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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Monday, February 6, 2012

Guyana / Trinidad Zone Visit

Well there’s a first time for everything, and recently we have had a very pleasant “First”! As odd as it may seem, we have never had the chance to attend a Zone Visit, the one other opportunity was missed two years ago because I became very sick with a bad 24 hour flu the night before and simply couldn’t get there and Lara was stuck nursing me back to health.
So we had our fingers crossed, so to speak, hoping that there wouldn’t be a repeat of the last incident and thankfully, despite the cold and extremely rainy weather, we were able to attend the Guyana / Trinidad Zone visit for 2012!
We had a fun Bus ride to the Zone Visit, Including some Singing of Kingdom Songs!

As I mentioned there has been an amazing amount of rain here and the zone visit landed right in the middle. To help you imagine the situation, the zone visit was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, and this storm system hit the coast on Friday Morning with a steady deluge for four days and four nights! On Saturday alone most of the coast had received six inches of rain and over, the most in over Ten years. So you can imagine that this barrage put a considerable damper on the arrangements for the Zone Visit. Thankfully, in preparation for the visit, one of our dear sisters arranged in advance for a bus to give 15 of us scheduled transportation to the zone visit. Along with this the brothers were able to secure an assembly location that was Elevated, and thus much more impervious to the weather as many of the surrounding areas were becoming flooded!

The Field in front of the School House where we hat the Visit.


Another hurdle that had to be conquered for the first time was of a more technical nature. As some of you may know there have been a number of changes in the organizational structure for Zones all over the world. In an effort to streamline our organization, many branches have been absorbed or relocated to other neighboring countries. One such change occurred last year when it was announced that the Trinidad Branch would be absorbing the load of the Guyana Branch! This change was unexpected but thus far has been greatly blessed. However this posed a new challenge for the zone visit since it would be held on the Island of Trinidad instead of Guyana. The only way for those in Guyana to enjoy this visit would be for the program to be transmitted via the Internet. Of course Guyana has a generous share of brothers who are technologically skilled and were up for the challenge. The only difficulty was in securing a reliable Internet connection over which the program could be “streamed”, a connection which is not very common in Guyana.

The JW website where people at various Location could Log in.
The Set up included a Laptop to Receive the Signal, then the image was Projected onto
a Chalkboard which was painted white. =)

So arrangements for a “Highspeed” connection were negotiated in advance, and the equipment was set up the day before the program, but the tests went very badly as the Internet just wasn’t fast enough! So, along came the day of the zone visit, and we arrived fairly early due to some diligent plans. It was about an hour and a half before the start of the session and the brothers were still struggling with the connection. Many phone calls were made and suggestions given, but the connection just would not “Click” so to speak. As hundreds of people were arriving in eager expectation of the program, the brothers scrambled to figure out what to do, hoping desperately not to disappoint everyone with Failure! The only other option they had would be to Connect to the program over a Conference Call, and broadcast it in Audio only.

Attached to this Board is the Wireless transmitter used to
receive the "High Speed: Connection"
Time quickly sped by, from an hour to only minutes, then suddenly, seconds before the session to began, the connection sped up and the brothers quickly switched from the conference call back to the Internet broadcast! All of this, seconds before the brother came up to the platform to announce the start of the program! It was as if Jehovah took his finger and zapped the connection right in time for it to start! From that point on the broadcast went smoothly and we enjoyed the entire program as if we were right there in Trinidad.

Guyana 2011 Report

Peak Publishers = 2200
Memorial Attendance = 12,142

Percentage Increase over last year = 3%
Peak Pioneers = 1033 (800 More than last year!)
Regular Pioneers = 261
Congregations = 44
Isolated Groups = 3


Highlights from Talk: “Always Rejoice in the Lord”
by Brother Corkern of NY Bethel Branch.

(1 Tim 1:11) Jehovah is a happy God, and maintains his sense of Joy despite all that Satan has done to undermine his efforts. Since we are made in Gods Image, we too can maintain our Joy despite any trials or persecutions we face.

(Jas 1:2-4) Trials produce endurance, but only if we force ourselves to overcome the trial, as opposed to finding ways around it or running away from them. If we continually run from them, a trial may eventually come along that is so difficult it may overwhelm us! How much better to overcome them when they are small and manageable.
(2 Sam 12:19-24) David set a good example of not allowing unchangeable circumstances to take away his Joy. When his son was ill, he prayed and fasted in hopes that Jehovah would save him, but after he died, he let it go and focused on the problems he could change.

Quotes from talk:
"Life can only be understood in Backwards, but it must be Lived in Forwards!"

"A Man who doesn’t make Mistakes usually doesn’t make anything!"

Total Attendance for Zone Visit: 18,125