Oh, life in another culture! The children were arriving for our weekly outreach. I was outside when a new boy from the neighborhood(10yrs old) came out from around the corner, seeking to talk with me. I was explaining to him what we were preparing for and was inviting him to come on into the outreach when a gang of 5 arrived on the scene with rocks and sticks. They began throwing the weapons at the new boy and as he ran away, they continued to hit him in the head with both rocks and sticks. I tried to stop them, but they ignored me, showing no respect.
A little while later, I stepped into one of the classrooms from the outreach, and there was “the gang”! They had put on clean shirts and got their bibles and come to the outreach to hear about Jesus and get a sandwich. I was concerned. What hypocrisy! What a bunch of little sinners! They did not deserve to be at the outreach receiving anything we were offering, and they were sure not in the right heart to receive Jesus!
I immediately went to talked with the local Pastor and told him about what I witnessed. I pointed out the boys involved. He quietly told me, “This is why they need to be in here” and then turned walked away. What a piercing phrase that was to my heart! What a hypocrite I am. What a sinner I am, that I could so easily be caught up in self righteousness. Lord, forgive me!
Melissa and I are continuing to “re-learn” daily the cultural rights and wrongs, and the differences between them and the absolute rights and wrongs spoken of in the Bible. We are in the unique position to view and observe many different positions on ministry, as there are so many variables at work here in the Jungle. You have city life, country life, ghetto life, and jungle life. Then we travel to Guyana and find total poverty and corrupt government. We get to see ministry as it is performed in each of the different situations, and cultures. It is giving us an enlarged understanding of the term “growing in grace.”
Guyana was a great blessing, and I want to pass on a need from the local Pastor there. The whole southern part of Guyana is made up of savanna and tundra, mountains and rivers. There are no paved roads, and it is very hard to describe the rough landscape a vehicle has to traverse to get to the many different Indian villages in order to minister to the people. A vehicle breaks down a lot in the off-road conditions of the savanna and is in constant need of repair. The problem: Guyana is so poor, that they cannot even buy the proper parts for their vehicles.
We have the opportunity, to help in this area and ultimately help in the ministering of 31 villages and 25 church plants.
I am looking for some type of sponsorship for the local Pastor. He does not have the ability to buy from the Toyota dealers in other countries. He does have a person in Florida who can ship the parts to Guyana. If anyone is interested in helping buy these parts and get them to Florida, or is able to talk with their local Toyota dealer and see if they would be willing to sponsor a Christian Mission in Guyana, please contact me. The sponsorship would provide great testimony of the durability of their vehicles in such rough conditions and they would be furthering the kingdom of God! The list of needed parts is in the attached document.
May God bless you and keep you, May he make his face to shine upon you!
Brad and Melissa Miller, Junior, Andrea, Josiah, Veronica, and Benjamin