Thursday, July 15, 2010

[Guyana-Mission-Report] (no subject)

We're back in Guyana. (Really, truly!)

The plane that was to fly us from New York to Guyana was delayed 1hr. 30min. due to president Obama's departure.  I guess everything grinds to a halt when the president drops in for a visit.

We eventually landed safely in Cheddi Jaegan International Airport at 8:30am last Friday, and stepped off the plane to be greeted to a blast of hot and muggy tropical air. 

After 16 hours of continuous travel with a red eye special to finish us off, we were pretty spent.  While Joy and the girls crashed at the hospital guest apartment, I decided to hit the streets of Georgetown to check off a few more items of my never-ending-to-do-list. 

By Friday, evening we were nicely camped out in the new "temporary" abode.  Little did we know that the dirt road that winds through the dense jungle and mountains from Georgetown to Lethem had been washed out at Mabura.  And from the pictures in the local newspaper, they haven't even begun to repair it!  The rains are still falling off and on, the local people say that it will be this way till the end of the month.

The bible worker also informed us today over the HF Radio that the road to Shea is also washed out in a couple places and only tractors with experienced drivers can pass.  The last one carrying school children took 3 days to make an 8 hour trip.  The Savanna's are saturated and in some cases flooded with rain.  Streams and rivers which used to be but a trickle during dry season, are now raging torrents.  Airplanes are the only transportation that can effortlessly get in and out.  There's only one other full-time pilot down in region 9 so even air travel is in short supply.

There is some good news though.  Malaria appears to be under control in Shea.   That is good because during rainy season with limited transportation, malaria drugs can be in short supply. 

Even more miraculous is the report that the new church has sustained almost no rain damage to the unprotected walls!  It's almost as if our Heavenly Father has allowed heaven's floods gates to open, but at the same time put a sheltering hand over the new church building.  It will still be many weeks before we can get the zinc up to Shea but with your continued prayers, the church will come through in fine order.

We praise the Lord for the progress on the new airplane.  I just got word that they are presently fitting up the wing tip extensions.  Once this is completed, it will be painted and the last items will be finished up and the plane will be ready to for its pilgrimage south.

It will take some time to get it approved by the Guyanese government for work in Guyana, but with each day that goes by we're getting closer to the end goal. 

What does that mean for our immediate plans?  We're going to see if we can arrange some sort of air travel to Lethem and hopefully Shea Village but this might be a bit of a challenge.  We're exploring all our options, and praying for direction. 

Take care,

James, Joy, Jenna, and Julianna

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

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