|A big thank you goes to everyone who has been praying for the fledgling bible study group that is wanting to start up a new Sabbath Service in Marurinau village which is only 5 miles away from us. The village has been very closed to any sort of gospel outreach, going so far as to give some visiting church members 30 minutes to get out of their village.|
About 6 weeks ago one of our Shea church members who is from that village decided on his own that he wanted to start a small bible study group in his home. He wrote a letter of request to the village council stating in very clear terms what he was wanting to do. The council responded back to him, saying that they would "consider the matter and inform him of their decision". When Fred told me what he written in his letter, I cringed a little, wondering whether the council would accept something so boldly stated. But I just heard that they've given him permission to go ahead with the bible study in his home, but he can't do anything public. Whether this allows him to study with multiple people in his home or only one at a time, I'm not quite sure. I'll have to find out more details. But we're praising the Lord for this breakthrough. Again we sense that this is partly due to the aircraft ministry. They're secretly hoping that we'll move close to Marurinau after our tenure in Shea is complete.
The same member from Marurinau got married this last Sunday. It was actually a double wedding with another couple wanting to tie the knot. On Friday I flew all the way up to Region #7 to get the pastor. Joy agreed to make some wedding cakes for the reception. Come Saturday night she realized that she needed an additional 14lbs. of flour and 32 eggs! Since there were no eggs in the village and flour was also short, we sent a guy on a motorbike over to Marurinau to see if he could get the items. He came back some time around midnight and said that they didn't have either. So all our cakes were the egg-less variety. The flavor was perfect, but getting them out of the pan was a bit tricky. Joy started baking at 2am and continued straight up until the wedding at 10am. The service went really well but as soon as it was over we has to hurriedly pack up our stuff and departed in order to get the pastor back to Kamarang Village before sunset.
As we were winging our way back to Shea the following day, Joy turned to me and asked whether we could stop in a Paramakatoi and pick up our high chair. If you remember, about 6 weeks ago we were traveling from Georgetown to Shea when we got an urgent call to airlift a snakebite victim out of Paramakatoi. Since we didn't have enough room in the cabin for the passengers and our stuff, the high chair got left behind with our bible worker.
Joy was wanting to get the chair back, so we diverted a little and stopped in at PK. We had a long talk with the Gudges who are doing bible work there at PK. They are the deans for 300+ secondary students from Region 8. We had given them some Amazing Facts Bible Study Lessons about a year ago, and they've already used these up. Not too long ago 15 people were baptized into their church group. The church has about 32 - 50 persons in attendance, and its growing.
They are desperate for more of those colorful Amazing Facts Lessons. They are studying with the kids in the mornings. Many of these kids are interested in studying bible, and at the end of this year they will be scattering to every village in Region 8. I challenged the Gudges to consider training these young people to be evangelists to take the message to their villages. Winston smiled and replied, "I was just thinking about this a couple days ago. But we need bible study materials."
I asked him how many sets he could use. His response, "As many as you can send." Oooookay!!! Truly this is an opportunity like few others, and we're trying to get this done so that when the students leave for the summer, they will be trained and equipped to plant gospel seeds all over Region 8.
While I was flying the pastor in the airplane from Paruima to Shea, we had a chance to talk about bible work in the Rupununi. We are going to be working on a major bible worker training initiative that will train, equip, and launch new bible worker couples into fields that are inquiring about the Advent Message. I'll give more details as it unfolds.
There's so much more to write about, but I must go. Thank you so very much for your prayers. Daily we're seeing God's direct intervention in our lives. To someone who doesn't believe in divine appointments, our lives look a little disconnected, but as we glance backward at the events in our lives, we see a masterful tapestry of how God has led us.
God is truly answering your prayers, and we're so grateful for this.
James and Joy Ash
James & Joy Ash
121 Durban Backlands
874 South McDonald SW
McDonald, TN 37353
1 (423) 473-1841 or 1 (423) 473-1842