Spotlight on Aché paraguayan ethnicity

Children from the PEPEs within the Aché ethnicity, in Paraguay, can confidently declare: ‘PEPE rupi cho urygatu emi cho kuareko Jesuriwa!’ (In PEPE, I am happy and I learn from Jesus!). This sentiment echoes as a result of the dedicated care provided by our missionary-educators.

In February of this year, in collaboration with our area coordinator for the Aché community, Rosalba de Fosterbol, we realized one of PEPE Paraguay’s dreams: the inaugural camp exclusively designed for PEPEs within Aché communities. Over three days, we convened all 80 missionary-educators and 120 children from the Aché ethnicity in a picturesque location in the state of Itacurubí, nestled within the cordillera.

We equipped our missionary-educators with vital topics including nutrition, curriculum programming, lesson planning, and project development. With the children, we engaged in play, song, teaching, shared meals, and boundless enjoyment. Additionally, we were grateful to receive donations of educational initiation books for all 350 children from Aché communities through a partnership with Alfalit.

Another remarkable blessing was escorting 25 Aché children and 15 accompanying adults to partake in the missionary night of the 103rd Assembly of the Brazilian Baptist Convention in Foz do Iguaçu. Given their remote jungle residence, the logistical challenge was formidable, yet witnessing the children’s exuberance as they sang and engaged in such a grand event made every effort worthwhile.

The team at the Worldwide Missions Board welcomed these children warmly. Their delight in being embraced by Pr. João Marcos, Pr. Alexandre, and other leaders present was evident. For many, it marked an unforgettable and transformative experience, being their first venture beyond their villages. As one child expressed: ‘Now we are international!’

Beyond the Aché ethnicity, we work with other two, the Guaranis and the Makás, and we wish to be able to develop camps with the PEPEs from these regions. Pray for the children of the Paraguaian ethnicities that are being reached through PEPE, for the missionary educators and the coordination team. We still have much to do to fullfil the mission among indigenous children!

Pr. Javier Galarza – PEPE Paraguay national coordinator

Text editing – Carmen Ligia

Translation – Victor Baptista

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