The following is a subjective report concerning the events which took place in the tiny South American nation of Guyana during the summer of 2000. Specifically, the events which are contained within this journal describe the actions performed by the Conway, Arkansas, team. The team was led by Dr. James Summit. The following journal entries were made by Derrell DeLoach.
from the Journal of Derrell DeLoach
27 May 2000 (Saturday)
On this date, I left Amarillo International Airport at 0615 AM en route for Georgetown, Guyana. Spent the day at 30,000+ feet. Flight from DFW to Miami was uneventful. Upon arrival at Miami, met the team from Conway at the BWIA gate. At this time, I also met a group of people from Murray, Kentucky, who would be accompanying our team to Guyana.
After a brief holdover in Barbados, our team arrived safely at Cheddi Jagan International at 7PM. On arrival, all of us were once again reintroduced to the special heat and humidity of Guyana. The trip through immigration was uneventful; however, we did discover that 44 pieces of luggage were missing. Within these missing pieces, we discovered that ALL of our medical, dental and optical supplies were missing as well. Additionally, we discovered that 2 of our crew members had been bumped to a later flight. Although we are getting off to a shaky start, all of us are thankful to be safely on the ground.
On arrival to the Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel, the treatment was first class as usual. I am always amazed at the treatment provided to the teams by the staff at the Pegasus. The staff and management of this hotel are wonderful. They treated us to snacks, fruits, soft drinks and juice on arrival and it was much appreciated. The rooms at the Pegasus are first class as well and I always sleep well in these accommodations. After the long flight, heat and humidity, a good night of sleep is just what all of us need.
28 May 2000 (Sunday)
Awoke at 7 AM after a good night of sleep. Breakfast was excellent as usual. The breakfast preparations are wonderful and include a wide variety of fruits, cereals, breads, eggs and meat products. Once again, I expect to gain weight in the tropics. Only Americans could come to the tropical region of South America and gain weight.
After breakfast, we boarded the busses and went across the Demerara River to worship. What a mighty river! I am told that the pontoon bridge was donated to the nation of Guyana by Allied Forces after World War II. This is a comforting thought to know that this pontoon bridge is older than most of the members of our team.
Our first stop was at Nismes. It was to good to worship with Desmond Zephyr and the other brethren. As usual, Desmond did an outstanding job. After Bible class, we reboarded the busses and went to Wales for worship services. During the week, we will be conducting our medical campaign at the Wales church.
Once again, I was amazed and refreshed at the work being done by the Guyanese Christians in this place. Despite the presence of abject poverty, these people are not lacking in any spiritual blessing. The Guyanese people are blessed in many ways. Indeed, they are a blessing to us. I love worshipping with these brothers and sisters.
After a great lunch at the hotel, our team spent the afternoon relaxing and preparing for the week ahead. Although we are in country during the "rainy season," the weather is great with intermittent showers and tolerable heat.
Orientation was upbeat and the presentations were enhanced by the new computer system employed by Steve. The computer presentation actually speeds up the orientation process and adds to the process immensely. THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING. While we are in this country, all of us must understand that we are here to bring the love of Jesus to these people. While many may receive physical healing through our medical clinics, it is the hope of all of us that we will bring spiritual healing to the people of Guyana in the form of Jesus Christ.
As of bedtime, luggage has still not arrived. Although this fact does interfere with our medical efforts, we will not panic. The Lord says in I John 4:18 that perfect love casts away all fear. Fear is not of the Lord. Fear and anxiety come from Satan. Therefore, we will not panic. We will continue to place our trust in the Lord God Almighty.
29 May 2000 (Monday)
On this morning, some of our luggage arrives; however, our medical, dental and optical supplies have not arrived. BWIA strikes again. Although there is cause for alarm, perhaps the Lord is attempting to assist us to remain focused on the mission before us this week.
Our team is not here just to meet the medical and dental needs of the people of Wales. We are not here primarily to bring physical healing. God has placed us here this week to bring spiritual healing, renewal and restoration to the people of Guyana. As a result, it is our mission to plant the seeds and wait for the Lord to bring the harvest. We will continue to place our trust in the Lord and realize the source of this attack upon our team.
At the clinic site, it was difficult to provide care without "our stuff." As one team member stated, "This is like playing a football game, without a football." While no medical or dental service was provided, numerous Bible studies were conducted. Additionally, I am told that many of the people who were studied with were former members who have been restored on this date. The Lord has brought victory in the face of defeat. Our ways are not His ways.
During the day, we enjoyed scattered rain showers and heat. In the afternoon, our team performed a VBS for the neighborhood children. Upon completion, we arrived back at the Pegasus around 3 PM. Dinner was amazing and the entire team seems to enjoy the food without complaint.
During this week, our team will be conducting a nightly crusade at the Wales congregation. Clyde Slimp (of the Robinson and Center church in Conway) will be doing the preaching. As he is my roommate this week, I can tell you, without a doubt, that he is very conscious of the task before him. He has spent much time preparing for this week and prays about this mission daily. I can tell you that he is a warrior for the Lord and I am blessed to have met him.
In addition to the nightly crusade, our team is conducting a nightly VBS at Nismes for the children. Additionally, there are at least 5 nurturing projects being conducted by our team throughout the communities on the eastern and western sides of the Demerara. Night time at the hotel is confusing and bustling with activity as people head off to their assigned destinations.
At approximately 10 PM, the remaining luggage (including medical supplies) arrived. Everyone is ecstatic. Once again, we see the blessings and provision of God. Tomorrow, we can begin the medical mission.
30 May 2000 (Tuesday)
Awoke at 0615 AM and began the day. After an excellent breakfast, I was again reminded of the blessings given to our team by God. God has truly blessed us by allowing us to stay at this hotel. After breakfast, we headed across the river to Wales.
At the clinic the day was very busy. Word quickly spread through the community that we were able to accommodate medical and dental concerns. As a result, we were inundated with patients. On this date, approximately 200 people were seen in our medical, dental and eye clinics.
In addition, numerous Bible studies were conducted by our personal workers. On this date, 2 persons were added to the Kingdom of God. Today was a very enjoyable day and we were blessed by the presence of God. God is good, and today He showered us with blessings.
On our return back to the hotel, Ivan took us to the Tower Hotel gift shop. Many purchased gifts and seemed pleased with their purchases. At dinner tonight, we were informed of a possible government strike set to begin on 31 May (tomorrow). Many are disappointed about this possibility. In past years, this team was in country during a government strike and many remember it.
While many are disappointed, it is important to realize the source of these points of confusion. Our enemy, the devil, is roaming about like a roaring lion seeking to devour our efforts. I am amazed at the fact that he never gives up. The devil never takes a day off. It seems that he has chosen to follow us to Guyana and disrupt our efforts. We will continue to trust God. We will trust in His ability to protect and bless us as He has in the past.
31 May 2000 (Wednesday)
Happy to report that the sun rose without the presence of a government strike. After much prayer, many of us are certainly beginning to feel the presence of God among us. Additionally, the Lord is confirming His ability and desire to provide for us in the face of obstacles. Trust is the key. Perhaps the Lord is using this time to strengthen our faith in Him.
Another great day at the clinic. The people in Wales are a joy to care for and grateful for the care that they receive. On this date, 5 precious souls were added to the Kingdom. Praise the Lord! I am unsure how many were treated today, but I can tell you that in my role as a nurse practitioner, I was plenty busy. Saw several interesting cases today including a severe case of elephantiasis. In the past, I have only seen textbook pictures of this condition. Truly a dreadful condition. The Lord is humbling me this week. In the past, I have taken advantage of good health. I must tell you, good health is a blessing from God and I should take every advantage to thank Him for this blessing.
Although the activity at the clinic is chaotic, there is organization in the chaos. Traffic flows smoothly. All are being treated and the seeds of Jesus are being planted.
Also on this date the Lord humbled me with the presence of a fellow Guyanese brother, Basil Seeram. I should note that, while I am in Guyana, I am continually blessed by the work of so many of our Guyanese brethren, including Parmanan Kissoon, Ivan Persaud, Sunil, Desmond Zephyr, and brothers Michael, Owen and Vishnu at Wales. The work in Guyana would not be performed if not for the courageous actions of these "heroes of the faith." What an honor to meet them. What a humbling experience to work with them. I pray God's richest blessings on these brothers and long to be with them in heaven.
I cannot believe that today is Wednesday. The week is almost over. On this date, I feel like the most blessed person on earth. On this particular night, Steve, Bob Bollars, and I traveled across the river for worship services. Additionally, we went to the VBS at Nismes. What a joy to worship the Lord with my brother, Steve. I have enjoyed this week. I have enjoyed spending time with my physical family here in Guyana and am relieved to discover the many ways that the Lord is providing for them and blessing the ministry.
I must also say that it is a joy to worship with Bob Bollars. This brother is truly a hero of the faith and someone for whom I have a great deal of admiration. If you have ever been to Guyana and failed to meet Bob Bollars, you have missed out. If you have never been to Guyana, I must tell you, meeting this brother will make your trip worthwhile. He is truly a mighty man of God.
1 June 2000 (Thursday)
This particular day started early; however, sleep is easily obtained in Guyana. The beds at the Pegasus easily accommodate overweight American tourists.
On arrival to Wales, we were met with an amazing rain storm. According to the people, it has been raining hard for over an hour. Seeing the long line of people waiting patiently in the rain brought tears to my eyes and humbled me greatly. What is more amazing to me is the fact that while these people wait for hours to be seen, when they are seen, the only attitude they display is one of graciousness.
As a result, I am once again discovering how humbling this trip is for me. The Lord knows of my constant need for humility and He is providing ample opportunity for me to achieve humility this week.
Controlled chaos was once again the rule today at the clinic. Once again, we saw numerous patients and I am sorry to say that I am unaware of the number. I can tell you that today was perhaps the busiest day yet. While I am unaware of the actual numbers, I know that our team leader is aware of the numbers. Even greater, the Lord knows the number. I am convinced that the Lord is concerned with the quality of our work, not the quantity. (Remember Gideon.)
Today, the personal workers are staying very busy and, as a result, 9 persons were added to the Kingdom. Praise the Lord.
As we left the clinic, I was made acutely aware of the fact that tomorrow is our last day at the clinic. It is hard to believe that we are almost finished with our mission. Time flies when you are doing things that you enjoy and I can tell you, time has flown this week. As we drove away today, I was mindful of the fact that I will miss this special place. Even though I am planning on returning, I will miss these special people.
We came to bless the people of Guyana, but we are the ones who are being blessed.
2 June 2000 (Friday)
Today is our final day of the medical campaign at Wales.
Once again, an early wake up call was made. It is beginning to seem as though the sunrises are coming at a faster rate. Although I am sleeping well at night, fatigue is beginning to set in. Many on the team are beginning to grow tired. While this is true, I must tell you, that when I become tired, all I have to do is glance over at Berman and Benny Maxey.
Berman and Benny are truly heroes of mine, even though I have only known them for a short time. Berman is a man of legendary status. A former World War II fighter pilot who became a dentist, he is an elder in the Lord's church. Benny is his wife, and to me she is the glue which keeps this team together. This husband and wife team have been coming to Guyana for several years, and while I refuse to divulge their age (this would be rude), I will tell you that they are 70+. At no time during this trip were these two ever seen lacking of energy. They are the definition of service, motivation and dedication to serve the Lord. I am blessed to have met them and have learned much from them.
In addition to Berman and Benny, the staff has held up well. One major factor includes the intake of high levels of fluid. As a result, there have only been isolated cases of illness. The tropics seem to rob some of the electrolyte levels. Our team seems to have heeded the warnings concerning dehydration and its implications.
Today was a busy day at the clinic. All of us worked fast and furious to ensure that everyone was seen. Once again, I am unaware of the number of people who were seen, but all of us were busy. (Once again, our team leader is aware of the final numbers.)
At closing time, I am proud to say that no person was turned away. Despite the fact that many crucial medications had already been dispensed, we were still able to provide assistance to many. During the time that we were here, many physical manifestations of disease were treated; however, the presence of spiritual illness was the focus of our campaign during the week.
It was a joy, honor and privilege to provide some sense of physical care to the Guyanese people this week. However, the greatest joy came in the provision of showing the love of Christ to so many people this week. At the close of business, 22 precious souls were added to the kingdom of God this week. Glory to God!
Myself, along with the rest of the team, have been blessed to be in the presence of God this week.
3 June 2000 (Saturday)
Rest and Relaxation day.
On this date, many enjoyed trips to retreat centers, shopping centers, and, of course, Kaiteur Falls.
I chose to play golf with my brother Steve at the local course. Lusignon Country Club is a site to behold for the golf professional. Truly, it is unlike any course in the United States. Only in Guyana could one appreciate the presence of goats on the fairways and heavy vegetation on the greens. The conditions at the course truly challenge any golf professional; however, I have found that I play as well in Guyana as I do in Texas.
Golfing in a foreign country is something I enjoy doing and look forward to playing again next year. I enjoyed playing golf with my brother and will admit, he won. However, we were on his home turf.
On this date, the chore of packing began. Although our team officially hailed from Conway, Arkansas, we also had a strong contingent from Kentucky. I was the only Texan on this team, but that is OK. Texas was well represented, in my humble opinion. As many of us are from different parts of the United States, we began to say goodbye to one another. Although all of us enjoyed our time here, many of us are eager to return home to our families.
Despite the number of trips I make to Guyana, I am struck with the sense of blessing I receive each time. Some of these blessings are as follows:
- Blessed to be a child of King.
- Blessed to have a loving wife and healthy children.
- Blessed to have godly parents, siblings and in-laws.
- Blessed to be an American citizen.
- Blessed with every physical blessing, including good health.
I have been touched this week. The Holy Spirit has convicted me of sin in my life. Additionally, the Holy Spirit has been active among our team. The process of molding and shaping into the image of Jesus Christ has continued during this time in Guyana. I am grateful for the grace and the mercy of God. I am convinced that I must remain in submission to Him.
On our arrival in Guyana, we came to bring blessing to the people of Guyana. Once again, in retrospect, the Guyanese people blessed us more than we ever could have blessed them. All of us have been humbled this week as we have observed "these heroes of the faith." I am convinced that although these people are considered to be the last among those of this world, they will be among the first God chooses to call home on the last day.
On this last night at the Pegasus, our team met for an "after action review." During this time, everyone was able to share the blessings they had received during the week. Let me just say that this is an excellent concept. The after action review is a time in which blessings are shared and tears are shed. It is safe to say that, upon conclusion of this event, there was not a dry eye in the place.
God has blessed all of us this week. He has made His presence known in touching my heart, my mind and my soul. All of us are better servants of the King for having come to Guyana. I thank God for His providence, His grace, His mercy and His plan of salvation.
4 June 2000 (Sunday)
Time to go back to Texas.
On this date our team left the Pegasus hotel at 0230 AM en route to a full day in the sky. Prior to our exit, we had a beautiful pre-sunrise service at poolside. What a blessing to share in the fellowship of the family of God.
At the airport, we labeled our baggage, received our tickets and passed through immigration. Once again, saying goodbye to my brother Steve proved to be the most difficult part of the trip for me. It is difficult for me to leave my brother, his wife and children in the country of Guyana. But in the end, I trust that the Lord will take care of them. I truly enjoyed seeing them, spending time with them, and showing them the love they need. They are a blessing to me and I am grateful for their service in Guyana. The Lord is blessing the work in Guyana, and, as a result, He is also blessing my family.
Isaiah, Steve, Meagan, Erin, and Colleen DeLoach
full-time missionaries to Guyana, South America
Exited Guyanese airspace at 0615. What a joy to know that the flight left on time. Last year, this team endured a 13-hour ordeal at Cheddi Jagan. Arrived at Miami International at noon. Back on U.S. soil. What a blessing.
After clearing U.S. Customs, many of us embraced and parted ways to other connecting flights. Although it is sad to part, I know all of us will reunite some day at the throne of God.
The Lord has changed all of us this week and I am grateful for my newfound friendship with the family of God at Conway. Prior to coming on this trip, I did not know any of these brethren; however, they have all blessed me in some way. Some of the people who touched my life this week include:
- Clyde Slimp--I love you, Brother. You are a hero of the faith.
- James Summit--God bless you, James. You and I both know how you changed my life this week. I will never forget you. Thank you for blessing me.
- Berman and Benny Maxey--God bless the two of you. Your faith is like a mountain.
- Lisa Nabholtz--I love you, Partner. I enjoyed working with you this week.
- Bill and Carolyn Green--God bless you, both. You are an example of godly service. Maybe some day, we can take that trip to Barbados. Ha Ha.
- To ALL my Missouri and Kentucky family--I love you all and look forward to seeing you again. Either in this life or the next. God bless you all.
At approximately 9 PM, I arrived in Amarillo, Texas. What a joy to be back home with my wonderful wife and children. I am blessed by them. The Lord has given me so much more than I deserve. Truly, the words of Paul are true. I Corinthians 2:9, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." As I return home to my family, I am mindful of these words.
I praise God for this week. I praise Him for blessing me with the ability to see the things I have seen this week. I praise Him for reminding me of the blessings of life. I praise Him for bringing me safely home to my wife and children. I praise Him. If you have never been to Guyana on one of these missions, you owe it to yourself to have this experience. If you have, you know how I feel right now. Glory to God in the highest.
14 June 2000
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