Of course the human tendency would be to view this situation as a set back, but instead we are simply viewing it as a temporary change in assignment. Regardless of where we go we will stay active in our ministry and in the congregation. There’s no reverse for us, only forward, even if the pace and scenery changes a little.
Otherwise our ultimate plan is to stay in the full time service, where the need is great. And since things are going so well in Guyana, we are planning to come back here at least once more. There are still so many areas in this country that have a huge need and we have been collecting several leads for when we get back.
Until then we will need to work and save up again, so I will be looking for leads on work of any kind. On that note, I would greatly appreciate any direction on actual Jobs that may be available. Naturally we are pursuing a number of options on our own, but since we are part of such a huge Brotherhood, it can’t hurt to put the word out and see what happens. We are viewing this as yet another way to put Jehovah to the test. I specialize in Plumbing construction and maintenance but I am willing to do work in any field where there’s a need. Also the work doesn’t have to be full time or part time, or even exceed one day. We are very flexible!
Lara hopes to be able to work as well, but much will depend on how successful the treatment goes in Venezuela. We will make sure to keep you all posted either way.
When we get back to the states we will spend a few weeks in Salem with Lara’s family, then we will move to Portland around December. It seems most practical for finding work there. Interestingly not long after we had made our plans to return home and we started praying about places to stay, a Family sent an email and lovingly offered us a room in their home! We hadn’t even mentioned to anyone that we would be returning early! So we accepted their offer and will be staying with them initially. Also, after talking with the elders in the area we plan to attend the Woodlawn Congregation in North Portland, at least initially. Transportation and Field ministry had a large bearing, as it will be a lot easier if we attend the congregation close to where we will live.
Before we leave we decided to hold a small sale here in Guyana, just to make some extra money. The items consisted of mostly clothing, shoes, and tools and other miscellaneous items. My sister, Michelle Sanches, added many items to the sale as well.
Holding this sale has been a strange experience! You see, “yard sales” are unheard of here. If you want to sell something you almost have to set up a permanent shop or at least travel to the market and set up a stand there. But we decided to give it a try and sell some things in front of our house. So I made a Sale sign out of wood, about 3 feet tall that clearly states there is a sale and lists some of the items for sale. It ‘s free standing and can be read from both directions. Despite this sophisticated sign, many of the locals do not understand what is for sale. Several stop to ask if the house is for sale? The first couple of days few people stopped. So Michelle and Lara played “cheer leaders” at the road screaming at people “Come to the Sale” Come in! Come Inside!” That helped a lot.
Also, we have to show them all the items; even going so far as to suggest what clothes would look good on them or fit well (Can you imagine doing that at a yard sale in the USA?!?) Otherwise, many just walk in and don’t really see what is for sale, despite the nice display. It’s been a lot of work. Since at least half the items are Michelle’s, she has been helping a great deal. Also a young pioneer sister from our congregation, Shemeniel Adams, has kindly come over for several of the days to help out. And even Joshua Westfall from Ohio, who has been in the area the last few weeks. We were also able to do a lot of witnessing to those who came, which was very encouraging for Lara since she had been unable to go in the ministry for weeks. Michelle even had a name badge, “Do you know who Jehovah is?”
So all in all we have had an amazing, life altering experience here. When we first planned to come to Guyana we didn’t even know if we would be able to survive in a third world country! And we thought that after three months we might need to run back home! But low and behold, we not only survived, but we thrived. We were worried about our health, but ironically we are in much better shape now than we were before. Aside from Lara’s childhood injury that is acting up of course.
To illustrate the experience here, it has been a lot like getting a cast taken off. You know, like if you had a broken bone and you had to wear a cast for a month or so. Well, at first the cast would seem uncomfortable, but after a few weeks you get used to it, and eventually it gives you a sense of security or stability. You might even start to feel dependent on it. Of course eventually the cast needs to come off, and if you’re like me, getting it off may bring some stress or even anxiety. “What will it feel like? How will it look?” It might even hurt at first, and have limited motion. But in time you get the range of motion back and the pain goes away. And soon you are able to do so much more than you could. Free of Restriction or Constraint.
This is a lot like how we feel about our time here. It wasn’t easy at first, but after a while, we suddenly realized all that we had been missing out on. We were aware of our own restrictions but this was like going from a crawl to a gallop. This is not to say the only way to expand or grow spiritually is by moving to a different country. Only that for us it was the opportunity that got us free from the rut we were in. There are of course many other ways to expand and become more fruitful, many of which are often mentioned at assemblies and conventions. But Satan does a great job of putting up barriers and restrictions. And some of these restrictions may simply be in our minds. Like feelings of inadequacy or emotional fatigue, or even just fear of the unknown. I for one often struggle with a strong desire for routine, and a dislike of any change. So you can imagine my feelings about leaving the country!
But Jehovah knows us better than we do, and he can make up for any limitations. If we let him. We are often told to “Taste and see that Jehovah is Good”. Well, we are here to say that we have tasted, and he is Delicious!