Earlier this year, World MAP was privileged for the first time to conduct four pastors’ seminars in Guyana, a small nation southeast of Venezuela.
On the team with me were Jorge Lara (Media and Seminar Coordinator) and our gracious hosts, Pastors Ravindra and Michelle, who have ministered in Guyana for decades.
Guyana is English-speaking, with a long and varied history as a colonized nation. The population is primarily Indo-Guyanese (40%) and Afro-Guyanese (30%), descendants of plantation workers from India and Africa. The indigenous Amerindians make up just 10% of the population.
Guyana has the fourth highest suicide rate in the world, a staggering fact considering the total population is only 750,000 people (likely a spiritual link to the Jonestown cult mass murder-suicide in 1978). Little industry and a scarcity of jobs also contribute to the overall sense of hopelessness. There is heavy drug and substance abuse.
It is clear now why the Lord spoke to me in pre-seminar prayer about giving the pastors reason for hope!
JOY IN SERVICE
We were greeted with great love at each seminar. The pastors’ eager readiness to receive God’s Word was evident, as was their openness to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Few pastors have had formal Bible training, and many have attended popular western ministry “events”. So they were hungry for more solid, line-upon-line teaching and practical ministry help.
The pastors were eager to learn, taking notes and asking great questions. We enjoyed many wonderful encounters, conversations, prayer times, friendships and much fruitful ministry during our time in Guyana.
On this eventful trip, we traveled by shuttle, plane, taxi, van, boat and ferry to the four seminars held in Demerara, Linden, Essequibo and Berbice.
Please enjoy a few short excerpts from the World MAP Guyana travel journal:
“We had a very good first day with the pastors. For dinner, the church men’s group brought us “fish broth” and stayed to fellowship with us. What a great time!…
“We enjoyed a strong time at this seminar. I taught on the Kingdom of God, the Church and Making Disciples. I felt led to conclude with a teaching on the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. It was a powerful time with a strong move of the Holy Spirit…
“Many, many pastors expressed how blessed and touched they were by the seminar. God is good and makes these times so fruitful. ”
“This seminar is going extremely well. God has given favor and the pastors are soaking up every word. We are having so much fun together. They are really a wonderful group…”
“At least 10 different church groups are in attendance. We have a special honor, as 15 native Amerindians have traveled long hours (even days) from the surrounding jungles to join with us…
“As I finished the teaching on the Kingdom, there was a powerful response by the pastors, committing to be Kingdom pastors and to do God’s work God’s way…
“We had a fabulous time here. The pastors’ response to the Word and Spirit’s work was profound…
“After returning to Demerara, we were served Iguana for dinner. It was boney and not much meat, with the skin on it in a type of stew. I had a second helping!”
“Word is out about the World MAP seminars here in Guyana and pastors are calling from all over as they try to get in on this final seminar. I am excited to be with the pastors for the next few days…
“We had a strong finish today. I felt a particular sense of the Spirit’s presence toward the end of the message. We began to call on the name of the Lord – and He really moved! The pastors are hungry for teaching and exceptionally responsive to the Spirit…”
A FINAL WORD
I am so grateful to the Lord for everyone who helped make the Guyanese seminars possible. Most Guyanese pastors work regular jobs, and only receive an average of $200 a month. They do so much with so little.
Because of your generosity and love for them, many pastors (who otherwise would not have been able to attend) received life-changing ministry. I wish you could witness how much the seminars and their own Shepherd’s Staff means to each one of them.
Though we hope to return, please continue with me to hold up in prayer what the Lord has already begun in Guyana, for the glory of Jesus Christ!
by Dr. Frank Parrish