We were in Paraguay two weeks ago. Last week’s post was about Asunción. This week’s post is about the other city we visited, Ciudad Del Este. Ciudad Del Este is on the border of Brazil and Argentina. It is less than 30 minutes from the Iguazú Falls, the second largest waterfalls in the world. What makes this city distinct is the vast amount of people from other countries. I am told there are large populations of people from the middle east, Asia, and of course from other South American countries. Why? I am told that it is because it has become a city of commerce, more so than any other in Paraguay (or anything in Argentina). The city is a large city, but much smaller than Asunción, the capital.
I spoke with two missionaries who have been serving in Ciudad del Este. The need is distinct. From Ciudad Del Este you can be in Brazil by simply crossing the border and in Argentina in just 25 minutes or so. Meaning someone could plant 3 different churches in 3 different countries that could reach into each of those countries and never be very far from home. This is the vision of one of the missionaries we met with. His desire is to plant these churches, train men who can be sent deeper into their specific country. This is much more challenging than one might think and the missionary told us that he has churches in two of the three countries, but he is still trying to reach his goal. Another missionary told me that there are some good churches in the area, but the great need is leadership. There is a large lack of national leadership in these churches.
Ciudad Del Este is a beautiful city. I definitely see the appeal in planting churches there. We had two men with us who are seeking God’s direction as to where to be missionaries. Whether they end up in Paraguay or not, I can say my burden to pray for the country has grown.