As some of you may have already heard. The other pilot in our organization had an accident with his aircraft in Paruima Village.From the reports it sounds like Gary was hoping to get three students out of Paruima Village, but was uncertain whether to take two or three.So he wisely decided to take two in order to assess how the airplane would perform. He took off just fine, but when he turned around and landed down-wind to pick up the third student, the wind caught the airplane at the wrong moment. He tried to stop the plane, but the grass was extremely slick and the aircraft skidded off the end of the runway down an embankment and into some small brush-like trees.All three occupants were able to get out of the airplane with not a scratch on them. By the next day the villagers had pulled the plane which was partially submerged out of the Kamarang river and set it up on the river bank.
What does this mean for the GAMAS flight program? Good question. At this point there are many variables in the works and it remains to be seen what the final outcome will be.
Without a doubt, the flight program has experienced a serious setback, and at this moment we're the only remaining GAMAS airplane flying in Guyana. This increases the burden on my shoulders as I seek to cover the entire region with the Cessna 182 the Lord has provided us.
Gary Lewis is tentatively making plans to travel back to the States to prepare another airplane to bring down. How long this will take is also another key variable. Let's hope for the sake of the work that it is quick.
The good news in all of this is that Davis Indian Industrial College has closed early. This last Monday I flew into Paruima to evacuate the remaining four teachers.
For the immediate moment we're not making plans to move anywhere. Shea's new health worker is back in the village, but she's pretty new and will need a lot of training and coaxing to break out of her shell.She's very young and quiet.So the reality is that Joy needs to stay on at Shea longer to effectively wrap up the project.
This is accident reminds me again how quickly a situation can develop.One unguarded moment can spell disaster for the airplane and others lives. That's why I'm moving very cautiously, taking extra precautions. I'm so grateful for the army of people who are standing shoulder to shoulder with us in their prayers.I know that it may seem to you that your petitions disappear into the blue atmosphere, never to be seen again.But a number of times I've felt God's guiding hand reach down and intervene in my behalf.
PICTURED - Our bible workers in at the secondary school in Paramakatoi Village
Joy's medical work in Shea Village is wrapping up. I just saw Bernice (the newly trained health worker for Shea) and she told me that she's supposed to travel back to Shea Village in two weeks. We're not sure yet where our next assignment will be, but until that time we're stuck on "fast forward".
Last Thursday I met together with the couple in Maururinau Village (Fred and Kateri). It was a vigorous 30 minutes mountain bike ride, ending with a steep climb up the hill to their house. We spent an hour and a half together studying the bible with a series of lessons from Amazing Facts. I also talked with them about doing some training so that they can form a branch Sabbath School in their village. This is ground breaking since most religious groups have been flatly denied access to work in the village.
Praise the Lord. We now have about 10 different bible studies going in our village. God is truly blessing the outreach efforts.
Some of our friends and family have inquired about the Church of Christ group in Shea, and what is happening with them. They are continuing to meet together, but strangely their bible worker isn't coming. Joy and I are continuing our studies with them.
Gregory (our bible worker in Aishalton Village), just arrived back from his trip to Bolivia. We had sent him to Bolivia to record some programs in the local Wapishana dialect. He spent three weeks preparing, and recording 10 sermons, but as an added bonus, he also did 24 bible stories in Wapishana as well. Now the media team is taking the raw footage and in a couple weeks we'll be able to replicate these messages and share them out. It's like multiplying our bible worker many times over!
We also have plans to replicate select programs off 3ABN and use them for evangelism and edification of the churches.
There are other exciting developments happening. The district pastor just told me yesterday of a village in the North Savanna of Region 9 that is located in a mountainous region. Since they are so remote few religious organizations have been able to visit them. But Pastor Garnett reports that he's traveled there several times already, and the people are so happy that any church would be willing to come teach them from the bible, that they are seriously considering deeding their local Anglican church (which isn't in use) to the Adventists if they will continue to come! It sounds like we must put a bible worker in there immediately who can nurture these people.
Reports are coming from several other villages where the people are crying out for more knowledge. We've got to train, equip and send more bible workers.
If you would be interested in sponsoring an Amerindian bible worker (only $150USD a month), we would personally train, equip them, and send them to places like I just mentioned.
Please contact me and I can give you the details of how this would work. firstname.lastname@example.org