Epifanio Aquino: Paraguayan Hero

31Oct12

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’” Isaiah 6:8

 When he was a young man, Epifanio Aquino took a career diagnostic that found he was especially suited to be either a soldier or a pastor. Aquino’s family had a proud tradition of military service and they urged him to continue in that path. Paraguay honors its armed forces at every occasion, and in the Pantheon of Heroes at the city center, the Virgin Mary guards the remains of Paraguay’s great generals and military dictators.

The Pantheon of Heroes, where repose the bodies of Dr. Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, Don Carlos Antonio López, Mariscal Francisco Solana López, and Mariscal Estigarribia.

But Epifanio decided to be a minister. And so, he dedicated himself to building up the church, leading a life no less adventuresome than the life of a soldier. He’s accompanied groups of believers threatened by Catholic mobs throwing rocks. He’s visited church members wrongfully jailed and secured their release. He’s started several programs to attend to the physical and social needs of the community, including food distribution and family planning. And, he’s faithfully preached the gospel of love and redemption every step of the way.

Here we are under the mango tree in the yard of the church at Lambaré, which has helped feed quite a few families over the years.

Today, Rev. Aquino remains active, preaching occasionally at his church in Lambaré where his son Darío Aquino is pastor. Rev. Epifanio Aquino is especially happy that one of his sons has followed him into the ministry, and now he is beside himself that a grandson, José Aquino, has finished his theological studies and is entering the pastorate as well.

José Aquino delivers a Good Friday sermon in the Lambaré sanctuary.

 I give thanks to God for the courage of Rev. Aquino in choosing a new path, and for everyone who in some manner has gone before, opening doors and creating possibilities that we now take for granted. May God continue to bless Rev. Aquino, his family, and his ministry! Amen.

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One Response to “Epifanio Aquino: Paraguayan Hero”

  1. 1 Robert and Sallie Kintner

    We were missionaries in Paraguay from 1961-1964. I think I remember Aquino as a young man. Bob Kintner


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