Update from Ron Irene

As we deal with the Coronavirus, we realize that most of the world is facing the same sicknesses, challenges, and overwhelming feelings. Things are similar in Paraguay, especially around its capital Asuncion. Good Sam has been a longtime supporter of Fr Ron Irene and his many ministries, many of which are shared by his wife Nicky and their children. Recently, Ron sent an update on all that is going on there and several requests for our prayers.

Much of Paraguay's population is concentrated around Asuncion, and as Ron relates, most people are related and spend their time in tight, face-to-face groups. He says, "Therefore, a phenomenon such as Coronavirus is far more devastating than in other cultures. … and the health system is in no way prepared for such a challenge." Within hours of the first case appearing, all schools were closed and public meetings forbidden.

The diocese of Paraguay is still without a bishop, and Nicky's father, Greg Venables, and a vicar general are providing leadership. The leadership has challenged them to see this period as an opportunity to see all these trials as God's maturing and training them to be stronger in service and missions.

Ron keeps very busy overseeing the cathedral, serving the congregation of Cristo Salvador, and is pastoral adviser to the principal at St. Andrews School. Nicky is recovering from recent illnesses and an accident and is also involved in the ministry as well as dealing with the challenges of a busy mother and wife.

As always, Ron – and all the ministries we support – value our prayers. Sometimes we do not realize how much knowing Good Samaritan is praying gives these people comfort, a sense of connectiveness, and hope. Please read Ron's full report and especially his many requests for prayers.