« The Gospel is all about spreading God’s love, in the name of Jesus, to all creatures great and small, human or unhuman. Glory be to God.»
Such is the statement of faith of Beryl Baker, this little woman with a huge heart.
An English-trained nurse, Beryl has spent nearly 40 years as the only hope for medical treatment for around 18000 indigenous people of the Chaco region of Paraguay.
The scrubland Chaco covers over half the total area of Paraguay and its semi-arid climate varies from severe droughts to even more severe floods, cold winters and torrid summers. This area lacks all basic infrastructure and modern amenities, and is bisected by the Trans-Chaco highway. Beryl has to travel 300 kilometres down this pot-holed road to reach Asunción, the capital, for supplies of medication or if she needs to take patients to hospital.
In Asunción she visits the Anglican Cathedral and it was there that she met George Caspescha, a former member of Neuchâtel Church, who encouraged us to support Beryl’s work. Since then we have been glad to be able to help with the provision of medication, operations and car repairs. Further strenghtening Beryl’s connection with Neuchâtel, Beryl attended sunday school many years ago with our friend and late pastor Rev. Roy Farrar.
Based on a ranch, over the years Beryl has been able to build a brick dispensary, receiving patients who have walked from miles around, as well as visiting all the outlying regions herself, spreading the good news of the Gospel to all she meets.
As well as actively supporting the health of the vast community through clinics, Beryl also invests her time in training local health promoters who work with her in clinic and outlying areas. Training and education is a vital part of Beryls work to care for not only acute health needs but also to improve the general health of the population. Sourcing basic medication and supplies such as antibiotics and analgesics is problematic due to geography and poor national infrastructure. Other challenges include climate and maintaining essential resources such as vehicles.
Beryl is active in supporting the local Church at Rio Verde and leading services there. Her caring also extends to the vast amount of animals who surround her hut and share her life.
If you would like to donate to support the work of Beryl Baker in Paraquay, please contact us. Alternatively you can deposit directly into the Neuchatel English Church bank account and email us with instructions:
UBS, Place Pury, Neuchâtel.
- Account number: F28003141
- Sort Code: 0290
- IBAN: CH25 0029 0290 F28003141
News from our friend Beryl in Paraguay
You will find the latest news from Beryl below.
Older updates are archived and linked below.
An update from Beryl 29 6 20
- Give thanks Beryl was able to make contact from Rio Verde this morning.
- Give thanks there is no virus infection in the colonies though sadly it has been brought into Conception, now put back in lockdown.
- Give thanks that the community at the ranch is also free of it.
- Give thanks for Bernardino’s continued help, now working Saturdays too and grateful for work
- Give thanks that progress continues to be made on the TransChaco road, making travel much easier.
- Give thanks that Beryl, Trudy the doctor and Monica the vet who gives medical assistance, was able to travel to La Patria to provide medical care to the people there. Beryl saw 34 patients.
- Give thanks for Tito’s helpfulness. He is going to move the water heater from the clinic to Beryl’s house as hers has failed. Pray for success
- Give thanks that Beryl’s radio works well so that she can hear what is being decided about movement of people
etc. (Her phone line is unreliable still)
- for rain. Water is now getting in short supply again. The climate changing is having a big impact on the weather all round
- that Rhett may be able to come to the ranch soon to get up to date with matters there
that Beryl can find an electrician to repair her car. The engine runs well when it has been started. (It is not her spark plugs but an electrical fault. The man Rhett recommended is not an electrician)
- for Bernadino who has stopped his course in agriculture because there was a lack of any teaching
- for Beryl hoping to travel to Asuncion next week.
- for wisdom for the president and the minister of health. People are ignoring safe distancing (sounds familiar!)
Beryl sends her love and prayers
Praise Father God whose love is higher than the heavens, whose faithfulness reaches to the skies. May he be exalted above the heavens, his glory over all the earth.
Ps 104 v 4 and 5
Give thanks –
· that Beryl was able to travel down to Asuncion last Thursday. She expects to be staying till Monday
· that she has had good conversations with Rhett and that he sounds very well
· that Rhett has told Beryl she can have help from his friend in Filadephia with the repair of her car
· that a plumber was able to repair problems in her Asuncion house
· that she and the people in her area have been protected from the viral infection
· that because they all have to wear masks when they travel out, respiratory infections are rare at present
· that immunisations have resumed for the children, at the Rio Verde clinic
· that Beryl is up to date with paying her staff and all is well with them
· that thanks to good internet connection, Beryl was able to speak to Bev Richardson who is in Oxford waiting to get back to Asuncion, and working on line at present
· that Beryl was able to speak to Tim Curtis who is very grateful for this precious time with his father, in the UK
· that Claire Holmes is free of cancer after treatment
Please pray for –
· wisdom for the Government as they decide if they need to re-introduce restrictions because some people are ignoring social distancing and there have been new cases
· the post to get started again. The church office has re-opened but no post is getting through at present
· a terrible drought in the Chaco with a major river now dry
· for water supplies to communities in the Chaco, especially those needing Government water tankers to come
· for protection from water borne diseases for the people in the Chaco
· for one of Beryl’s cats in Asuncion that has cancer and may need to be put down rather than have treatment, a hard decision to make
Beryl sends her grateful thanks for all you do for her, for your prayers and your gifts
Julie on behalf of Beryl, based on our Whatsapp conversation yesterday.
Hopefully an email blessing – John 7 v 37 – 39. Jesus stood in the Temple, understood to be God’s dwelling place on earth by the worshipping community there, and announced loudly – ‘All who are thirsty, come to me and drink’. The Temple of God had moved and is now within.
Beryl update: 18/05/2020
Beryl update: 14/05/2020
Beryl update: 06/05/2020
Beryl update: 19/03/2020
Beryl update: approx 01/2020
Further updates and information can be found in our church magazines here