« 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.
Prayer letter, 13/07/2020
Dear Praying Friends,
I’m in Asuncion and have just joined in St Andrew’s service by Internet. Today Chris Hawksbee preached. Now for the long overdue prayer letter.
Deuteronomy 8.11. Be careful not to forget the Lord your God. Do not stop obeying his commandments. John 14.15.Jesus says If you love me .keep my commandments :Firstly love God with all your heart. mind and soul & secondly love your neighbour as yourself. Matt 22.37.38.
Paraguay is blessed with a Christian President and Minister of Health, both with common sense who from the beginning of the pandemic immediately imposed strict precautions to protect everyone. Up to this day only 20 people have died.
2 Peter 3.9 The Lord is not slow in fulfilling his promise. Jesus will return and the things that are happening are a sure sign that God wants everyone to be aware they must turn back to Him before it is too late.
Please remember in your prayers the desperate need for rain in the Chaco where so many people and grass eating animals are without water. Wild and domestic lack food too. For continued protection against Covid 19 and praise that so far the Chaco is clear of positive cases.
The health promoters . Lidia at La Patria. Narcisa at Estribo and Cirilo. Maria Teresa at Larrosa Cue .Norma at her home at the side of the Transchaco road.Arsenio and Lino at Makthlawaiya.Daniel Fernandez at 8 d.enero which is on the road to La Patria. Only 2 receive a government salary, a grave injustice.
Cirilo Benitezneeds special prayer as he has a badly infected foot which is taking a long time to heal because of his diabetes. He is 67 and serving the people at Estribo well inspite of being done out of his small pension by someone forging his signature. This month this situation should be put right.DV.
A 38 year old lady that I took to town from the ranch ranch died at her humble home at Limpio a suburb of Asuncion leaving her tractor driver partner.a 10 year old son and a two year old daughter. The son is with his paternal grandparents while Noemi the 2 year old stays at the ranch with an indigenous family with whom she is extremely happy and well cared for. Her father continues with his work but does not live in the same location as his little daughter.
Please pray for the health situation at Rio Verde where the government health post has been dismantled with no one being informed.
Trips to the La Patria indigenous communities continue and over the past three weeks I have attended 204 patients all of which had nothing too seriously wrong. The Anglican pastors at these places are very helpful.
Praise for a new Internet server and telephone number which is 595 994 397 526. Communication should now improve greatly.
The need for a new means of transport is now urgent as the present Toyota is having constant problems and flat tyres; the insurance has now expired.
Jordy is now supporting his mother, Graciela as she has no income due to the school not opening. 6 year old Jonathan is pretty bored by having to stay in most of the time and the TV burnt out during a power cut and he only can use his father’s Smart phone to continue with his On Line education.
Better and more frequent conversations with Rhett are a must. He is well and in Asuncion.He is now 80. After the 15th of this month when the quarantine rules are more relaxed he hopes to come to his ranch if his wife Mari will drive him to the Chaco. He hasnt been there for a year.
One side of the Transchaco highway is rapidly advancing and the asphalt from Rio Verde onwards is almost at the entrance to the ranch. Praise the Lord for answered prayers in that the two lovely big trees at the ranch gate will not be cut down. Coping with the clouds of lime cement impregnated dust is a challenge. Very high winds sweeping this dust into the clinic and house makes everything filthy and some of the cats .dogs and horses have infected eyes from the dust.
Neri Sosa. Pastor Juan Sosa’s son has again broken his leg. It has been pinned and he and his father are now back at Makthlawaiya. Urgent prayer is needed for them along with the diocesan office worker who drove them back to the Chaco from the indigenous people’s hospital at Limpio where Neri was in a non fumigated room after a positive Covid 19 patient had been using it. We pray that they have not contracted the virus.
The obligatory use of face masks is now being more strictly enforced with huge fines for people who will not conform with quarantine rules.
To finish as I started. Trust and obey as there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Thank you for your prayers. May the Lord bless you and protect you. Lots of love, Beryl.
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: 06/06/2020
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