Area: 406,752 sq km
Landlocked nation between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. The Paraguay River divides the more fertile and developed east from the scrub forests, marshes and ranches of the sparsely populated Gran Chaco.
Population: 6,459,727 Annual Growth: 1.81%
Official language: Spanish, Guaraní. The latter is understood by almost 90% of the population Languages: 27 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Christian leaders increasingly collaborate on projects and visions that are greater in scope and scale than any one denomination can manage alone. The great needs for prayer are:
a) Leadership development is an essential ministry. For those from Protestant, Anglican and Independent confessions, several Bible Colleges, a few seminaries and an Evangelical University provide training. More pastors (and therefore students) are needed as well as qualified long-term theological instructors. Pray also for the TEE programmes, which are extremely vital for the isolated and the poor.
b) Unity in the church must come from the top down. An association of pastors works to promote united strategies for the countrys evangelization and to assist pastors of small or isolated rural churches.
c) The impartation of a missionary vision to the Church. The formation of a National Committee for Missions (CONAMI) moved things forward. Now pray that local churches might take up the challenge of the unreached and needy within Paraguay and beyond. The shift from a receiving mentality to a giving mentality has to happen.
Work among the indigenous minority peoples remains fruitful. Many have become Christians through the work of SAMS (now merged with CMS) among the Enxet, Sanapaná, and Angaite; the Mennonites/Light to the Indians among the Lengua, Chulupí and Guaraní; and NTM with the Aché, Angaité, Ayoré, Manjui, Pai Tavytera and Sanapaná. NTM looks to expand its work to another eight tribal groups, all small in numbers but great in salvific potential. Various development projects, education, Scripture translations and training help many new churches become viable and self-sufficient. Quality leadership is as crucial to these churches as it is to the majority people. Pray for the gospel to take root deeply in these unique cultures.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Paraguay.