2017 Guyana Trip Itinerary
Our team verse for this year is, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a-b. Please pray that on this trip, we will reach many more people to become children of God and that they, too, may experience how God lavishes His love on us. Notice the exclamation points in this verse. I haven’t noticed many of those in Scripture.
Pray for the weather. Guyana is usually in the dry season this time of year but it has been raining (even flooding) for several weeks and the forecast is for more rain even through August. We will still be able to do our ministry because most in under cover but please pray that the rain won’t keep people away.
SUNDAY- July 16—Team #1 arrives in Georgetown just before 10:00 PM. Please pray for ease of travel and for the families we are leaving at home. Yvonne’s mother is at the point of death and Yvonne is trusting God with the timing of her mom’s home-going. Yvonne is confident that God has called her to go on this trip and that He is in control of the timing of things. We will stay at the Aracari Resort (cough cough) where we have stayed a number of times. The rooms are air conditioned so after working in the hot, humid weather each day, it will be a relief. This will be home base both weeks.
MONDAY- July 17—After getting in very late last night, this morning, we will have team time and get to know our Guyanese team members. We will make salvation bracelets to prepare for the week where we use them everyday with the children and prisoners.
The colors on the bracelet stand for the steps to salvation:
---Black bead—Sin that separated us from God and we can’t get rid of it on our own
---Red bead—Jesus’ blood that he shed to cover our sin if we accept His free gift of salvation
---White bead—A clean heart. This is what God sees when he looks at us after we are forgiven.
---Yellow bead—Symbolizes the streets of gold where we will spend eternity since we have been forgiven.
---Green bead—Stands for growth-We need to grow as a Christian by prayer, Bible study, involvement in a church and time with Christian friends, etc.
After lunch, we will go to Friendship Community Children’s Ministry. There will be about 200 children that we will serve. They will be greeted with friendly smiles, hugs and a salvation bracelet tied onto their arms so they can reference it throughout the day. We will have fun songs and worship songs. Our Guyanese team member, Dave, and one of our team members will take the teens to a different location and teach them while Beth teaches the children a Bible story. In each group, we will go over the plan of salvation and the new life they can have in Christ.
As we wash the children’s and teen’s feet, we can point to the bracelets that they were given and go back over the plan of salvation. We do not try to force anyone to accept Christ because we know that is the work of the Holy Spirit. We just want to make sure they understand and have the opportunity if God is drawing them. We pray with the children and love on them. They will be given new shoes. Please pray for the children to go home feeling loved and that many will accept Jesus as their Savior. Many times parents come to bring their children and end up understanding the Gospel for the first time. We have had parents saved on numerous occasions.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY- July 18 & 19—Today we will start our first two days at the Campstreet Prison. This is by far the largest of the 7 prisons in Guyana. It will take us four days to see everyone two days this week and two days next week. We will have worship songs, testimonies, solos (some from the prisoners) and then Jai will preach an evangelistic message, clearly explaining that even though these men are behind bars, they can be free. If they accept Christ, they can be free from the guilt of sin and be seen as cleansed by their Heavenly Father as they start a new life in Christ. Next, the men are brought in groups to have their feet measured and to be given a pair shoes. Our team will sit with a basin at our feet and a chair across from us. The prisoners will be directed to a chair and we will wash their feet and talk to them about what they heard. If they accepted Christ with Jai in the service, we will affirm what they did and if they have questions, we will talk to them and pray with them. Those who accept Jesus as Savior will be listed so they can have follow up. All will be given a toothbrush and toothpaste and a Bible if they don’t have one. Those who are serious about growing and are willing to commit to doing a Bible study will be signed up for a class and learn from Kristi Buttles’ Bible study. This is going to be a huge help to the men who need a solid foundation for their new faith. Please pray that their growth will be huge because of Kristi’s faithfulness in writing this Bible study.
Those who would like to be baptized will have a chance at the end of the foot washing. We will make it clear to them that baptism doesn’t save them but that it is a public display of their faith and a symbol of their death to their old life and the beginning of a new life. Please pray for open hears and that the Holy Spirit will make the message of salvation very clear to them.
In the afternoon and evening, we will have team time, make bracelets and play games.
THURSDAY—July 20--Today we will get on a boat and travel to the NOC (New Opportunity Corps). It is the juvenile detention center for offenders 12-17 years old. We have served here a number of years and have had wonderful times. There will be new teens there as well as ones who will remember us. We will have worship songs and a message. We will spend one on one time with them as we wash their feet and talk to them. We will pray with them, make them feel special and give them new shoes. Pray that many will accept Christ and that those who made a decision in previous years will be encouraged to learn more and grow in their faith. We want them to know that no matter what they have done, they can be forgiven and have a positive life in Christ.
FRIDAY-July 21—Today we will go to Kuru Kuru Squatting Area with about 120 children. This is where poor people don’t own land but just squat and build a little shack. There is no electricity or running water. We will have a children’s shoe distribution service like the one describes on the 17th. Please pray that we will make each child feel very special and clearly explain to them and the adults around how they can have a personal relationship with Jesus. If the weather allows, we will have an evening service.
SATURDAY-July 22--Today we will spend the morning touring Georgetown. We will visit the largest wooden church in the world and see the sea wall that was build by the Dutch. Georgetown is below sea level so it has to have a sea wall. We will shop for souvenirs and then have our last lunch together at our favorite Chinese restaurant. There we will have a special team time where everyone will tell his/her favorite story from the week of what took place. This is always a very special time. We will have fun in the afternoon at the hotel, swimming and playing games and go to bed very early as the Sunday flight is at 5:35 AM so wake up time is about 2:00 AM.
Also,Saturday night, our team member, Chris, who has been with us the last two years will be flying in from London where he was transferred after the trip last year. Praise God he is so committed to Guyana that he is coming across the pond for week #2.
SUNDAY—July 23—Goodbye to team #1 and tonight team #2 will be flying in. During the day, we will have a worship service with Chris, our Guyanese team and 3 of us who are staying for 2 weeks. We will also make more bracelets to use this week.
At around 10:00 PM, 7 more team members will arrive. One of them, Chuck, will just stay until Wednesday. He is our videographer who will redo our ministry video for our website. Our last video was years ago and needs updating. We are thrilled to have him with us. We will settle into the “RESORT” and be ready for tomorrow.
MONDAY—July 24—Since the team got in so late last night, we will have a late breakfast and team time for the second week team to get to know our Guyanese team and make bracelets. After lunch, we will do a children’s ministry at a squatter camp called Parfith Harmony. We will have about 150 children and will do the same type ministry that was explained on Monday, the 17th. The Buttles will work with the teens. Chuck will be able to get some great footage of the interaction with the children so you will later see it on our video on the website.
This evening, if the rain will cooperate, we will have an evening service at one of the Amerindian villages that is not far from town called Swan. Please pray this will be possible.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY—July 25 & 26—Today we will go back to Campstreet Prison. We will do the same ministry we did on the 18th and 19th. Kristi will give her powerful testimony and we will have a wonderful time of worship and intimate time of washing feet and one on one conversation. Please pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to be moving through the prison. Another prayer for today is that the prison will allow Chuck to film in the prison. We have never been able to do that before but we have established such a good relationship over the years, we think it is a possibility. He would just film in the service from the back of the room so you would not see the prisoner’s faces but would be able to see the powerful worship time. We may also be able to have Chuck film the foot washing with the prisoner’s backs to the camera and the team’s faces. If neither of these end up being possible, Chuck will film us going in and coming out of the prison and Jai is confident that the warden would love to be interviewed by Chuck to give a report of how our ministry has improved the atmosphere in the prisons. Praise.
On Wednesday morning in the wee hours, Chuck will fly home. Please pray for a good travel day for him and pray for the new ministry video he will produce for us.
THURSDAY—July 27—Today, we will do a children’s event at Swan housing. There will be about 300 children. There is something extra special about this location. This is where Isaiah Crawford is from. He is the precious Amerindian boy who was adopted by Jenn and Ben Crawford in Charlotte. Many of you prayed for every detail of that private adoption. He is now a Crawford through and through. They will always teach him a love of Guyana.
FRIDAY—July 28—Today we will do a children’s event at Yarakabra Village. This is another Amerindian village with about 130 precious children. One thing we make sure while ministering to these children is that we as a team see them as individuals, each important in God’s sight and not just a large group of children. We know how special they each are to God and we will love them and show kindness to each one.
SATURDAY—July 29—Just like last week, we will spend the morning touring Georgetown. We will visit the largest wooden church in the world and see the sea wall that was build by the Dutch. Georgetown is below sea level so it has a sea wall. We will shop for souvenirs and then have our last lunch together at our favorite Chinese restaurant. There we will have a special team time where everyone will tell his/her favorite story from the week of what took place. This is always a very special time.
We will have fun in the afternoon at the hotel, swimming and playing games. We will go to bed very early as the Sunday flight is at 5:35 AM so wake up time is about 2:00 AM. The hotel is about an hour from the airport and we have to arrive 2 hours early.
SUNDAY—July 30—Please pray for safe travels today and good travel logistics, no delayed flights. We will look forward to sharing about our trip when we get home.
Thank each of you for praying for us. Your role as prayer warrior is just as important in the Kingdom as the work of those of us who go. That is how the Body of Christ works. Hallelujah!!!!!