Who is a missionary

Erwin and Rita Penner with Hanna, Ben and Lia serve as missionaries in Paraguay.

In mid-February, the new school year started again for the children. Hanna (7) is now in second grade, Ben (5) in preschool and Lia (3) is in kindergarten. Hanna and Ben’s school is bilingual (Spanish/German), Lia’s is only Spanish speaking. Erwin and Rita are glad that everyone likes to go to their respective ‘schools’ and know that they are being well educated.

Erwin helps with the bookkeeping and maintenance at the mission headquarters because a co-worker is soon to go on home assignment and Rita continues with her language and culture studies, for which she now has plenty of time especially in the mornings.

Recently Rita went on a three-day women’s retreat for missionary ladies.

The focus of their activities is still: That all ethnic groups (approximately fifteen) in Paraguay have an independent, mature church with a Bible translation in their respective language. This includes learning the language of the country and the culture and the administrative work in the capital city!

Erwin and Rita had the opportunity to pass on about their focus to the teens in their church last weekend. When asked, “What do you think, who is a missionary,” most teens said, someone preaching the Gospel. The fact is that within a mission organisation, there are many different tasks and activities, and all are important.

For example, the missionary preaching the Gospel could not do so without another missionary managing his finances and other documentation. There are countries (and in the past this was true in Paraguay) where access to some locations is very difficult and aircraft are needed to help with transport, and therefore there are missionaries who are pilots and aircraft mechanics.