Chris & Alison Hawkesbee (Paraguay)

March 2016 Update

Prayer requests Spring 2016

  • Alison is now back at San Andres College, adjusting to her extended curriculum. Pray for her as she enters into this role, without additional prep time.
  • The students starting at the Mennonite Bible School as they settle into the studies and make new friends.
  • For the community leaders as they present their request to a Government Institution to find out the possibility of receiving funding for a community cattle project. 
  • For Tim Curtis, who is assisting two Bolivian Bible Society people in the making of a recording of the new Enxet Bible, so that it can be made available in an audible form and be of much benefit to those who will hear the Bible being read in their language.

After serving God in both Paraguay and Northern Argentina, they are now based in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Chris is involved in advising on rural development and encouraging the local Anglican Ameri-Indian congregations. Alison was appointed academic director of the Asuncion Christian Academy in July 2012.

Family

Chris grew up in the Paraguayan Chaco where his parents were missionaries. Alison grew up in Exeter and became a Christian through Contact at St Leonard's.

Their older son, Samuel, a civil engineer, has completed his PhD and is now completing postdoctoral studies in Sheffield. He and his wife Flora have a son Jonathan who was born in September 2013. Chris and Alison's daughter Hannah is working as an administrator at All Souls Church in London. Their youngest, Ben, has graduated from university and is back in Paraguay where he is looking for work.

Work

In Asuncion Chris and Alison preach regularly at their local church, Zeballos Cue. The church is building a second storey on their church hall to make room for their youth work. It is going well but there is a shortage of cement in Paraguay.

Alison's role as academic director at the Asuncion Christian Academy involves a lot of responsibility.

Chris's main work is among five Indian communities in the Chaco advising and supporting pastors and community leaders. He travels each week from Asuncion to the Rio Verde Anglican Centre - a multi-purpose centre for holistic mission - where he assists in Bible teaching, when pastors and pastoral assistants come for courses. He has also started preaching here once a month.

Recently Chris was promised 1000 copies (160 received so far) of the audible Bible in one of the native languages, which will complement the Bible studies he has been doing in some of the villages. He plans to give them a reading the Bible in a year programme,to encourage them to read or listen to it all. People say they listen to them in the morning siesta and before going to bed. Other communities who use another language are also showing an interest. Chris is now sorting out a charging system using solar panels to recharge the batteries. He has also discovered the Bible available in Guarani on the internet to download to cell phones.

Chris is skilled in agriculture and development, so he provides technical advice and training in subsistence level farming and cash cropping, so these Christians can support themselves and help their communities.

Chris helps the local people to analyse, evaluate and prioritise their needs, and then write up their own projects for the government, NGOs and international aid donors. Recent projects in natural herbal medicines and with livestock have begun with funding from a variety of sources. He has been investigating the use of local forest fruit as raw material for bioethanol production with financial backing from the government, and has recently had technical help for this from an Argentine industrial engineer.

Several communities have been provided with beehives, and new projects were begun in 2012. Chris has also helped some of the unpaid pastors who have done training courses with him to have a few beehives each. 

Chris has trained Estaban Galeano as an extension worker. He lives in one of the communities and works in agriculture, beekeeping, water supply and making adobe (sun-dried) bricks for house building. He has been employed by another NGO to train people in adobe making in another of the communities Chris visits. When in the UK Chris asked for prayer for a cattle project in the Village of Santa Fe. The funding has been provided and the work is progressing quickly. The managing of this project by the Community organization is under the leadership of Esteban Galeano which is going very well.

Chris has been encouraging the farmers to grow moringa trees as their leaves provide a nutritious food supplement. Chris is also advising another NGO, Coopi, which is working on setting up a processing centre for moringa products, on technical details and costings.

Chris has been considering taking his ideas into Northern Argentina, where he previously worked. One of his colleagues from the Rio Verde Centre,who was in charge of the Bible training courses there has left to work in Tartagal, Argentina.

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