By Guest Blogger: Les Lofquist – Executive Director IFCA International
I just returned from Guyana, South America where it was at least 100 degrees every day (often 110) and 95% humidity. Hindus, Muslims, mosquitoes, taking cold showers with frogs and lizards clinging to the shower walls, cows walking the streets, and cars driving on the left side of the road all made for a most interesting cultural experience.
But I didn’t go as a tourist. I went to teach a group of 35 pastors and church planters on being a godly Christian leader and mentoring men into leadership.
It was such a blessing! The hunger of those men for the Word of God was inspiring, and their appreciation for my ministry was humbling. It was great to be able to share the IFCA connections with them. Their leader is Andy Girwarnauth, who joined the IFCA back as a student at Grand Rapids School of Bible & Music in 1985. Andy is a Guyanese national who married an American girl (Kathleen) from IFCA member church Alton Bible Church of Lowell, MI. Andy went back down to Guyana in 1988 with the goal of planting 20 churches in 20 years. He missed that goal last year by only one church. They accomplished that through their national fellowship called The Association of Bible Churches of Guyana, an IFCA member organization.
The ABC of Guyana is as healthy an organization as we have in IFCA International. They have an outstanding evangelistic zeal, regularly seeing Hindus and Muslims come to saving faith in Christ (and by regularly, I mean two or more a month). They have a vibrant discipleship ministry for new believers of all ages. They aggressively seek to identify and train young pastors. All of them talk about where the next church will be planted. And they have overcome some daunting challenges presented to them by Satan through the years. I was invigorated by my trip. Now, I am left with great memories (and over 30 mosquito bites all over my body). Thankfully, I remained healthy.
I returned early Monday morning and today is the first day back in the office. The first thing I learned was that we received $64,000 for the Manipur Emergency Relief Fund! That is astounding and worthy of all praise to God. Our brothers in Manipur are profoundly grateful and are working out all the details regarding proper receipting, purchasing, security, distribution, and reporting. Pray for them!