As I walked through the market that afternoon my senses were overwhelmed. People were calling out to each other, some selling, others greeting each other and others still were arguing. The street was crowded with people, though every now and then a car would push it’s way through. The streets are made of loose asphalt and the gutters wide and filled with stagnant water and garbage. There were good smells and bad smells rising up through the air.
I was handing out flyers for the ship that afternoon with a group of young guys and girls. There were thousands of these flyers so the object was to simply hand out as many as possible. In Europe or Australia this would be quite a challenge. Personally I’d never accept a flyer for anything as I shop, but here in Guyana it’s different. I had no trouble handing out flyers, especially when I mentioned the ship (also I was wearing a bright blue ship tee-shirt). Some people even got off their bike or stopped their car to ask for a flyer, and if I missed someone they’d call out to me. I got in a conversation with one lady who said they really like white people in Guyana and I told her a bit about the ship and she said she’d come on Sunday. One girl from our team got in a number of deep conversations and I made sure to keep an eye on them while handing out flyers.
It was a great opportunity to venture out into the town and invite people to come to the ship and hopefully there expereince God. Many people did in fact come on that Sunday:
The queue for the book exhibition in Georgetown, Guyana
Since then I have been out wandering a few times just for fun.
Today I was approached by two girls from the ship who needed a guy to go to the zoo with so I went along. I really loved the zoo and all it’s strange south-american animals, including this eagle which is absolutely huge.
A Harpy Eagle
On our way back I had to keep my eyes pealed as whilst most people are friendly to us and wave and get our attention just to say hi, some people are not so respectful towards women and often make advances. We had been told that there were dangers in going out and that girls can’t go alone off the ship, and this made me think that everyone in the city was bad but it’s obvious now that like anywhere there’s a few people who are ill-intentioned for whatever reason.
However I may have felt about Guyana when I first arrived, I think now it is an alright place with some really great people.
After a wonderful refreshing time in St. Lucia called Sabbath week, the ship moved on to our next port of call, Guyana. It is a long way from St. Lucia to Guyana so the journey through the rough atlantic ocean took 48 long hours, most of which I’d rather forget. I must have spent 50 hours altogether in my bed (we left port at 8am), and as far as I can tell most of my team felt sick for the whole time as well so I gave them the two days off, all except for Joy who strangely seemed completely unaffected.
When I finally emerged from my cabin I found myself in Georgetown, Guyana. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown,_Guyana The water in the river is a rich brown colour, the quayside is more of a wooden peir, the ship is tied to some wooden posts and all around is barbed wire and tin roofs. To me it looks like something from Africa. The ship is open only till sundown and we are not to go out at night. We are taking anti-malaria pills and applying mosquito repellant. To me, it seems that this port is very scary. To others, they feel like they have finally arrived at the place where God has called them. Certainly there are some amazing ministry opportunities in this country, and it’s easy to judge a country by what you hear and miss all the good things.
In fact, we are sending out 15 teams of people to stay onshore with local christians and do building projects, dramas, evangelism and other ministries. There is also a medical and a dental team going out from the ship to do some free medical ministry amongst the Guyanese people. I have released three of my five team members to go on these challenge teams while the rest of us keep the onboard events running. I feel very satisfied in staying onboard and working a little harder so that others can go out and spread God’s love in practical and spiritual ways.
I have said to a few people now that I have never felt like a missionary in the traditional sense. I am fully prepared to give an account of my faith should someone ask me about it, as every Christian should be, and I am passionate about helping others to share the good news through the talents God has given me. We are all a part of the body of our Lord Jesus, and we all have different functions, but none is more important than any other.
Last Saturday night I had the privilege of leading an AV team of 11 people in a top notch production. nearly 400 local young people came to a youth event where they were challenged to make their faith count and not to be luke warm. Most stayed for the entire message and listened attentively where normally most people would walk out. It was very encouraging to be a part of it.
Genesis 2:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking a in the garden in the cool of the day
Numbers 35:34 Do not defile the land a where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.’ ”
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. a They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
God has always desired to dwell amongst his beloved creations. In the beginning he dwelt with Adam and Eve in the garden, then He formed the nation of Israel to dwell with the people. Now he lives in our hearts and at the end all things he will dwell amongst us in the holy city. Hallelujah!