Alliance Church Brings New Hope to Neighbors

By John Sappia, serving in Paraguay

Villa Esperanza is a poor neighborhood near the Mi Esperanza (My Hope) Alliance church. Sewage collects on its main street and overflows into the small, cramped houses, divided only by tiny hallways.

soccer photoAbout two years ago, Alliance international worker Forest Schell and Pastor Rodrigo started a team ministry in this neighborhood. There were several teenagers on the team, which played together for a season.

Forest ministers to one of the soccer player’s families, Justo and his wife, Francisca, and their four children. They live as squatters in a house made from some bricks and anything else they could find.

In June, a team made up mostly teenagers from the Neighborhood Alliance Church in Orlando, Florida, arrived, bringing funds to refurbish the family’s house.

The team spent one week working on the home and left enough resources for us to finish the job with a local construction worker named Digno. The house is so much better now—what a difference in the life of this family!

“Can’t Get Enough”

At the same time, Alliance workers Bruce and Sylvia Harmon became good friends with Digno; his wife, Gertrudis; and mother-in-law, Teodora. At first, the family did not want to know anything about the Bible or talk about “religion.” But Bruce and Sylvia just continued to love them, often bringing them fresh-baked goods from Sylvia’s kitchen.

Over time, Dingo’s family began to ask questions and eventually attended an introductory Bible study. During the course of the program, Gertrudis and Teodora surrendered their lives to Jesus. They have started another Bible study with two other women in their neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, one of these ladies surrendered her heart to Jesus. In church, she shared her testimony, saying, “I didn’t want to know about church before, but now I just can’t get enough of it!”

Soon after putting her trust in Christ, Gertrudis saw a doctor for flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with diabetes. Within a week, she had started to lose her eyesight. She was no longer able to read her large-print Bible. Teodora, who was teaching herself to read by struggling through the words of the Scriptures,  read the Bible aloud to Gertrudis.

Since then, God has healed Gertrudis’ eyes, and her blood sugar has stablized under a strict diet. Praise the Lord for His dealing touch!

What You Can Do


The prayers of the Alliance family allow Alliance workers like Forest to live and serve all over the world. Pray with the rest of the Alliance family using our weekly Alliance Prayer requests.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and help support Alliance workers in places like Paraguay as they are engaged in innovative ministries that open doors to share the hope that only Christ offers.
  • Give now


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