A New Day for G.A.M.E.
Happy New Year everyone! We’ve been very busy during this holiday season fixing up a new apartment for our new media ministry. In fact, on Christmas day no less, Mike Manuel and a team of volunteer staff from Siparuta Mission Academy, began prepping the interior of the apartment for a fresh coat of paint. They also patched up leaky zinc roof with tar, and replaced some rotten ceiling panels.
For those who haven’t heard the whole story, Guyana Adventist Media Evangelism (G.A.M.E.) started almost by accident a year ago when (on a divine impulse) I decided to share some free dramatized bible stories at a local Guyanese Youth Congress. No sooner did I publicly announce that I had some thrilling bible stories to give away, then I was mobbed by young and old alike, each asking for a copy. After eight hours of non-stop copying of files, a bigger vision for the need of a media ministry began to gel in my mind.
On my next missionary flight to the deep South, I retrieved a DVD replicator that we had stored in Lethem. Soon we were copying and freely distributing thousands of DVD’s containing sermons and training seminars. So far, we’ve copied and handed out videos by David Asscherick, Mark Finley, Doug Batchlor, Walter Veithe, and we’ve even replicated some sermons in a local Amerindian dialect! God has richly blessed our small efforts and as of this moment we’ve burned and distributed about 10,000 DVD’s and CD’s!
But while this was all happening, God also planted in my heart another vision to expand into the realm of print. I even went so far as to research online what the best high-volume digital laser printers were. But when I saw the high cost of these printers, my faith faltered, and I quickly decided to put the plan on hold. Somewhere along the way, the Lord must have decided to that we had waited long enough, because nine months ago I received a surprise phone call, out of the blue, from someone in the States. After identifying himself, the gentleman stated that God had put on his heart a burning desire to see a printing ministry set up in Guyana. After my shock wore off we talked for over an hour about how this could become a reality.
Within two weeks of that first conversation, two laser printers, a paper cutter, a folding machine, and a stapler were all purchased by a generous donor and shipped, completely free of charge, to our ministry here in Guyana!
A month ago I got a phone call from a local shipping company, confirming that the crate containing all the equipment has safely arrived in Georgetown. We hope to have it out of customs by this next week. Praise the Lord!
When the crate was enroute from Florida to Georgetown, I knew in the back of my mind that I had another problem on my hand. We desperately needed to find a place to set up all the equipment. Our little apartment was simply too small to even think of setting up print shop. But the Lord had already anticipated this. Five weeks ago as I was driving around town doing some errands, I received a cell phone call from an elderly lady asking if I wanted to take over a rental agreement that she had. She had been renting an apartment, but decided that she didn’t want to renew her yearly lease agreement, and just happened to call me to ask if I wanted to take it over. By that very afternoon I had met the owner, and we had signed a new contract.
While the the rent is really low, the apartment has needed some help to get it into a good working condition. But thanks to Mike Manuel and the team from Siparuta, we’re most of the way to where we need to be.
Two weeks ago, the Lord moved mightily again.
As I was contemplating the long range future of this ministry, it has became increasingly apparent to me that we need a full time stipend worker to operate all this new equipment. Basically we need someone responsible who can work 8am – 5pm, five days a week, keeping the equipment humming nicely.
Finding such a person isn’t an easy task. They have to be totally reliable, and utterly trust worthy since they will essentially working alone, and will be handling thousands of dollars worth of equipment and supplies.
The Lord has once again moved before us and has already impressed someone to help with this ministry!
First, you must understand that my wife and I have been very careful not to spread around the news that we were looking to hire someone. In a poor country like Guyana, the moment you mention something about a stipend job, you will have people lining up to ask for the job! We really wanted the Lord to be the one who selected the person, since it is so crucial to the success of the ministry
So two weeks ago, we were casually talking with a young Guyanese couple and asking what their long term plans were, the young gentleman shot a nervous glance at his wife, and said, “I’d like to help you with your new media ministry.” I was completely shocked, since we hadn’t breathed a word about hiring anyone. As I tried to give an appropriate response, it slowly began to dawn on me. This is the perfect person! This young man is already the manager of a store, so he’s used to very hard work. The owner trusts him implicitly with thousands of U.S. dollars worth of goods, because he has a moral character like Joseph. But best of all he has an incredible missionary spirit, always wanting to go out on Sabbath afternoons to do branch sabbath school. Incidentally, he is making good money right now, much more than he would if he were working for our ministry. So the stipend we would pay him would not be a “strong motivator” for taking this position. He’s really in it for the ministry aspect.
It’s clear that the Lord isn’t just leading us forward. He’s almost pushing us forward! This reminds me of what it says in Isa 65:24
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”