Bro. Mark Carr asked me to accompany him this past January for a two-week pastoral visit to Guyana, South America. When we landed at the airport outside of Georgetown, the memories came flooding back of the time some forty years earlier, when I first set foot in the tropical mission fields of Central America and spent over two years living in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama.
The Guyanese have right-hand drive vehicles and drive on the left-hand side of the roads, opposite of what most North Americans are used to. They also make very good use of their horns! I was thankful to be driven around as I, personally, would not venture to drive in Georgetown on my own, not knowing the area and especially due to the traffic and condition of many of the roads!
On Thursday, May 7, www.thisisyourbible.com student, Tom Davis, was baptized into Christ and became a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Ecclesia.
Behind that flat statement of fact lie some unusual arrangements. You see, Tom lives 2,100 miles or 3,300 kilometers from our meeting place in Kitchener, Ontario. His home is in Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia, a spectacularly beautiful town located in the South-East corner of British Columbia, on Columbia Lake. The nearest Ecclesia is at least a 4 hour drive away. In any case, due to the present necessity to “socially isolate”, it would have been just as complicated to have arranged a baptism at that Ecclesia. Tom eventually plans to relocate to be near an Ecclesia, but he is not sure yet just which one. Until that decision is made, we in the Kitchener-Waterloo Ecclesia, are very happy to have him as a member.
Well it has been just over four weeks now since Isaiah and I safely arrived at our apartment here in La Paz, Bolivia. It was quite the journey to get here and we were not sure that we would make it!
At the beginning of this year we were both in California visiting Isaiah’s family for a couple of months before heading to South America where we planned to start two years of mission work in Bolivia. All was going according to plan until right before we left when Coronavirus really started to have an impact worldwide. We were still planning on going in spite of this, but the day before we were due to leave, we found out that Peru had entirely shut down their borders. Our flight from the USA was routed through Lima, Peru to Bolivia and so had been cancelled. Finding an alternate route was not straightforward, as there are no direct flights between America and Bolivia and many countries in South America were due to close their borders within the next 24 hours – not giving us enough time to route through on our way to La Paz. Eventually we found a flight that stopped in Brazil and would get us to Bolivia.
A few months ago David and I were visiting with the Harvey River ecclesia at the home of its recording brother, Matthew Williams. The drive is a rough one, winding along pothole studded bamboo shaded roads, up through the hills, almost an hour from the closest main city, Lucea. During our time in Jamaica, we tried to regularly visit the small ecclesia. Despite all 5 of the members being over the age of 80, they rarely miss doing service at the hall on Sunday and have been enjoying Brother Matthew’s weekly exhortations for nearly two decades!
Below, is his story about his conversion to the truth, as well as his advice for other brothers and sisters.
On July the 6th, the 2019 Truth Corps team started a three and-a-half week adventure to serve our host Ecclesias and spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
This year, our team spent time in the Pomona and San Diego Ecclesias in California and at the Broughton Ecclesia in Jamaica. The team consisted of Brothers: Erick Cervantes, Micah Hewitson, Brandon Hefner and Micah Luff; and Sisters: Sarah Perry, Lonti Shindano, Claire Robinson and Rhiannon Bourke. We were later joined in Jamaica by Sister Sarah Kohlman and Brother and Sister Matt and Cilla Tuckson. Our team was led by Brother Dave and Sister Cassie Giordano for our time in California and by Brother Dana Kohlman in Jamaica.