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Trip to Paramakatoi, Guyana, May 19-24, 2010

On Wednesday 19th May, 2010 the Caravan aircraft flew off Ogle Airstrip, Guyana at 9:50 a.m., touched down at Kaieteur at 10:48 a.m., landed at Kato at 11:15 a.m. and finally reached my destination, Paramakatoi Village up in the Pakaraima Mountain range, at 11:30 a.m.

At the airstrip I was met by three of our member ladies and some children and ‘reported’ my presence in the village to the new Toshoa (captain) of the village.

I checked in at the village Guest House and spent some time chatting with the members who came to see me. I shared some sweets/candy with the children. I brought in 12 copies of some specially selected songs/hymns I did, CD’s with the music, a DVD with ten of Dr Tkach’s Speaking of Life programs, some foodstuffs for the ladies to prepare my meals and some supplements and medications for some of our brethren there.

Brethren after services

Brethren after services

We arranged for meeting at 3 p.m. Twenty-six persons attended. After some announcements I led some songs using the music from a battery-operated CD player I took in with me. I read from a Speaking of Life text, Why Church? and explained the reasons we need to attend church, that besides coming to church, all we do at home, work and everywhere is worship, that we must grow in grace and knowledge. We sang some children’s songs from the new ‘hymnal’ and the children enjoyed them very much. I spoke to the children about Jesus’ love for them as we sang these songs. I gave out some more exercise books and later some pens and pencils so much needed by the children for school.

After services I took a few group pictures. The rain began to fall so the brethren used the opportunity to watch five of the ten Speaking of Life programs thanks to the DVD player hooked up to a TV set provided by the Guest House. Electricity is provided to the Guest House from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. I promised to send in more DVD and song CDs from time to time but they would need their own DVD player/TV set and a car battery (electricity is not available to the villagers, except to the school, Guest House and medical buildings there that are government-owned) to play them at their meetings.

On Thursday 20th May members came to see me as the day progressed. One of our team leaders came to ask me to pray for her daughter who was having a hard time delivering her baby at the clinic. She would be flown to the city hospital for a possible caesarian section to deliver her baby if necessary. We prayed for her. The child was delivered safely later that day to the relief of the mother, grandmother, relatives and nurse/midwife.

Blessing of Daisy Aaron

Blessing Daisy Aaron

At 9:35 a.m. services I asked God to bless a member’s little girl, Daisy Aaron. Songs were led by Violena Andrew, a member of the team leadership, and I gave a message on the “Irreducible Minimum” explaining to the brethren, who are so good at listening/and being taught, that the two great commandments Jesus gave to us under the new covenant, that is, love of God and love of our fellow human beings can be simply expressed — reduced to – love of neighbor or just LOVE. God is LOVE. We cannot love God without loving our neighbor. So when God says to love Him he means that we have to love our fellow human beings. Loving our neighbor is the principal way God desires for us to express our love for Him. Loving God is the greatest command — and loving our neighbor is its greatest expression. Thus loving our neighbor is the simplest summary of all God’s commands. It is, in effect, the summary of the summary. In this case, it means that the one summary — loving God and neighbor — has been further “squeezed down”, or reduced, to its smallest expression — loving neighbor.

At the conclusion of services I prayed for all those who were sick with various ailments including back pains and influenza. One of our ladies was suffering from serious kidney stones. I brought her a couple small boxes of a herbal tablet to take and she felt the pain went away a day later. The medication was supposed to melt the stones away.

After services I had a long talk with team leader, Rachel James, who pointed out the many and various problems faced by the brethren there in their meetings, relationships and economic difficulties. They got permission from the village council for a piece of land to erect a church meeting place. The foundation beams will have to be cut first and set up and later the boards etc. One member has a chain saw which they will use to cut the trees/lumber. They have some funds available for fuel and they need a file to sharpen the chain saw.

One of our brothers there brought his sick wife for me to pray for her.

The planned 6:30 p.m. meeting to watch Dr Tkach’s Speaking of Life and learn some of the new hymns did not take place because of heavy rains. This was the rainy season and rain comes unexpectedly.

School Complex

School Complex

Tario Paticio and Daughters

Tario Paticio and daughters

Friday 21st May: I was able to assist one of our members with her daughter’s CXC examination fees. People do not receive a regular income there as the main source of food is subsistence farming. This day there was a public meeting conducted by the village Toshoa and councilors and so services was postponed until that was over. Two of the team leaders came to the Guest House to make parcels of the used clothing I brought to be distributed to families. I continued to receive visitors as they heard of my coming. Nurse Sago, an elderly long-serving nurse/midwife in the village, came to give me a hug for 2010.

Services started about 4:30 p.m. I conducted songs as Jeanette Thomas could not stand up to do so as her back pains got the better of her. A while back she fell while carrying a heavy load and got her lower spine twisted. The doctors cannot do anything for her but gave her pain-killers. I spoke to the gathering on “God Wants to Heal Your Hurt”. Letting them know that when we are hurt we must NOT ignore it, run from it, hide your hurt, worry about it (by doing this it exaggerates, it magnifies. It gets bigger every time we rehearse it in our minds), not to resent it BUT we must let Jesus settle the score, let Jesus sooth our wounds and let Jesus satisfy our needs.

We are sheep — we need a Shepherd. Sheep have many natural enemies — wolves, coyotes, bears, snakes, ticks … They cannot defend themselves from anything. They don’t have teeth that are sharp that they can bite with. They don’t have claws. They can’t kick. They can’t run fast. They are absolutely the most defenseless animal there is. They can’t be safe unless somebody protects them. That’s when the Shepherd takes them to a table land or mesa of green grass and drives out all the enemies before them. “You prepare table before me in the presence of my ENEMIES.” No, revenge does not work. Forgive. Pray. Worship.

The lights came on before the brethren left the Guest House so we decided to watch five of the Speaking of Life DVD programs.

Saturday 22nd May : Communion services started at 10:45 a.m. We had our largest attendance then as the brethren are used to meet on Saturdays for services. Rachel led songs. I prayed. I took the opportunity to explain the purpose of team leadership as practiced in our Part of the Body of Christ worldwide and discuss the church building project in the village.

I gave a sermon to “Hear His Invitation and Get to Know Him Better” in which I pointed out that Jesus came so we can know the Father because he reveals God to us, otherwise we cannot know the Father and Jesus Christ. When we know Jesus we also know the Father for no one can come to the Father except through and by Jesus Christ. Jesus is extending an invitation to know God by knowing Him also. Where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name He is in the midst of them.

William Barclay said that there are those who never give of their best except on the so-called great occasions: but for Jesus Christ every occasion where even two or three are gathered in His name is a great occasion. In the story of Jesus feeding the people with the five loaves and two fishes we (Christians) are most like the five loaves and two fishes, apparently useless to feed the many but Christ can/does work a miracle to multiply His potential in us. We take the Lord’s Supper together as members of the Body of Christ and so accept His invitation to let Him live His life in us so we can get to know Him better and better the rest of our lives and, indeed, for all eternity.

Nineteen persons took the communion.

After services the brethren surprised me by asking me to bless their children. Not one or two or three of them but twenty-four of them there and then, including four hand babies. I did. Clothing and some pens were given out to those present.

Later that afternoon/evening I continued to receive visitors, mainly our brethren. Some requested personal copies of the new ‘hymnal’ and ‘C’ size batteries for a CD player one of them has in order to play the music of the hymns I brought. Some need seeds for planting as they live by doing subsistence , organic farming.

Sunday 23rd 2010: The day I was to fly back home but the rains fell heavily in the morning and the plane did not come in to pick me up. I had to spend an extra day/night at the Guest House. I took the opportunity to visit an elderly lady from the Church of Christ who lived many years in the village and is in the process of translating the Bible though her Bible Society overseas into Putomona language, the native language of the Paramakatoi and surrounding villages people.

Monday 24th 2010: The brethren came to visit and to see me off this day. As we waited for the plane to come we sat on the Guest House verandah and sang songs from the new hymnal. I introduced two songs — ‘Now The day Is Over’ and a song in Hindi (a Bhajan) entitled Yishu Ne Kaha Jiwan Ki Roti, Jiwan Ki Roti Main Hi Hoon meaning Jesus says I am the Bread of Life, the Bread of Life I am. They liked it.

The plane came and after discharging its passenger and goods I boarded it and flew off from the Paramakatoi airstrip at 11:25 a.m.

I went on this trip, one year and six months after my last trip there in 2008, a little uncertain of what God would wanted me to do among the brethren this time. I had no special messages in mind or any specific plans when I went there but God in His great abundance for supplying our needs and rewarding our dependence upon Him has worked it all out to His glory and honor. All praise to His Great name. It is now left and rests upon Him to show us what His NEXT is for His people in Paramakatoi.

Appreciation and many thanks to all who prayed for this trip. Thanks to our generous brethren of the Queens, New York church who have provided the financial assistance for a third time now to make trips to Paramakatoi possible. Not forgetting our generous brethren in Dominica, Trinidad and Barbados who had from time to time contributed of their finances and clothing etc to our PK brethren. We are in this together.

The Honor and Glory goes to Our Great God who gives us strength and courage, even in our time of weakness, to do His Will.

Your prayers are needed for the PK brethren for among other things: illness (influenza, kidney stones, bodily pains, women’s problems), success and good weather in their subsistence farming, affordable education for their children, parents to bring up morally-upright children from temptation sexuality and smoking marijuana and drinking (a locally-made fermented cassava drink paracari), temptation with money from ‘outsiders’ to plant marijuana because of their poor economic condition, blessings from God for their continued walk with and trust in Him.

Goraiah Papayya


If you are interested in assisting the brethen in Paramakatoi, please contact Goraiah Papayya (goraiahp@yahoo.com) or Aubrey Williams (breywilliams@yahoo.co.uk).

Needs include: school materials such as pens, pencils, folders, writing books, story books for children (especially from a biblical perspective), large print bibles, C and D cell batteries for flashlights and CD players, clothing and multivitamins (for adults).