Bad Times, Good Stories
- - Happy Hikers - -
- - 10 hours later Finally made it to the Ferry! - -
Fun Times in Annai
- - (Left) This Pumpkin Shaped Berry is Called a "Surname Berry", It was Amazing! - -
- - Getting Ready to Shower - - - - Custom Showers - -
Navigating the Rupununi
So we all got up at 5 am to leave for the trip, the transportation to the river was a run down mini bus which seemed to barely make it over all the pot holes in the road, but after two hours we reached the entry point for the Rupununi!
Also with us on this trip was a young Local brother named Daniel Adams. He had gone with Michelle and Tom on another river trip and he loved it so much that he saved up over $200 USD so he could go! Thats a lot of money for Guyanese, and our Congregation loving helped him to save by giving him work. Since the trip he has become a Ministerial Servant and is now a permanent member of the Kingdom Hall Construction team. =)
A Slight Hiatus
When we did finally get to start preaching the next day we had a great response as usual. Interestingly the people in the village hardly had any bibles. So we tried hard to teach them how to use the bible along with the bible teach book. Here’s a nice Experience that Lara had with a woman named Veronica:
I introduced myself and told her why I was there. I asked her if she was a bible reader. I expected her to say yes, as most everyone in the village claimed to attend church and read the bible. She surprised me however by saying “no”. She had attended church a couple times and did not like it because she didn’t understand anything they said or taught. She also disliked the way most “church people” acted when they weren’t at church. I asked her if she had heard the name Jehovah before. She replied no. After reading Ps 83:18 we discussed who Jehovah is. She got so excited by learning God’s name and she told me that she had borrowed someone’s bible and had read the entire book of Revelation and had many questions about it, including whom Babylon the Great is. Wow, I thought, what a question to be asked! After Explaining about Babylon the Great I showed her the Bible Teach book and taught her how to pray before and after her personal bible study.
She then got very serious and quiet. She asked why we came all this way to her village to only leave so quickly. This heart felt plea ripped at my heart. I explained to her why we came but also why we could not stay. I quoted her James 1:5 and assured her that if she sincerely wants to know Jehovah he will give her his holy spirit to understand the things she reads. After we both shed some tears we made plans for her to come into the village later that afternoon to collect a bible since I did not have an extra one w/me. She came and was able to hear the Public talk Tom gave. She enthusiastically looked up every scripture in her new bible and often would answer out loud the speaker’s questions to the audience.
Amazingly Veronica has been able to travel to a village that has internet and has been corresponding with Lara by Email over the past two months!
- - Public Talk 25 in attendance! - -
- - Rewa Vilage - -
Again the Captain was happy to have us, and he actually had a lot of questions about the bible. So Tom had a few long conversation with him about the Kingdom, and God’s Purpose for the earth. It seemed many people were very interested to learn about the Paradise since their church never taught anything like it. And most were very verbal about thier Disatisfaction with the Church and its leader, saying “He never teaches us anything!”
In Rewa I spoke for awhile with an older man and his wife who admitted that they really didn’t read the bible. The man explained that he was a Catholic from childhood, but that from very young he could remember that the teachers would often teach and read from the bible in Latin. He explained that this was something that bothered him for many years and eventually caused him to give up on trying to understand the bible. As he got older he began to work a lot and never had time to read the bible, but he agreed that there is much to learn from it. I helped him see that the bible is designed for “all Nations” and not for just one people or Language. He appreciated the fact that even uneducated people could read and understand it, and that often it was these people who truly accepted its message. He was also happy to understand more about God's Kingdom and how it will affect us, when I read (Rev 21:4) he said, “I would really like to see that!” He took a Large print Bible teach book, a bible and a draw close book. As I left he was reading the book, and when I return half an hour later he was still there reading!
Since the Village was so small we covered it in just a few hours that afternoon, but we also invited everyone to a public talk like we had in Apoteri. Everyone enjoyed the talk so much that they asked us to sing a song from our songbooks for them (This wasn’t the first time we had this request, its actually quite common)
Our Little Sing Along
So we sang “We thank you Jehovah” and during the song one of the men who had been drinking that afternoon stood up and started dancing and tried to sing along! His wife tried to quiet him down but he was very insistent, it took all we had to keep from breaking down in hysterics. Afterward the group gave us a nice applause and we took another hour studying with various ones.
Looking back this trip was quite refreshing since all the traveling was on the river instead of in back of a truck on bumpy roads. While traveling on the river we had a great time talking or just enjoying the beauty of Jehovah’s creation. And since the travel was so much less strenuous we were able to bring our wives! This was a real blessing, not just for us husbands, but for all the women in the village who are much more comfortable opening up to a sister instead of a scary man!
Sadly it would seem that the close proximity to Lethem has had a strong negative influence on these small villages since practices like over drinking, domestic violence and stealing are becoming more and more common. From what I can tell the more remote the villages are, the less corruption there is. Some have observed that many of these people just aren’t taught by their church leaders about how to maintain a moral life despite negative influences. Or even what specific practices to avoid, so it’s the younger generations that are especially being corrupted. This is happening all over the world but its much more obvious in these villages since its happening faster and its much more visible.