Friday, July 15, Bonnie and I departed Winona, MS for Collierville, TN to ready ourselves for boarding the first of several airplanes to Guyana, South America. Around 3 a.m. Saturday, we left Rebecca’s home, the three of us, for the Memphis airport, and our plane flew out at 6:35 a.m. – flying to Charlotte, NC. There, we caught another plane to Miami, FL so we could board yet another plane headed toward the equator. We flew U.S. Airways from Memphis to Miami whereupon we changed carriers to Caribbean Air. Our plane landed en route in Trinidad to let off passengers, take on more passengers and refuel before continuing to Georgetown, Guyana. From there, we rode an hour to Linden, Guyana. Fifteen hours after leaving our daughter’s home, the three of us and nine additional team members arrived at our quarters for the next week.
We were part of a team from the Collierville Church of Christ. Our daughter goes each year to Linden with young people from the congregation, and besides the good work accomplished, the young people grow spiritually. This year, the team was short a couple of people, and we were invited to participate. Last year, Rebecca accompanied Bonnie and me to Myanmar (Burma) for two weeks in addition to her going to Guyana, and so this year, we added Guyana in addition to our scheduled foreign trips. Our team consisted of Christians ranging in age from 10-year-old Jada (exceedingly mature, helpful and related to other team members), 16-year-old Kristian (no less a mature, young Christian man) and the balance of the team ranging from 18-year-olds to twenty-somethings to 40-somethings through the 50’s that Bonnie and I bear.
Jada received this special commendation by our daughter: “Jada, the 10 year old that was with us, did a great job. Jasmine [preacher’s wife at Amelia’s Ward] commented that she was the youngest campaigner ever. I think Jada was the only one the whole week who never made any complaints with words or actions. She did everything she was asked to do, helped with the 2-3 year old class during VBS, helped with the door knocking, and did a great job the whole trip. We are very proud of her and will willing take her again (she says she wants to go again next year).” I wholeheartedly concur.
VBS materials had preceded our arrival and were prepared by the sisters in Christ of the Burnham Drive Church of Christ in Linden. Our ladies and young men taught Vacation Bible School Monday through Friday and were assisted by our Guyanese brethren. Afternoons, the team and Guyanese brethren canvassed neighborhoods in Linden, setting up Bible studies for the group from the States following us the next week (and we conducted several studies as well); one day, I spent hot, sweaty hours canvassing with the preacher for the Blueberry Hill congregation. Evenings, Bonnie taught ladies’ maturity classes, and I taught men’s maturity classes for a second congregation, the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ.
By design, we did not leave much time to waste. We endeavored to redeem the time and were mindful of the investment required to be here. The highest attendance for VBS was over 300 youngsters; the attendance climbed daily, peaking on Friday. Over 30 studies were set up, and five studies were conducted. One of the sisters in Christ present in Linden this year was a new convert from last year’s studies, though she obeyed the Gospel after our team left for home last year. Our goal this year was to conduct VBS, set up Bible studies and especially encourage or edify our Guyanese brethren; we were successful in each of these areas.
Our primary contact, minister for the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ, is Nigel Milo; Cy Walker is the minister for the Burnham Church of Christ, and Sheldon Jones is the young evangelist for the Blueberry Hill Church of Christ. We also met the preacher for the Dora Church of Christ, but I have forgotten his name I’m sorry to admit. Another Christian brother with whom I partnered almost daily in door knocking is Christopher Rose. Brother Nigel informed me that there are about 95 congregations in Guyana, served by about 50 evangelists. I agreed to increase the number of copies of The Voice of Truth International going into the country to provide for the four congregations with which we worked on this trip, and since our return to the US, we have prepared 50 boxes of books and tracts for the preachers in Guyana. Some foreign works are more exemplary than others, and brother Nigel Milo and his labors for the Lord fall in this category; I plan to assist Guyanese brethren evangelize their nation through networking with brother Nigel. Please pray for our brethren throughout Guyana.