Our Guyana Trip Report

     Our group, consisting of Suzanne, Andrew and Ashley Sims, Pam and Katie Pepper, Perry, Gina, Laura and Jacob Martin, Brent Peek, John Colgan, Steve Carr and me, met at the Huntsville Airport at 5:00 AM Friday morning, July 15. We went down to Atlanta (one always goes to Atlanta first) and then on to Miami. Going through security in Miami was easy as could be because the crowds were simply not there. Next was a stop in Trinidad where we stayed on the plane for perhaps two hours and then zipped down into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana. We were met there by Sunil Joseph and his crew. It is always a blessing to see Sunil. I would not want to go there without his help.

     We spent our first night in the Grand Coastal Hotel (take “Grand” with a grain of salt). After breakfast Saturday we drove to Parika where we boarded our boat for the trip to Bartica on the mighty Essequibo River. Once there we checked into our home away from home, the D-Factor Guest House, known to one and all as “Balkarran’s.” With our group, which then included Sunil and his kids, Stephanie and Stephen, we had rented the entire guest house. We were treated like family there.

Michael Osborne, who is the local preacher, came to meet us as we were settling in. It is always good to see him. Once we had our ducks in a row we walked up to the church building to begin planning for the week’s work. The building looked great, freshly painted and with a new pavilion out back.

     On the Lord’s Day we gathered for worship which began with an extended song service which was preceded by the singing of choruses. “Choruses” down there are short familiar songs that sing the folks in and prepare the mind for study and worship. Brent Peek taught the class on the difficult subject of demons. Jacob Martin preached a fine lesson on resisting temptation as a young person. It was a fine morning of worship (John 4:24).

     We arranged for daily lunch with Mrs. Love’s restaurant for Sunday through Wednesday. The place is convenient and there is room for all of us to be together. After lunch we went back to the guest house to do some preparatory work and rest a bit from the very long trip. Some of us went up to the building later to put up the tarp we used to create the classroom for the teens. John has this down to a science. Some of the rest of the fellows helped. I mainly observed. Our Sunday night service was very well attended. Andrew Sims spoke and did a fine job with his lesson. The kids there are always drawn to people like Andrew, Jacob, Laura, Ashley and Katie.

     VBS began on Monday morning. We are always excited about this because we never know precisely what to expect. We provide transportation for most of them as many come from some distance. Michael tells us that as soon as they put up their banner, other churches in the area decide to have their VBS then too. But we still had 82 kids that first day. We grew every day ending up with 122 Thursday morning. The women on this trip did a wonderful job teaching. Each one of them took turns leading the studies of the two younger classes. The kids were mainly very well behaved. There were exceptions but they were dealt with properly.

     The fellows on the trip took the teenage class and did a great job with it. The last day the teens were split into a boys and girls class on purity (1 Timothy 5:22). Andrew taught the boys and Ashley taught the girls. It worked well.

We had our Lectureship at night. Brent actually started with his lesson on demons Sunday morning. On Monday night I spoke on angels, Tuesday night it was John on the mind, Wednesday we had Steve on the heart and Thursday night Perry spoke on the soul. The lectures were well received. Next year we plan to speak on Marriage and the Family.

     The trip home was made longer by a delay but we all made it though some of us were a little more than worn down. It was a fine team and a great trip. We always remember that when some of us go do mission work, all of us are going. What a blessing to be part of this church and her work!