Dear Family and Friends
We were happy to be able to pick up Rosanna’s passport last week. Now we can begin the process to get her US visa. Due to her age, it does not seem that this will be as complicated as getting our visas. She will not need to schedule an interview, which usually requires waiting a long time for an opening.
One of the biggest potential outreach in Guyana is with the children. The youth of Guyana is desperately in need of Jesus. Many drop out of school at a very early age because of poverty. They are cruel to animals and seem hardened in their attitudes. Many youths commit suicide. British Guyana has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and a majority of these are youths. We know the Bible teaches us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
Where do you start when a culture is perpetuating destructive behaviors and habits? Many believe education is the key to uplift a nation. Many educated people in society are depressed and don’t know their reason for existence. We believe Jesus is the only source of hope and real purpose in life.
The week after I (Joanne) arrived in Guyana we were scheduled to hold two VBS (Vacation Bible School) programs. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into but agreed to help out where needed. We only had a few days to plan our program, and we were a new team running two VBS programs in a remote village. Thankfully, the missionaries before us had left plenty of materials. We found paints and poster paper and put up some colorful advertisements to let the neighborhoods know where and when to come.
The format of our program was quite simple. We started with singing. I was glad we had a guitar to play with the songs. The children loved to sing. One of their best songs was, “I’m in the Lord’s army.”
Next, we had a nature lesson; then we went into the Bible story for the day. Our theme for the week was, “Maranatha (Jesus is coming!).” After the Bible story, we had craft time, where the children made something from paper, which reinforced the lesson from the Bible story they had just heard. Once the crafts were completed, we selected some games that the children could enjoy. To end off each program we invited the children to enjoy some juice and food, such as sandwiches or cookies, which we’d prepared for each child.
Our morning venue was in the village of Barabina. We knew there was water to cross before we could reach our destination. We didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be able to drive our vehicle through at all. Each day we had to carry all our supplies across a long section of flooded road and then head up a steep hill to the little church building. Some days we were blessed to have a ride across with a ferry canoe, and a ride with a local taxi bus up the hill. It reminded me of the three ‘F’s’ required in the mission field–friendly, faithful and
flexible. The fact that we were in the rainy season, and it could rain many times a day without warning, didn’t help matters either. But we were thankful each day that our program was able to continue undisturbed. It seemed that each day children would appear out of nowhere. In the past, some denominations tried to stop their children from attending our church programs. Each day, for that week, we had roughly 80 children between the two locations. The attendance never dropped whether we had rain or the sunshine.
At the end of the VBS, we asked the children to share what meant the most to them. Many said they enjoyed the games and the crafts. But some of them stated that they were most impressed by the story of how Jesus gave His life for us. I believe the hearts of these children were touched to learn what Christ was willing to go through for each of them. We can’t measure the success of our efforts, but we know that seeds were sown for eternity.
Please continue to support our ministry with your prayers and your donations. We look forward to sharing more stories from Guyana with you.
Darren, Joanne and Rosanna Grace Lea
P.S. You may contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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