We would like to begin this news item with the first and last verse from Psalm 27.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:1,14
Who would have thought that everything would change so quickly? Covid-19 definitely surprised Erwin and Rita Penner and changed considerably their everyday life in Paraguay, but in the meantime they can cling to the truth that it is absolutely no surprise for God and that He has not changed; He still has everything under control.
At the beginning of the year Erwin and Rita with Hanna, Ben and Lia moved to a new area, a new house, new school and a new community.
The new school year began in the middle of February for Hanna (third year in primary) and Ben (first year), Lia started pre-school and as parents Erwin and Rita were happy that everyone had a good start.
Initially, they visited a different church almost every Sunday to see what was going on and to get to know the people better, but it was already certain that they would mainly go to the Nivacle Indians for services.
Since February, Erwin and Rita have officially been part of the Nivacle team. Their co-workers have been working with the Nivacle Indians for about ten years and are currently in the process of revising the existing Bible translation. This is a very time-consuming process that they were able to observe when they attended a translation check in February.
At the beginning of March they started language and cultural studies. However, it did not take long and almost everything came to a standstill. There have been no lessons in schools since March 10th and there has been a curfew since March 21st, which means that only one person per family can go out for shopping. There has been very little rain so far this year, which is another economic threat to Paraguay besides the corona crisis.
Their current daily routine consists of home schooling the children in the morning and then trying to use the time in the afternoon to study the small amount of material they had gathered. In addition, Erwin has some tasks in the NTM office in town because the person in charge flew to the USA on short notice. Unfortunately, it looks like all schooling in Paraguay will continue to be from home until December, which upsets their plans, but Erwin and Rita know that they can trust God for their future.
Erwin and Rita had booked tickets to spend the long Paraguayan summer holidays (December to early February) in Germany, and to spend Christmas with their families. They hope and pray that it will still work out.
They are grateful to be able to experience so many services and children’s services online. Sunday really is a highlight with all the different services that they follow.
Thank you for your prayers.