Guyana Mission Report: Chikungunya and the Cell Phone Thief

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  John Keith         Falconer

I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”

   Missionary          Summit

A week ago the Guyana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists held a missionary summit with some special visiting speakers from the United States and the Caribbean Union.  Whenever these events happen, it’s always a challenge to get the bible workers out of the interior, and return them back home.  Pictured above are two bible workers that we flew out of Region #7, and below are two other bible workers returning back to Region #8.  

 New Hymnals for the Villages

This summer when I attended the Stateline Adventist Church, the Junior & Early Teen Sabbath School Class raised over $200 for some hymnals for the villages.  This last week I went down to the ABC and we were able to purchase 16 new hymnals with these funds.  In the interior, there is a severe shortage of hymnals.

Stuck in a Rain      Shower

Supposedly it’s still dry season, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t get thunderstorms, and rain showers.  Usually they hit at the most inopportune times, when you are getting in the airplane to take off (above).  But rain can cause some of the most beautiful pictures. Of course riding it out on the ground is much better than flying through it!  A week ago I rode a stormy updraft that carried me up over 3000 feet! 

Prayer & Praise

PRAISE: Things are starting to return to normal, and the airplane is flying great!

REQUEST: Please pray for Todd and Cassie Anderson who are traveling to Collegedale to work on the Cessna 180, to prepare it for Guyana.

1 Horse Power    Tow Truck

When the old Mercedes refuses to run, who do you call?  The tow truck of course!!!  I couldn’t help but take this picture as I drove by. 

Chikungunya and the          Cell Phone Thief

Well we don’t have “Chikungunya” (yet), but it’s been spreading all over Georgetown like wildfire.  The Adventist hospital where we live has been receiving a steady stream of infected patients seeking treatment.  Day before yesterday when I stood up to preach at our little church, I asked the small congregation if anyone had gotten “Chikungunya” and to my surprise about five hands went up.

For those of you who don’t know, “Chikungunya” is a mosquito borne virus which originated in Africa in the 50’s.  The name ‘Chikungunya’ is derived from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.  The virus is of the same family of viruses as Dengue Fever, except it spreads far faster, and the symptoms are much worse.
We’re concerned about this because we always seem to have a cloud of mosquites that lives outside our front door.  They seem to like to live in our shoes.  Every time we go in and out of the door, the mosquitoes flit merrily inside.  Joy a couple days ago bought some mosquito coils to try and keep them away, but I’ve heard that it’s not good to smell the smoke from these coils since the smoke is carcinogenic and has been shown to cause cancer.  You can’t win!!!

Please pray that we would not contract this disease since this would really disrupt our mission.  Please claim in our behalf Psalms 91:3 “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”

A week ago someone stole Joy’s cell phone from our kitchen counter.

It was Sabbath morning, and we had just finished breakfast and were getting ready to leave for church when a knock came at the door.  The tall young man (18 years old) poured out a semi-believable story of how he was going through some hard times at home, had slept outside because he had had an argument with is dad, and needed some food.

I had mixed feelings about inviting him in, but I could tell he did seem to be in need.  After talking it over with Joy, we both decided to take the risk and invite him in.

Before I invited him in I looked around for any loose electronics that might pose a “temptation” to him.  Both my cell phone and Joy’s cell phone were sitting side by side on the kitchen counter, and I slipped mine in my pocket.  I toyed with the idea of hiding Joy’s phone, but because Joy’s iPhone was having a charging issue, I decided to leave it on the counter to see what he would do.

Since he was approximately my size, I picked out some fresh clothes for him to change into.  He took a shower and sat down to breakfast.   I don’t know if he had eaten breakfast already, or wasn’t used to our cereal, but he didn’t seem to be overly hungry.

After breakfast he sat down in the living room while Joy cleaned up the kitchen.  I had to catch a quick shower to get ready, so I disappeared into the bedroom to get prepare for church.

When I emerged, the young man was gone, and so was Joy’s broken phone.  Joy said that he looked really nervous and had some sort of lame excuse why he had to leave right away.

I’m glad we were able to help him out a little, but I’m also deeply saddened by this experience.  Please pray that God would somehow reach his heart before he makes a truly catastrophic, life altering choice.

Other than that, we’re doing pretty well, and the Lord is opening more doors.

Missionaries Wanted

We have openings for missionary workers:

  • Bible Workers to do training and evangelism.
  • Construction Workers for different projects around Guyana.
  • Media Worker to help run the video and print work.
  • Pilots and Mechanics to build up the aviation program.

Fill out an Gospel Ministry International Application today and indicate your interest in Guyana

Join the Team

If you would like to help the missionary work go forward, you can send a tax deductible donation to:  Gospel Ministry International, PO Box 506, Collegedale Tennessee 37315.  Kindly write on a separate note that it is for Guyana Aviation Evangelism project (GAVE)

Vision for the Future

1.  Our most important task right now is to finish the mission pilot house in Bethany Village in preparation for the Anderson’s return. 

2.  When Bethany is complete, we will turn our attention to Lethem, to  see about building up a flight base there.  Here in the near future we’ll have two full time pilots and two full time airplanes flying.  

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