Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Guyana - April, 2004

Greetings from Guyana!

I pray that your Easter Holiday went well (and that you found your Easter basket and enjoyed your Easter eggs!)

Last month was the most hectic and demanding of my time in Guyana. I was flooded with activities, meetings, and all sorts of responsibilities pulling me in a million different directions. It was extremely challenging, especially in the days leading up to Easter when I held services each day of the week – highlighted with a three-hour worship on Good Friday and a two-hour sunrise service on Easter Sunday. When all the activity came to a close, I felt like Jesus wasn’t the only one who needed to be raised from the dead!

Following the busy Easter Holiday, I was able to enjoy a much-needed “mini-vacation” in the town of Linden – a small mining community located in the Guyanese interior – about a five hour drive from my house in New Amsterdam. I traveled there in order to visit my close friend Kristen Tews – who serves as a Health Educator through her involvement with the United States Peace Corp. I was able to see the clinic where she works, explore the town, and meet some of her new friends. In addition, we had a great time hiking, swimming, joking around, and trying to understand how God could possibly place two small-town Central Wisconsin kids together in Guyana! (I’ve always believed that God has a great sense of humor!)

My time in Linden was a total blessing, not only because I was able to visit with such a close friend in Kristen, but also because it provided me with some quiet moments to reflect upon the great experience I am having in Guyana. During the past eight months I have seen God at work in so many different ways. The people here have shown me more about God than I could ever learn in a book or film. They’ve shown me what true Christian faith is all about, and what it really means to rely on God for guidance and strength. The Guyanese are amazing people, for although their physical needs are great, their living conditions are poor, and their struggles are many – their faith is strong and their lives are grounded in the life-giving promises of Jesus Christ. Not a day goes by when I don’t thank God for the opportunity to serve with them. I pray that they have learned something from me, because I have certainly learned a great deal from them.

I feel inclined to mention that one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this experience is being able to write these monthly updates. A large part of my role in Guyana is to inform as many people as I can about global mission and help others to realize the importance of supporting those who live within developing countries. (And, because my Email list continues to grow rapidly, I feel like we are making some great progress!) I know that it is impossible for me to describe everything in Guyana with 100% accuracy, but I know that just providing little “snapshots” of my experience provides others with a small idea of what it’s like to minister within a foreign country. There are many needs within an area such as this one, but because of the support and love that you have already provided, I truly believe there are less needs today than there were eight months ago. We’ve done a lot of great work! I thank you for all you have helped me to do, and I ask that you continue to pray for me and ask God to guide my steps.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

With peace, love, and God’s blessings,

Brian Konkol