The Association of Bible Churches in Guyana is a national based church planting organization. It is dedicated and committed to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to establish independent, self-supporting, national run Bible believing churches.
It’s been one week since the dental team closed off their clinic at Hampshire Bible Church. We have been so busy with preparations and hosting the team, in addition to “closing up shop”, cleaning and putting away all the equipment, that this is the first chance we’ve had to actually write and send some pictures. But we KNOW you all have been praying for us, it was a great week of ministry with the 30 member team of doctors, hygienists, and helpers from America. In addition to the dental team, our own group of helpers from Hampshire, Tain, and even Bath totaled 27 faithful workers. Together, we were able to see over 500 people from all over Guyana come through the clinic!
Praise God for the 24 souls that prayed to receive Christ.
The gospel was clearly shared to each individual, each was also prayed with and encouraged spiritually. The dental team worked tirelessly in spite of the 15 hour long work days. What a joy to be able to see first hand the strength and endurance that God provides, when it is needed most!
Please pray for Gordon Daam, he will be teaching in the Bible Institute next week. The pastors in training and their wives are truly enjoying the opportunity to study under godly men as they grow in their knowledge of God’s word.
Jake will be returning to his home in Michigan at the same time that Gordon flies back to the USA, we will miss him greatly. If you ever get the chance to see Jake, be sure to ask him to tell his stories – especially the one where he gets to shoot a five foot alligator! (and have it for dinner the same day).
Pray also for our daughter Jennie as she and little Eleanor arrive on April 7 to minister to the women and their children for two weeks. We are thrilled to report that Vida Wilson will accompany Jennie and help with the home visits and teaching for the pastors wives.
We’ve attached some pictures for you that will hopefully give a big picture of some recent happenings…there are also pictures from Alex and Debra’s wedding (Alex is a pastor in training), our nephew Jake at the famous Keiteur falls, and of course the dental team. Again, we are so grateful for all who pray for us, and give generously so that the work of church planting continues here in Guyana.
What a Day of Rejoicing! On Sunday afternoon, March 1, 2015, the Bushlot Grace Bible Church held their grand opening “Dedication and Celebration” service! Friends, neighbors, and leaders from the Association of Bible Churches met together for a time of praise, worship, and fellowship in gratitude for all that has been accomplished for the glory of God in that village.
There is a beautiful light house for Jesus in Bushlot, beaming out the gospel to the surrounding villages. We stand amazed and grateful for the provision and protection experiencd throughout this journey of rebuilding the church. Pastor Vijay, his wife Mala, and their entire family and ministry team send their greetings and thankfulness for all who prayed, supported, and personally came to work alongside us.
The attached pictures are self explanatory, except for the “bandara”. That is an East Indian word that means all that happens in the “food preparation department”. As you can see, there was plenty of chicken, rice, and potato salad to feed all 230 guests last night! Here’s another good Indian word for your vocabulary: “Mahapatar”. That is the person who eats the most food at the special function. It’s probably safe to say that would be pastor Vijay – but don’t tell him we said so!
Warm greetings from sunny Guyana…especially to our frozen northern friends and family! We are truly blessed to be living in a tropical climate during this time of year. The mosquitos seem to have calmed down a bit also, thankfully the chikungunya virus is becoming a thing of the past. We are both feeling much better, having recuperated to the point of having only slight pain in the joints and feet these days. We are grateful for your prayers for our health and safety, especially during the busy construction period at the Bushlot Grace Bible Church project.
Pastor Vijay Rambharak decided he needed to completely finish the inside before moving the congregation into the new facility. So this coming Sunday, March 1, will be the dedication service for the “new” church building! The leadership of the Association of Bible Churches have been invited to attend this special occasion, which will be an afternoon of praise and worship. We are looking forward to sharing with you pictures of that event, Lord willing, sometime next week. Thank you for praying us all through this very busy time of building!
Last week, Pastor Doug Knorr, from LifePoint Bible Church in Traverse City, MI, was here to teach on the first 3 chapters of Revelation. He did an excellent job communicating the text, in addition to connecting with the students on a personal level. We are blessed to have these dedicated teachers come alongside us in teaching the pastors in training. Pastor Doug (see attached pic) was able to encourage and challenge each one, as well as do some pre-marital counseling for two of the students.
The next two weeks will find us getting everything ready and set up for the dental team due March 7. Somehow we will pack all 30 of them into our Nigg home – which means bringing more bunk beds in from the Crabwood Creek team house. Our nephew Jake is finding out what it takes to not only do ministry on a daily basis, but is getting a lot of experience in building, hosting guests, and even attending classes at the Berbice Bible Institute. Please pray for the dental team as they make last minute preparations, travel from MI to Guyana, and work long hours during the clinic days of March 8 – 12.
Please pray with us as we look forward to additional family members arriving in April. Our daughter Jennie, along with her baby Eleanor, will be arriving April 8. Jennie works as a pediatric (mother/baby care) nurse and is preparing material to teach the ministry wives concerning the health issues that women and children face here in Guyana. She is uniquely qualified to reach them with this information, having been raised here, and knowing first hand the problems and challenges we face in a developing country as we minister to both physical and spiritual needs. Pray that Jennie would be able to raise the funds needed for her travel and ministry expenses, and also find a travel companion who can assist her along the way, both with Eleanor and in counseling the women here.
We would like to close with a verse that has come to mean so much to us in recent days, as we see God’s hand at work in the ministry of church planting, and in our lives: “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” I Cor. 1:8-9
We are amazed and awed at how the Lord has provided the funds, the workers, the dry weather, and the speed at which the Bushlot Bible Church has gone up! Your prayers have undergirded this project and protected the men from harm and danger. As a bonus, it looks like we will be able to complete the entire project, including the electrical work by the end of this week! Only the painting of the interior and exterior will need to be done when the concrete work is cured.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
The congregation of the Bushlot Grace Bible Church will hold their first service in the new building this Sunday, February 15, 2015. They have prayed faithfully for years to see this accomplished, and have seen first hand the Lord’s provision. Once again, God is never late, He’s always on time. Pastor Vijay Rambharak, his family, the church members, the building crew, all share in the joy of accomplishment. It’s been a long six weeks of hard labor, not the least of which has been your labor in the Lord. It has not been in vain.
Let us take this opportunity also to request prayer for the professor arriving this weekend, pastor Doug Knorr from Traverse City, MI. He will be teaching on the book of Revelation in the Bible Institute all next week. Pray for the students as they travel each day to classes, some come from far distances.
Pray for the 30 member dental team due to arrive March 7 for a week of clinic at the Hampshire Bible Church. All 30 will be staying in our home here in Nigg. Pray for our daughter Jennie, as she travels here in April with her little daughter Eleanor, to minister with our ladies in the area of women’s and children’s health care.
We look forward with anticipation for what the Lord has in store for the days and weeks ahead. We covet your prayers for the students and pastors of the Association of Bible Churches, as we are on the “front lines” of spiritual warfare. Praise God we are on the winning side!
Once again, we are sending a construction update by way of photos. The men are working extremely hard to see this project to completion. Yesterday, work commenced at 6am on the inside floor, and did not stop until 10 pm. Today was a repeat of yesterday, to do the other half of the floor. It is important to pour the concrete in sections so that it dries evenly and will not crack over time.
As you can also see, the windows have gone in, they are completely finished as of today as well. AND the metal on the roof is all on! Amazing amount of work accomplished in just one week here. Our nephew Jake is starting to look more and more like a Guyanese with a great tan from being on the roof! Eating curry and rice every day seems to agree with him, which is a good thing – he’s finding out that the crew eats well, which includes what Bro. Vijay’s wife cooks for them.
Please continue to pray for the men, as they move on to the next phase: tile on the platform, stucco on the walls, electrical work/lighting, hang the doors, and concrete the front portico floor. The goal is to have the first service inside the building by next week Sunday, February 8, Lord willing.
The teams are gone, the house is quiet, the refrigerator is empty! We are so grateful and blessed to have had the privilege of hosting two very hard working groups of men over the past two weeks. A LOT was accomplished in a very short time, as you will see by the attached pictures. As of today, the old ceiling rafters are out, the platform is in, and one whole side of the roof has metal!
Tomorrow, the goal is to continue putting on the roofing metal sheets and put in the windows. The building is coming together very nicely. Lord willing, in two weeks, the congregation at Bushlot will be able to use this beautiful facility! Andy, our nephew Jake, and the Guyanese crew are persevering to see the building fully completed.
So “stay tuned”, as more pictures will be coming your way in the near future. Please continue to pray for safety on the job site and dry weather. We are trusting God for the remaining $6,000 needed to fully complete this project.
Bushlot Grace Bible Church will continue to be a lighthouse for the glory of God in Guyana!
Well, we said good bye to the Pennsylvania men yesterday. A huge THANK YOU goes out to all who prayed for, supported, and sent down these hard working men! What a blessing to all who came in contact with them. It was difficult to see them go. So much was accomplished in the short week that they were with us.
But now we have a NEW work crew, all the way from Michigan! Eleven men arrived very early Thursday morning, slept a couple of hours, and were off and running by 9am. The baton (or should I say sledge hammer?) was handed off to them from the PA crew, these men are now responsible for the next big phase of completing the renovations.
It’s certainly been a marathon, and we certainly can tell people are praying for us! The guys are working like bees, as you can see by the pictures much progress has been made in a very short time. Sunday we took a “day of rest”, which was sorely needed. Andy preached a powerful message at Hampshire, we were all challenged and blessed. Following a “take out” lunch of chicken and fried rice, (yes, even Kathleen had a break!), the guys had a well deserved nap. Then they all piled into the team bus and went for an outing to a creek for the afternoon. I don’t think they went into the water, but Ravi gave them a ride down stream so they could get an idea of the wild side of things.
This week the guys are pushing hard to complete as much as possible on the roof, front portico, and back enclosed walls where the platform will be located. All the security bars for windows and doors are being welded at the same time as the construction is going on, so that everything will be completed together, Lord willing.
So stay tuned, I hope to keep the pics coming your way every few days or so.
Thanks so much for praying for us. We need it!
It’s amazing to see the amount of work that can be done in just a few days! As you can see through the photos, the team of 6 men from Millersville Bible Church in PA is with us, working alongside the Guyanese crew. Since this is an ongoing project for the next few weeks, I’ll just send pictures, as they speak for themselves. Praise God for good weather, and so far safety on the job. Please continue to pray for their safety as they are often in precarious positions trying to set things up, pour concrete, etc.
Now that the work is in progress, it is evident that the original structure is worse than expected. Most has had to be torn down. All windows, roofing, and most pillars must be replaced. The original estimate of $35,000 has been sent in to the project account at PIEI, praise God! However, please pray with us for an additional $8,000 needed to complete the project. All donations are tax deductible – please send to:
Partners in Evangelism International
5518 W. Diversey Ave.
On a separate note, please write/designate: Guyana building project fund
Tonight the “second wave” team of 11 men from Michigan arrives, they will be with us for another full week. The first group from PA will fly out this Saturday. So the house here at Nigg is full of hungry men to feed and care for! Thanks so much for praying for all of us as we partner together for the glory of God in Guyana.
Stay tuned for more photo updates….
Today is called ” Boxing Day” in the British tradition , as it is customary for people to “box up” their Christmas leftovers and visit friends and relatives, sharing their extra treats with them. Our frig happens to be full of Christmas fruit cakes, sweets, apples, and even grapes, all gifts of our church family here. Even though we hosted a LOT of people here yesterday for lunch and evening dessert time, there’s even some of my cheesecake left over. Andy is happy about that!
The Hampshire church is all lit up for the holiday season as you can see…the entire front fence is ablaze with words like “faith,joy, hope, love, grace, peace”. The rooftop says “Merry Chirstmas and Emmanuel, God with us”. People come for miles to see the special decorations. Brother Lall, a member of the church, is a gifted welder and made all the frames for the words and star to be lighted.
Since yesterday was a holiday, the church people dressed in their traditional Indian attire – even Andy and I got in on the action. Our current Sunday School teacher, brother Balram, made the creche scene including the paper animals and family. Last Sunday the children acted out the Christmas story, complete with costumes and music. So for our Christmas Day service the scene was still in place to enjoy with paper replacements!
We have so much to be thankful for at this time, allow me to list just a few. As our faithful prayer partners, you will be encouraged to know that:
– Andy is feeling much better and is recuperating from the dread chikungunya!
– The Bushlot renovation project is almost fully funded! By the time the two work teams arrive mid-January, Lord willing, much of the building materials should be paid for and on site. Work begins just after January 1, the first phase (Andy and local crews) is to “deconstruct” the present crumbling facility in advance of the construction teams arrival. We look forward to welcoming our nephew Jake Wittenbach who is joining the Michigan team and staying on through March in a short term ministry alongside us.
– Pastor Vishal and his wife Naomi have both been granted visas to the USA, in anticipation of his trip in 2015. Lord willing, both Vishal and Andy will be able to connect with several of our partnering churches and PIEI, as they represent the ministry of the Association of Bible Churches in Guyana in the fall of 2015.
We trust that through all the busyness of this season, you are also able to enjoy and experience the TRUE meaning of Christmas – the coming of a Savior to be the light in a world of darkness, our Emmanuel. God with us.