Dear Family and Friends:
When we entered the United States in July, we expected only to be allowed three months in the country. Immigration stamped our passports for six months instead. The Lord knew we needed the extra time.
We were at a large sale in a parking lot near where we were staying. I was walking through a booth looking at the various items on display when the gentleman, organizing his goodies, suddenly stated, “This needs to go to the mission field. Are you going to the mission field?” He turned, directing his question at me. Little did he realize! I nodded and started going through the large box of goodies. “We definitely can use these items in Guyana,” I assured him. The items included a couple of New Testaments, boxes of crayons, handmade book bags, erasers, pencil sharpeners, rulers, scissors, children’s games and other handy items. “All these things would be perfect for making up backpacks for children starting their school year,” I thought. This middle-aged gentleman had recently lost his wife, who had lovingly put together these supplies. We are so thankful we’re able to help fulfill her dream of getting these items to the mission field.
A few weeks ago we left a thrift store and were heading towards our car. We were packing our things into the trunk when a lady, who was a complete stranger, approached us and handed us an envelope. Inside the envelope was $100 and a note encouraging the receiver to pass on some kindness to someone else, even if it was something small. We were very surprised! This woman had no idea what kind of work we’re doing, yet she felt impressed to give. We have been the recipients of many gifts of love. We sincerely pray that these resources will be multiplied and that the givers will be repaid many times over.
Back in Guyana, a lot has been happening! A group of seven members of the Living Faith SDA Church joined a local team to build approximately a 90-foot wharf at the Blackwater SDA church located on the river about one hour’s boat ride from Mabaruma. This new wharf enables worshipers to attend church regardless of high or low tide. The team also added a veranda to the church, so the children have a place to gather. Now they can make a joyful noise to the Lord without disturbing the adult class. The church was also painted, which helps to preserve the wood from the elements and jungle critters. When the church leaders were asked what color they wanted the building painted, they replied that they wanted it the same as the AWA airplane, yellow and blue, to remind them of the work AWA has done in their community.
A four-day evangelistic series and a Vacation Bible School were conducted. Neighboring river communities arrived by the boatloads. Travis and Mike delivered the messages, and the people responded. A couple accepted the call for baptism and began Bible Studies. Three children were dedicated to the Lord, and many received new light and revelation. Children of all ages attended the VBS and learned about Jesus being our Lifesaver. At the end of the series, all school-age children received a backpack donated by the Lena SDA Church in Wisconsin. The Living Faith and Lena Churches also donated solar-powered audio Bibles to illiterate people with a desire to hear God’s Word. The audio Bibles were truly a blessing to the remote people of this jungle community who rely mostly on their experiences and what others relate to them. Now they can hear the Word for themselves.
The annual for N8838X (the mission plane in Guyana) was recently completed by a volunteer from Wings of Hope, and Jud Wickwire (Vice President for AWA). We are glad that the plane is ready for the next year of medical evacuations. The hardest thing is that we aren’t there to fly it yet! The other day we found a source for plastic shipping barrels for sending things to Guyana. The supplier is just a couple miles away and charged us half the price we would have had to pay if we’d bought them from another vendor, which is about two hours away. We were able to purchase six barrels and get them back to the place we are staying.
We are praying for divine appointments, and we are thankful for the many people we’ve been able to meet and share our goals for Guyana. Please let us know if you’d like us to visit your church. We do short seven to ten minutes mission presentations.
We would appreciate your prayers that the Lord will use each of us as He sees best. May we be His humble servants, doing His bidding wherever He calls us.
Blessings to you
Darren, Joanne & Rosanna Lea