Archive for February 2014

West Bury, Guyana, South America

February 15, 2014

High School Boarding House

High School Boarding House

Friday evening on February 14, Bonnie and I along with brother Nigel Milo went to the local boarding house for high school students from out of the area. I made my PowerPoint presentation entitled, “Beverage Alcohol.” We also distributed my tract, “To Drink or Not to Drink,” to the 35 students and staff member present.

"Joe" Latchmenarine

“Joe” Latchmenarine

At 4:45 a.m. Saturday morning, Bonnie and I arose from our slumber to ready ourselves for an ETD of 5:15 a.m. for our next venue. Brother Milo and we headed out of Linden for Georgetown, where we picked up brother Latchmenarine.

First, we crossed the floating bridge spanning the Demerara River, which is a little over a mile across. Next, we drove 35 kilometers to Parika, whereupon we boarded a speedboat. The waters were choppy owing to the stiff, sustained wind buffeting the mouth of the Essequibo River that we were about to cross. River current and ocean water combined with the wind as master of both to give us two bone crunching torturous rides; it takes 45 minutes to cover the 20 mile width of the stream as it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. My vocabulary is void of adequate words to describe the experience, extraordinary for us but merely routine for Guyanese.

Reaching land, we hired a taxi to take us the remaining miles to West Bury for today’s seminar. The women far outnumbered the men—50 women and 32 men, for a total of 82 present. The program commenced immediately upon our arrival. Bonnie taught three ladies’ classes, while “Joe” and I taught men’s classes and combined classes of men and women. The sessions were punctuated with a common meal together at lunchtime.

Barge on Demerara River

Barge on Demerara River

The trip back proved interesting. A dispute at the river port at Supenaam required all of the passengers of our boat to disembark and find alternative boats for the crossing. By the time Nigel and we made it back to his home—our “base”—in Linden by about 8:30 p.m., we were all totally exhausted.

Bouncing Boats on Essequibo River

Bouncing Boats on Essequibo River

By the way, I have injured the bottom of my right foot somehow—mysteriously, since I do not know how or what happened. It is getting sorer.

After cleaning up and resting for the night, we will worship with the Blue Berry Church of Christ in Linden on the Lord’s Day. Our mission trip is half over, but we have nine seminar locations remaining. We resume the seminars on Monday.

Ituni, You-tuni, We-tuni

February 14, 2014

Muddy Minivan
Thursday, February 13
, Joe, Nigel, and Bonnie and I departed Linden in the church van for Ituni. We left about 1:15 p.m. and arrived two hours later over what must be one of the worst poor excuses for a road that we have ever experienced. Hardly had we left Linden and we immersed the minivan in muddy slurry the entire width of the road and more than the length of our vehicle. In the process of navigating the distance between Linden and Ituni, we managed to damage the front license plate and pack mud into the grill. Words fail to express the excruciating experience just trying to hold on, certainly comparable to many American amusement park rides or riding the mechanical bull at some cowboy bar.

Ituni Church of Christ

We had the windows open to keep from suffocating in the tropical heat, only to be splattered with mud from the oversized tires splashing through the water (mud) hazards. The air was so thick with airborne grit that we could feel it pelting us in our faces and getting into our eyes. By the time of our arrival in Ituni, our clothes were decorated with brown splotches of muddy splatter. Ituni is one of those places that upon arriving one explores the possibility of settling down, simply because the thought of the return trip across the rigorous terrain is repulsive to reflect upon.

Louis TeachingWe checked into the village guesthouse when we arrived. Its amenities or the lack thereof ranged somewhere between those of Monkey Mountain and Paramakatoi. Ituni is a logging village, and most of the men are in the bush for weeks at a time, leaving behind largely a population of women and children.

Bonnie's ClassAbout 21 people were present for the seminar (including the four of us). Both members of the church and non-members attended. The panel discussion was particularly lively, and we provided biblical answers for sundry religious questions that were asked. Bonnie taught the ladies in the dark outside the meetinghouse, and Joe and I each taught a lesson inside; I taught a combined group of men and women.

ItuniThe program concluded, we had a meal together. Our team opted to return to Linden that night. However, we arrived back Nigel’s home three hours later. Bonnie and I cleaned up before going to bed, turning in around 2 a.m. Brother Milo told me that so much of the trail was on my face that I certainly would have to clean up before anyone at the airport upon our departure would believe I was the one pictured in my passport.

ItuniIt was a good effort. Brethren were encouraged and edified. We also became aware of how we might be of greater assistance to the Ituni brethren in the future.

To Paramakatoi and Back

February 14, 2014

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On Sunday, February 9, Bonnie and I along with brother Nigel Milo made our early morning departure from Linden, Guyana aboard a taxi bound for Georgetown briefly before going to the airport at Ogle. Normally, we take the church van, but so as not to deprive the congregation of the ability to pick up riders for worship, we paid the fare for a cab instead.

An hour and a half later, Nigel dropped off his television lesson at TV station in Georgetown. Next, we three headed for the Ogle International Airport—not the airport at which we arrived several days ago from the States. The routine is the same everywhere within Guyana where sufficient scales are present: weigh the luggage, weigh the hand baggage and weigh the passengers. Then, wait! (During that indefinite pause in our travels, we are expected to walk from the Air Services site from which we depart back to the Ogle airport to clear immigration, though we do not leave Guyana on these excursions; likewise, we must clear customs and immigration upon our return from outlying areas as well.)

Our flight from the coast inland was uneventful. We flew over the solid carpet of jungle for an hour or two aboard a Cessna Grand Caravan with just a little over a dozen total passengers, luggage and cargo. Our craft eventually descended and landed at a small Amerindian village called Kato; we were there only long enough to drop off one passenger before barely climbing back into the sky for the remaining five air miles (three-hour walk through gullies as well as up and down mountains) to Paramakatoi.

The procedure for landing is to fly adjacent to the landing strip so the pilot can assure himself (or herself, sometimes) that it is satisfactory for setting down, so animals and people on the airstrip can be forewarned to get clear from it and so interested villagers can make their way to it for greeting passengers, sending passengers or receiving mail and freight. The plane banks hard to the left to make a midair U-turn, drops out of the sky, skirting between adjacent treetops and hops over a final bump at the runway’s front edge to bring her in. The runway is comparable to what we would call “tar and chip,” except that the “chips” are the size “walnuts”! Add to that, the runway is not flat! The plane appears to have as much turbulence on the ground as it might have when hitting an air pocket aloft!

Onward to the village guesthouse—up, up and more up by foot we trekked to a high spot in the community. Almost everyone walks exclusively on paths up, down and along ridges in that little savannah surrounded by mountain peaks and jungle. Planes aplenty cause little stir, but the truck that passed through was more unusual. Occasionally, we would see a motorcycle or an ATV, and once we saw a beat-up SUV. Other than that, cows, donkeys, dogs and chickens roam at will in Paramakatoi, an Amerindian “metropolis” for that part of Region 8.

The guesthouse is operated by the Amerindians and a council member, and his family manages and maintains it. Its amenities exceed those available to me last year in Monkey Mountain. “Joe” Latchmenarine Latchmenarine journeyed with us, as he had on previous forays with the Gospel this year to various venues. The four of us occupied three of the four rooms in the guesthouse; shortly after our arrival, three Brazilian hikers arrived and squeezed into the remaining room.

The lodging was comparable to a basic camp structure in the USA in which children, at least in the past, would sleep while away at summer camp. Windows and eves were open to the outside, and there were sufficient cracks between boards to permit unimpeded travel by numerous little creatures; one fairly large spider startled me, and I apparently frightened him, too, as he ran ever so fast, and even after a diligent search, we could not find him. The walls went up only so far, separating rooms, common area and indoor toilet and bathing facilities. Thankfully, we actually had toilets (unlike Monkey Mountain), though we needed to fetch water from outside to flush them, because rainwater had been insufficient to replenish the two plastic tanks collecting runoff from the roof. If the tanks were fuller, water pressure courtesy of gravity would have replenished water in the toilet tanks. Bathing was of the familiar sort we learned in India—bucket and cup!

Paramakatoi is the coolest place Bonnie or I have ever been in Guyana. Its mountains resemble the mountains we knew from our youth. The wind is constant with accents of stiffer gusts. I suppose the temperatures ranged from the 50’s to the 80’s, and Bonnie and I were cold by night in those wee hours, though the mosquito netting helped shield us as well from the chill. We even wore jackets in the early morning. With an occasional awareness of the brutal winter weather buffeting the USA, Bonnie and I are quite content to spend the balance of winter in Guyana, South America, where in the lowlands the temperatures probably in the 90’s—nobody knows, i.e., keeps a record—and they can’t change it anyway.

The four of us brought the Annual Nationwide Guyana Mobile Seminar to Paramakatoi for two days (plus two days for arrival and departure). The day seminar began at 9 a.m. each morning and continued until 4 p.m.—with an interlude for lunch provided for all; about 53 persons attended. From 6 to 8 p.m. nightly, we provided a Gospel meeting for all-comers.

I introduced Bonnie to “bake,” which I had experienced at Monkey Mountain the year before in her absence; it is a heavy, irregularly shaped bread similar to an American donut without the sugar coating. Neither of us braved sampling the “farine,” a hard, brownish, granulated substance made from the cassava root; intermixed with other food, it expands within one’s stomach after drinking water, giving a sense of being full. The cassava crop is widely cultivated among the Amerindians for making cassava bread and farine.

Leaving Paramakatoi proved no less interesting than leaving Monkey Mountain the year before. There are direct flights from the coast to either of those two mountaintops, but there are no direct flights back to the coast. After last year, brother Nigel Milo and I knew to expect a layover at Mahdia. Passengers from various sites are dumped into a metal hangar on the airstrip there, and then, the seats are removed from the airplanes to accommodate cargo. For the next several hours, those planes ferry building materials, equipment and commodities to various mining camps and villages. In time to make their way back to the coast before dark, seats are placed back into the planes, and the passengers are hauled back to Ogle on the seacoast.

Things were not even that simple when it came time for our party of four to leave Paramakatoi. The planes arriving were already bringing wire fencing, cement, fencing and rebar for the new school building under construction in the village. The first plane leaving could only take two passengers—a school administrator for the region and a patient. The next plane, likewise, only had two seats installed, and so Bonnie and Joe left Nigel and me behind at Paramakatoi; they departed in a blue, twin prop Britton Norman Islander.

The next plane to land was a Cessna 5 that was apparently experiencing engine trouble. After tinkering with it, the pilot took off again—neither discharging any passengers nor picking up anyone. Finally, our ride was ready—a white, single prop Cessna Grand Caravan with all of its seats removed for carrying building materials. Brother Nigel and I sat on the bench seat permanently affixed in the tail section, while a laborer sprawled in the large open area where once seats were and the pilot at the far front end of the airship piloted us away from Paramakatoi.

Amerindian Bow & Arrows

Amerindian Bow & Arrows

The four of us reunited at Mahdia. After some confusion as to when freight hauling would give way to carting passengers around again, we four rented a taxi for a spin around the frontier mining village. A taxi is often anything that is motorized, irrespective of its condition or whether it is commodious that might be able to take one from point “A” to point “B.” This was one of those dilapidated machines that once was a new car, but not lately. We entered a darkened “restaurant” and attempted to order food on display that we could not see (the electric was out). Bonnie and I settled for a Coca Cola and fried chicken to share.

Finally, we departed Mahdia around 4 p.m. and got back to the coast around 6 p.m. Then, we made our way by taxis to Nigel’s home in Linden, another two hours by land. Joe stayed in Georgetown at his parents’ home.

We had gone to Paramakatoi and back! The brethren were eager for the studies we presented them, and they long for our return. Some attending had walked parts of three days to get there (and would need to take as much time along jungle trails to return to their own villages). Paramakatoi was a quiet, friendly, safe location. The people are charming (except for denominational church housed next door to the guesthouse that seemed determined to disrupt our sleep from 4 to 7 a.m. daily). The Amerindian craftsmanship was exquisite and unique in the beaded necklaces, a skin and armadillo pouch, and a bow and arrows. Bonnie and I look forward to our return to Paramakatoi next year.

Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ Ladies’ Day

February 8, 2014

by Bonnie Rushmore

Ladies' Inspiration Day

The ladies of the Amelia’s Ward congregation are to be applauded. For several months they have been preparing for this day – a Ladies’ Inspiration Day – a day of fellowship and study of God’s Word with sisters from other locations. Their hard work came to fruition with over three hundred ladies in attendance from thirteen congregations. The building was packed, extra seating was brought out of the classrooms and some were sitting in the doorways.

Ladies' Inspiration DayThe building was beautifully decorated to the theme “Colors of the Rainbow – Depicting the Christian Lifestyle.” Each guest was exuberantly greeted with a warm welcome. The day was filled with songs, prayers, poems and four ladies were selected to have their feet washed as an act of showing love for our sisters. One lady gave a brief lesson on the “Rainbow and its use in the Bible” (Genesis 9:12-17; Revelation 4:3). I was privileged to present a lesson on the “Parable of the Talents” with an emphasis on working together to use our talents to glorify God. Another lady presented information on “Breast Cancer.”

Ladies' Inspiration DayA mid-morning snack and lunch were provided to all attendees. The attendance was so great that by the time the visitors and their male drivers were fed, the ladies who worked so hard preparing and serving were left with nothing to eat. They planned on feeding 250 and fed about 325. It was a good day of fellowship and learning.

Ladies' Inspiration DayAs the guests left, the local ladies began cleaning and straightening the building in preparation for Lord’s Day worship tomorrow. Already, they are talking about next year’s program.

Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ

February 8, 2014

Nigel at LethemThe Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ is one of the most promising congregations of the Lord’s church with which we are acquainted anywhere. The members routinely canvass their city door to door three days weekly, without prodding or superintending. Church members exercise a mentoring program for new members, and new members continue in guided self-study with weekly guidance from more mature members. Christians there save their money to fund two in-country mission trips annually to both encourage sister congregations and evangelize distant communities.

Nigel at ParikaSeveral men and ladies teach or in other ways contribute to the edification of the church there. Brother Nigel and sister Jasmine Milo serve the congregation as brother Nigel preaches for it. Christians are added to the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ with regularity. If necessary, when delinquent members cannot be recovered, they are withdrawn from; on a recent visit, one sister from whom the church had withdrawn was restored. This congregation is living and active and doing its best in every quarter to follow the New Testament pattern for Christianity. No one could accuse these brethren of playing church or keeping house! Consequently, the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ is one of the largest and most thriving churches in Guyana.

The present facilities are overwhelmed with the number in attendance. Hence, a new, 2-story building is being constructed on an adjacent lot. It is a handsome structure that should provide all of the space needed for the foreseeable future. It can be a fine tool for the cause of Christ for many years to come. The new facilities will accommodate the hundreds of Christians and visitors already attending.

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Humble and modest, but ambitious for the Lord, Nigel Milo is a sparkplug. He would put the Energizer Bunny to shame. Brother Milo is the director of our Annual Nationwide Mobile Guyanese Seminar, and he doesn’t stop making it successful and planning thereto. Even in airports or at boat docks while going to or returning from the seminar venues already in progress, Nigel works the phone with congregational contacts. This year, he simultaneously worked with contacts for the seminars as well as the ladies’ day.

As the result largely of the Amelia’s Ward congregation and brother and sister Milo, many hundreds throughout the nation annually are encouraged and edified within the body of Christ. In addition, hundreds attended the ladies’ day. It is a great pleasure to be associated with this fine church and these outstanding brethren.

Bartica, Guyana, South America

February 7, 2014

Bartica Church of Christ meetinghouseLast night for Bonnie and me ended at about 1 a.m. this morning, and our new day began 4:30 a.m. Who out there thinks that missionaries generally are just taking exotic vacations at the expense of the Lord’s church? We’re going to have to return to the so-called normal grind of everyday life—just so we can get some rest!

By about 5:15 a.m. on Friday, February 7, brother Nigel Milo (he got less sleep than us, and he is the driver) and we two weary souls bounded from Linden toward Georgetown. We made our way across the floating bridge straddling the Demerara River; barges anchored sequentially the span of the waterway support metal plates for two way traffic to traverse from bank to bank. Being on the edge of Georgetown, it is always packed with stopped or at best slowly moving vehicles of all kinds. Tolls are collected for one direction only on this pontoon bridge; there is no need to collect a fee going both ways because all returning automobiles and trucks have no choice but to return via the same passage.

wharf at ParikaThen, we drove along the river for about five miles to the river port on that side. There we retrieved two more passengers—brother Joe and his sister-in-law who had arrived by water taxi. From there, we proceeded by minivan for an hour or so to the river port town of Parika, whereupon we boarded a speedboat to go inland about an hour and a half to Bartica. The boats everywhere around the huge dock ferry passengers to various river ports accessible on the Essequibo River, which is as wide as a reservoir and seemingly endless in length. Since only full boats depart, passengers have to wait until other commuters happen by and want to travel to the same destination as you. We waited about two hours! We could have left almost immediately upon arrival, but would have had to take the last four seats (for five of us) on the front seat of the boat; that seating position provides the roughest treatment of any on board, from the bouncing up and down to the hard smashes on the waves.

Bonnie and I have no need to spend good money on American amusement park rides for the pleasure of finding a little excitement and experiencing nausea. Only one passenger had preceded us onto the boat we finally boarded, so we could have the best seats in the house, so to speak, the back bench—unfortunately, also the loudest venue, being positioned closest to the dual, high-powered outboard motors.

Despite leaving Linden early, we nevertheless arrived over 30 minutes late for the seminar program. The local, routine travel does not afford very much control over one’s travel time. Find a boat going your direction, put on a life preserver and wait for the craft to fill. Zip up the river at speeds certain to cool one down, sometimes spraying muddy river water in the faces of boat occupants. After a while, the hard, wooden seats, themselves taking a severe beating from being battered by the crash of the boat on the water, tend to aggravate one’s body, especially the tailbone. Cramped quarters for the feet are more restrictive than typical of commercial airlines. About 30 passengers, hand luggage, cargo, a boat captain and one crewman whiz through waters, dodging pilings, other boats, docks and river brush.

96 dpi 5x7 Bartica CoC2Brother Michael Osborne who preaches for the Bartica Church of Christ and that congregation hosted the seminar today. The program was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Because of that, most of the men were absent, being at work. Still, we had an attendance of around 32. Joe, Bonnie and I took our turns teaching; Bonnie taught a ladies’ class sometimes when either Joe or I spoke to just the men. Nigel taught the young children, who to our surprise their mothers kept home from school so they could be present for the occasion. In the three years that we have been conducting these seminars across Guyana, this was the first time that we brought the program to Bartica. Should we return in the future, we may be able to alter the times, if we can schedule all venues within the frame work of four weeks, as well as factor in the variables of river transportation to Bartica and back (the water taxis stop running before dark).

By 9 p.m., we had retraced our steps, and brother Milo and Bonnie and I arrived back in Linden. Bonnie went over her lessons for the ladies’ day on Saturday in which she would speak at the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden. We bathed and retired for the evening. Another good day had come to an end!

Lethem, Guyana

February 6, 2014

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Five o’clock a.m. Monday on the morning of February 3 came too quickly, and frankly too early. I could have used a couple more hours of sleep—at least! By 5:45 a.m.—15 minutes past our ETD (estimated time of departure), brother Nigel Milo piloted the minivan out of Linden, Guyana with Bonnie and me aboard. We made our way with few impediments along the highway—until we neared Georgetown; from there on it was pretty much a crawl along streets overwhelmed with cars and trucks.

We had allotted two and a half hours for the drive to the Ogle airport outside of the capital. The plan included picking up my co-speaker, Latchmenarine Latchmenarine (“Joe”) in Georgetown, but instead, brother Milo called ahead for Joe to take a taxi to the airfield and meet us; he made it there before we did.

A couple of hours later, we were airborne and headed for Lethem, Guyana. Our little single-engine flying machine with 13 aboard (including our lady pilot) pierced the rain-soaked sky and blindly pushed through the overpowering clouds. Much of the trip was cloudy, only infrequently permitting a peek at the jungle canopy below. (Incidentally, last week, a small plane carrying drums of fuel with the pilot and one other aboard mysteriously crashed into the jungle. Several days later, the crash site and the remains of those lost souls were discovered.)

About an hour and a half after leaving Ogle on the Atlantic coast, we dropped below the clouds and set our sight on the landing strip at Lethem. We dove and simultaneously banked left, having already passed the airfield and crossed the river separating Guyana and Brazil (flying ever so little into Brazilian airspace). As the small craft lined up with the runway, it swayed from left to right and to the left again, but soon straightened out before the thud of the fixed landing gear striking the asphalt. We didn’t need more than half the available airstrip before our plane slowed enough to pivot and turn toward the walkway leading through the fence to the adjacent road and row of buildings.

No sooner had we retrieved our luggage, we were packaged into a taxi operated by a member of the local congregation of the Lord’s church. He dropped us at a different hotel than in which brother Milo and I stayed the year before. It proved, though, to be less accommodative than where we formerly lodged. This hotel didn’t turn out to be a place on which we could rely for our daily meals, and therefore, we walked to the other hotel for a late lunch.

We returned to our room drenched in perspiration. However, owing to the limited amount of clothing we could bring easily with us, it was necessary to dry out. After we walked again to supper and returned to the room, we could bathe. Otherwise, we would have soiled two sets of clothes in the same day, which we could not afford to do.

Bonnie and I were well situated in a convenient room with a suitable bed, mosquito netting, a toilet, a shower, a small refrigerator and air conditioning. I worked on the February issue of Gospel Gazette Online, and we both looked over our lessons for the following days and nights for the 2-day seminar and 2-day nightly Gospel meeting. When the electric failed, the hotel generator took over to restore light and AC. As it turned out the shower was not so convenient, having no hot water.

Tuesday, we walked to breakfast a quarter of a mile away to the hotel where we were not staying! From 8:30 a.m. through nearly 4 p.m. brother Joe, Bonnie and I taught numerous classes, with Bonnie teaching several classes to the ladies simultaneously as either brother Joe or I taught the men. Each afternoon, we concluded the day sessions with a panel discussion where brother Nigel moderated (and answered some of the easy questions!) while Joe and I answered the religious questions asked aloud from the floor.

Last year, the first time we brought our program to Lethem, 35 brothers and sisters in Christ attended the day seminars. However, this year, the attendances slightly more than doubled! Everyone listened attentively throughout the breezy, but hot and humid day hours. Most present had traveled with great difficulty by various means up to a hundred miles or so; no one came for the free meal of rice or opted to snooze despite the heat of the day, even when taking a nap after lunch might have been desirable. Tuesday evening, we had two hours of preaching a Gospel meeting, with accompanying songs and prayers; about 115 were present, down some from the previous year.

Tuesday afternoon between the seminar and the Gospel meeting, Bonnie and I along with brother Joe changed rooms. Supposedly, we were changing rooms because the rooms in which we were lodging had no hot water. Sadly, later that night, we discovered that the rooms to which we moved had no hot water either. Not only that, but we had needlessly sacrificed electrical outlets, furniture, space and barely having enough cold water to mist ourselves—with no hope of rinsing lather from body or hair.

Before returning for the night sessions, I attempted to print off a copy of a lesson I had presented earlier in the day, per the request of one preacher. Assured by the manager that could be done at the hotel, yet I was not surprised that in reality there was no ink in the printer. Assurances throughout our stay were hollow and disappointing. When we go to a remote area knowing that amenities are not available or that the stay will border on primitive, we steel ourselves ahead of time to endure whatever minor inconveniences we may encounter for just a few days. However, it is disappointing to be sold amenities that the sellers know full well that they do not have and for which they charge premium prices.

Next year, we tentatively plan to return to the other hotel, though the local brethren were trying to distance us from a bar adjacent to it. The bar near the hotel where we stayed this year was a little further from it. Given the circumstances (bars near both hotels, the lack of services and serviceable rooms where we lodged in 2014 and walking down to the competitor to eat twice a day), for us, the decision seems obvious.

Wednesday, again we had seminars by day and a Gospel meeting by night. At the request of local brethren hosting the seminar in Lethem, we began the day earlier, extended the day session an hour later and added an hour to the night Gospel meeting. This provided the opportunity to add an additional lesson in the morning, an extra hour of panel discussion in the afternoon and an additional lesson (total of three) that night. Everyone, including our team of four, was completely exhausted! I only saw one adult and one toddler drop off to sleep, while everyone else remained attentive—only parting from the building a good long time after the closing prayer.

These brethren from this region of Guyana asked us last year to spend a week with them in 2014, which we could not do and maintain our schedule throughout the country in the 15+ venues over 28 days; we have only three days in that time when we are not involved in teaching the Gospel—travel days mostly. This year, we were asked to come for a seminar twice a year, which we are unable to do either. I mention this to portray the eagerness with which these brethren hunger for the edification available through the presentation of the Word of God. The others and I are as eager to present the Gospel as brethren are eager to hear it preached! In summary, the four of us presented 21 lessons and taught the Word of God for 23 hours.

Thursday was another travel day. After visiting brethren again and taking the once over through the towns of Lethem and St. Ignatius (Amerindian Reservation), we boarded a plane bound for Ogle on the coast. From there, we dropped brother Joe with his parents in Georgetown and stopped by the hospital for brother Nigel to pick up the results of sister Jasmine’s recent biopsies. Praise God! Cancer fears have been allayed. Then, we drove back to Linden. Sister Jasmine and other Christian women made preparations for the Ladies’ Day on Saturday; brother Nigel conducted two home Bible studies in the community; and Bonnie and I washed clothes. Since water use here relies on gravity delivering it from tanks aloft into which it has been pumped, the kitchen faucet is used via PVC pipe to direct it to the washer (washing and rinsing cycles); of course, one cannot get far from the washer because of that.

We still need to bathe and ready ourselves for a 5:30 a.m. departure to our next venue: Bartica—approached by land until we switch to a boat for the balance of the journey. I’m sure we will be worn out by the time of our return to Linden tomorrow night. Saturday is the Ladies’ Day, and Sunday we begin our next 4-day roundtrip for 2 days of seminars and 2 nights of Gospel meetings. We will not be getting much sleep over the next month, and often we will not have good communication opportunities. We covet your prayers.