Traveling according to God's Timing
Good morning friends and family,
Over a month ago, we sat praying and seeking God for what we should do. Darah and Jackson had not yet been given their landing permit papers when they entered Guyana the first time, and were soon going to have to leave the country so they could re-enter and work on getting the correct stamp on re-entry. Finally, our answer came just days before the date they had to leave the country. Through much prayer, and open doors we decided Darah and Jax should go back to the states for a few weeks until their paperwork could be worked out in Guyana.
During this time, we received several other answers to prayer, and could see that God had a plan for what we originally saw as a delay. During the month they were in the states, they were able to arrange to pick up a donated computer and projector for the Mashabo church. Which, is now being loaded with sermons, health and Christian living messages so it can be delivered to the church so they can begin using it for holding meetings for church and community members.
Also, while speaking at a church in Tennessee Darah was asked after the service if we needed Vacation Bible School supplies. Not knowing of any particular need, she said she wasn’t sure, but she would be glad to take the donation and find a use for it. Just a few days later, she received a call from a local missionary in Mashabo village asking if she had any books, or crafts for children; they were planning a VBS program but didn’t have any supplies. God had already answered their need!
Local missionary in Mashabo, Areefa teaches the children's Sabbath School, and teaches several children at her home throughout the week, and does Bible studies with the children on Fridays. She was very grateful for the Bible school supplies for the little ones she teaches, and the kids were excited to have actual books that they could take home!
We had also been asked about a week before Darah left, if we had any books to share with the other church nearby, the Bethany church. One of the local church members along with several other missionaries had been planning a women’s group study and needed copies of Adventist Home, and another young man had asked if we had any sharing books for him to hand out while doing Bible studies. We didn't have either. We left all of our sharing resources for the work on the Navajo reservation when we moved. But, we began praying.
This past week Darah and Jax came home with around 30 Adventist Home books and in a few weeks we hope to have a barrel full of various other donated books given to us by a publishing company while in the states. We are still praying for another 200 A.H. and Child Guidance books to distribute throughout both villages, but we know God supplies in His time. While stateside we were also able to ship back a much-needed chainsaw and generator that were donated. God always provides! We are still praying about the audio Bibles and hymnals for members and missing members to have at home requested by the Mashabo church, trusting that God will supply those also in His time!
Auntie Linda is a local woman with a heart to help the younger women in her village learn how to run their homes for God. She has an amazing testimony of how God used this very book to encourage her in her younger years when her husband was struggling with addiction and she had to be the leader of her home for a time. Now she is desiring to share what she learned from the wisdom she found in this book with others! She credits God for leading her to this book to help give her the strength and wisdom to keep going when times were tough. Through much prayer God helped her husband overcome his addictions and finally become the father and husband He was leading him to be!
This month has been filled with many things; travel, work around the mission, and lots of prayers. Sadly, the devil has also been at work—recently, we lost a fellow GAMAS missionary in the interior when a caiman pulled him under the water. The American missionary, Carlos Santana, was buried in the field in which he served: Kimbia, on November 22, surrounded by fellow missionaries and friends. Tony and our GMI President, who gave the eulogy, were able to fly in for the funeral. We are keeping his family in our prayers during this difficult time.
A service was held for Carlos in the village of Kimbia where he served, surrounded by friends and fellow missionaries Carlos was buried awaiting the day when Jesus will call him from his sleep and we will all be reunited...what a glorious day that will be! "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
This latest tragedy loudly spoke to our hearts of how fleeting life can be. Tragedy can strike any one of us, and at any time. It also made us think on how thankful we are for life, and the many blessings God has provided.
We don’t always know why God allows what He does, nor are we always supposed to, but we rest in His divine wisdom that He knows what is best for each of us. We look forward to the day when death will be swallowed in victory and Jesus will return to take His followers home, where there will be no more death, nor sorrow. And for the time when the devil can no longer work, but will be defeated in the ultimate battle by Jesus!
However, we don’t desire to go home one minute sooner than the Lord has made provisions for, because we now that it is not His will that even one person should perish being lost. We believe that God in His mercy is holding back the winds of strife, until every person has been given a chance to hear the Gospel and make their choice. Just as His word tells us, once all have been given this chance, then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). That is why we believe that now is the time to work for the saving of souls!
We continue to work and pray for progress on the mission planes so Tony and the other pilots can begin again with the life-saving work here in Guyana. We are also moving forward with clearing the land for an additional pilot/mechanic’s house on the airstrip, and believe we are getting close to resolving Darah and Jax’s Visa issues. God has been tremendously good to allow us to be a small part of His work to hasten His return; and we want to thank each of you who have prayed for us, and for those who sent us back from the states with donated materials for our friends here in the village. We can see the needs are many here, and continue to pray how God can best use us to meet the needs of those around us. And, knowing that time is short, we are all the more grateful for the helping hands God sends and for the prayer warriors who have been lifting up this work and our family!
In His love,
Tony, Darah and Jackson
Tony taking us and our belongings down to the landing so we can catch our first boat on our way leaving the village headed back to the states while our Visa paperwork is being processed.
On the first boat to the coast on our trip back to the US...next was the ferry for a few hours, then another couple of hours to the airport. From there we flew out around midnight and arrived at 5 AM in Miami. Finally, we started the last leg of our journey, a 10 hour drive to take a much needed rest and get to see family again! God is good to hold us in all our goings and comings!
We had many things to keep us busy during our month stateside...one of which was Jackson's craft business. He and his cousin are working hard on finishing some flax heating bags Jax had pre-sewn while in Guyana, and they are filling them and closing them up to get them ready to sell!
We had some nice rest and relaxation time too in the fall leaves and weather, before it turned colder in Tennessee.
The last minute rush to get the donated goods into barrels and ready to load into the rented van to take down to Atlanta to ship, while on the way to Miami to catch our flight back to Guyana! We were beyond grateful for the help of my (Darah) family in getting things labeled and packed to go when there was no more time to spare! A short photo break with my sister Nikki who helped us by marking the barrels with shipping labels just in time to get on the road to Miami!
It didn't take Jax long to jump right back into life in the jungles when we returned home...or me either, we had too many projects waiting to be done to slow down! Above: we are screening the mission house we are currently staying in to keep out the bugs (and hopefully jaguars too;) Below: Working on a new path between the main mission house on the airstrip and a guest house to the side.
Jax and Tony placing some stakes to find the center of the runway, to get the correct angle for cutting down some overgrown trees at the end of the strip on each side.
Above: Making our way to Mashabo one Sabbath during the rainy season. We are beyond grateful for the 30 year old four wheeler that has been fixed again, but continue to pray for God's hand to sustain it as we travel longer distances through the jungles! Below: Tony teaching Sabbath School at the Mashabo church.
Since we last wrote to you, the foundation is beginning to be set for the newest church plant in Monkey Mountain! Unfortunately, because the mission planes were not running, a larger mission trip had to be postponed, but they will hopefully be taking a smaller group in to lay the concrete this month and in April are planning for the larger group to go in to complete the new church. Please help us pray for projects like this, that desperately need our mission planes to be up and running to help take God's missionaries where they need to be to finish this work!
These are some of the "precious" reasons we believe in the work we are doing on the ground here in Bethany to prepare for the planes to be flying again. This is the GAMAS school and children in Paruima who depend on the mission planes to bring in supplies to help with food, school supplies and church supplies. And this is just one of our interior missions, we have numerous other projects that need the help of the planes due to very poor roads to get in and out of the interior villages where God is educating these precious souls for the kingdom!
Updates on the Mission Planes
8R -JIL…What do those numbers mean? Well, they are designation numbers for our Guyanese registered Cessna 172, four seat aircraft. The previous owner is a Christian and picked the letters JIL (the 8R part is the designation for Guyana aircraft, for example all aircraft in the US start with letter N). JIL stands for “Jesus is Lord”. Isn't that amazing! This month David brought back the recently overhauled engine for 8R-JIL.
This aircraft was purchased about a year ago and has been waiting for the engine to be overhauled. With the aid of David’s Twin Comanche airplane, engines, propellers, and parts, are transported back and forth to the US for repairs and upgrades. It has been a tremendous blessing to have this capability. It saves money, time, and damages that could be incurred in shipping these large and heavy items.
This little 172 has a larger engine, than the standard C172 and a constant speed prop, giving it enhanced performance. Meaning we will be able to get off the ground quicker and climb faster with full loads. The previous owner owns a flight business in Georgetown and has offered to do all the maintenance work required to reinstall the engine and other items necessary to make the aircraft fit for return to service. Isn't God good? Jesus most certainly is Lord of all!
Also about to return to service is a N5775E, a Cessna 150 with a larger 150 horsepower engine. It also has a newly overhauled engine and propeller. It just needs a few more small maintenance items completed and it will be ready to fly again. This little plane is small but very capable. It can fly the short trips back and forth to Georgetown in a fraction of the time we now spend on travel via boats and buses for the same cost. This will be a tremendous blessing for us, since we often need to make trips into Georgetown unexpectedly to get parts and supplies for the upkeep of the airbase, landing strip, and mission equipment. It is fuel efficient and It can be flown into just about any landing strip with its larger and reinforced landing gear. This little plane was one of the first Adventist mission planes flying in Guyana. Although things feel a bit set back due to the damage of our aircraft last month, God is still making a way to move forward!
This is the first GAMAS plane, a small Cessna 150, to fly in service for God here in Guyana, and one of the planes we hope will be up and running again for His service soon!
PILOT's HOUSING UPDATE
Months before we ever arrived in Guyana, the Lord blessed us with a gift of money that we weren’t expecting. A gift that we believed confirmed that we were to move our family to the jungles of Guyana to serve Him and the people there. This came at a time when we were truly unsure which way God wanted us to go, and we saw the unexpected gift as a huge answer to prayer.
We used the gift to begin the house we were told we could build to live in Bethany Village, Guyana. We purchased the wood for the entire home, the solar panels, batteries and an inverter for our electricity. Though, once we arrived in Guyana, we were given a temporary home to live in when the other mission family left to move back to the states. We had not expected to have a home to live in this soon. So, at that point we used some of the donation given to us to improve this home for our time there but also for any families coming after we move.
God’s gift to us also helped our family move our belongings (few as they were!) to Guyana and live on during our transition to our new home. God has not failed to continue providing for our family, even after the initial gift that spurred us to move here was gone. The past two months, we have been praying for the Lord to open more funds to continue the building of the additional home on the airstrip.
We are very excited to share that now we have some of the additional funds to move forward with the building of the house. This will allow for another family to come and serve with us here in Bethany, we are praying for a mechanic to feel the call to this work. We have a possible family interested in coming to serve with GAMAS, though there have been no commitments yet, it opens our eyes to see the pressing need for the extra home, so we can be prepared when God sends the workers He needs here to do the work needed.
Some of the land has now been cleared for the new house. We hope to begin work on the foundation and the floors within the next month, and are trusting God to help us finish the home as He provides the remaining funds for it to be completed. Until then we continue to move forward in faith for what He has already provided, trusting His timing to be perfect for its completion.
Completion of Pilot’s housing
Outdoor Kitchen for Missionary Guest housing on airstrip
Storage Room for tools attached to hangar
Boat for Mission Visits and Water transports
Newer Four Wheeler with trailer
Repairs on the Cessna 182, and possibly a larger Cessna 206 plane for the mission to the interior.
Tractor for work on the airstrip, ground construction and transporting goods.
**Physical items may also be donated for a tax deduction, contact us directly to discuss.
We also have many projects that could be done during a one to two week mission trip. Please contact us if your church would be interested in a possible mission trip or sponsoring some of the above items.
SHORT TERM MISSION PROJECTS
We are hoping to hold a health fair this coming year in the village of Mashabo, if you would be interested in volunteering let us know!
Building/painting kitchen on airstrip for guests/missionaries
Building/painting shed an organizing tools in shed
Mechanical help with various projects and equipment (four wheel drive mule needs much mechanical work to get working again: which would help with land transporting)
Helping to install electrical wiring in the current home on the airstrip
Putting in water and solar system
Depression recovery seminars
PRAISES & PRAYER REQUESTS:
Praises for a safe trip to the US to work on our Visa paperwork.
Praising God for a donated computer and projector and Sabbath School supplies for the Mashabo church!
Praises for HF Radios for the airstrip!
Praises for our four wheeler being repaired and now running.
Prayers for our work Visas to be completed.
Prayers for missionaries in Bethany for strength, unity and God’s spirit as we do His work.
Prayers for a better four-wheeler for land transports and a boat for water outreach ministry.
Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God...
Adventures in the Mission Field (#3) By: Jackson Varga
During our visit back to the states, while awaiting the paperwork for our Visas, Jackson was asked to share with a co-op homeschool class that Darah's sister teaches. He shared what it’s like to be a missionary in Guyana. He created the video below to share with the group about his experiences in his new jungle home. We hope you enjoy!