Thursday, August 4, 2022

An Elaborate Attempt to Get Life Back to Normal


 "Apart from me you can do nothing at all." - John 15:5

As you have possibly noticed, this blog has been pretty inactive since last September. The last entry ended with me saying that I was in the US and still joining my congregation on Zoom for service and meetings, and that I "should be able to continue to do so until I'm able to physically return to Guyana (which will be when? Who knows. Covid cases in the US and Guyana both are going up, so we'll see how things pan out)."

 Turned out the answer was it would be August 3rd. Many things got in the way, including (but not limited to) Covid cases in Guyana skyrocketing briefly, two of my flights getting cancelled, my visa running out, Guyana getting labelled a "Do Not Visit" destination, and so forth. Every day when I looked at flights again it seemed like the headlines were always an airline cancelling or delaying thousands of flights and passengers getting stranded at airports throughout the world. This is all well and good though, since being in the pandemic era, my physical location didn't really matter too much. But then in-person meetings started back up, public witnessing began going again, and I have many many return visits and studies that I simply was never able to contact through the phone and who I really wanted to get back to.

Ultimately though, I couldn't figure out whether this endless hassle of trying to get back was a casualty of world events, or if I was in effect getting hit on the head and told it was time to just up and leave Guyana. Around this same time I was doing Memorial Bible reading, and I came across the verse mentioned above. Now, while this verse is not necessarily related directly to what I was experiencing at the time (if you want a correct explanation and context, see here and here and here and here instead) it did have the effect of making me pause and consider: how much of those failing plans were me trying to work out for myself what to do?

So I decided to give it another go. But first, I was going to very thoroughly pray about it. I was going to very thoroughly lay out my plans for return. I was going to ask for clear answers as to what was happening and how I should respond. Then the process of making plans began.

First thing you'll notice when making plans to travel from Ohio to Guyana is that it is hardly going to be a pleasant trip. Many available options involve swapping airports or sitting in Miami for 23 hours. The other option is a short flight from one place to another, to another, to another, to another, which only seemed like it would increase the opportunities for a flight to get cancelled on me. I finally found a sequence of flights that seemed like a reasonable balance between number of flights and duration of layovers (with the added bonus of getting to spend a few days with friends in Arizona) and put the plan into motion.

6 AM meeting with my congregation on Zoom. Time zones are my enemy.

I was still positively terrified of everything that could go wrong, but there was only one way to test out whether I should still attempt going back, so I went ahead and tried it. August 1st was the date for my leg of flights leading to Guyana, and the fear hadn't really passed. The fear that my life had turned into an enormous Jenga tower and something was going to come along and kick it over. But that morning I took a look at the Daily Text and saw something interesting:

"Apart from me you can do nothing at all." - John 15:5

It's startling how helpful that reminder can be. So off we went to the airport. And two interesting things happened.

1. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. Flights delayed? Yes. Lost baggage? Of course. Visa trouble? Absolutely.

2. Everything went fine. As in, I still made it here. We were super late, the total flight took from Monday 7:00 pm until Wednesday 1:30 am, but I made it back. Everything that could've possibly inconvenienced me is what occurred. Nothing that could have ruined the trip did.

Obviously I have still have many outstanding questions. I'm still in the capital of Guyana trying to figure out what will happen to my visa and if I'll be able stay longer than the 3 months they gave me. Many of those prayers are still unanswered. But clearly I have no reason to worry. I'm not going to rely on myself. I'm going to keep moving ahead in whatever seems to be the right way, and then respond to direction or answers to prayers when they come.


  1. How dare you leave and I never got to throw one snowball at you

  2. A long awaited update :) Good to hear that you're making it back slowly but surely. Isa 65:24.

  3. Genesis 18:14 - Is anything too extraordinary for Jehovah? I will return to you next year at this appointed time,..”
    You’ve got this.