In April of 2017 Chris Hanak spent two weeks in Paraguay and saw God work in many wonderful ways! She shares with us here:
We had two very productive weeks in Asuncion. We were not there to teach a new course, but to work with different groups of leaders as they continue to develop Focus on the Heart and AFCI ministry there.
It’s always a joy to meet women who have been trained by those we trained! The first Sunday,
I preached at the Pozo Azul Church and afterwards had a brief time with some of the women who recently finished Titus led by 2 members of the leadership team. They loved the course and wanted to share what a difference it had made in their interactions at home with their families.
I met for a day with the 4 of the women who are leading Titus and ABC’s in different churches. They were delighted that they were seeing the same results in their groups as they had in the training classes. It has been amazing for all of us to see how the Lord works through these simple courses to touch women’s lives. It was a good time to answer their questions, as well as to help them hone their skills in listening and asking questions. It takes a lot of practice to get used to asking about feelings and where those feelings come from instead of giving advice or trying to suggest solutions to the problems.
The FOH leaders group met for 2 days for a seminar on conflict. We didn’t look at strategies to resolve conflict, but focused instead on the reasons that differences turn into conflicts. It takes 2 to fight. We looked at the roles fear and unconscious assumptions play in escalating interactions into arguments, ways to become more aware of what is happening inside us and how to deal with it.When we are aware of what is going on in our own hearts, we are more likely able to stay relational and loving with those we care most about, rather than falling back on defensive behaviors that attack or run away when there are differences.
We also practiced appreciation and asking the Lord what He wanted us to know: there were tears of joy as the Lord spoke comforting and encouraging words to each one! Each time the Lord speaks to us or shows us something, our hearts change and we come a little closer to Him. So we want to practice as many different ways to hear from Him as possible so we can hear more frequently and know Him better each time.
Some of the guys who will be leading ABC’s after Easter met with me for 2 of the days. They will also soon begin taking HF1, so I gave them an introduction to the main concepts from in that course and we practiced the interactive parts. They learned appreciation: there is such joy in sharing happy memories. We practiced asking the Lord questions like, “What do You want me to know about this, Lord?” and listening to His answers. Even more joy!
Since the guys who were able to meet during these days are married to women who are involved in leading FOH, the couples now have a common way of talking about relationships and interactions.
I had time to work with Dario Revelli, the National Director, on adapting the materials for the men, preached in 2 different churches, and spoke to a new Titus group that is forming in the neighborhood of one of the leaders. I also attended an AFCI Board meeting, renewing contact with the group of young professionals who are excited about being part of AFCI’s vision of working in local churches in different denominations to strengthen and equip them.
While I was meeting with the men, Luisa went with Emi to visit various FOH groups and individual women to encourage and pray for them. Several women were deeply touched and one was freed from severe pain that had kept her from walking for a long time. We have so many resources and possibilities in our country that sometimes prayer isn’t as important as it is for those who are desperately poor. We don’t have money to give them, but we can and do pray for and with them. And God is so wonderfully faithful to bless them.
Thank you so much for praying with us!