Well, it's been a while since I've posted, and I do apologize. Plan to get back at the regular schedule next week. In the meantime, here's an update on my recent journey to Guyana.
For those of you who might not know, I had the opportunity to travel to Guyana from Monday, September 21 thru Tuesday, September 29 to be with Missionary Dean Runyon in Port Kaituma and preach a teen revival meeting that ran Wednesday through Sunday.
1. Thanks so much to those who prayed. The effect of those prayers was very evident throughout the week, and the Lord answered every prayer I had going in.
- The meetings were very well attended. In all, I believe over 175 "secondary students" (equivalent of our high school) were registered.
- The response to the messages was very good. The altar was full the one night we had a "come forward" type invitation. Many young people made some important decisions and commitments throughout the week as a result of the preaching of the word of God.
- There were also 11 who professed faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul and were baptized on Sunday afternoon.
- I came down with a head cold the Monday morning that I flew out of Miami, which really affected me on the Tuesday morning jungle flight into Port Kaituma. In answer to prayer, it was clear in a matter of days, and I was fully recovered for my flight back out the next Monday morning.
2. Please continue to pray for Dean & Patty Runyon as they minister in Guyana.
- Pray that Dean will have wisdom in continuing to minister to these young people. There were many who grew up in the church (the Runyons celebrate their 11th anniversary on the field this month) but had gotten out since going into secondary school – and were there for each service during the teen meeting. Pray that they'll stick with the decisions they made and go on for Jesus.
- There are currently two couples raising support and making plans to join Dean & Patty on the field as soon as possible. Ray & Kim Boltz will be starting a children's home and working with Bro. Dean at Lighthouse Baptist Church, and Buck & Shannon Woodworth (Buck's a graduate of The DeLand School of THE BIBLE who filled in for Dean during his furlough in 2008) will be working in the church planting and Bible school ministries. Please pray they can wrap up their deputation quickly and get to Guyana soon. There is much work to be done!
- Dean has been battling an ear infection for probably a good two months. It had improved somewhat while I was in Guyana but has since worsened (again). He's been on a couple different rounds of antibiotics. Please pray for God's healing and grace.
- Cheo and Charlene McIntyre are two adorable, 9-year-old, Amerindian twins (Cheo's a boy, Charlene's a girl) that the Runyons are raising. They have a sad past but a bright future. Cheo has been saved and baptized, and Charlene is asking a lot of questions. Pray for her salvation.
3. I went on this trip in hopes of being a blessing, but as always, the Lord ministered to my heart.
- As with any mission trip, I returned home with a greater appreciation for the things we so often take for granted in the US. The trip also renewed my appreciation for the things that our missionaries do without for the love of the God who called them and the people to whom they minister. Every Christian should visit the mission field at least once if at all possible.
- Had a great time of fellowship with the Runyons throughout the week. There wasn't much time for sightseeing (not that there was much to see), river boating (with the piranhas), or jungle exploring (with anacondas), but I got to spend some time with Bro. Dean during the days as we prepared for the evening meetings. Two things about Bro. Dean that stuck out to me and I hope will stick on me were (1) the fact that he has more he wants to do for God than he'll ever be able to accomplish in this lifetime. He has more ideas, plans, goals, desires, etc. than will ever come to fruition. (2) He genuinely cares about people. People he's ministering to right now, people he has known in the past, people he met only yesterday. I don't know how many times tears would well up in his eyes as he'd tell me stories about people he's known and things that God has done.
4. A couple notes to finish up.
- As exciting and as fun and as much of a blessing as it was to go, it was even better to come back to my home and my church and my beautiful wife! GOD IS SO GOOD!
- Please pray for Pastor Joel Logan and a group from Sweet Springs Baptist Church who are working this week with Missionary James Hoffmeister in an attempt to start a church in a predominately Hindu area on the island of Trinidad.
Until next time – keep pressing toward the mark (and don't quit after that).