Archive for the ‘Guyana’ category

Sleeping State to State!

March 17, 2017

Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!

Overdrive!

March 11, 2017

Six weeks ago about to begin the mission trip to Guyana

Things just did not go as planned! Nothing lately caused me more anxiety than the snafu involving Martha and my return from Guyana, South America. Nothing lately has been more costly than the glitch in our return from 6-week mission trip this year to “The Land of Many Waters.” Uugghh! Ratsofratso! Bless their hearts!

Surinam Airways delayed our flight from Georgetown to Miami by 7 hours! That caused us to miss our connecting flight from Miami non-stop to Memphis. Fixing up that mess cost us over $1,000 extra and put us a day later getting back to the USA—on Friday. In addition, rather than a direct flight between Miami and Memphis, we had to fly to Charlotte, NC. Layover in Miami was too short to get a hotel and too long to stay awake without somewhere to slouch even a little in the airport.

Martha and I dozed sitting upright in rigid, armrest corralled seating while in the airport, and we took advantage of plane time to check our eyelids from the inside for light leaks. Except for the catnaps, we were up for about 28 hours before arriving at our daughter Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. We had a difficult time deciding between showering, sleeping and eating, but showering won out, followed by eating some Ritz crackers. We were unable to sleep, and I proceeded to receive and make phone calls to catch up on many matters. Sleep that night was most welcome, but not quite adequate to compensate for sleeplessness leading up to it.

Saturday, Rebecca, Martha and I packed the van and headed out to Arkansas for Sunday appointments at two congregations in that state. Martha and I had left temperature highs in the 80’s, but now found the lows in the 30’s, first with rain dampening our travel—followed by big, wet snowflakes. We three lodged Saturday night in Batesville, AR, in preparation for worshipping Sunday with the Southside, AR Church of Christ in the morning and the Oil Trough, AR Church of Christ in the evening. The week ahead, Lord willing, will take us to Winona, MS; Benton, KY; Nashville, TN; Collierville, TN; Winona, MS again; across Alabama, to Valdosta, GA and to Ocala, FL. Whew! I’m worn out already! Not only is there a 2-hour time zone difference between Guyana and the USA, we need to factor in Daylight Savings Time tonight!

 

Playdate in Georgetown

March 8, 2017


Sunday, March 5
, Martha Lynn and I worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana, South America. Again, it was my good pleasure to teach the morning Bible class for the congregation. Outside of assembling with the saints, I diligently worked on the next issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Likewise on Monday, I applied myself throughout the day to preparation of the February edition of GGO, as well as working some on a future quarter of The Voice of Truth International magazine.


Tuesday
, Martha and I had a playdatedouble-date plus one—a day off together—with brother and sister Milo and their 10-year-old son, Zab. Around lunchtime, we five headed into Georgetown, about an hour and a half away. However, before we could eat lunch, we stopped at a tire shop to have a tire changed for the church bus; each action and every direction traveled must be exercised by soldiers of the cross so as to extract as much benefit from the minutes (Ephesians 5:16)—even when on holiday.

Next stop, we were off to the new Chinese restaurant atop the new America-like grocery store—which has become a favorite of ours nearly every time we passed through Georgetown these past six weeks. After all, it was only a 1,000 feet off of our necessary route of travel between Linden and Georgetown.

The five of us climbed the stairway to the second story eatery and were taken aback by the elegance of the panorama that unfolded before us. Everything was pristine, ornate and immaculate. Real tablecloths and cloth napkins adorned each table, and the staff was costumed in fine and culturally appropriate attire for a Chinese backdrop. This was neither a café nor a diner, but it was destination fit for royalty—and a little pricier than some neighborhood haunt. The food was delicious, and the fellowship that we enjoyed was to be cherished forever. On the way back down to ground level, Martha, Zab and I discovered and used the glass-walled elevator that clings to the outside of the building as it escorts its passengers between floors.

Next, we went shopping in the grocery for the last time prior to our return to the USA. I’ve hooked Martha on Cadbury chocolate bars—to go with our Coke Zero, cereal bars and Pringles potato chips. As always, Martha managed to find several discarded coins on the ground, which she will take home for souvenirs for herself, for grandchildren and for young ones along our stateside travels. Patrons of the store throw the coins away because they have no significant value, but the store gives them out in change anyway just to be honest and fair.

Parting from there, we headed to “the Giftland Mall.” We most looked around, and none of us made any noteworthy purchases; Martha and I bought a cheap plastic bowl to safeguard the Amerindian headdress we bought while in Monkey Mountain. The highlight of that stopover was Dairy Queen for four of the five of us; brother Nigel doesn’t like sweets.

By now, most of the day was spent. Nevertheless, we scurried over to a series of two home wares businesses, looking for an area rug and floor mats for the Milo kitchen. Just in time before the metal gate descended to secure the department store for the night, we made our purchase and stuffed it into the small Toyota family car in which we were riding.

Granting Martha’s expressed wishes, a little before dusk, we made our way to the narrow ribbon of beach on the far side of the seawall so my dear wife could feel the sand between her toes and wade in the surf, which was a distance from the shore owing to the low tide. Making good use of her tetanus shot before leaving the United States, Martha promptly stepped on a board with a nail in it! That little incident hardly slowed her down, and she was not seriously injured.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we stopped at Pizza Hut before leaving Georgetown for Linden. As far as eating goes, it doesn’t get much better: tasty Chinese food, Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait and Peperoni Lover’s Pizza—besides the breakfast sister Jasmine fixed for us hours earlier. I informed brother Nigel and sister Jasmine that with treatment like that, I might decide to stay and not go home!

The journey back to Linden seemed much longer than it had earlier or at any other time we had passed that way many times over six weeks. The ride was much more taxing, not only because we were packed into the small, 5-passenger auto, but because of the wheel and tire in the trunk, along with the carpet, four mats, groceries, and satiated, contented, slightly heavier car occupants doubtless taxed the suspension as it battled bad spots in the roadway. In addition, we were all tired, and Zab fell asleep, leaning on the shoulder of his recently acquired additional grandma—Martha.

It was a good day! We double-dated, more or less, plus one very fine young man. Days don’t get much better than spending quality time with beloved Christian friends such as the Milos. Of course, I enjoyed being with Martha, too!

Wednesday, I reworked the newsletter and postcard files, and then, I resubmitted them electronically in a different way to a printing company in Michigan; I hope the files are satisfactory this time. Having received the last article for the February Gospel Gazette Online, I was able to publish it to the Internet and apprise subscribers that it is ready for viewing. I continued to work on the March 2017 issue of GGO. At 5 p.m., we participated with local hospital visitation, before attending the Wednesday evening Bible class of the Amelia’s Ward congregation. Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, Martha Lynn and I will start our journey back to the USA, aboard Surinam Airways from Georgetown to Miami. From there, American Airlines should deposit us in Memphis a little before midnight, whereupon our daughter Rebecca will retrieve us. Two hours difference in time zones between our starting and ending points, plus changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time, will likely keep us a little confused for a few days.

By the blessings of Almighty God, we do what we do, intending it all for His glory. We serve a risen Savior and endeavor to follow the Spirit’s Guide Book—the Bible—as our roadmap from where we are to where we want to spend eternity. Please make that pilgrimage with us to a city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).

Robert’s Bush

March 4, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-3Friday, March 3 was spent in earnest labors on the next Rushmore Newsletter, the February edition of Gospel Gazette Online (yes, I’m late) and a forthcoming issue of The Voice of Truth International. I finalized the efforts of Rebecca (back in the States), Martha and me on the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it digitally to a printing company in Michigan. Subsequently, I sent our newsletter information over the Internet to over 700 persons, some of whom responded almost immediately with congratulations on our marriage, which took place on New Year’s Day this year.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-1I also prepared and sent the next color postcard to be printed by the same firm. One side of the card shows Martha and me in a flat-bottomed boat, wearing ponchos in a pouring rain, with the tide out and experiencing difficulty getting to shore; the back of the postcard contains information about our mission work.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-2Saturday, March 4 marked the final 2017 Annual World Evangelism Guyana Nationwide Workshop for this year. It was hosted by the Robert’s Bush Church of Christ. It assembles about an hour from our base in Linden. That was Martha and my 16th seminar this year and over the past six weeks.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-4Several congregations were represented. Nigel Milo, Martha and I, as at other locations, taught all those present. Brother Milo and I took turns teaching the combined classes as well as classes for the men. Martha taught the ladies classes.

Though this year’s workshops throughout Guyana have just ended, we are already anticipating next year when we will do it all again, Lord willing. Martha has turned out to be a natural, consistently placing the teaching of the Word of God above what is unfamiliar and challenging to her in the surroundings and backdrop of an overseas destination. I think that brethren we encountered have benefitted from the effort of all three of us. However, we are edified and uplifted as much or more than anyone we have visited in Guyana. In any case, to God be the glory!

 Ruimveldt Church of Christ

March 2, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-ruimveldt-coc-martha-1Wednesday, March 1 was seminar #15, hosted by the Ruimveldt Church of Christ in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. About 20 from Linden, including Martha and me, attended that workshop, besides members from every other congregation in the area assembled with the brethren of the Ruimveldt congregation from 5 p.m. to after 7 p.m. Brother Nigel Milo and I presented lessons to all in attendance, and then, upon dividing, Martha taught the women while I taught the men. Despite losing electrical power temporarily—really not knowing for how long we would be without it—we prepared to press on. However, the electric was restored.

96-dpi-4x6-the-one-true-church-of-the-bible-guyanaWe were well received expressions of appreciation, not only for the night’s program, but also for the books and tracts that I have been shipping to Guyana and that have been distributed to the churches of Christ throughout Guyana. One brother had my tract, “The One True Church,” taped to the outside of his Bible, and another Christian had a tract by J.C. Choate taped to his Bible.

96-dpi-4x6-sunshiners-1Thursday, Martha and I joined the Sunshiners group, to which we had been invited to tag along, and 15 of us traveled to a park some distance out of Linden. The Sunshiners are “mature” Christians who get together once monthly for devotionals, a meal, snacks and games. Martha and I each had our turn to present a lesson. Of course, Martha spoke to the Christian ladies in the absence of Nigel and me—the rest were women.

One more seminar remains, and Lord willing, we will present that on Saturday from morning through afternoon. When at our base in Linden, the home of Nigel and Jasmine Milo, I also attend to The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online magazines. Every once in a while, though, I need to take a few moments off—as we did today—whether I really want to or not. It was good to be invited and to interact with fellow Christians.

Lima Sands

February 26, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-4Friday February 24, throughout the day, I worked relentlessly on The Voice of Truth International, volume 92. Though I much prefer working with the alphabet over working with numbers, immersed in proofing and layout all day non-stop, nevertheless, leads to extreme dreariness. It was a relief of sorts that evening when Nigel Milo, Martha and I boarded the Toyota and headed toward our next World Evangelism Nationwide Guyana Workshop. At Georgetown, we took a left to cross the Demerara Harbour Bridge. Guyanese know what rivers are, and the Demerara is a good specimen of a real “river”—one and a quarter miles wide. The bridge spanning the Demerara River is a floating (i.e., anchored on barges) toll bridge with a peaked portion to permit small watercraft to cross beneath it and an additional retractable section to grant passage to larger river traffic (e.g., freighters).

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-11On the other side and not far from crossing the river, we proceeded to lodge at a “resort hotel” in preparation for continuation in the early morning (just a few hours later) onward toward Lima Sands, Guyana on the other side of mammoth Essequibo River—20 miles wide at its mouth!

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-9Friday night was a restless one for Martha and me as we made use of the modest accommodations (hot water not included). Noisy roomers adjacent our quarters and light leaks over the wall between the two rooms, from the hallway and above the curtains only contributed to our anxiousness as we awaited our 3:30 a.m. alarm to rouse us in anticipation of our 4 a.m. departure.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-7Saturday, Brother Nigel drove the remaining 30 minutes or so to Parika, a river port on the eastern bank of the Essequibo River. By 5:10 a.m., we were aboard a car ferry as pedestrians and on our way for the approximately one hour transit across the big river, weaving through a sprinkling of islands. After disembarking and selecting a taxi, we headed over an hour away to Lima Sands, reachable for the last many minutes with extreme care over a muddy, rutty, gouged and grooved sand road.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-6Doubtless, daily rains hampered travel for all attendees. Eventually, the little church building literally overflowed with Christian brothers and sisters. People were seated on the porch and in the yard, too! Attendance by several congregations swelled the attendance to over 100.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-16Nigel, Martha and I presented lessons; Martha spoke to the ladies for the last hour. The program was punctuated with a lunch and snacks also. Brethren appreciated the program and look forward to repeating it next year, Lord willing, at a sister church in the area.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-14Making a few stops along the way, we retraced our path back to Linden. We arrived, completely exhausted, about 8:30 p.m.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-15Sunday back in Linden, we worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. Again, I taught the morning Bible class in the auditorium, and then, I preached during the evening worship assembly.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-13Saturday we completed 14 of the 16 scheduled programs at the various venues. Two more sites this week will complete the nationwide workshop for 2017. However, there remain some locations on which we are waiting to hear back about even more seminars before Martha and I return to the USA on March 9.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-12There is no better “tired” than being tired for the Lord and in His service. Personally, I’m planning on resting when I’m dead!

Wednesday & Thursday Seminars

February 23, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-5Wednesday, February 22 Martha Lynn and I didn’t leave the Nigel and Jasmine Milo domicile until 5 p.m. Dutifully throughout the day, I worked at proofing and finishing the layout for Volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 90 was distributed not long ago, and Volume 91 is at the printers presently; recently, we switched print production from Hong Kong, China to India.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-4At the last moment and even a little beyond the appointed time, Martha and I sauntered from the Milo residence to the lot away to the meetinghouse for the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. The Annual World Evangelism Nationwide Guyana Workshop began about half an hour after the scheduled hour—right on time! Brother Nigel and I each spoke to the assembly in the auditorium, and then he and I took turns speaking to the men, while Martha addressed the ladies. The ladies in attendance, per usual, outnumbered the men. As often is the case, seminar attendees were treated to a meal by the hosting congregation.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-3Thursday, we three moved the seminar to the Georgetown, Guyana, South America venue of the Enmore Church of Christ and Hope Children’s Home. Rain, rain, rain! Upon arrival in the capital city, we drove through seriously flooded streets. When we arrived at the facilities of the Enmore congregation and children’s home, we met a cleanup crew of adults and children as they rid the building of flood waters. An hour or so behind time to begin, but understandably so, once more, we three spoke in the traveling seminars.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-6Afterward and taking advantage of a reprieve from the showers, we crossed over the seawall protecting Georgetown from the Atlantic Ocean. We walked a sandy beach strewn with water washed glass, shells and Hindu diyas (floating votives). Martha headed straight to the water, holding her skirt hem and wading ankle deep in the beige water.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-7By the time we made a couple of stops and traveled back to Linden, I was worn out and the day was spent. Tomorrow, we will resume office duties, and I will work on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. Our next workshop venue will be across the Essequibo River—requiring a very early morning departure if we wait until Saturday and expend the entire day before returning to Linden. Martha and I are still “honeymooning” in Guyana, so to speak—having the time of our lives in service of our Lord. May God be glorified and our fellows be edified!