Archive for the ‘Bibles’ category

Camping in the Mountains of Guyana, South America

February 22, 2020

Always before when our team went to Paramakatoi, we were able to lodge in the Amerindian guesthouse there, and over the years, its amenities have been upgraded. This time, however, government officials, who had come for the dedication of a water system, trumped our plan to reside in the guesthouse once more. Consequently, we camped in the classroom of the church building. Martha and I occupied one tent, while brother Nigel Milo slept in a pup tent. Brother Frederick Darrel slumbered nightly in a hammock. On the plus side, we didn’t have to walk to the meetinghouse—since we were already in it! The downside, though, was bucket and cup bathing in the shed for the ATV and using an outhouse.

We flew into Paramakatoi on a small twin-prop plane, and after five days flew out on a larger single-prop airplane. The flight to Paramakatoi in the mountains from Ogle on the coast was direct, but the return trip made stops at Monkey Mountain (a gravel airstrip) and Mahdia.

Martha and I were certainly out of our comfort zone, and our arthritis distinctly worked against us. I also battle low blood pressure.

The mountain village of Paramakatoi is the only place to which we go in Guyana where we get cold. Sweat clothes for sleeping at night and jackets at least in the morning are a must. We even bought a couple of blankets while there—extremely thin but unexpectedly almost too warm.

All four of us taught while visiting the Paramakatoi Church of Christ. Frederick Darrel, Nigel Milo and I took turns day and night, and Martha taught a couple hundred children and their teachers who graced us with their presence one morning.

A few excitements occurred during our time in Paramakatoi. Guyana’s First Lady officially commissioned a new solar-powered water system. Since it is nearly election time, her husband’s political party and the opposing political party were well represented in the crowded soccer field. Venders sold their wares and the music loudly blasted the village until 2 a.m. daily. The whole affair resembled a small county fair. There were more aircraft coming and going in one day than would usually arrive and depart over several months.

Near the conclusion of our time in Paramakatoi, we presented to attendees new Bibles. On our way out of Paramakatoi, we were able to give a preacher and his wife a ride to Monkey Mountain—saving them an 8-hour hike up and down serious hills; the plane was already going that way, so we quickly added them to our passenger manifest.

We believe that we edified brethren from the two congregations which assembled for our workshop. In addition, we encouraged them and commended them as well for their continued evangelistic outreach into distant villages. This little church, which hosted our program, in the edge and on the fringe of an otherwise busy world is self-supporting. Through their own initiative and ambition the congregation launched out with the Gospel comparable to the commendable achievements with the Gospel of the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 1:8). This little family of God meets three days a week for worship and devotionals to praise God and fortify itself.

Martha and I fawn over the little ones. Little girls especially are drawn to Martha, and I enjoy playing with the children, too.

It was a hard outing for us, and we exhausted all the clothes we brought to Guyana. We were delighted to shower and rest in a bed once more. I hadn’t shaved for a week!

2020 Guyana Workshops

February 11, 2020

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Each year for several years, I have been traveling to Guyana, South America once or twice a year to conduct workshops and Gospel meetings across this nation. Guyanese preachers and I together major in edification of our brethren (1 Corinthians 3:6) and minor in evangelism (Mark 16:15-16). Edification is crucial for personal, congregational and brotherhood maturity among foreign nationals for them to participate in a meaningful way in growing the Lord’s church internally and externally among them. In earlier years, my late wife Bonnie accompanied me here and taught ladies and children. Since 2017, my wife Martha and I continue to labor in this ministry together and alongside Guyanese preachers.

The workshop theme this year is, “If Not Now, When?” The corresponding topics address laying the groundwork for and progressing toward the appointment of elders and deacons in the churches throughout the country, encouraging brethren to assume congregational responsibility for their finances, preparing more fully to rely primarily on themselves for their own edification, and analyzing and implementing methods for the churches of Christ throughout Guyana to accept a greater role in evangelizing their own country. Happily, many congregations are already actively working towards these goals, and so far, the lessons have been well received.

Out time here is from January 31 through March 2. We have completed programs in Lethem near the Brazilian border and in Port Kaituma near the border with Venezuela. At the latter location, we had two venues—one in the town and one along the bank of a canal to the Kaituma River. Tomorrow, we leave our base in Linden for two more workshops, like the sites two which we’ve already traveled, distant from each other and in opposite directions.

Wednesday and Thursday, we will lodge in New Amsterdam; Thursday we have a workshop hosted by the Cotton Tree Church of Christ. Friday night, we will lodge at the other end of the coast in Parika. Saturday, we have a workshop scheduled for Richmond across the 20-mile-wide Essequibo River; that evening, we will make the several hours’ drive back to Linden.

In the weeks ahead if our Lord permits, we will have programs near Georgetown the capital, Paramakatoi in the mountains near Brazil, outside Mabaruma near Venezuela and Kildonan once more in the southern coastal area.

This year we minimized the amount of clothes and foodstuffs and maximized the number of Bibles, books and tracts in our luggage. This year, too, I’m taking fewer pictures than in prior years (as well as in the Asian countries to which I go); it’s a matter of been there—saw that before. The more I come here or go to be with brethren in Asia, it is like going home, not to say that I don’t appreciate our home in America. Martha and I solicit your prayers and encourage your participation with us.

We are most fortunate to be coworkers with brother Nigel Milo, his wife Jasmine and son Zab. This year, my additional Guyanese co-speaker is brother Frederick Darrel, preacher for the Kitty Church of Christ in Georgetown. Together, we aim to glorify God, edify brethren and reach lost sous with the Gospel of Christ.

Packed Two Suitcases Tonight

December 11, 2019

Earlier tonight, I packed two suitcases in anticipation of Martha and my travel January 31, 2020 to Guyana, South America. Together, they hold 40 NKJV Bibles and 200 Ready Reference booklets. The luggage will cost $40 each for a total of $80 as second checked bags for Martha and me; the first bag for each of us will cost $30 each or a total of $60 for 8 Bibles that didn’t fit in the other bags, some food and clothes.

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas looms in the near future, but we are mindful of our impending annual mission trip to the 10 regions of the tropical country of Guyana. We are scheduled to return to the USA on March 2.

This year, the theme is, “If Not Now, When?” Topics that will be discussed concern foreign brethren taking responsibility for evangelizing their own nation, edifying themselves, beginning to assume a greater role in financial accountability and laying the groundwork for appointing elders sometime in the future. Two Guyanese preaching brethren and I will share the speaking, and Martha will teach Christian ladies.

We solicit your prayers, and anyone wishing to participate financially may send a check to the Siwell Road Church of Christ, 4075 S. Siwell Rd., Jackson, MS 39212 with “Rushmore Mission Trip” written on the memo line. The elders of this congregation oversee our mission work and hold funds for us to this end.