Thursday, March 17, 2011

Part 2: Special Assembly and Some Fun Stuff!

Recap of last post: We took a bus to Lethem.

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, on with new information! For one thing, Lethem is right on the border of Brazil, so it's quickly becoming a tourist city. Because of that, you'll find things there that you won't find anywhere else in Guyana, not even the capital. For instance, a supermarket the size of Wal-Mart!
...along with other similar things....

So we arrived in Lethem Friday afternoon. Saturday afternoon was set-up for the place they had rented for the Assembly. So Saturday morning, we got invited to go somewhere pretty fascinating. It's name....

Moco Moco Falls! I'll explain more in a bit, promise.

To get there, a local brother named Alton Primus brought out a pickup truck and filled it with whoever was wanting to go. We had about eight in the bed, with a few more inside. The great thing about Alton driving us is that he'll stop at whatever the passengers seem to find interesting, so that we can get a better look. For instance.....

Also along the way, he stopped so we could get a close-up look at the Kanuku mountains.

One last side note before I move on: Lethem has one congregation, and then in the Moco Moco area they have a group. This group even has it's own Kingdom Hall!

Okay, so: Moco Moco Falls! This is a little swimming hole/waterfall in the side of a mountain. It takes a bit of a hike to get there, but it's definitely worth it!

Aaaand.... the Falls themselves!

A shot of what my pants looked like, after visiting Moco Moco.
This photo is inside the home of a family in the Lethem congregation. Tom, Michelle, and I were staying with them for the few days before the Assembly. The youngest kid in the family was named Jonathan, and was about three or so. He had a fondness for shouting "Josh! Joshy! Josh! Joshy!" whenever I was around.

Anyhoo, after the Moco Moco trip, we got back in Lethem around 1:30, just in time to go help with pre-assembly cleaning. They had rented a place named the Amerindian Hostel.
Naturally, we had to bring in a few more chairs.

While we were cleaning, Arlene Hazel (wife of Edsel Hazel, one of the Branch Committee members) was telling some of us her memories of field service when she and Edsel lived in Lethem. The best story:
"I had a Bible Study with a woman who loved learning about the Bible so much that each of our study days, she would wake up and start walking to our house at six in the morning. And we lived next door!"

And here's a little something they had sitting outside....

A few minutes before the program began, one of the brothers there named Paul Donlon comes up and says "We need someone else as an attendant. Can you do it?"

"Duhhhh....." I said "What exactly would you need me to do?"

"Just pass out programs, and if there's anyone you see coming in late, let me know how many so I can find seats for them."

Easy enough, I thought.
WRONG! The room was almost full when the opening song began, but we honestly had more people arrive after the program began than we had before it began. They expected about 140. They had chairs for 160.

Total Attendance: 268!

If someone stood up during the program to go to the bathroom, within seconds the chair was taken by someone else.

But other than the difficulties related to that, the assembly went great. One of the best parts was an interview with two boys, each of whom were ten years old. The first one's story went like this.
He wouldn't salute the flag each morning at school. Finally, his teacher got angry enough about it that she dragged him in front of the entire class and told him to do it. He refused, so she threatened to beat him if he didn't (apparently, that's legal here). So his response to her was 1 John 5:21. "Little children, guard yourselves from idols."

The other boy's story was: He tried to preach while he was in school, at least once every day. But there was a bully in his school that didn't like him, at kept telling him to stop. He would nag him, tease him, and threaten him. One day, he actually did what he'd been threatening all along. He threw him against a wall, punched him in the face, and took a razor blade and shredded his backpack.
The principal heard what happened and had them both brought in. After hearing everything, he asked the Witness boy "Why didn't you just fight back?"
The boy responds "The Bible tells us 'Return evil for evil to no one'."
The principal then told him "I wish my entire school could be more like you, instead of him."
He let the boy go, but kept the bully behind, apparently for some much-needed punishment.

After the assembly was over, there was something a little unusual but incredibly entertaining. There's two girls in Lethem who are twins, and one thing they do a lot is read My Book Of Bible Stories together, out loud, and are able to memorize them (wow)! Due to this, they can recite an entire Bible Story with each other, in unison, from beginning to end. Others discovered they had this ability at the Assembly a few years ago, at it's become tradition that a few hours after the program has ended and the crowd has thinned a little, that everyone else gathers around them so they can hear the girls reciting one of these stories. This year the girls hadn't memorized a story, but rather a song. So the two of them, plus one of their friends, sang Song #24 "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize" (it was worth going to Lethem just to hear it). They were accompanied by Jordan Harrison playing a strange, very small, mobile keyboard (for a picture of Jordan Harrison, see four pictures up. White guy washing a wall with a broom)

And after that, many of us went to a Brazilian restaurant (it was HEAVENLY!!). One of the Circuit Overseers, Shannon Rainey and his wife Rosalia; Edsel and Arlene Hazel; one of the two elders in Lethem, Ricardo Lopez; Tom, Michelle, and I; the ASL group from New Amsterdam; and two need-greaters from Jamaica.

One interesting thing that Edsel pointed out while we were all eating: out of the 268 in attendance, there was 10 countries represented.
United States

To end this particular section, I wanted to share a scripture they used several times during the parts. It's also generally regarded as the need-greater theme scripture. Psalms 34:8,9. "Taste and see that Jehovah is good, O YOU people; Happy is the able-bodied man that takes refuge in him. Fear Jehovah, YOU holy ones of his, For there is no lack to those fearing him."

Of course, our OTHER theme is "Can life get better? I submit that it CANNOT!"
(all the need-greaters reading this know exactly what I'm quoting)


  1. Why is Brian Regan so universally quoted by Need-Greaters? I find that fascinating.

    1. No idea, but who am I to fight against it? ;-)