Thank the Lord for evangelical church growth. Pentecostal/charismatic churches from Brazil, Chile, and Argentina especially grew well. Pray for Christian unity and collaboration among many different evangelical denominations. An association of pastors works to promote national strategies to evangelize the whole country, and to assist isolated rural churches. Pray that local churches will embrace the challenge of the unreached and needy within Paraguay and beyond. Workers planted churches among many of the 21 indigenous Amerindian groups. Pray for the gospel to root and grow in these and the remaining minority groups.
Paraguay still suffers from the effects of two centuries of devastating wars and bad government. The nation's progress has been hindered by the failure of its leaders to govern, through corruption or outright folly. Thankfully, there are politicians on the scene today who seem to be dedicated to changing that. Pray for them, that they might establish a legacy of uprightness and wisdom for the sake of Paraguay's suffering people.
The Roman Catholic Church has long dominated the spiritual and political life of Paraguay. Although it admirably opposes corruption and immorality, there is also much superstitious traditionalism, strong devotion to Mary and occult-related bondage to many pre-Christian deities and customs. These practices keep millions from liberty in the Lord Jesus and must be broken by prayer. The Church often actively opposes the work of evangelicals. Paraguay has never had a true spiritual awakening, and few of the Catholic Spanish-Guaraní majority have a living relationship with Christ.
A large proportion of Paraguay's believers are from immigrant backgrounds: German-speaking (Mennonites and Lutherans), Brazilian (Pentecostals), Ukrainian (Baptists and Pentecostals) and Korean (Presbyterians). These immigrant communities are sometimes inward-looking and isolated from mainstream national life. But there is a growing awareness of their responsibility to reach out with the gospel; Mennonites actively work with indigenous peoples in the Chaco, and Koreans are involved in outreach also. Pray for a spiritual awakening and great mission vision in the immigrant churches.
Missionaries are still very much needed, and there are opportunities for those who can serve the Paraguayan brethren and strengthen national leadership. The main ministries needing personnel are church planting, leadership training, holistic mission and education. Rural areas are responsive to aid and development; healthcare, vocational/business/IT training and agricultural development are all areas of need. The largest agencies are: NTM, Deutsche Indianer Pionier, AoG, CMS, SIM, Cru.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.