Thursday, June 17, 2004

Guyana - June, 2004

Greetings from your favorite “International Man of Ministry”!

A couple days ago, I was about to conduct one of my weekly Bible classes when I noticed a frequent attendee was absent. After inquiring about her, I learned that she broke her ankle and wouldn’t be able to leave the house for a couple of weeks. I felt sorry that she wasn’t able to participate, so instead of going through the usual Bible class routine, I felt urged to change plans. So, I closed my books, packed up the supplies, and proclaimed, “Field trip!” And before I knew it, my students and I were all trekking to the neighboring village to visit our fallen counterpart. It was great!

As the class and I approached the house, we noticed our injured friend peeking through her window with utter amazement! She couldn’t believe her eyes! And although we had to wait outside for a few minutes before entering (she wanted to clean the living room, brush her hair, and change her dress!), she eventually welcomed us into the house - where we sang together, prayed for her health, shared food and drink, and ended up having an all-around fantastic time! What was originally intended to be an hour-long bible class at the church ended up being a three-hour social extravaganza at her home! It was a night that I will never forget!

My Bible class experience summarizes one of the main lessons I’ve learned while in Guyana: that the best of life’s pleasures are not planned or predicted. When I left my house to teach that particular class, I figured most everything would go as originally planned. When my students walked into church that day, I’m sure they had no idea what was ahead of them. And of course, when my injured friend rested in her chair that late afternoon, I’m convinced she didn’t expect the entire class at her front door! By all accounts, we all thought we knew what was going to happen that day; however, we later realized that God had a different plan!

My year in Guyana has been one unpredictable event after another, which has left me believing that God is definitely a “God of surprises.” As much as I try to program my workdays and plan a monthly calendar, I never do what I originally intend to do and I never end up where I first expected to be! When I anticipate a peaceful day at the church, I get an emergency phone call and find myself sitting in the hospital. When I expect a busy day of appointments and errands, I get a last-minute cancellation and end up sitting on the veranda with a book in my lap. I never know what to expect, for there is no such thing as a “typical day” when you’re serving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana!

I continue to thank God for this amazing opportunity to serve in Guyana, and I continue to thank you for all your prayers and support.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

With peace, love, and God’s blessings,

Brian Konkol