Saturday, August 15, 2009

[Guyana-Mission-Report] Moving forward while we wait

We're still waiting for the final green light to move out to Shea Village. But in the mean time God has been moving in some truly amazing ways. Here's a couple examples.

Last Monday we received an airmail package with some donated funds for the bible workers. Soon after receiving the package, I went to the local store and bought some groceries to fly out to the bible worker in Aishalton village.

Allow me to pause the story for a second -- Our bible workers are an integral part of the gospel work in the interior. We give them a small monthly stipend, and in return they do full time outreachministry. The bible worker in Aishalton has a little chinese-made motorbike and travels from village to village meeting new people, studying the bible with interested persons, and supporting the new Adventist believers in Shea and Aishalton. Our other bible worker here in Lethem runs the TV station, studies the bible with people, and leads out as an elder in the local church. A number of baptisms, and the whole church in Shea Village is a direct result of their hard work and selfless sacrifice. These two bible workers are such an inspiration to Joy and I, and we're happy to do everything we can to support them.

So when the funds arrived, we immediately went to get groceries for the bible worker in Aishalton. As I was loading the airplane, I got an impression to call the Regional Health Officer (RHO) and ask if he had anything that needed to be transported to Aishalton. He almost shouted "YES!" Evidently the hospital in Aishalton was low on propane to run their refrigerator. They had thousands of US Dollars worth of vaccines in the fridge and they were worried that if they ran out of propane that the vaccines might spoil. So I ended up flying about 250 pounds of propane tanks. When I touched down, the Aishalton hospital administrator met me at the airstrip, beaming from ear to ear. So was I!!!

A day later (Thursday) the RHO called me again on my cell phone and asked if I could transport some of his health workers from Aishalton to Lethem for a workshop. It was too late in the day to fly them out on Thursday, but I promised to try and help them on Friday.

Back to Aishalton I went to pick up two nurses and a health worker. They were very grateful to take a 35 minute flight instead of an 8 hour bumpy road trip, and I was once again grateful for the opportunity to serve!

When the taxi came to collect them at the airport the RHO took me aside and asked if I could help with a medivac. A 16 year old girl with severe abdominal pain was in Annai, and couldn't travel by bus to Georgetown since it was too painful. Most likely it was kidney stones, or a possible appendicitis. I was planning to fly to Georgetown on Sunday since the airplane was due for its 200 hour inspection on Monday, but when the RHO told me about this situation, I decided to fuel up the airplane before sunset (just in case). Sure enough! Right after Sabbath School this morning I got the call. The RHO informed me that the family had traveled from Annai to Lethem and were ready to go. I met them at the airport and after preflighting the airplane, we departed immediately. Before we lifted off I prayed a special prayer, asking God to give us favorable winds so that we would arrive early. Usually the flight back to Georgetown is long and bumpy since you're fighting a huge head wind the whole way. But today was different. The wind for the most part stopped blowing, and at times we got gusts of tail wind! My ground speed edged up to 105 knots per hour, and we arrived over 20 minutes earlier than normal (which is absolutely phenomenal!).

The Lord had another small blessing in store for me. I had no transportation to take me from the airport back to the hospital, and I didn't want to hire a taxi on the Sabbath. So I prayed about it and started down the road in 100 degree sun. Soon a car pulled up beside me. It was the airfield inspector from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). I had flown her out to the Bethany Airstrip just a month before. She asked me where I was going and when I told her, she said she was going to going to her seamstress which happened to be close by! She also had wonderful air-conditioning! God is so good!

Joy and Jenna are still in Lethem. We're still waiting for the the letter of approval from the director of regional health services. The airplane is facing a 200 hour inspection on Monday. In one sense we're waiting on God. But ironically God is calling us to move forward while we wait. We count it a huge privilege to play a small part in this wonderful gospel work.

Thanks for your earnest prayers, and positive encouragement. You have no idea what this means to us.

God bless


James & Joy Ash
121 Durban Backlands
Georgetown, Guyana
874 South McDonald SW
McDonald, TN 37353
1 (423) 473-1841 or 1 (423) 473-1842

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.