Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quick Trip Upriver

The last update on this blog focused on one of the wonderful new uses of our congregation boat, namely being able to exchange speakers with our neighboring congregation in Suriname. This time though, we shall dwell on the other new thing our boat allows us to do.

See, up to this point we've been using the Kingdom Proclaimer VII to reach the second village in our territory, Siparuta. However, between those villages there are houses and farms and work camps scattered along the river, along with even more up river. Those places, we have not yet been able to try to reach.

Until now.

Early this morning Brother Chacon and I gathered a good pile of literature and piled into the boat. Two others were originally planning to join us, but then they had Bible studies who requested their presence that same morning. So with just the two of us, we decided to still go ahead and see how many of these houses we could reach.

For a visual aid, here's an idea of where we were going...

In this image, the red dot is Orealla and Siparuta. That's so far all we've worked on the river, despite the fact our territory is everything on the river from Corriverton up top until about halfway down that map. So the goal for this trip was just do the closest houses to Orealla on the way up to Corriverton.

I'm going to say today was a half success. See, we didn't actually cover much distance. Well, we didn't cover hardly any at all. Okay, we did one house.

BUT, the reason we only did one house is because it was a really really really good call. If you look at the picture at the top of this entry, you can see a red roof off in the distance (and you can admire our nice green river. Don't worry, it's only like that immediately after rainy season). As we approached, we saw two people standing in the doorway who had heard the engine approaching. I was startled to realize this man and his wife knew a Bible study I'd had the previous year who apparently has since moved to Kwakwani (another Amerindian village, sorta nearby-ish. Well, head into the savanna, and run through the jungle for about 20+ hours). After talking with them very briefly they invited us inside their home so we could get out of the sun. We sat down on the corner of a large bench inside that wrapped halfway around the inside of the house.

I began the presentation for the January Watchtower on the back cover, asking about death. After reading Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10 the man asks "Isn't that just about the body though? I thought the soul lives after death." So we read the verse in Ezekiel about the soul that sins dies.

"So then," he asks "Is it the spirit that survives death?" After talking about that a while he says "But if nothing survives death, that what gets sent to Hell?"

We tackle that. "But if Hell isn't a real place," he adds "What's Satan's domain then?"

We show how 1 John says the wicked one controls the world. "So then," comes the next question "Do good people go to Heaven and bad people stay on Earth?"

We remind how at death that's the end of everything, but then show how only certain ones go to Heaven and most will be resurrected on Earth and Satan's influence would be removed.

At this point we realize it's been several hours and he has to get back to work (in fact, we'd been there so long the tide went way down and beached our boat, so he came and helped us lift the boat and get it back in the water). As we're about to leave, he asks "When do you have services?"

"At our Kingdom Hall?" we ask. "Sunday morning 9:30 and Wednesday night at 6:00."

"Okay. I'll come by sometime. And I'd like you to come back here too sometime. We've got more to talk about."

And then I realized I'd only taken one picture the whole day, and
would have to cleverly mirror the image so it would LOOK like
I'd taken a second one. Genius move, I thought.
At this point, the river was quite choppy and we had to return to the village. As much as we wanted to get to some more houses, it was quite simply too dangerous to do. Even just returning back to Orealla, what little distance we'd come, we nearly flipped over twice. But we made it back fine, so now we're making plans for another trip up the river next Tuesday. Only this time we'll leave at a different time so we can avoid the choppy waters, and therefore reach more houses.

Until then!


  1. What a nice call! And great questions the man had. Was his wife listening too?

  2. That's so cool. One question lead to the next til he puzzle pieced the whole Bible together. Ha

  3. Amazing day you had. Thanks for taking the time to write your blog. It means a lot to those of us back home. Please always wear the life jacket when you are in that boat.

  4. Amazing day you had. Thanks for taking the time to write your blog. It means a lot to those of us back home. Please always wear the life jacket when you are in that boat.