Monday, June 25, 2012

Guyana Bible Society Visit

On Friday fifty children crammed up on six benches and overflowed on the steps as Guyana Bible Society came to visit PAL.  This is the second year they have partnered with Vreedenhoop Wesleyan (partner church) to distribute backpacks to 50 school children.  However this year was a little different from last year.
  • The first difference was the unexpected, but celebrated, arrival of six adults who came to support their children and genuinely show their appreciation  to us for caring so much for their children.
  • The second difference was the participation of our PAL leaders in all the events of the day.  The big event was taking the book Billy Goat Gruff and developing lines to create a skit from the book.  This two-week project with Amber had its debut and will have an encore performance at our upcoming community day.
  • The third difference was engaging our own local people as song leaders and distribution of backpacks and snacks to all the children.
  • The final difference was the greatest one.  Last year the talk came from the Guyana Bible Representative and focused on being a good neighbor.  We were not bold in our declaration of Jesus because of children being present from the Muslim and Hindu faiths.  This year we turned that around and I brought the talk and used the Billy Goat Gruff story to present a challenge for the children to cross the bridge to a better life.
In the midst of all the differences I have my own personal highlight and it may sound like the craziest thing ever, but here goes!  When the children were dismissed  a grandmother from the Jetty came up and took my hand to shake it and thank me with the utmost sincerity.  The twist in it all is that she was in her normal drunken state with the smell of rum all over her.   Her words were clear and her eye contact was strong as she said, “I want to thank you all for caring for these children and treating them ALL the same way.  You give to everyone not just the best ones and I like your style and you know what they say….what God blesses let no man curse!”  It’s a highlight because of the shock of it all – I cold not believe I heard words of blessing coming from her lips. Jesus reminded me in those moments that He still has hope for her.   It was Jesus who told his disciples that He did not come for the healthy but for the sick.  I pray one day she can be healthy – in her mind, body and soul.
The backpacks that were shared are the first phase of educational support that we hope to give to children in PAL this summer.   We also are raising funds to purchase school textbooks for every child in PAL and promoting this a project for children’s classes and VBS if this is something that you would like to partner with us on you can email Caroline’s Promise here.

Written by Angie Hemric - Guyana Country Coordinator