We’ve Been Traveling!!!!!!!!!!!

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We’ve been on the road for the past couple of months now, and it’s been awesome! I had been living like a miser the past couple of years, saving up, so we were able to simply use my savings to pay for our travels. Since our last newsletter, we’ve visited some of our friends, family, and favorite churches in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

(Here’s the link to a pdf version of this newsletter, if you would like to print it and share it: https://levikarth.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/glo-newsletter-karth-family-september-2018.pdf)

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After we spoke at a church in Austin, Texas

Our travel hasn’t just been for pleasure, though.  Part of our journey has been visiting various churches.  We’ve been telling them about our upcoming work in Paraguay, as well as encouraging them to PRAY for us. Sure, it’s easy enough to go overseas and say that we’re “missionaries”, but it’s a completely different thing to actually be used by God to share the life-transforming Gospel with people in such a way that they truly come to have a relationship with God. And prayer makes a HUGE difference in all of that, and that includes YOUR prayers for us. Paul says in Romans 15:30, ”  I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” ESV   —Levi

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Visiting a friend in Texas
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Visiting friends in Colorado

We’ve had a wonderful few months connecting with friends across the states. Both of us have been able to introduce to each other to most of our friends, at this point, and we’ve both really enjoyed getting to know (by talking, laughing, or teasing) the people who have shaped the other person. They’ve been a huge encouragement to us, and we hope that we have been the same for us.

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Visiting the student Mission Club at Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas

But even better, we’ve made some new friends along the way! We visited CTX (Levi’s alma mater) and got to spend a lot of time talking with different students there who have an interest in overseas missions. One of our favorite times was when we visited the Concordia Texas Mission Club; they were a really fun group, so we were able to laugh a lot with them as we shared with them about our previous experiences! —Jael

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Hanging out with Jael’s family in Arizona

Additionally, we’ve gotten to see some of our relatives and catch up with them before we head overseas. Between some visits to churches, we were able to see some of Jael’s relatives in Arizona. Now, we’re in North Carolina, staying with my parents as we wait for what is yet to come.
Tentatively, we’ll be heading out to Guatemala at the start of November so that Jael can have intense Spanish language training. Lord willing, by the start of February we’ll be getting to Paraguay and can start being used by God to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.  —Levi

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Please Pray!!!!!!!!!!!
You may not be able to physically come and join us in the work of spreading the Gospel in Paraguay, but you can definitely still help in very real ways!!! You can be praying for us daily (or more than daily!), helping us by simply talking to God and asking him to help us. Here’s a few things that you can be praying for:

That God would help our fellow missionary, Victor, who is already sharing the Gospel where we will be working.
That we would quickly learn the multiple languages that are spoken in Paraguay. Specifically, Jael is learning Spanish right now, and Levi (who already knows Spanish) is learning Guaraní and Portuguese.
That God would prepare the hearts and minds of the people of Paraguay to receive the Gospel.
That God would make us vessels fit for His service.
That God would use YOU to share the Gospel, wherever you are!!

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WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(to see a printable pdf version of this newsletter, go to: https://levikarth.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/glo-newsletter-karth-family-august-2018.pdf)

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After what almost seemed like an eternity for both of us, our wedding day finally arrived! On Sunday, July 8th, we were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Minden, Illinois—just a few miles down the road from where Jael grew up. Now over a month later, both of us are still trying to process everything that went into making our wedding happen—there were just so many people that helped us make our special day extra-special, and we’re super grateful for all that they did!

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After taking some time off just to spend time with each other, we’re now “back on the road”, visiting different churches throughout the United States. Currently, we’re booked through almost all of September, but we possibly have time after that to make more visits! If you’re interested in having us visit, you can send me a message via email at LeviKarth@gmail.com. —Levi

Here’s some more pics from the wedding:

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PARAGUAY FUN FACT:

Paraguayans tend to convey meaning very indirectly (so they’re known as a “high context society”). For example, if a Paraguayan hands you an item (say, water) and you say “thank you” BEFORE receiving the cup into your hands, you are actually implying, “No, thanks.” Furthermore, to say “no” flat out if someone invites you somewhere is super rude, almost like cussing them out. You need to have an excuse for why you can’t accept the invitation. –Jael

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PLEASE PRAY!!!!!!

As we visit different churches, we’ve been talking not only about the mission work in Paraguay that we’ll be a part of, but also the importance of prayer. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:30, “Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me ”. Even if you can’t come with us to Paraguay, you CAN still help us greatly by your prayers! So we ask you to please keep us continually in your prayers. Here’s some things that you can specifically pray for:

That we would quickly learn the multiple languages that are spoken in Paraguay. Specifically, Jael is learning Spanish right now, and Levi (who already knows Spanish) is learning Guaraní and Portuguese.

That God would prepare the hearts and minds of the people of Paraguay to receive the Gospel.

That God would make us vessels fit for His service.

That God would give us wisdom and discernment as we work toward getting to Paraguay.

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We’re hitting the road!!!!!

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PDF version of this newsletter edition

Hey everybody!!!! This is Levi again! We’ve officially started to go and visit churches to talk about how we will soon be part of the mission work in Paraguay (the picture here is from my most recent visit). I’ve made the last couple of visits by myself, while Jael has been in transition back to the States while getting ready for our wedding in July.
With my visits that I’ve already made, it’s been great  to catch up with some old friends and meet lots of new people, and it’s been very encouraging for me. I also hope that God has been using (and will continue to use) me to be an encouragement to the people that I visit. In addition to talking about the mission in Paraguay, I also want to encourage people to be sharing the Gospel in their own communities. After all, the Great Commission is for all believers, and not just “professional” missionaries. –Levi

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One of the other challenges that we will face in the heavily-Roman-Catholic Paraguayan culture is Mary Worship. As we mentioned last month, Catholicism in Paraguay is different from Catholicism in the United States: it is seen as a separate religion from Protestantism/Christianity. According to Victor (the Lutheran pastor that we’ll be working with in Paraguay), even though Catholics claim to worship  the same Trinity as Protestants, in reality it’s different. In Catholic culture, Mary is the channel through which all prayers and intercession must go. Only through her can Jesus and God the Father be accessed.
In practice, they worship Mary as the supreme deity of their trinity. The most celebrated holiday in Paraguay is on December 8 and commemorates the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The second person of their trinity is Mary’s son, Jesus. And worshipped almost as an afterthought is God the Father. So, instead of truly trusting in the one, true God and having a relationship with him through faith, many are instead clinging to the lie that Mary can save them (when of course the Bible shows that she was simply a willing servant of God). So breaking down this misconception of the Trinity will be another of our challenges.
–Jael

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Since January, my life has consisted of a lot of wedding planning (since our wedding is this July). Because of the 6,705 miles between my current location (Seoul, South Korea) and the location of the wedding (Southern Illinois), this process has been a lot of fun. I got to buy a dress I had never seen and hope that it fit (it did). Levi and I got to go through out list of friends and figure out how many we could fit into our limited church and reception spaces. My parents and I got to look online for a reception hall that would hold all the people that would fit in the church. That particular challenge was met in a way that only God could: the dual ministerial circuit my Dad was a part of in Southern Illinois offered to coordinate AND host our reception at one of the churches! What an amazing (and unexpected) gift! Besides that, I’ve gotten to puzzle out how to do bouquets for the bridesmaids, how to reserve hotels when I have no idea how many people are coming, and how to see everyone I want to see without going crazy. It’s been exciting…and often stressful…but God has been good. 🙂
–Jael

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FUN FACT: It is a very common sight to see some house cleaning happening on Friday nights at many homes in Paraguay, especially when it comes to cleaning the front porch, and especially if a young lady lives in the home. In Paraguay, guys traditionally are only allowed to call on their love interests on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the two lovebirds usually end up talking outside on the front patio. Thus, the girl will usually be working the day before the guy can visit (hence why the house cleaning often happens on Friday nights) so that the place is clean when he arrives.    –Levi

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Continuing Prayer Requests
  • That we would quickly learn the multiple languages that are spoken in Paraguay. Specifically, Jael is learning Spanish right now, and Levi (who already knows Spanish) is learning Guaraní and Portuguese.
  • That God would prepare the hearts and minds of the people of Paraguay to receive the Gospel.
  • That God would make us vessels fit for His service.
  • That God would give us wisdom and discernment as we work toward getting to Paraguay.
  • That everything would go smoothly with our upcoming wedding, and that God would be glorified through it.