Monday, July 2, 2012

Linn's Last Newsletter from Paraguay

Linn’s Last Newsletter from Paraguay July 2012

This is my final letter from Paraguay. I give thanks and praise the Lord for all of you who have supported me in so many ways over the years. May you be richly blessed.

Thank you for all your prayers this month. The Sosa family is settling in well and they are going to move in behind me when the Hickmott family move out. They will be six in the house. The Hickmotts and I seem to be on schedule for leaving, with packing and last minute tasks falling into place.

The church

Sadly Bishop Peter’s mother passed away so he and Sally have been back in the UK.

This month we witnessed two baptisms and seven confirmations in the English chapel. This is so encouraging, seeing commitment and growth.

The English chapel congregation said farewell to several of us last week, with a lovely shared lunch. It is sad to be leaving our church family here.

The school

School has been busy. There have been exams taking place in various departments, reports have been written and Parent interviews have been held. Most people seem happy with results.

For a bit of an educational diversion we took most of the Primary department to the cinema to see a historical film drama about Paraguayan Independence. The plot was thin on the ground but the costumes and photography were very good. I am not sure how much history sunk into the children. They seemed more interested in the popcorn.

Last weekend we had an Inter-schools sports event with football and handball competitions. 13 schools took part. The event was held at our Sports ground. The weather forecast was terrible but we all prayed hard and the Lord answered us by sending sunshine all day over our event, whilst all around us there were clouds building. It finally rained after we finished. It was a fantastic event. Parents and staff worked hard but had a lot of fun, along with the children.

The school mascot, Andy the Lion was in evidence all day. I don’t know how the person inside him survived. It was a hot day.

The Country

The month started with the first ever, wild, “Black Friday” sales in many stores in the city. These were followed by sales in the local market. It was as if the city had gone mad, with thousands of people on the streets and for once money seemed to be no object.

This month has been full of tension. In Curuguaty, to the north-east of the country, peasant farmers invaded private land and set up camps. The police went in to remove them and there was a shoot-out. Seven police and 11 farmers died and more than a hundred people were injured.

As a result the Lower house of Congress called for the resignation of President Lugo, whom they held responsible for the massacre.  He refused to resign so the Senate then voted to impeach him. They gave him just seventeen hours to prepare a defence for himself. The consequence was that the defence was poorly prepared and Lugo was deposed. A new President, Federico Franco was put in power. He is a Liberal.

Lugo accepted the decision, to avoid rioting occurring in the city. Thousands of peasant farmers had been bussed into Asuncion, in support of Lugo and they were ready to make trouble. Eventually it all ended peacefully, but there are still threats being made by Lugo’s supporters in Paraguay.

The countries in the Mercosur supported Lugo and said that the Senate behaved unconstitutionally. Next week sees the summit meeting of the Mercosur countries. Paraguay has been told not to attend as the new government is not recognised, but ex-president Lugo has been invited. Countries will discuss what to do about the situation. Some want to impose sanctions, while others do not want to go that far. There are interesting times ahead.


The Hickmott family and I have enjoyed several farewell parties given by colleagues and friends. It is customary in Paraguay for anybody that you have anything to do with to give you a farewell party, so life becomes one round of farewells. We have been fortunate that they are all occurring early and they have been spread out. Some people leave here totally exhausted from all the parties. Hopefully we will not.

Prayer points

1.       Please pray for the future of Paraguay. Pray for a peaceful solution to the current instability. Pray for the Lord to take control and for justice to prevail. Pray for the meeting of the Mercosur and for a good outcome for the people of Paraguay, whatever decisions are taken.

2.       Please pray for our Bishop and Sally as they leave their family in UK and resume work here. There is a very busy time ahead, with a Mission Paraguay team arriving from UK in July. Pray for the team, that they will be a blessing and will be blessed by their visit here this year.

3.       Please pray for the pupils and staff of St. Andrew’s School as they take their mid-year break for two weeks. Pray for good rest, good health and refreshment ready for the next half of the year and all its demands. Pray for Mags Southern and Gwen Carlisle, our directors, who are returning to UK for a month of deputation. Pray that they will have sufficient time for rest and time with their families.

4.       Please pray for the Hickmotts and me as we return to our home countries of Ireland and England and try to adjust back to the culture and the economy  there.

Linn Tedman working for the Church Mission Society, Watlington Road, Oxford, OX4 6BZ email:- 

You can read more detail and see lots of photos on my blog:-