Today we slept in so that we could say goodbye to the Canadian team before they left for the airport. Karen made us pizza for lunch and we all shared our final meal together before Kathy, Danny, and Alex left for the airport with Oscar.
The rest of us left for Adonai school for final trimming and cleanup work; however, when we got there the outside gate was lock. Don Dario called Karen who gave directions to walk to the janitors house and get the key. To make a long story short, by the time two of us found the janitor’s house, the janitor had already come to school and unlocked the gate, and the rest of the group had hopped the fence before the janitor showed up anyway. By this time it was about 1:30 p.m. We thought it was going to be easy to finish the trimming and clean up before 4 p.m. when Don Dario was scheduled to return. We finished the trimming relatively quickly; however, cleanup went slower than expected and our ride arrived before we were ready.
We returned to the Quinta to freshen up and get ready for Wednesday evening church services at Las Garzas. Two of the bulls had escaped from the neighbor’s property and were grazing on the street in front of the Quinta, so we stopped for pictures.
After singing, Oscar had the sermon from Isaiah 45:
Isaiah 45 talks about how God is the potter and we are the clay. I watched a potter make a vase once. He took the clay and removed all the impurities by running it through water. He begins by forming just small part of it. If at anytime the form is not turning out right, he clumps the clay back together and starts over. If the wheel starts to wiggle, he has to redo his work, otherwise the vase would turn out lopsided. When he’s finished forming it, he takes it to the oven, but even then if the smallest stone remains, it could the whole vase to crack in the oven and ruin it. When the vase comes out of the oven, it is painted and sold, where it becomes a decoration in someone’s home where it is displayed and admired. God asks us to go down to the potter’s house because he knows we are made of clay. He asks us to humble ourselves and change our ways. Sometimes we complain about this process. Job complained about the process he went through, too, but he also acknowledged that God had blessed him when times were good. Job was not understood by others and accused by them. When we are in this situation, we need to spend time with God finding the stones in our clay and removing them. He has to take away our sins to heal and free us from our past. The blood of Jesus is what can cleanse and heal us. When God adopts us as a son or daughter, he disciplines us. While we are perfect in Christ, each day we must submit to Him and go back to our potter to have Him work on us and form us. He forgives us and removes our iniquities from us as far as the east is from the west. He loves us and is full of mercy. If we see our children in danger, we would do anything help them and save them. God does the same for us. Today is a day of thanksgiving. Let’s praise God for who He is and turn this next year over the Him. We should all pray tonight and give ourselves up to Him and to his perfecting work on our vessels of clay.
The service closed with five or six prayers offered by members of the congregation who were inspired to pray. We then visited and fellowshipped on the porch. Afterwards, Oscar brought out sandwiches and we ate supper with those remaining.
After supper, we climbed into Don Dario’s van and Oscar’s car and went for ice cream. The ice cream (Helado) here is very rich and delicious. There is a good selection of flavors many incorporating the local preferred tastes (e.g. coconut, peach, mango, dulce de leche). The Ice cream and our time together tonight will be another good memory of Paraguay, but sadly, we now have only one full day left here.