Guyana – 43rd Annual Bible School
According to the book by Brother Stanley Owen, “Into all the Word”, the beginnings of the Truth in Guyana goes back as far as the 1890’s. Following the history of the ecclesias in this country is quite intriguing and encouraging. The work of the brethren there has been supported by many over the years, and this has been helpful since members have immigrated to other countries in the past decades.
The six ecclesias in Guyana, of about 100 members in total, undertake the task of organizing and implementing a full slate of scheduled annual activities. The CBM Canada provides assistance to the brotherhood in Guyana in various forms – such as Sunday School supplies, speakers for Bible Schools, and hall repairs and upgrades – as well as funding towards transportation needs. Brother Ted and Sister Dolores Sleeper have served as CBMC link couple for a number of years – they also lived in Guyana in the past as missionaries, so they have provided a valuable long-term support for the brotherhood in this country.
The most recent fraternal activity for all the ecclesias was the 43rd Annual Bible School, which was a four-day event during the Easter Weekend. The School was held at the Georgetown Ecclesial Hall, Friday, April 18th to Monday, April 22, 2014. The theme was “Law and Grace”, and the speakers were Brother Rafeek Soolaman from British Columbia and Brother Don Luff from Ontario. The attendance varied from 90 to 130 brothers, sisters, teens and children during the course of the weekend. Brother Rafeek reviewed a variety of aspects with regard to the Tabernacle of David and Brother Don presented a number of practical topics from the Law of Moses. The highlight of the four days was the baptism first thing Sunday morning of one of the Sunday School scholars – Abigail Semple, who is the oldest of Sister Dawn Semple’s two daughters, from the Georgetown Ecclesia. It was an emotionally happy day for all who attended. We were also entertained by the talents of the members, teens and children that afternoon by means of recitations, singing and different performances. A full and spiritually uplifting day indeed!
During my 8 day stay in this country, I was taken by Brother David and Sister Joan Andrew to view the other 5 ecclesial halls. It is evident that the members care for and appreciate their meeting places by the cleanliness, well-maintained appearance of each hall. We were also pleased to see the revitalization of the Plegt Anker farm by a young couple of that ecclesia. They have planted many trees which bear tropical fruit, as well as large vegetable gardens.
Wednesday evening April 23rd we attended a joint Bible Class of the Georgetown and Eccles Ecclesia’s, at the Eccles Hall. A study on “Putting our Hand to the Plow” was the topic, and tilling and sowing the focus for the class. Lessons from the natural and symbolic or spiritual applications were drawn from soil, tilling, planting and watering – and applied to our daily lives in the Truth. As we serve together on our way to the Kingdom, there are “waymarks” along the path to encourage us to keep our hands on the plow (discipleship and life in the Truth) and to look ahead to the hope that is set before us. The Bible School certainly did that for all of us. I really enjoyed my first visit to Guyana!
Written by Brother Don Luff, CBMC representative