Three weeks ago I was flying past Kamarang Village where the field hospital is located . . . I was almost halfway over the mountains to Kaikan village, when I received an urgent call over the radio. Our Bible Worker reported that the health worker had identified some positive cases of Malaria in the village, but they had absolutely no medications to treat it. It was a Friday afternoon, and I wasn't planning to come back until after the weekend. This was a potentially sticky situation. Malaria won't go away by itself, and if certain strains of malaria go untreated for very long it can become deadly. Fortunatly, I had plenty of time before sunset, and enough fuel in my tanks to turn back. So, I immediately turned around and touched down at Kamarang to pick up the box of medications. We are frequently called on to carry medical supplies to the more remote villages since there are no roads to these locations.
Battling the Ants
One of the most feared insects in the Upper Mazaruni are the Ants... The acoushi ants are a hardworking lot. They can strip a villager's farm of all of its leaves almost over night. They can also walk up to a kilometer in distance if they find a good source of food. The Kaikan farmers were complaining that their farms were being decimated by these little pests. They had tried to burn out these nests, but the efforts were unsuccessful since the ants burrow deep into the ground. One of the local Amerindian Ministry of Agriculture Representatives asked me if he could ride along on the next trip over the mountains. He and his son brought along a Stihl Fogger. They mix a chemical poison with diesel, and fog out the nests. I'm not sure that they killed off all the ants in the area, but at least they've been knocked back significantly.
Flying a Surgical Team
What happens when an Amerindian needs a common surgical procedure, but doesn't live near a hospital? The answer is simple. They don't get the medical treatment that they need. The Ministry of Health recently contacted me and asked if I could assist by flying a medical team to a number of different villages to do patient screening. Often times they will also include a nurse midwife, and a dental specialist. Pictured here are the surgeon (right) and dentech (left) in the back seat of the airplane. On this particular day we were able to cover three villages and screen about 75 potential patients before we ran out of daylight and had to head back to town. At the second location they took us back to the airplane in style! Four wheeler style!
Prayer flips the Baby
We've been working on a new urban outreach project to plant a new church in the poor area of Sophia, back behind Davis Memorial Hospital. Every Sabbath afternoon for last six weeks we've been hitting the streets to meet and pray with people. As we've gotten to know the people, they've begun to slowly warm up to us and tell us a few more details of their lives. A week ago from this last Sabbath, this lady pictured above told us that her baby that very week had turned breach, and she was due to give birth any day. So we gathered around her and prayed that God would turn the baby back around. This week she was all smiles. The baby had turned just in time for her to give birth naturally. Please pray for our street ministry as we're getting ready to start a branch Sabbath School this next week.
Building a School of Evangelism
You simply can't win a war if you don't have troops! In the same way, the gospel work will never be completed until people are prepared spiritually, equipped for battle, and sent out into the fields. Jesus said it so well in Matthew 9:37,38 "The harvest is truly plentiful, but the workers are few..." For this very reason, three years ago, Pastor David Gates saw a need for a school of evangelism in Kaikan village.
Kaikan village is a quiet Amerindian village of about 450 people on the extreme western edge of Guyana. The village is only separated from Venezuela by a small river. What makes Kaikan and it's neighboring village Arau unique is that both are isolated from the rest of Region 7 by some large mountains. Most of Region #7 is interconnected by a system of rivers, but Kaikan and Arau are over the mountains, and linked into a different system of rivers. There are also a vast number of Venezuelan villages in the regions beyond the border that haven't even been tapped into.
This presents a unique opportunity for a project. If we are to effectively take the gospel to these remote locations on the extreme edge of Guyana, we must build a strategic outpost training center, that will train, equip, and send Amerindians Bible workers to travel all through those parts.
As of today, about half of the Administration building has been completed. Our goal is to complete both upstairs and down stairs of the Admin. building, and build a separate duplex for teacher housing by next August. We plan to begin classes in September 2013. It's a high goal, but we feel it can be reached if we push hard. As I've discussed the project with the new village captain, who happens to be an elder in the local Adventist church, he's 110% behind the project. The local villagers are also very supportive and are coming out to give volunteer help for the project. During the last volunteer work day they had about 30 people come out to help.
The village captain mentioned to me that one of the biggest hindrances to the working going forward was the shortage of gasoline. The price of gasoline in Kaikan village is $15 U.S. per gallon! The people are willing to use their own saws and tools to help build, but they simply can't afford the price of gas to operate the equipment! So recently, I flew 95 gallons of gasoline out to the project so they can move forward more quickly. Pictured above is Alex, a carpenter who is helping to construct the school.
We're praying for a project director to lead the project. We're looking for a married couple, or family with older kids who have a vision for this type of front line mission work. The sky is the limit. The people are waiting. If you would like to organize a mission trip to come and help build the school, or would like to teach, or have administrative experience, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Aviation Video
Three months ago a volunteer videographer filmed a new documentary video... You can watch the GAMAS Aviation 2012 video online at Youtube. If you would like a hard copy of this video and four other GAMAS projects, please email me personally and we can send you some DVD's to share out.
Church is Cool!
Julianna loves wearing her little sun glasses upside down in the divine service. (Only long enough for her embarrassed Dad to get a quick picture)
Making a Difference
We're trying our best to make a difference, but we can't do it alone. We need some new volunteers to chart the course for some new ministries coming online. On December 20, we will be receiving a shipment of two high production laser printers. We need someone who has a passion to oversee this new arm of the GAMAS print ministry. We also have a huge need for someone to take charge of the video outreach ministry. Currently we have the capacity to burn over 50,000 DVD's a year, but at this moment we're only doing a fraction of that because we're all maxed out. I realize that not everyone can come, but if you would like to help the missionary work go forward, you can send a tax deductible donation to: Gospel Ministry International, PO Box 506, Collegedale Tennessee 37315. Kindly write on a separate note that it is for Guyana Aviation Evangelism project (GAVE)