What an interesting time we are living in. Churches with closed doors, “social distancing” away from friends and loved ones if it means our protection. Funerals passing by silently with closed doors and only the closest relatives being allowed to say their goodbyes.
We are in a time of silence where we can truly be alone with God. This is the time to allow Him “to seek and search our hearts.” This is the time to see where our faith truly lies. We have clearly seen this as a time to draw very near to God seeking His will and not our own.
It has also been a time of reflection for our family, and a time to really assess what matters in life. We see clearly that God is striving to reach many during this time of quiet, and we know He has certainly been reaching us with a message of repentance and reflection of our own lives. We pray others too are seeking Him more fully and preparing their hearts as well for what is to come in the wake of this latest world event. We truly believe the days are before us when times will get tougher and we are all going to need the oil that is able to see us through.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5
We pray for you and your family that you also have been able to see the hand of God guiding and leading even amidst trials.
During the recent shutdowns we have seen and felt some of its effects…yet in other ways we are removed enough that somedays we can’t even tell much difference!
But, one of the things we have been affected by, is government shutdowns; this includes the Guyana Civil Aviation.
We are very thankful for a donation that helped bring the Bethany runway up to Guyana’s Civil Aviation’s standards. Tony and others have worked for quite some time and now the runway widening project is complete. With the shutdowns however, GCA has not yet been able to come out and inspect and re-open the airstrip. There have been many more regulations even aside from the required updates to the runway, so though we don’t know what the future will hold for the aviation program here in Guyana, we trust that God holds the keys to the future. If He desires that the program continue on, we trust He will open the way.
Our friends from Canada, Pierre and Lucille Hebting, out on an exploring hike days before they were able to get on the relief flight back to Canada.
Many other things have happened in the last few months since we shared our last newsletter. As the world has been in limbo with the introduction of the Coronavirus, we have seen God at work in our own lives and the lives of many others as well.
Over the last few months we had a visiting couple with us from Canada, who came to assess the possibility of starting a large farm adjacent to the airstrip to help feed the missionaries serving here as well as others in the community who might have a need in the future. As the shutdowns from the virus finally began reaching us here in our corner of the world, they unfortunately got waylaid in the village unable to fly back home for a time. Despite their flight being cancelled, they maintained an amazing attitude of service and thankfulness.
During their time with us they were a great blessing to our family; helping us with various gardening projects and teaching us from their vast knowledge on gardening and farming. They were also able to share their knowledge with the students at the medical mission college during their delayed stay. We are very grateful for their time with us! Finally, through much searching, Tony finally connected them with a Canadian “relief” flight and they were able to make it back home, even if a few months later than planned!
Despite likely every church being closed here in Guyana, we are attending the one that has remained open in the village 6 miles away. As a result of some of the efforts there, we just witnessed two precious souls baptized last Sabbath! We are grateful God is still at work and we trust He won’t stop until He comes back for His own!
Local medical missionaries in Mashabo, Kevin and Areefa Williams will be running the lifestyle center located in the village of Mashabo. They are pictured here on the property at the start of the building project. It will serve the village by providing health classes, natural remedies, massage, hydrotherapy.
MASHABO LIFESTYLE CENTER Possibly our most exciting news that we have to share is about a new lifestyle center we are working on building in Mashabo. Through prayer and a donation of wood and funds a lifestyle center for the community is now underway. COVID-19 has not slowed this work in the least, for which we are extremely grateful! We believe the health message is the right arm of the Gospel in these last days, and that just as Jesus spent much of his time helping people to heal and come back to health which often opened the doors to share the full message of the Gospel, we see this as part of our work today too.
Kevin and Areefa Williams are a young, married Amerindian couple who are local to the village of Mashabo. In years past both attended the Bethany Medical Mission College program located next to the airstrip where we live. They have been using the medical mission skills they learned at the school for several years now to help the residents of Mashabo; but recently began praying for God to open the doors to build a lifestyle center where they could offer massage, hydrotherapy and other natural remedies, as well as classes on diet and health; and of course share the love of Christ with those in the village.
We are praising the Lord for opening these doors quickly to get the lifestyle center started so they can begin sharing more with their neighbors during these difficult times as people are looking for hope! The construction is already underway with several from the village volunteering their time to help. Tony has been traveling to Mashabo to help also. It has been exciting to see how fast the build is moving along!
Tony has come home nightly pretty tired, but pleased by the progress. It is not light work out in the jungle heat and sun to build and without many of the modern methods we might use in the states! It has been impressive to see the skill and workmanship being put into this center. Concrete mixed by hand, posts and pillars made from scratch...and their precision is amazing! All of the wood being used was cut with a chainsaw straight from the tree and it looks professionally milled.
Kevin and Areefa already have plans for making house visits to pray with those in the community, offer Bible studies and start holding health classes inviting those they visit with to join them. Kevin is also the church pianist (as well as so many other things!), so we recently gave him an electric keyboard that was gifted to us by previous missionaries. As another outreach he is going to begin teaching the local children how to play the piano. Soon the church will have a whole group of young, eager pianists for services!
We can truly see some wonderful things in the future because of this lifestyle center. If you would like to help this work, they will need ongoing supplies and funds to keep the center going. You can reach out for a supply list if you would like to contribute items; or make a donation at our donation link at the bottom of this email. Be sure to mark your donation: “Mashabo Lifestyle Center.”
CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS OF THE LIFESTYLE CENTER
"God Pods" are pre-loaded audio Bibles, which also can be loaded with sermons and audio books.
God Pods for the Navajo Nation and Mashabo Village
We feel blessed for another opportunity to work with Adventist World Radio. They recently voted to donate 100 “God pods,” (audio Bibles) each to both our mission field here in Guyana, and to our previous mission field of the Navajo reservation. The audio Bibles that will be delivered and distributed on the Navajo reservation will be loaded with not only the Bible in English but also in the Navajo language.
The audio Bibles that will be coming to Guyana will be donated to our neighboring village in Mashabo where we will soon have a new, young couple moving in as full-time missionaries. The hope is that this couple, Kevin and Areefa (local missionaries) and others within the church there will distribute and follow-up with those receiving audio Bibles to help answer any questions they may have, and offer Bible studies. There are many people in Mashabo who are not able to read, or have trouble reading so we are excited to help share the Word of God with those in that village to help disciple more for the kingdom of heaven!
Bible and Hymnals for Mashabo
For those that are able to read, the church has asked for extra Bibles to use and to share in the community. The elder there has also asked if we could help in providing the churches members with hymnals for each family in the church. Like many places all over the world, people in the village come to church, but when the doors close, sometimes individual faith grows weak. The goal and focus for the Mashabo church is to encourage personal relationships with Christ; not just a corporate worship (which is definitely also vital), but a daily home worship between services. They have seen an interest from the members to be able to sing and learn more hymns during their private family worships.
If you are interested in sponsoring either a Bible or Hymnal for a family, it is $10 per family for a Bible or $20 for a Bible and a Hymnal per family. You can donate through the given methods at the bottom of this email: please be sure along with the other notations listed below to add “Bibles for Mashabo” to your donation notes.
Navajo Radio Station Update
For those of you who have been praying and supporting the possible radio station to reach the Navajo people over this last year, we wanted to share with you how the project is progressing. The following update has been shared with us by Pastor Dale Wolcott, Coordinator for Arizona Native Ministries, who is helping to keep this project going on the reservation.
“To date $95,000 has been raised or committed to help get the Diné Adventist Radio station on the air, plus a commitment by Adventist World Radio to cover 50% of the start up costs!
The above figure of donations will cover:
A one year pilot project which will be put on KTNN, a 50,000 watt AM “Voice of the Navajo Nation,” where a locally produced weekly 30 minute program will be started.
A fully-equipped production studio, plus training for local speakers and producers.
The Arizona conference has agreed to take ownership of the frequency acquisition process through its affiliate organization, Good News Television Network.
Much prayer is still needed though as the FCC radio frequency auction has been postponed indefinitely due to the virus. The auction includes a 100,000 watt FM frequency that will enable the station to reach 80-90% of the Navajo Nation with the Everlasting Gospel! It was scheduled for April 28 and $15,000 was already submitted for the mandatory opening bid. The group on the ground working on this project will leave those funds in place for whenever the auction is rescheduled.”
We greatly appreciate your prayers and support for this project to reach our friends on the Navajo Reservation with much needed health programing and the Good News that Jesus is coming again soon!
Photo from a recent episode on how to use Charcoal as a natural remedy.
Homesteading Around the Mission
A few months prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, we began videotaping some of the projects we work on around our mission. It began as a short series of videos to help families looking to move out of the cities and into the country. The series called “Homesteading Around the Mission,” originally covered mainly homesteading projects we were working on. As the outbreak began to spread and we saw how many people were growing fearful and times were becoming increasingly uncertain for many families the series began to evolve to include more natural remedies; healthy cooking episodes; as well as things people can do to become more self-sustaining in uncertain times. If you would like to view any of our past episodes you can view them by clicking HERE.
We are also reworking our All Tribes Gospel Outreach website (www.atgoministries.org) to include more outreach avenues (links/resources etc), including these videos and devotionals that Darah writes as time permits; one of her passions. We will be keeping our mission updates in our “Newsletter” section of the website from now on, freeing up more noticeable space for sharing God’s word and the health message.
We have found these means of outreach to be a blessing during times when we haven't been as mobile to reach our neighbors!
Sewing Machines for Paruima
We sincerely want to thank generous donors for donating 8 sewing machines and sewing material for the Paruima boarding school locate in the interior of Guyana! Just before the Coronavirus came onto the scene we were busy working out the details of getting the machines sent down to Guyana so the students could begin their sewing class. However, in light of all the shutdowns, including the school itself here in Guyana closing for now, we continue to pray for the best means of getting the machines here and ready for when the school opens back its doors. If you feel impressed to help, we are still in need of the funds for shipping the machines down to Guyana. Each 55 gallon barrel costs roughly between $175-200 each. We are estimating it will likely take 3 barrels for all the machines and donated materials. We trust God will supply in His perfect timing! If you would like to donate towards this project, please add a note onto your donation: "Paruima Sewing Machines."
Preaching and Teaching at the Mashabo church
We have been truly blessed to be a part of the Mashabo church these last few months. We felt impressed last year to begin attending the church in the village further away (about 12 miles round trip walking), as we were told that they could use assistance.
After years of church planting on the Navajo reservation, this immediately spoke to our hearts! It has been our blessing each Sabbath to be able to attend, and help teach the Sabbath school class and many Sabbaths for Tony to preach during the main service. We even began to enjoy our 12 mile nature walk! We have developed some beautiful friendships there. We have never met a more appreciative group, expressing how thankful they are that we are willing to make the walk each week. Several times members have surprised our family by bringing us an entire lunch to enjoy before walking back home! But, the blessing has honestly been ours to see believers truly seeking God with all their hearts, nothing could be more rewarding!
Helping with the Junior's Sabbath School class, doing Bible charades!
We had a special surprise after church one Sabbath, our new friends decided to walk us all the way back from the church to our house just so we could all fellowship a little longer that day! They made the 12 mile roundtrip walk just in time to sit and have some lemonade with us and then had to quickly walk back to their village before dark came!