Steve entered the School of Preaching when he returned from Africa at age 18. In November of 1976, Steve married Colleen Jordan, who was the secretary at the School of Preaching.
His previous jobs include youth minister for several years, as well as working with Howard Publishing Company and Camp Ch-Yo-Ca (church youth camp in Louisiana). Steve first came down for a medical mission in August 1989. In 1992 he and Colleen began full-time mission work with Partner's in Progress as the host for Guyana Medical Missions. It has since grown into Operation Guyana and includes not only medical missions, but all sorts of other projects: building projects, the Operation Guyana Bible Institute, lectureships and workshops, Live the Mission Encampments, hundreds of Vacation Bible Schools, special projects at local hospitals, nurturing projects, and lots more are just SOME of the many different things that Operation Guyana has become through the years.
In November 2007, we moved into our Ministry Center and things REALLY are hopping around here. It has become the hub of activity for what we do in Guyana. It is Steve and Colleenís residence, as well as a place for support staff and intern staff to stay, AND ... it is our office, school headquarters, storage facility, and general meeting area. We literally have tons of activity going on here all the time.
Operation Guyana has changed through the years, and Steve and Colleen have been in the middle of all that change. When they first moved to Guyana in 1992, they had no idea that God was going to use them in so many ways ... but God has, and the feeling is that we are far from being through.
Colleen (Jordan) DeLoach grew up in a small town in Louisiana, where her mom and dad both still lived. Although the church was small, she was very involved. She credits her mom and grandparents for teaching her to learn to love the Lord. Also, through them, her dad learned to love the Lord as well and became a Christian later in life. She has one sister, to whom she is very close.
After graduating high school, Colleen moved to West Monroe, Louisiana, where she became employed at the School of Preaching. There she met Steve DeLoach. They were married in November, 1976.
They have four children and one grandson. Brooke, Meagan and Erin were 11, 7, and 5 when they first made the move to Guyana in 1992. From then on, every year they were here with Mom and Dad from May through September, until Brooke's last year here in 1998. She was 18 then. Meagan has since gotten a job Stateside and recently married to Chris Cooke. Erin now has a full-time job as well and isn't able to spend as much time in Guyana either. In fact, she is preparing to get married in November 2010. 2006 was her first year not to come down at all since she was five years old. Guyana has been second home to the girls. They still have a great part in the work here, although they don't get to come as often as they would like. They all three tend to many things back at home to make it possible for Mom and Dad to be in Guyana. Brooke has a six-year-old son, Seth, who "Mammie Colleen" is very attached to. You don't even have to ask to see pictures of him ... she'll show you!
Isaiah is their fourth child. He is Guyanese born and was awarded custody to Steve and Colleen from the Red Cross Children's Home, in September 1998, when he was 20 months old. Several years later, the full adoption went through. He is now 13 years old. What a tremendous blessing he is to that family!
Colleen travels with Steve to Guyana every summer from June until August. During other trips that Steve makes Stateside and back to Guyana throughout the year, she stays home and takes care of things that have been put on hold from the summer. Lots of medical appointments, schooling, and just being MOM and MAMMIE. She takes her task as Mother very seriously. It is the single most difficult job someone is charged with. And also the most important and rewarding. Her desire is to teach her children and grandchildren to love the Lord and be loyal to Him. She is extremely close to her children. Ask them, they'll tell you they feel comfortable talking to their mother about any situation.
Colleen has a great love for Guyana. Her tasks while there are varied. Pretty much, being momma to many people there as well. She has hosted many people in her home (interns and others who come for an extended stay), helped in clinics, has taught several ladies' classes, and visited area children's homes and hospitals. Her passion is nurturing. One of her favorite things to do in Guyana is feeding the homeless. She has a great desire to help those who are hurting. She has been friend, prayer warrior and counselor to many people she's grown close to in Guyana.
Colleen says her story of coming to Guyana was not what she ever thought she would do. But, God changed her heart. She has a deep love for Guyana. Seeing the commitment many of the Christians have here is overwhelming and admirable.
Isaiah was homeschooled and also has tutoring when he is in Guyana. However, the past three years, he has been a student of the Springdale Arkansas Public Schools, and has played Football, Basketball, among other things. He has grown up, like his sisters, knowing Guyana as well as the States. He is the best uncle in the world. He and Seth are best of buds. Isaiah loves sports and like any typical kid his age ... video games! He is a blue belt in TaeKwonDo. He's actually very good with electronics and directions ... two things his mother is terrible with.
Every year, traveling back and forth, he's proved to be more and more help with luggage and other things involved in traveling. This year he was amazing! Also, every year, we see him more and more involved with the teams as they come down. He loves to help Alvin during pill packing. He gets things set out on tables, runs errands and picks up trash. At home he is eager to help as well. He does a lot of the dish washing, errands to the shop, and other odds and ends. He is just a great kid!!
They are from Greenville, TX. They are our SUPPORT TEAM -- our Aaron and Hur holding up our arms! They have a passion to serve the Lord and love being in Guyana. Ray's parents did similiar work in Indonesia, as support team for the missionary family there. So the desire is carried on. The first year they came to Guyana was 1995 and have been every year since then. Sometimes they have come for longer than one week. Ray has made several trips throughout the year down here to help with various jobs. This year they have saved, planned and prepared to be here for the first week of our teams, living with us. Ray is self-employed as a computer network consultant. "Computer doctor" is what we call him! But, he's also good with just about anything in need of repair. He is here to keep us running in many ways!
Debra sacrificed a lot to be here. She took unpaid leave from her job at Cracker Barrel in Greenville to come. Debra is very knowledgable in the scriptures. She also teaches a Bible class at her home congregation. She has helped many different groups throughout the years down here, by helping in Bible studies, clinics, VBS and pretty much any place she is needed. She and Ray make a great team. They have become dear friends to us and we could never repay them for all they have done for us personally.
They have two daughters and one son, all of whom have made trips to Guyana as well. They are all back in the States taking care of things so Mom and Dad could come. Ray can keep up with some of his work from down here over the Internet. But, his son is tending to a lot of it for him. So it is a "family work" for them. They have all worked together to make it possible for Ray and Debra to be here.
We have looked forward to this day when the Allens could be with us for an extended length of time. They are a huge asset to the work. Ray will also be one of our drivers this summer. With all the trips he makes to Guyana, it was just wise to get him licensed to drive here. So ... more work for Ray!
We jokingly refer to her as our Minister of Finance.
She is the baby of nine children. Therefore, she has the nickname, Baby.
When Salita was a small girl, Bruce House was doing door-knocking in her area. Salita's older sisters were taught and baptized. Salita attended services at Plaisance with her sisters and was baptized several years later. Her mother is now a Christian, too.
Salita has taught children's class at church and is very involved in the youth program. She is well respected among her peers. She attended University of Guyana and has a degree in Business Management. Previous employment: Singer, Bakewell, and Public Bank.
Salita began working with Operation Guyana in 2005. She has taken over the responsibilities that Orin Ross had for 8 years. He has since moved. Her responsibilities include: paperwork, files, bills, and attends government/business meetings with Steve. She keeps things running 365 days a year. One of her strong points is maintaining relationships with government and business people on behalf of Operation Guyana.
She's little in size, but she is a 'spit fire.' We are so glad to have her as part of 'our family' at Operation Guyana.
Married in 1971. They have one son, two daughters, and three grandchildren.
He is an elder at Plaisance congregation.
He has worked as a carpenter, fisherman, and in the sugar estate. Began working with Operation Guyana ten years ago as Clinical Assistant to Pat Veatch, our staff nurse then.
In 1992 there were two ladies from the States that were missionaries here. They were out door-knocking for a Gospel meeting that was being held at Plaisance. They came to the home of Alvin and Ingrid and began studying with them. Alvin and Ingrid were Hindus and had a lot of questions. Alvin was soon baptized into Christ. That was in January of 1992. It was March when Ingrid became a Christian. They had several follow up Bible studies with Bruce House and Glenn VanZandt (who were missionaries here at that time). Ingrid said her mother worried when Ingrid became a Christian because of the past situation with Jim Jones.
Ingrid Persaud has done domestic work and she worked in the market selling fish and shrimp that Alvin would bring in. They are very active at church. The women of the congregation have a great love and respect for Ingrid. She has been involved in teaching ladies' Bible classes. She has been an influence on her sister, who has become a Christian as well. She began working with Operation Guyana in 2001 as housekeeper for Jerry and Pat Veatch. When the Veatch's moved away, we moved into the house they had been renting and kept Ingrid. Wise choice!!!! She is an excellent cook and a dear friend to have a good visit with.
We have known Alvin and Ingrid since 1992, when we first moved to Guyana. They are a precious couple who love each other and serve their Lord with willing hearts.
This summer is Rachelís seventh year in Guyana. Some of her responsibilities in the past have been assisting in the eye clinic, triage, pharmacy, Bible studies and VBS. She will have various other responsibilities this summer as an intern. When Rachel expressed an interest in coming as an intern, we knew we had an opportunity to have someone with a great personality, youth and zeal, and a committed love for the Lord. May she be as richly blessed by being here as we will for having her.
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