This fellow was crossing the road as we were driving home from service…
Our service group that traveled to the remote villages L-R Andrew Jordan and his wife, Dionne, Akeela, Fe, Zeline (holding her daughter Ari) and her sister Shameena
Fe with the 4 sisters from the Mahdia group.
This is one of the girls I studied with while we were visiting. This is Maria and her son, Jaden.
Here is the other publisher in Mahdia, Brother Thomas. He is 94 and the group meets behind his house.
So as you know after the assembly on April 17th we traveled to Mahdia, an interior region of Guyana. Mahdia has no established congregation, it has a group of 7 faithful publishers. If you recall, back in January our friends Andrew and Dionne were assigned to assist this group. So of course we were eager to visit our friends in their new assignment. Every time someone speaks of Mahdia they mention the fruitful territory. Some friends of ours were here last summer and were overloaded with bible studies. Well, the rumors were true! Here in Mahdia, you will end up with more studies than you can handle.
Because Mahdia is a gold mining town (like Bartica), it is deep in the interior. In fact, we rode a bus for 6 hours and even had to cross a river on a pontoon to enter the city. And aren’t talking a comfy Greyhound bus either. No we rode a mini bus with 4 Rastafarians and 2 other men for 6 hours over bumpy, pot hole filled, red dirt roads. When we arrived we were shown our accommodations which was our own apartment equipped with its own indoor bathroom. That in itself was a luxury since majority of the homes here do not have indoor plumbing. The apartment has a zinc roof which is a little different to what we are accustomed to. When the sun is out, you feel as though you are baking alive in this place…but when it rains, it is the most soothing sound that will put you into the deepest most contented sleep.
We spent the first night getting caught up with our gracious hosts who treated us to curry and coke! A Guyana favorite! They filled us in on how our next 3.5 weeks would go. We had never assisted a group before and had no idea what we were in for.
For starters, Andrew is the only elder. The only other brother here is in his 90s and very limited in how he can assist. There are 4 baptized publishers who are sisters who are themselves still studying. And 1 unbaptized publisher who is currently going over her questions for baptism. Andrew and Dionne are very busy. On a normal week, Andrew will give the Sunday talk and conduct the Watchtower Study. Dionne, his wife, will use the recorded readings of the Watchtower for the paragraphs to be read. She also uses her phone to play the assigned songs for every meeting. On Thursdays, each of the sisters has a part on the Apply Yourself to the Ministry section EVERY WEEK. Also, Andrew again does majority of the parts. So of course he was so excited to have Bj’s assistance! He and Bj alternated giving the talk on Sunday with conducting the Watchtower. And they alternated parts on Thursday as well.
Dionne had already prepared several students for me to conduct their bible study. Also, each day we went in service, we spent an hour just in door to door. That usually resulted in instant return visits and potential bible studies. The only problem is if we started the studies there wouldn’t be anyone who could take them on after we leave since everyone is already filled to the max. One exception was a lady named Abeke who happened to join in a conversation I was having with a neighbor who was asking me a lot of questions. Abeke came over and said “I have question. Why don’t ya’ll celebrate Christmas?” I asked her why does she celebrate Christmas. She explained that people say it’s Jesus’ birthday. So I asked her a few questions: Is December 25th actually the day Jesus was born? Do you remember ever reading a time when Jesus celebrated his birthday? In all the years he walked the earth, did he ever celebrate his mother’s, or siblings’ birthday? Did his apostles ever have a birthday party for Jesus?
She smiled and said “hmm, I don’t think so.”
So then she asked a few other questions and then said she wanted to get baptized. Yes, she said “I want to get baptized.” So I asked her why she wanted to get baptized and she explained that she wanted to stop living “this sinful life and get a real relationship with God.”
As a result, she took the What Can the Bible Teach Us book and as we left Mahdia she was currently in the middle of chapter 2. Dionne agreed to continue her study after my departure.
One of the highlights of our stay in Mahdia was the final Saturday of our stay. We traveled to two seldom worked territories in the towns of Micobie (my-co-bee) and Tumatumari (Chew-match-chew-marry).
These towns were about an hours drive away. This alone could have a blog post of it’s own. The interest there was AMAZING. At each house I went to, I read 1-2 scriptures, placed at least 3 magazines, and if there were children there I shared one of the Caleb and Sophia videos. AT EACH HOUSE! It was a total of 6 of us who went and we talked to so many people. Many individuals said “Must please come back more regularly”
Again, we had amazing experiences! Here are a few highlights:
One house I called inside and 3 little children came to the door.
FE: Mornin! Ya mommy home?
FE: Ya daddy home?
FE: Okay, well we are sharing a message from the Bible today. Do you think God has a name?
Children: (All look at each other and say “I don’t know”)
FE: Well, what is your name?
Little Girl: Britany
FE: Well, Britany, you have a name. I have a name. Fruit, animals, and even trees have names. So God has a name too! Listen carefully as I read this scripture, let me know if you hear God’s name. (READ Psalm 83:18) …So did you hear it? What is God’s name?
FE: Very good! Yes. God’s name is Jehovah! Now, do y’all wanna watch a quick video about manners?
I played the Caleb video about Please and Thank you. Afterwards I thanked them for their time and they said “THANK YOU FOR THE VIDEO!”
Another awesome experience was an 80 year old couple that Bj met. They never knew God’s name, and so they learned finally at 80 years old that God’s name is Jehovah!
So….would you like to see some photos from our stay?
This is me and Shameena, one of the publishers in the Mahdia group.
This cutie pie is Akeela, who one day on our way to my bible study near the school, asked me “Do you walk to school by yourself?” I had only been there a week so I said “No, I can’t find the school by myself.” She looks at me and says “Oh…ya mommy carry you to school?” So then I asked, “Akeela, do you think I’m a kid?” She shook her head yes….lol. She said I thought “Brother Bj was your daddy”
Here is the Kingdom Hall the Mahdia group meets in. A room added on to a brothers house.
This was a typical service day for us trekking through the jungle.
Here is a photo of an actual jaguar trap. As we told several friends, Mahdia has very active jaguars!!! They eat dogs at night.
Dionne taking the lead down a trail leading to her study.
This was us “monkeying around” one day in service! A householder’s pet monkey climbed up Dionne.