage! We praise God for blessing us with a strong marriage and we we pray that we have many more years together. We recently joined a group called Ex-Pats in Paraguay which has turned into a real blessing. We have already made several new friends and some promising Bible study contacts. Not only that, but the collective Paraguayan information they have provided has been very valuable. Andreas cooking business, Mas Que Dulces is now legally registered with the Paraguayan government. She is excited about the possibilities because she just loves to cook and this has also been a great avenue for creating Bible study contacts. Andrea also attended her first cooking class in Spanish! She said it was a lot of fun and enjoyed the activity with some of her friends from the Las Amigas Club. The Bible study website I developed, Conocer La Palabra.com now has more than 20,000 hits from all over Latin America! Other Mas Que Dulces Head Chef, President, stats show that many of the study helps have also been chief bottle washer, and janitor at work! downloaded and/or forwarded. I am hoping to add even more information real soon. I never imagined that the site would receive this much attention. If you happen to have Spanish materials you would like to add, please contact me. I am so thankful and just pray that God is glorified with every click! Personal study: I am currently reading / have read: Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley The Chronological Life of Christ by Mark E. Moore The Good and Beautiful God and The Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith Preaching/teaching opportunities: I was blessed with the opportunity to preach at Ave. Sacramento and emby this month. My topic was You are Acts Chapter 29. I finished teaching the Asuncion Bible Academy courses on the books of Judges - Ruth and The Life of Christ IV: Luke. I am now preparing to teach I and II Kings and Church History for the next quarter. Cultural or language discovery: An interesting but rather sad holiday in Paraguay is Children's Day which is celebrated on August 16. It is a national holiday to commemorate the memory of the children who lost their lives in the Battle of Acosta u/ Campo Grande. It was a terrible battle fought during the Triple Alliance War (1864-70). With Asuncin already captured by the enemy and most adult Paraguayan males already killed or captured after four long years of war, the Paraguayan dictator, Mariscal Lpez, still refused to surrender. He began to use children and the elderly in his army to keep up the fight against the triple alliance of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Some of the children even fought with fake beards to conceal their age. On that day, some 2000 died even after another 1,600 had already perished in the battle at Piribebuy.

My Bible study website in Spanish now has more than 20,000 hits on it! To God be the glory!

School children in a parade to commemorate the children soldiers who died in the Paraguayan War in 1869.

Asuncion, Paraguay South America Troy and Andrea Spradlin
Casilla de Correo 13092 Shopping del Sol Asuncion, Paraguay (595) 0981-630-886 We are seeking to "equip the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12)

Our Mission Team Goals for 2013:

This year, the mission team will be making a major shift in its role here by focusing on aligning its goals with those of the church and submitting itself to the authority of the Paraguayan leadership. In the past, the team had to make many of the principle decisions for the church until sufficient leadership could be properly developed. In 2013, for the first time, the Avenida Sacramento congregation itself will be making all the principle decisions for the church. The team will simply support them by their direction. The church has chosen the following goals for themselves and have asked us to help them accomplish them. Evangelism: (1) Offer various specialized seminars to the public, (2) conduct evangelism campaigns, (3), use the book "Searching for Truth" in various other ways, (4) provide more English courses, (5) plant a church in the city of emby, and (6) have a radio program. In addition, the team will continue to generate new Bible study contacts through advertising, campaigns, personal contacts, and family relationships. We pray to generate at least 65 new contacts. Edification: (1) Develop and begin an intensive, full-time Bible study program (Academy) to train brethren, (2) conduct a new leadership class, (3) have a camp / congregational retreat, (4) have two planning retreats for the men, and (5) start reconstruction of the church building. The mission team will assist and coordinate these activities according to the direction of the congregation. Benevolence: (1) Offer the course "Comfort in Times of Grief" to the public, (2), keep a box of food for those in need, (3) provide a class on the topic of "Benevolence" (4) use donations to help some members, and (5) participate in various activities of benevolence. These are some wonderful goals and we are so excited to see their growth in leadership. Please pray for the successful completion of each of these and the continual development of leadership in Paraguay!

Margaret Street church of Christ (Sponsoring Congregation) 6745 Margaret Street, Milton, FL 32570 Central Avenue church of Christ Valdosta, GA Dripping Springs church of Christ Dripping Springs, TX Palm Beach Lakes church of Christ West Palm Beach, FL Poolville church of Christ Poolville, TX Families of: Clay Bond / Chet Brown / Virginia Guess / Joseph Markham