2019 July Trip Report
Praise God for all of you who prayed for our trip. God showed up in astounding ways. Our team, American and Guyanese, had a wonderful time of fellowship as we labored together, speaking God’s message and serving in many other ways; washing feet, hugging, laughing, playing fun games, singing and dancing among them.
We stayed at Jai and Tracy’s home since we were ministering in the Berbice area rather than near Georgetown like last year. They are so gracious that we felt like we were right at home. Jai is quite a chef and Tracy his sous chef. Much of what we ate was grown in their beautiful garden in the back yard. We did lots of work in the “bottom house” which is the area under the main house where most Guyanese have swings and hammocks to get a breeze during the hot afternoons. That was the scene of lots of bracelet making, shoe processing and Bible stuffing (with the leaflet containing the Roman Road to Salvation). We also spent a lot of time around the table sharing testimonies and favorite events from the day and had lots of game time together, mostly charade-type games.
Now for the best part of the report….There are 312 new brothers and sisters after this two weeks of ministry, 104 prisoners and 207 from our children’s ministry. I would guess that about a forth of the salvations from the children’s events were parents who brought their children. The last salvation was a Hindu lady who worked at the museum that we visited our last afternoon. Two of our team members reached out to this lady and explained salvation to her. She was ripe and ready to pray to receive Christ. This example is one reason I love our teams so much. The ministry isn’t just done in the places we schedule but marketplace evangelism as well. Praise God for their faithfulness and for watching for every opportunity.
I will tell you two specific blessings that we had. The first takes place at the New Amsterdam Prison. This is the prison close to Jai’s house so our Guyanese team goes there every other Tuesday, ministering in the men’s and women’s prison. That is also the prison where our ministry paid for the materials to build a chapel and had the inmates build it with Jai overseeing. Shortly after we arrived, we met the Officer in Charge (OC) and found out that he is a very dedicated Christian. About 90% of the officers at New Amsterdam Prison are Christian. This has resulted in an atmosphere which promotes a calm presence and has resulted in very few disturbances among inmates. The OC gave his testimony at the beginning of our first day there. We spent two days with the men, one with the women and then the last day had a joint praise and worship service and message of encouragement with both the men and women.
The first day, the OC was standing behind Steve while he was washing feet and talking to the prisoners. The second day, he asked Steve if he would mind missing the praise and worship and sermon time to come with him to the section of the prison that houses the hardened criminals who can’t come out to the services. Steve quickly agreed and talked to the four men that the OC had picked out. One of them was Herman, Steve’s grandfather’s name. Herman was the only man who had on a white jumpsuit. Steve asked him about that and he said it meant he was condemned to death. Steve found out that he was a Muslim and asked him about what he believed. He really didn’t know much about the actual teachings and Steve challenged him with the good news of forgiveness through Jesus’ shed blood, and that time was critical since Herman was facing death. He declined. Later in the day as we were washing the prisoners feet and talking to them one by one, Herman appeared at Steve’s side and said that he had thought about what he was told and had decided that he did want to accept Jesus. The OC had given him special permission to leave the security lock up to come talk to Steve. He also wanted to be baptized after Steve explained what it meant. Herman asked that Steve be the one to baptize him and it was a thrill of a lifetime for Steve to be able to do that. Amazingly, we found out that wherever Herman is from, Jai had done ministry in his town and had led his wife and children to Christ and had baptized them. What an amazing God we serve. Herman will still have to suffer the earthly consequences of his crime but in God’s sight, he is forgiven and will spend eternity in Heaven. There were a total of 61 men and women baptized in the prison. We talked to many inmates that were already Christians and had already been baptized.
We were able to do a service at the Clinton Police Training Center where we met delightful, well-mannered, clean-cut young me. Twenty-one of them accepted Christ. Between the prisons and the academy, 145 people requested a copy of Kristi’s Bible study so they can study and learn more about how to live out their faith. Praise God!
The other event I want to share about has to do with one of our children’s services. It was to be Monday morning at 10:00 at Jai and Tracy’s “bottom house”. They live in a large, mostly Hindu neighborhood. On Sunday afternoon, we divided up into two groups to prayer walk the streets and invite the children to come. Both of our groups had two neighborhood friends of Tracy’s to go with us since they knew most of the people. I want to highlight this amazing fact. All four of these ladies who guided us and introduced us to neighbors were Hindu. (How amazing of God to allow that to happen.) Each group visited approximately 30 houses and invited and prayed for those who would allow it. We though we would have a small gathering on Monday morning as we encouraged them to each tell their friends about it but had little faith that would happen. WELL, over 180 showed up and 41 children and adults accepted Christ. We are now praying about how to start some kind of work in that area. There is a small abandoned church building there that Jai is going to check on to see what denomination owns it. Maybe we could use it to start a work to help grow these new converts. Also, we will probably establish a Christian library in that neighborhood. Please pray for the details of this new opportunity.
We are thrilled at what God did and are grateful for those of you who prayed for us so faithfully. May HE grow all our new brothers and sisters to maturity as the Holy Spirit living in them draws them closer to God.