Monday, May 24, 2010

A Perspective on Prosperity City, Guyana

It's hard to believe the CP team to Guyana has been home for a few weeks. "Normal" life seems to have swept us all up in its fast flow and we find school almost finished and summer vacation upon us. Before we drift too far from the impact our CP team made on Guyana (and Guyana made on our team!) we wanted to share some final thoughts from one of the team members, Becca. She wrote a fantastic follow up letter to her supporters and gave us permission to share some of it with you.

"I have been back home from my trip to Guyana for about a week now and I am still amazed at what God has done and what He is doing there. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for our team and Angie Hemric, the missionary with whom we were working. We truly felt the Lord’s presence during our time there.
Here are some of the highlights:
 worked with Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan church to conduct surveys in Plastic City (PC)
 had a pool party for the kids from Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Centre (RCHCC) (since none of the caretakers and almost none of the kids can swim, they don’t get this treat very often!)
 created a database with information from the PC surveys
 put together and distributed bags of school supplies and hygiene items to each home in PC and to each child at RCHCC
 prayed over each survey representing a family in PC
 tutored children in PC
 organized supplies for future distribution in PC
 attended an amazing worship service at Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan church
 went shopping for school shoes for the kids at RCHCC
 helped the kids at RCHCC pick out their own flip flops (another real treat for them!)
I was so blessed by the children we met both at RCHCC and at PC. On our first afternoon of ministry we visited RCHCC and played with the kids for a while. After about an hour, I was holding one of the babies when it struck me that I had completely forgotten that many of the children were HIV positive. Amidst laughter and squeals, I realized that God had blessed these orphans with not only good health and a home, but also with joy. What an honor to see how God can move in a situation where the world can often only see death and despair.

In PC, we really got to interact with the children when we went on two different afternoons to tutor them. As I struggled to teach colors to some eight or nine year olds, it was immediately apparent that although eager to learn, these children do not have the same educational opportunities that American children do. What blew me away was how enthusiastic the kids were to do whatever you asked them to do, even when it involved spelling or addition! In part, I think that they were drawn not only by the desire to learn, but also by the desire to be near to people who would spend time with them and love them even for a short while.

How do you describe Plastic City? It is a cross between a slum, a dump and a swamp. All along the jetty wall, garbage lies in slimy, foul masses swarmed by gnats and mosquitoes. Planks are laid from the wall to dilapidated shacks to avoid wading through mud. The ugliness and stench of PC seems to be reflective of the dark spiritual state of many of the people there. And yet the people we met seem not only to be resigned to live there, but almost defiant. Since the people who live in PC are squatters (they do not legally own the land), they cannot have basic utilities like water and electricity in their homes. As we conducted our surveys, we asked about what they felt were the greatest needs in the community and their responses were very alike—water, electricity, legal land, education, cooperation.


Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan Church has a great passion for the lost people of Plastic City and, just as Yahweh often did, the church has claimed a new promise for the community by changing its name to Prosperity City. This promise comes from 3 John 2, where the Apostle John hopes that the people will "prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (NKJV). Through all of the muck, disease and injustice of PC, our prayer is that the community will find its hope in the Lord and claim its new name in its own right.

We know that God has great plans for Prosperity City. Angie and her team are continuing on with the tutoring and they plan to start community health evangelism in the near future. Down the road, it is hoped that there will be opportunities and resources for water purification and microfinance programs as well. You can continue following the work in PC by checking out Angie’s blog: www.scubagroovy.spaces.live.com

"Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: "Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns."
Revelation 19:6 (NLT)"

As I look back on our time in Guyana, I realize that water was a recurring theme: the ocean, the pool party, the trench at PC, the torrential rains that fell, PC’s need for clean water, the river. This ties right into the verse above that God gave to me to sum up my time there. You see, I went to Guyana expecting to be saddened by the pain and suffering I would see. I did see pain and suffering there, but more importantly, I saw the many ways that God has been and will continue to be moving. Like ocean waves, these tiny ripples of hope are joining together to accomplish the work of His kingdom. Seemingly insignificant tasks like showing a child how to write his name or praying over the needs of a desperate family may not seem like much right now, but someday we will see how these many small acts of His people will join together to give God thunderous glory. Please keep the people of Guyana and especially Prosperity City in your prayers. It is our hope and expectation that we will all someday join in singing the Lord’s praises before His throne together.
In Christ,

Becca

Continued prayer needs
 Funding for Angie Hemric
 Wisdom, guidance and provision for the PC team
 That the Holy Spirit would move in PC and help the people to prosper
"

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