Welcome to Michael and Lara's Ministry Updates from Guyana! (AKA "Mike and Lara" AKA Myk-en-Lara" :-) We Love to keep in touch with all our family and friends, but its difficult when we are so far away, and our internet here is not so reliable. So we will post our experiences and pictures on this site for everyone!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Trip to Lethem!

So here’s a Rundown of our recent trip into Lethem. In case you are thinking, “Whats Lethem??” … Well it’s basically a hub for most activity in the interior of Guyana right on the border of Brazil. If you would like more details, you can check out this older post by clicking HERE.
Anyway, we left from Georgetown at 9:30 pm. It’s a 14 hour bus ride through the jungle of Guyana to Lethem. There were 10 in our group from Berbice.
While waiting for the bus to arrive, we ordered a pizza! Which is a really big treat for us who live out in the country!

- - Michelle was pretty Excited - -

- - I was just really Hungry - -

At 4am we finally crossed the Esequibo River. Tired but it was great to see the Sun!

We arrived in Lethem at about Noon, and I kid you not, we were at the Ice Cream shop by about One that afternoon. Priorities are everything right? I think we all just had the idea of cool, homemade Ice cream in our minds for so long, why wait?!

There were quite a few places to choose from for lodging but we chose this nice Inn called the ORI Guest house, or Pat’s place. Its one of the newest Inns in Lethem and so was very clean. Plus the grounds were gorgeous!

- - Gazebo where we would eat our meals - -

- - Patio Area where we would enjoy Breakfast - -

On Thursday we attended the meeting. There is a small congregation of about 30 publishers in Lethem but they average over 100 in attendance at Sunday meeting. There are currently 9 need greater’s in the congregation, but since many are coming and going, there’s still definitely a need. It happened to be the visit of the CO, Brother Rainee so we got to hear a great talk called “Tired but not Tiring out”. If you’ve heard this talk before you know that its incredibly refreshing to hear, since all of us get tired. Its normal, even expected that we will get tired, really its if we are not tired that there may be a problem.

Brother Rainee mentioned the account of Gideon and his 300 Men. How these few men had the task of chasing after and annihilating over 100 thousand men! This would have taken incredible exertion and work, yet as Judges 8:4 said they were “tired but keeping up the pursuit”. Our lives may not involve warfare but we are in a fight nevertheless.

We also appreciated an analysis of Isaiah 40:27-32. In Verse 27 Israel is quoted as thinking that “My way has been concealed from Jehovah, and justice to me eludes my God himself’?” The Israelites got to the point where they thought even Jehovah couldn’t help or save them. Yet this thinking is obviously foolish, as we read verse 28, Isaiah’s tone is almost sarcastic… “Have you not come to know or have you not heard? Jehovah, the Creator of the extremities of the earth, is a God to time indefinite. He does not tire out or grow weary… He is giving to the tired one power… those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out”. Sometimes we may forget that nothing is beyond Jehovah’s power to fix or resolve, whether its money matters, work, family or health problems. But its up to us to allow him to help us. The primary way we do so is keeping up our spiritual routine, no matter what difficulty comes our way. Although everything and everyone else in life could fail us, if we fully put our lives in Jehovah’s hands we can never fail or tire out.

- - The small KH was packed full! - -

- - Shannon and Rosalea Rainee - -

- - In Guyana we all Point with our Pinky finger - -

- - the Zammats are one of the Faithful Families in Lethem - -

After the meeting a group of us went to “the Brazilian” for dinner. The meals consisted of Chicken, Beef or Pork BBQ Skewers with Beans rice or noodles. Personally I think the Beans made the dish.

- - Tasty!! - -

The Ministry that week consisted primarily of the invitation work for the SAD. The brothers made up some small flyers and we helped to distribute them all over Lethem!

- - From left to right: David and Anne Spencer from Lethem, Elizabeth Adolf from Lethem, Javin (next to Mike) from England, Chris and Naomi Hayes from Brighton, Berbice, originally from England.

- - Jonathan was so happy to be in Service! - -

- - CO’s wife, Rosalia Rainee witnessing to a family passing by on a bicycle - -

- - Leah Lopez and Micaiah Young Witnessing - -

Special Assembly Day

The special Day assembly was the main reason we were visiting Lethem, mostly to support the local congregation since there are only 30 publishers, and it’s a lot of work for the few brothers there!

Many other visitors also came from congregations throughout Guyana, so this ended up being a perfect trip to meet other need-greaters.

As you can see our meeting location was not the traditional assembly hall we were used to. It is called a Benab, and in Guyana they are very commonly used for events, mainly because the thatch roof allows for a cool and breezy environment! Everyone commented on how much better it was than last years meeting place and much cheaper. Last year they met in a large school, but when they tried to reserve it again, the owners tried to increase their price five times as much! So the brothers looked around for an alternative and found the Benab, which was better, cooler and Free! Jehovah certainly does provide.

There was a lot of cleaning to do beforehand so after service on Saturday we all helped with sweeping, picking up trash and broken glass, and cleaning the bathrooms. They also had to figure out how to get the sound system working since there are no built in speakers here! But in Guyana we quickly learn to improvise.

- - How many brothers does it take to put up a Speaker? - -

- - Day of the Assembly - -

For the actual assembly there were 265 in attendance, including a large group of about 30 from the Shulinab area. Shulinab is one of the villages a few hours away from Lethem, there is a meeting being conducted there but no publishers yet. So all that attended are Studies!

- - Group of 30 from Shulinab - -

- - A few Visitors from Brazil! - -

The Visiting Speaker was Brother Hinds, the Guyana Branch Coordinator, and boy did he give some great talks. One was titled Don’t Use the World to the Full – Fully Accomplish Your ministry” He used a nice Illustration to emphasize not spending too much of our time on unnecessary things. He explained that often if you go to someone’s home for a meal they will set out appetizers to enjoy before the main course. But you wouldn’t want to fill yourself up with appetizers when there’s a delicious meal still to be eaten. So you take of the appetizers sparingly, saving most of your appetite for the real food. Likewise today, are we filling ourselves up with the appetizers of Satan’s system? Entertainment, Technology, Vacation and other pleasures may have their place but if we find, after enjoying them, that we are too full for the real spiritual food then we have a real problem.

- - Brother Hinds and his Wife - -

We did have one get baptized for the assembly, and we were all so jealous that she got to get baptized in the cool and beautiful Takatu River! (this is the river that divides Guyana and Brazil)

Being a few hundred miles from the equator, you can understand why we were all thinking, “Hey I think I need to get baptized too!”

- - There were Over 40 that walked with her down to the river to see the baptism!

After the Assembly the Breakdown and Cleanup went very quickly with all the help. The brothers were able to borrow a tractor for free to haul off all the equipment and chairs. And this was the same Tractor that brought the entire group of students from Shulinab!

Before leaving we were all amazed by these twin girls that were reciting bible stories. After only reading the stories a few times they could recite the entire story, word for word, and both perfectly synchronized!