Dear Family and Friends:
Last month (May), we said our “goodbyes’ to our friends and co-workers in Guyana and headed back to the states. We will surely miss the friends that we made while in Guyana, and are surely praying for the missionaries who will be taking our place.
As we looked back over the past ﬁve years we praise God for the blessings that He bestowed upon the areas where we worked—around Marbaruma. We praise God for those who have accepted Him and their willingness to serve Him.
In the past newsletters we shared stories about Rich, Kim and Ken. Kim is now working and is applying to the Teacher’s College; Rich is waiting for his test results and will then make decisions on his future education or job training; and Ken is a student at ETI, where he is ﬁnishing his project for the year and then enter into an apprenticeship. We are so proud of these three young people.
Church planting is a vital part of mission service. During our pre-deployment training with Adventist Frontiers Mission (AFM), we were taught that a church plant is truly successful when one church plant is able to plant a second church plant, and so on. It is our prayers that the two churches that have been planted within the past ﬁve years will grow strong and continue to plant churches.
Thomas Hill is one of the church plants. Pastor Rupert is the leader there now, and recently they had 16 baptisms as a result of the Bible studies that were given. Pastor Rubert is encouraging a 16-year old youth to begin preaching some of the Sabbath sermons. At the time of our departure, this young man seemed hesitant but honored to be asked. Though shy, he is working with Ann to keep the youth together and active in outreach. It is their plan to work with Bruce and Monique Wilkerson, the project managers for Guyana, in going to “the river” and working with those living there. They will need to use the boat for these trips; they will need to get the engine working for this to happen. Fortunately, Bruce Wilkerson is helping with this. In order to keep this outreach going, funds are needed, as it is expensive for the general maintenance on the boat and the fuel that is needed each week.
Barbina is the other church plant. About six months after we arrived in Guyana, we started helping with the Branch Sabbath School programs, helping out Laura LaBore. Then, when Arnold and Joanne were baptized, we taught them how to conduct the Sabbath School programs, helping them along the way. Soon, they were conducting the programs on their own. At the time of our departure, about six people were baptized, with more preparing for a future baptism.
We enjoyed out time in Guyana, and were thrilled to see lives being changed when they accepted Jesus. There is still much work to be done so that Jesus can come. Our hearts go out to the young people who lack spiritual guidance from their parents, or the parents who have yet to hear about Jesus. New missionaries will soon be taking our place in Guyana. We are happy to have Darren and Joanne Lea, and their six month old baby girl, Rosanne. Coming from South Africa, Darren is a pilot and Joanne will be involved with many of the outreach programs, including lifestyle changes.
Again, thank you for your support to the VanFossen Family Project. It has truly been a blessing for us, as well as those in Guyana. We ask that you continue to support the Guyana project or perhaps you could begin supporting the Lea family, who will be very effective in continuing the work in Guyana.
The VanFossen Family
To learn more about VanFossen family click here.