Please login to continue
Having Trouble Logging In?
Reset your password
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!
Register for a Free Account
Choose Password
Confirm Password

Your account has been created!

The End of the Line

The End of the Line


It was the second week of a three-month trip to Asunción, Paraguay, with WGM and I was already an old pro at navigating the public transportation system.

Though I would learn most of my Spanish by simply being immersed in the culture, I was also enrolled in a Spanish class to learn the finer points of the language. So, my Paraguayan friend and WGM colleague, Crescencio, had taught me how to take the bus to and from the class: wait outside the WGM guesthouse for anywhere from five to thirty minutes, get on bus number thirteen, get off at the stop by the building with the Coca-Cola sign, then walk another eight blocks to my class. When the class was over, I did it all in reverse.

It all went smoothly on the first day of class, and I was confident that I had the process down pat.

My Spanish class ended around eleven o’clock in the morning on the second day, and I made the eight-block trek back to my bus stop. When the bus arrived to take me back to the guesthouse, I boarded and took a seat several rows back. I was hungry and hot and had been awake since six o’clock, so I was looking forward to a hot lunch and a cool nap when I got home.

As we bounced along, the bus merged onto an unfamiliar highway. To my distress, I looked out the window and saw the city of Asunción start to pass by in the distance. I opened the Google Maps app on my phone to follow our location and watched with dread as we got farther and farther away from the guesthouse.

A busy street in Paraguay with cars, a bus, and a person riding a motorcycle

A busy street in Asunción, Paraguay

I waited to panic, thinking we would soon turn around and join our normal route. But when it became clear that a terrible mistake had been made and I was the only one left on the bus, I decided to express my concern to the driver.

“Estoy un poco confusado,” I said, to which the driver responded by staring at me blankly. After a few texts back and forth with Crescencio, I learned that the word for “confused” in Spanish is confundido, not, in fact, confusado. They hadn’t covered that in the first two days of Spanish class, and the driver was probably thinking, “Wow, you are confused.”

By now, we were no longer in Asunción but had turned into an uneven back alley plagued with potholes in a completely different town. We pulled into a big garage with dozens of the same buses. A host of mechanics and drivers were sitting in the garage eating lunch.

My driver said, “Wait here on this bench. I’m going on my lunch break, but my friend is almost done and will start his route again.” So, I did what I had done for the past couple of hours: I waited.

The other driver eventually started his bus and took me back to Asunción. We got close to the guesthouse and, playing it safe, I got off the bus early and walked the last mile or two. By then it was two o’clock in the afternoon, a few hours past the time I should’ve been home.

A city street in Paraguay, shaded by trees

A quiet street near the WGM guesthouse in Asunción, Paraguay

I sighed with relief, wiped the sweat off my brow, and opened the gate to go into the air conditioning. Crescencio was watering some flowers when I entered. “So how was your trip to Argentina?” he joked. He then pulled out a bag of fresh, hot food just for me. Lunch that day never tasted so good!

Sometimes on the mission field, we find ourselves in situations where things are uncomfortable and unknown. But amid these circumstances, God continues to guide us and provide resources and people in our lives to keep us on the right path. During the entire series of unfortunate events, Crescencio and the other missionaries were texting me and helping me find my way back home. The Lord was giving me a sense of peace in the unknown when I could have been overcome with fear or anxiety.

As we continue in our relationship with Christ by saying yes to Him, we must remember that the Christian walk is not always easy and comfortable. God will call us into the unknown—into the dark—and we all have a choice. Do we say yes, stepping out in faith to follow His will and guidance, or do we say no in our disobedience and comfort?

As I prepare to move to Paraguay full-time in January for my first term on the mission field, I must constantly remember to trust Jesus as He guides, whether that is through the support-raising process now or through the hard transition of moving far away from family and my life in the U.S.


PRAY: Lord, our sustainer, Jehovah Jireh, would you help me say yes to your will in my life and follow your divine leading in all circumstances? I desire to be in step with you daily and serve you wherever and however you lead me. Thank you for all the ways you have provided for me in life. I give everything to you. Amen.

GO: Like in Gabe’s situation, God often uses short- or mid-term trips to confirm a call to full-time missions. Wondering if God has something in store for you? Click here to take the next step!

Missionary Bio:
Gabe Ernst graduated from Asbury University this spring. Originally from Ohio, he is preparing to join the WGM team in Paraguay as a full-time missionary. He will focus on discipleship ministries with youth and young adults in existing churches. He also plans to serve indigenous peoples through church planting and community development. You can connect with Gabe on Facebook or Instagram.

More Stories

Support a Missionary
Global Impact Fund
Advancing the Great Commission through your partnership.