There is so much I could say about this trip. First of all, it was our very first mission trip as a family. When RK and I got married, we immediately stepped into missions with YWAM and Team Xtreme. It was what we did for the first few years of our marriage. Everyone told us that it was good to get missions “done” before we had children and settled down. That is not what we had in mind. We saw couples like Rudy and Olepa Valle of Island Breeze and Kevin and Laura Stark of Team Xtreme bravely raising their children on the mission field. We watched those kids grow into strong believers. And so, one of our dreams was to take our kids with us out into the mission field.
I wasn’t without my fears. I didn’t really know what we would be doing. I don’t speak Spanish. I’d never been to Paraguay. We’d never taken the kids anywhere like this. What if the kids got sick? What if our son didn’t listen and got himself hurt? So many questions. So many fears. But sometimes, when we just step out and do something, those fears just go away. Just like that.
Xtreme Evangelism School
RK’s best friend Bram started a school of evangelism. He asked RK to come along and teach. Side note: If you haven’t heard my husband teach, you really should. He’s an excellent teacher. The school consists of two weeks of lecture and two weeks of outreach. This time around, all of the students were Paraguayans. Many of them were from very poor, small villages. Sitting in lecture for hours and hours at a time was probably foreign to most of them. In fact, one of the ladies apologized to RK because she had only gone to 3rd grade before she had to drop out and work in the fields to help support her family. They weren’t the type to question what was being said to them. They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They just soaked it all in as the gospel truth.
Kicking Them Out of the Boat
One of the things they do at the Xtreme Evangelism School is make the students go out into the streets. One of the first things they have to do is go out into the streets and pray for someone. They are not to return to school until they’ve seen someone healed and brought a recording of the testimony back on their phone. If they don’t have a documented testimony, they are sent back out until they have one. It can take hours but they always come back having seen people saved and healed.
Our Own Little Disciples
For the most part, the kids just hung out with Bram and Sheldrey’s kids. This was the first time they all got to meet each other. It was awesome because they all got along as if they’d known each other their whole lives. The Buitenhuis kids are also homeschooled, so they would all do some PE together before sitting down for their studies.
When we began doing outreach on the streets of Campo 9, RK took the girls with him. They were able to pray for some people and see them get healed. This made RK and I really happy. To them it was very normal. It was as if they weren’t at all surprised that people got healed the moment they were prayed over. That in itself is really special. It should be part of the normal Christian life.
Everywhere we went the students would be sent out into the streets to pray for sick every day. It seemed like no day was without its stories. There were so many who were open to receiving prayer. So many received healing and accepted Christ. Whole families were being saved.
We ended up doing a night of street evangelism with a bunch of the youth in Campo 9. They were grouped together with the students from the School of Xtreme Evangelism. They went down by the piers, into the hospital, into the poor neighborhoods and there were many great testimonies that came out of that one night.
One particular miracle involved a man who had a herniated belly button. It was as if a finger were sticking out of his belly button. He had tried to get into the military but was denied because of his condition. Some of our students prayed for him. At first, it just became red and irritated. They prayed again and this time when he lifted his shirt, the hernia was completely gone.
Some of the guys from Team Xtreme were able to join us for the two weeks of outreach. They were able to go into the schools. In Paraguay, they allow the preaching of the gospel in the schools. The teams were able to pray for the students. Something very special would happen when they prayed and invited the Holy Spirit, the students would remain quiet and still with their hands out, even after the prayers were done.
The weather was crazy. It would be hot and sunny one day and the next would be filled with thunderclaps and lightning. Several days were spent sitting around waiting for the weather to clear up. In Paraguay, kids don’t go to school when it rains. School assemblies were cancelled and street evangelism slowed. We prayed for extraordinary miracles. We spent time in worship. The team was discouraged but then God did some amazing things.
There was a man who hadn’t walked in years. He received prayer and started to feel things in his leg. Jesus healed him. After he started walking he decided that he needed to go and buy a pair of shoes. He wanted to walk around his neighborhood and tell everyone what Jesus had done for him.
There was a woman who walked the streets of Caaguasu begging. She couldn’t even say what she wanted because she was mute and deaf. She walked up to the fence of the church where we were spending the afternoon and the team prayed for her. Jesus healed her. She walked over deaf and mute and left with joy.
By the Numbers
In the end, according to our estimations, 3,874 people made decisions to follow Christ and there were 203 healings. It’s pretty amazing when you think that a team of less than 30 of us, did this in 2 weeks. Imagine if every believer started doing this!
I believe God is doing something really big in Paraguay. Our family was blessed to be a part of it.