We arrived in Guyana on May 5th. We had a couple of weeks before our first team arrived, so we had some time to get ourselves unpacked and settled back in. Since our apartment is at the hotel now, we have to store all of our household items when we aren't here. Therefore, along with unpacking suitcases, we also had to unpack and set up housekeeping.
A few days after we arrived, Bill Green, from Conway, Arkansas arrived. He and his wife, Carolyn, will work with us the whole summer. They are a great asset to us personally and to the work here. After Bill arrived, we did as much as we could to help get him settled and show him shopping places, etc.
Our first Sunday here we attended the services at Grove. This is where brother Ramesh (the bottle man) and his wife, Ann work. They are a dear, sweet couple who have been Christians for a long time. Grove is a very small congregation in a squatting area. The next Sunday, we went to Nismes where brother Desmond Zephyr and his wife, Patsy work. They, too, have been Christians a long, long time and have worked very closely with us in many ways.
Meagan is serving as one of the interns this year. It's real special having her serve in this way. To think back when we first moved to Guyana, she was only seven years old. Now she is seventeen and doing a good job as intern. She certainly has an advantage since she has lived a big part of her life down here. Usually Steve tries to have two interns for the summer. David Skelton, from Oklahoma City, is the other intern this year.
On May 13th Isaiah began pre-school. He is attending The New Guyana school. It is a Guyanese run small private school. It is a Christian based school and they use the Abeka curriculum, which is a curriculum I have used in homeschooling. We are really happy with the school and Isaiah's teacher.
On May 21st we had our first staff meeting. Since starting this work in 1992, with just Steve and myself (of course the girls were too young to help then), our staff has certainly grown. We have the three missionary families, two interns, Orin Ross (office), and two drivers. We all have our different talents and different areas of work. Sometimes we run over each other coming and going! But, that's why our weekly staff meetings are important. It keeps us focused and lets each other know what we are doing.
May 25th our first team arrives from Conway, Arkansas. Coming down with this team was Bill's wife, Carolyn and their daughter, Brenda. Right off the bat with this first team, Satan tries to take control. But we know who is really in control, and God proved Himself, as usual. When Steve started out to the airport to pick up the group that evening, Bill Green followed in another vehicle so he could meet up with Carolyn. On the way out, they stopped for Steve to re-fuel the 4-runner. The service station attendant put in gasoline instead of diesel. They didn't get too far down the road and realized what had happened. To make a very long story short, Steve took the other vehicle to the airport because he had to clear the group through. Bill stayed with the broken down vehicle until we could get help out to him; which was a challenge in itself because cell phones don't work well here. The vehicle was finally towed in and left at Bill's house, because he is the one who cleaned it all out and got it running again. Then Steve got in safely with the team. All was well, we thought. At midnight we were awaken with several calls from Guyanese telling us that the Demerara Bridge had been hit by a tug boat. Just 8 hours from then, we were planning to cross that bridge with our group to go to Canal 2! That's where our medical mission was going to be held that week, along with several nurturing projects. Canal 2 was all excited and ready! It had been six years since they had had a medical mission. Plans had to suddenly change. We had to re-arrange things and it ended up that the Conway team of eighteen worked at Plaisance for the week. And God used it to His glory! There were 651 patients seen for the week. An average of 86 in attendance each night at the crusade; plus the VBS had an average of 45 each night. There were 3 nurturing locations. And a total of 21 baptisms for the week. I have to say, too, that Conway did a great job making adjustments. And, also, Plaisance had to do some fast, serious preparations with just a few hours notice. They pulled together and did fantastic! Canal 2 sat patiently, with tent up and chairs rented (which they had to arrange to have picked up) waiting for when it would be their turn.
Meagan, being an intern this year, has regular responsibilities. Erin is very flexible and works wherever we need her. This week, she worked some at night with VBS. She also helps me out a lot with Isaiah and the office/store.
Second team arrives on June 1st. Fort Smith, Arkansas, team of twenty-three. The bridge had been repaired and Canal 2 gets to host the medical mission. This is a very small congregation and they have a small building. They had gone through a lot of preparations during the past few months getting ready for this medical mission. Behind their building were a lot of fruit trees. Being a farming community, the fruit trees were very beneficial. But, to make preparations, they chose to cut down the "physical" fruit trees to help bring forth spiritual fruit. They cleared out the land, fenced it, and put up the big tent where the Bible studies were held during the day and the crusade at night. Also, this week, the doctors took turns seeing patients in our permanent clinic at night. Erin and I had a "crash course" in using the Focometer and just learning more about helping with the eye patients. So I helped at night in the eye clinic and Erin helped in the reception area as the medical and eye patients came in. One of the doctors we had this week is a neurosurgeon. Steve had him set up to speak at the Georgetown Public Hospital for a continuing education seminar. Dr. Armstrong was well received and he said they had some real good questions.
Fruit trees were cut down to provide space for the tent behind the
building at Clay Brick Road church of Christ at Canal Number Two.
This team worked hard and had a good week. No grumbling even though they had to work in very close quarters in that small building and deal with mud and rain everyday. This week 827 patients were seen; an average of 106 each night in attendance at the crusade; and 23 baptisms.
Also, during this week, Steve and I had an interview at the U.S. embassy concerning the immigrant visa for Isaiah. We were given a long list of things we had to get together before our next interview on June 14th. But the interview went well and we were thrilled to get this underway.
Our third team arrived on June 8th. This was a team of forty from Kentucky. This time as Steve started to leave for the airport to pick them up, the 4-runner wouldn't start. "That's ok, Satan, God is still on our side!" Steve jumped in the truck and took off and Bill worked on the 4-runner. This is a combined team of Mayfield and Murray. They used to come at separate times, but joined together this year and made a great team! They worked at Canal 1 where Vishnu Ranglall and his wife, Parbatie have worked for a long time. They set up in the school where the headmaster gave up part of the building for the medical mission and allowed a tent to be put up outside. During the day when the children were in school, our team held a Bible class for them everyday. At night there was VBS. During this week there were 760 patients seen; an average of 90 in attendance at the crusade, plus the VBS children; one nurturing location with an average attendance of 15 each night. A total of 8 baptisms this week.
Erin helped out everyday this week at the clinic with the eye patients. And at night with VBS. Meagan was sick this whole week with "something"_.sinus infection/flu??? But several were sick this week with the same congestion problem and fever.
Our weekly staff meetings are proving to be very helpful. We can use that time to blend our differences and come out as a stronger team. What one person's weakness is may be another's strength. So we are all able to use our talents in many different areas and help each other with different needs. We realize we are not all alike and if we were, we'd be in big trouble. Also, we can use the staff meeting time to go over what the team that is presently here at the time may need; and to begin thinking of the up-coming team and medical mission.
This week, in working on Isaiah's visa, we had to write emails and make phone calls to get all the paper work together. We had to make two trips to a local clinic where one of the doctor's had to give Isaiah an examination. That all went well. Then our final interview at the embassy was this week on the 14th. The interview was at 8:00 a.m. and lasted about 30 minutes. Then we had to go back at 3:00 and wait to be given the visa. But when we got it in our hands, we could breathe and rejoice (tearfully)!
On June 15th, our fourth team arrived. This has been a fantastic week! Although it started with the plane being delayed an hour and some luggage missing, things got better. With luggage missing, our cleaned 'benevolence' clothes came in handy until their own clothes made it here! Bill and Carolyn's daughter, Mari, came in on this flight. She will be here until early August.
This team we refer to as the "Searcy" team; but in truth, not only is this team made up of people from Arkansas, but from seven other states as well. This is a very diverse team being from different locations and made up of teens as well as adults. They proved that their diversity made them a strong team. They had quite a challenge. The medical mission/crusade was held at a place called LaBonne Intention, L.B.I. for short. The preacher, Jacob, has been able to teach a Bible class in the school there on a regular basis. They also hold their church services in the school. L.B.I. has never had a medical mission and was a congregation of about fifteen. Notice the emphasis on "was." This week there have been forty-two baptisms!!!! Now, obviously, that's quite a change for that small congregation. Jacob and his wife are a young couple and facing a big challenge. But, with Bill Green and Jerry Veatch here, they have plans to do some new convert classes and follow up work in the weeks to come. Please pray specifically for this congregation. Imagine the congregation you attend suddenly doubling!
Searcy team at worship
Medical clinic at LaBonne Intention
Because the congregation was so small and had never hosted a medical mission, there was a great turn out from area congregations to help out in many ways. That was such an encouragement to see these brethren working together. Desmond Zephyr, from Nismes, has helped in many of these medical missions and he just pretty much took Jacob under his wing and led him through all he had to do before the group even arrived and even throughout the week. Also, several from the Plaisance congregation came every day to help. Some helped at the gate with the crowd, some helped in checking in people, some helped with Bible studies. I was really proud of our local brethren.
As for the stats for the week, there were 883 patients seen, an average of 102 in attendance at the crusade each night, and an average of 74 children in their class at night. Quite an impact on that community!
We were able to have our Operation Guyana clinic open for appointments on the nights of Tuesday through Thursday. Our O.G. clinic is going great! It is according to how many doctors we have each week if we see patients in the evenings. But it's really running smoothly.
June 23 - 28 we didn't have a medical mission team here. So Operation Guyana has used this week to relax, reflect, regroup, and recharge.
There were follow up studies at Canal 2 and L.B.I. by the Greens and Veatches. Sometimes it is hard to find the houses where the people live and sometimes after being found, there may be no one home. This coming week, there is a small group from Wichita, Kansas, coming to do follow up at L.B.I. So please pray that many of the new Christians in that area will be located and strengthened.
Also, the Live The Missions camp session is this coming week. There will be a group of teenagers and adults going out to Shanklands in the Rainforest for a week of spiritual renewal and preparing for a week serving on the mission-field.
June 29 - July 5th -- Jerry and Pat Veatch hosted a team of four from Wichita, Kansas. One of those four worked every morning with Pat in the clinic, while the other three worked at L.B.I. doing follow up studies. In the evenings a crusade was held at L.B.I. with Jerry Veatch and Bill Green preaching. There is still a lot of nurturing to be done at L.B.I. and I'm so excited to tell you that three of the local members in the area have taken it upon themselves to work with that congregation for at least a month, at which time, probably another two or three will go and help. Right now Floyd Cato, one of the preacher's from the Plaisance congregation, is helping, along with Orin Ross, Jr., and Malini Jaikaran from the Campbellville congregation. They will be a great asset to that congregation.
Steve spent this week co-directing the LIVE THE MISSIONS camp at Shanklands, along with Joel Dalrymple from Florida serving as the other director. Other staff members were Rodney and Paula Britt from Oklahoma City. And Jennifer Minchey, the camp nurse. There were seventeen staff and campers in the Rainforest ... where, yes, it rained every day! But they had a great time and seemed to be renewed spiritually and ready for the practical part of the encampment when they'd be actually working with a medical mission team the week after camp.
The Shanklands staff was impressed with camp. They stayed around several times and watched activities and even brought their families. They were always invited to participate, but for the most part, just watched. However, they did enjoy a little water balloon volleyball!!
The week of July 6th-12th we had a team of forty-five working in the medical mission at Nismes on the West Bank Demerara. This team was a combination of the campers, who had just spent a week at Shanklands, and the group from Jenks and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Jacksonville, Florida. The week began with church services at Nismes on Sunday morning with a hard rain falling. Several times the preacher would get up to speak, only to be "drowned out" by the rain on the zinc roof. So we just sang along with what God provided and it was beautiful and, I pray, glorifying to God. The sermon was finally able to be preached and was edifying in preparation for the week ahead. After that big downpour of rain, the rest of the week was real good weather.
We had a total number of 1,540 patients through the clinic at Nismes and Pat Veatch saw over one hundred in the Operation Guyana clinic. The nightly crusade attendance went from fifty on Monday night to one hundred sixteen on Friday night. The children's class averaged seventy-five each evening! There's just not a long line of people waiting to work with that many children at one time; so we greatly appreciate those who do work in that area. There were fourteen souls baptized into Christ!! Pray for their nurturing.
There were also nurturing projects held at two other locations during the evenings. Both Pouderoyen and Wales averaged about thirty each evening in attendance. Wales has a special place in my heart, being the first congregation I attended and worked with when I came in 1992. I remember so plainly the night services we had then with only the light of candles. Just being there brought back lots of memories. I thank God that He touched my heart with the desire to do this work. I pray that each person that comes to Guyana will return home with a renewed spirit and a deeper desire to please God.
We hosted a group of 23 from the Beltline congregation in Decatur, Alabama, the week of July 14-19th. This group was unique in that it was made up of several "families." In most of these, one or both parents had been coming down for several years, so these kids had heard about Guyana for a long time. Now that they are teenagers, the parent's prepared them and gave them responsibilities to do down here, and they worked really well. They worked in several areas, but one in particular was with the children. First, let me say, that anyone who doesn't think this is an important job, I encourage you to re-think. These children are having the word of God planted early. This group had Learning Stations for the children during the day and a Children's class at night. It took a lot of preparation and a lot of love and patience. These children were loved on all week long. Who doesn't need that?
Brother Mosley is 85 years old and a great asset to the
church in Guyana. He is holding a Bible study here.
The stats for the week are as follows: A total of 1006 patients went through the clinic at Mon Repos/Triumph. The crusade attendance began at 44 the first night and increased each night with 71 on Friday night. The children's evening class started at 79 and increased to 206. There were six people making the decision to give their lives to the Lord.
Pat Veatch worked everyday at the clinic site because they were a little short-handed with medical staff. Also, Jerry spent a lot of time at the clinic site this week helping. It's so nice to have permanent Operation Guyana staff now that we can use in different areas.
Steve preached the crusade each evening. He was so glad to have the opportunity to do this. And he did a wonderful job. I'm not saying that just because I'm his wife! Ha Ha!
This team worked with the Triumph congregation where Brian Fiedtkou has preached for several years. Brian and his wife, Lynette, are hard workers and were a pleasure to work with this week.
It was a small group this week and things ran very smoothly. This gave some of us an opportunity to get some other things done. Bill and Carolyn Green had several things they were able to get done in town and around their house that had been "set back" until things slowed down. They were still with the group for setting up and breaking down and available when needed.
On Wednesday evening, we had two men from Tennessee come in to begin the foundation work for a building project that will take place next week. These two guys will be joined by several others and work at Canal 2 constructing a church building. We'll cover that next week and even try to have some pictures.
Loading up the truck Monday morning to head to the clinic site (on the left).
Setting up clinic area on Monday morning at Stewartville (on the right).
July 21-26th ... WHAT A WEEK!! There has been a lot going on this week. The team of sixty this week is from Hohenwald and Henderson, Tennessee. The medical mission was held at Stewartville, which is about 45 minutes away from the hotel. Making that trip out in the morning and evening can be pretty tiring. This group handled it great. This was our largest "medical staff" this summer. And our ONLY eye doctor this year. Dr. Bloomingburg and his daughter, Amy, who assisted him, worked all day at the clinic site and then also saw patients in our Operation Guyana clinic in the evenings. That meant they gave up the opportunity to go to the crusade in the evenings.
The clinic and crusade at Stewartville were both held at the church building. For the Bible studies, we were able to use a government building next door to the church building. The counselman and staff were so hospitable and willing to help us with the space. There was also a children's program held during the week, along with nurturing projects at four different locations and a building project at Canal 2.
Our doctor's this week saw 1239 patients! There were 833 seeing the medical doctor and 406 seeing the eye doctor. The evening crusade averaged 70 in attendance each evening and the children's class averaged 150 each evening. Also on Wednesday and Thursday some of the team members visited another church and had a children's class with about 100 each night. There were a total of 29 baptisms this week.
At the first of the summer we had a medical mission at Canal 2. You can read about it in this same report and see the picture of their church building (above). Remember, this is the place that cut down fruit trees to grow "spiritual fruit." Well, this week Canal 2 had a church building built behind their existing building, by the building crew from Tennessee. They were about to outgrow their existing building, so this gives them much more space!
Click here to see more photos of the church building going up.
As always, we beg that you keep the nurturing and follow up in your prayers. Pray that these new Christians will have a hunger and thirst for God's word and grow daily. And pray for those that were close to making the decision to become a Christian, but have put it off. Pray that they will be convicted of their sins and accept Jesus as their Savior.
A group of 25 from Fayetteville and Jonesboro, Arkansas, were here the week of July 28th - August 2nd. There were several first-timers on this trip along with several who have been coming down for 8 to 10 years. This group worked in the village of Grove, which is on the East Bank of the Demerara River. It just 'so happened' that this is the same place this group worked last year. That seldom happens, that a team works in the same place two times in a row. But, it was kind of fun for them to go back and see familiar faces.
Kara DeLoach at Grove
The total number of patients seen in the clinic was 1,557. There were 882 seeing the medical doctor and 675 seeing the eye specialist. The crusade attendance went from 52 the first night to 87 the last night. The children's program at night started on the first night at 88. Think about it ... that's a lot of kiddos, huh? Well, it grew each night and on Friday night there was a grand total of 254 children!!!!!!!!!
Again, I just can't say enough about how well prepared these groups have been for the children. They have all done great. The Guyanese children love to come to V.B.S. or some kind of children's program. So, that is something that we really try to capitalize on and use to God's glory planting seeds in these precious children.
There were seven people baptized into Christ during this week. And many seeds planted. Please pray for these new Christians as well as those "almost persuaded."
This was the last of our medical teams this summer. It has been a wonderful summer seeing the many lives that have been touched with the gospel as well as helped physically. It's been great seeing so many from the States that have come and given of themselves for a week here in Guyana. But, it hasn't been just a week of their time. It has taken a lot of preparation in many different ways. And to know that there are so many of you who didn't physically make the trip to Guyana, but did so much to help those who did come. You may have helped with finances, taking care of someone's children, house sitting, picking up mail, teaching someone's Bible class ... whatever; your part was a big help! There are a LOT of us working together. May God be glorified through each of us working together.
Check out Steve's report of 4 August 2002.
Continue to September reportThe week of August 4-10th has been our first week after our last medical mission. We are pretty worn out, but it really is a good worn out feeling. This is the time of year when we survey the work, do some planning, and kind of re-group.
Bill's wife, Carolyn, and their two daughters left with this last group to go back to the states so they could get Mari ready for school. Bill and the DeLoach's will leave in the next few weeks. And the Veatch's will be here for several more months before they go back to the states for a visit. Pat will continue to see patients and Jerry will continue nurturing the local preachers, which he is very good at.
Pat has been seeing a lot of patients in our Operation Guyana clinic on a daily basis. This week she had 108 come through the clinic. It's been real exciting to see the permanent clinic running so well. Last week, right as one of our doctors was about to leave for the crusade one evening, we got a call that another American who was down here working in campaign work had gotten real sick and needed medical attention. So, our doctor was able to go see him and treat him with the medications we had on hand right in our clinic.
We have several things to wrap up and visits to make before we leave in a few weeks. The DeLoach family met with the Campbellville congregation on Wednesday evening. This is the first time to be with them since they've been in their new building. It was good to see familiar faces we haven't seen in a while. The young man who led singing was in Colleen's V.B.S. class a few years ago and was quite shy then. It was so good to see him doing such a good job at song leading.
August 11 - 17, 2002
It seems we are all running 100 different directions. Our weekly staff meetings are helping to keep us "in tune" with one another and encouraged. The passage Steve chose for this week was Philippians 4:4-9 and referred to this as our "keys to peace" during these last few weeks of hectic running.
On Saturday night we had three men arrive from Houston, Texas, to work at Canal 2. So, on Sunday morning, the 11th, the Houston guys, Gerald Bennett, Charles Graham and Jamil Hall, attended services at Canal 2. Jerry and Pat attended at Stewartville, where Jerry preached. The DeLoach family worshipped with the Triumph congregation. There have been four baptisms at Triumph since the medical mission about a month ago. Praise God!
Triumph church of Christ worship service
David Skelton, one of the interns this summer, left on Wednesday to go back home to Oklahoma. He will begin college almost immediately. We appreciate David's hard work and dedication. He has a sincere love for the Lord and we pray God's richest blessings on him.
On Thursday night the Guyana International Bible Institute held their graduation. It was a very nice ceremony. It's always a lot of fun to go to graduation. So many congregations are represented there and we get to visit people we haven't seen in a long time and also make new acquaintances. It's a great Christian family reunion! The web site for G.I.B.I. is: www.guyana-gibi.org
On Friday, Meagan, Erin, Isaiah and I went to visit HOPE Children's Home. HOPE is sponsored by the church of Christ and is run by Kenneth and Samantha Finlayson. They are doing such a wonderful job there. The children there are loved and are learning at a young age about God's love. Being a mother of an adopted son from a children's home, I have a special place in my heart for the children in these homes. I am so impressed with how HOPE is run. Please check out their web site (www.picturetrail.com/finlayson). There were several things left by our groups this year to take out to the children there as well as some medical supplies that Pat had gotten together from our clinic. So we got to deliver those things when we went. Isaiah proudly gave his bicycle that he's outgrown!
the Finlayson family
Pat saw 109 patients in the clinic this week. This is such a good outreach and Pat is very dedicated to her work. She spent the afternoons this week putting away supplies that the teams left. It's so exciting to see this area of our work take shape and do so well.
Bill spent a big portion of the week in the "bond," our storage area. It's not a pleasant place (HOT)! He built shelves, cleaned and re-organized. This was a major accomplishment. It's much easier to find what we're looking for now.
Steve was also busy this week and had a very productive week, too. He has been busy wrapping things up with government offices and others that we have to do business with each year. On Friday he got to meet with the Administrator of the Georgetown Public Hospital, Mr. Michael Khan. We have known Mr. Kahn for almost three years and have always had a wonderful working relationship with him. This meeting turned into several other great meetings, including meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rudolph Cummings. These men, along with the Hospital Administrator, have asked Operation Guyana to help the Georgetown Hospital in several ways and to enter into a working relationship/partnership with the Hospital! Pray that this will be another opportunity for us to let our light shine for the cause of Christ.
The Houston guys did a great work at Canal 2, along with Jerry Veatch, Hari Deokinanam (the preacher there), and Ivan Persaud. These six men spent Monday through Friday knocking doors and visiting members and non-members. At night they held a crusade and had attendance of 64 to 104. They didn't meet on Thursday night, since it was G.I.B.I. graduation. There was one baptism and several very good studies. This is the congregation that has a new building.
Gerald visiting in Canal 2
August 18-24, 2002
On Sunday, August 18th we had a beautiful service in praise to God for the new building at Canal #2 (Claybrick Road). This is the building that was built by the brethren from Henderson, Tennessee, along with help from some of the local brothers here in Guyana. These brothers and sisters at Canal #2 did a lot of preparation for their first Sunday service in the new building. Brother Desmond Zephyr was very instrumental in starting that congregation about 12 years ago. Desmond is now the preacher at Nismes. Canal #2 invited him to be a part of this special service as well as those of us from Operation Guyana. Also, the Regional Chairman was invited and came to services. Hari Deokinonam, the preacher, and his wife, Rani, have worked with that congregation for a long time. We were so honored to be a part of their building dedication service in praising God for giving them this tool and asking Him to use it to His glory.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first Sunday
service in their new church building at Canal 2
Gerald Bennett spent his second week here working with the local preachers on the West Bank Demerara. He held classes for them and guided them in learning how to study the Bible contextually. But not only did Gerald do a lot for those local preachers he met with daily, he was a great encouragement to us. We always look forward to Gerald spending time with us at the end of the summer.
We have always kept a good relationship with the Georgetown Public Hospital and try to do things to help them throughout the year. Since our teams are finished for the year, Pat has gone through the pharmacy and taken supplies that we have an abundance of and medicine that she will not be able to dispense before the expiration date and packed some of those for us to donate to the Public Hospital. We took those this week and delivered them to Mr. Michael Khan, Administrator; Ms. Loretta Alexander, Director of Nursing; and Ms. Noshella Lalckeecharan, assistant Director of Nursing. They are also asking for our help in supplying them with doctors who can serve on a short-term basis. So, we are looking forward to opportunities there.
Pat has been busy in the O.G. clinic. She saw 121 patients this week. Jerry has a continuing class that he teaches at Canal #2 on Thursday evenings. He teaches a leadership class and also a class for new converts. His continued nurturing has proven to be a great blessing in helping to strengthen the Christians over there. Jerry is also preparing to teach "Minor Prophets" at G.I.B.I. And, he has met with Steve and Bill concerning getting business in order for those of us who are leaving soon.
With the different schedules that all the missionaries down here have, it is hard to all get together at one time and place. This week the missionaries that work with G.I.B.I. invited us to be a part of their get-together. Some of them we have known for a while; some are new acquaintances. It was good to be together and good fellowship.
Guyana missionaries enjoy a meal together.
This was packing week and wrapping things up for the DeLoach family. We had last minute visits we wanted to make and friends coming by to see us. Steve met with most of the preachers that we worked with this summer on a one-on-one basis. Normally, he does this in a group meeting but this year decided to meet face to face with each preacher, individually, so that they could discuss openly issues that related to them, their congregation and how our work ministry interacts with them. Each one of these men provided insights that will help us better assist them and their home congregations in the future. It is a joy and honor to work with these men. The relationship we enjoy, in many cases, spans a decade or more. Each one of them express their appreciation for what our teams do to help them. They did so in such heartfelt ways that it warmed Steve's heart to meet with them. He always came away refreshed.
One of Steve's dearest friends in Guyana is Vibert Parvatan. Vibert is the former Minister of Agriculture and is presently the Executive Director of one of the biggest companies in Guyana. He is a man who knows a lot of people in the business and government communities. He has been an asset in many ways to our work. Oftentimes, when it seems we meet a roadblock, Vibert helps clear the way for us. He is one of the many visitors we had in our home on our last night there.
Also, this last week was spent in meetings with government and business people wrapping things up. Operation Guyana has to deal with a lot of business entities as well as government entities to be able to do our work there. This year, because our staff is growing, Steve was able to spend time nurturing and developing those relationships. No doubt, as these relationships continue to develop, more doors will open for the cause of Christ. In fact, we're seeing that happen right now.
It's been a really busy, wild, crazy, bitter-sweet week. We're always eager to get home, but sad to leave our friends in Guyana.
As we were busy with our packing and visiting, Jerry and Pat were still continuing in their areas of work. Pat in the O.G. clinic and Jerry teaching and making visits.
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