I am a spectacle.
Everywhere I go, I attract attention. People notice me coming and stare as I walk by. School girls giggle in small huddles when I pass. Some men meet my eye and call out random things. Most, though, just look at me, wondering "Who is this, what is he doing here?"
I don't ask for this attention. I would rather not have it. But I cannot avoid it. I do not fit in here. There is no way for me to blend in with the crowd, to be inconspicuous. If I tried to look and act like them, they would laugh at me. My skin is the wrong color and I am a foot too tall.
Here in Guyana, I stand out for my stature and skin tone. But today this made me think about what else makes me stand out. I am a Christian. I have chosen to turn my back on the world and follow a humble carpenter's son who the world rejected and crucified. I don't fit in here. My life does not blend in with the world's values.
As Christians, we are called to be a peculiar people. To stand out and be noticed because we are not like the rest of the world around us. It's not that we should try to make a spectacle of ourselves. No, that will make a mockery of God. And if you try to blend in, the world will laugh at you, and at your god. But like me as I walk down the street in Georgetown, we attract attention simply because we don't look, act, live, like everyone else. Our "skin" is the wrong color.
This is Chris writing. It has been a whirlwind since we arrived in Guyana on November 15. Our first week was spent at the "flight base," an apartment behind Davis Memorial Hospital, in Georgetown. Cas Anderson has given us all the household items her family left here, and they have been stored for the past 2 years in a container behind the hospital. So we immediately took it all out of storage and began to organize what we would need to take with us to Bethany. It was hard looking through it all, remembering how it came to be in our possesion and even why God brought us to Guyana in the first place. But here we are, picking up the banner and marching forward.
Change of plans
On Nov 23, we flew with Capt. Ash out to Paruima. There was a youth congress (essentially a Pathfinder fair) there that weekend, with many representatives from the Guyana Conference planning to attend. Capt. Ash saw it as an opportunity to put together a new plane and pilot dedication, since the two other new pilots live in Paruima. Leading up to the weekend, James had many requests for transport to the youth congress, so on Thursday and Friday, he and Edwin Davidson flew 9113M back and forth between Georgetown several times, then made some flights in the local region. For one flight, James left Edwin in Kaikan in order to carry more people out of there to Paruima, planning on picking him up again later. But after dropping off those passengers and departing Paruima for Kaikan again, the engine started to run rough. So James turned back and landed in Paruima. So now it was Friday afternoon, we had a pilot stranded in Kaikan, and airplane grounded in Paruima. The other airplane was in Georgetown. We had to wait for Sunday morning to start diagnosing the problem, then finally decided James would have to take a boat ride downriver to Kamarang and catch a commercial flight to Georgetown to retrieve the other airplane. So instead of a plane dedication Monday morning, James was on the 5am boat out of Paruima. And we were looking at staying in Paruima several days longer than planned, and poor Edwin was still in Kaikan. Thankfully our bible worker there was able to take care of him until James picked him up on his way back from Georgetown Tuesday evening. And thankfully James was able to get a seat on the first commercial flight out of Kamarang Monday. We arrived back in Georgetown on Wednesday evening. 13M will wait in Paruima until I have a chance to go back out there and finish diagnosing the problem.
Back in Georgetown, we hit the ground running, since there was less than a week before my dad and another friend from Minnesota arrived to help us get the pilot house in Bethany livable. Shopping and packing was inturrupted by friends from Trinidad coming to town for the weekend. We spent Sabbath with them at the Mission to the Cities training they were part of. We had planned to be in Bethany already by that time, but the delay in Paruima we believe was a God thing. The training inspired us and gave us some fresh hope. And it was good to see friends we had not seen for almost 10 years!
Out to Bethany!
Finally, on Dec 5, we packed several bins and suitcases in a taxi, squeezed all 4 of us into the remaining crevices, and departed Georgetown for our new home. An hour and a half later, we unloaded onto the Parika ferry dock and paid a local man several hundred dollars to carry our stuff onto the ferry that would carry us across the Essiquibo river. Don't choke, the exchange rate is about $200 Guyanese to $1 US. The ferry is a pleasant ride, winding slowly through the jungle-covered islands laid out in the middle of the river. Another hour and a half got us to Supenam where we paid a taxi $500 to carry us about that many yards just around the corner to the boat docks on the Supenam river. Got on Calvin's boat, rode up the Supenam river and Supenam creek, and soon arrived in Bethany village. From the boat dock in Bethany out to the school and airstrip is about 2 miles, so thankfully Calvin and Gail have a toyota 4runner that we packed into and drove out to BMMC.
Mission trip preparation
We are now in the process of preparing for a team of workers to arrive next week to help us get the house repaired enough to live in. My dad and a friend from Minnesota are already here, and my mom and brother arrive tomorrow night. They will help get things together so we can keep the large group busy while they are here. Stay tuned for more about what we are needing to do with the house. Maybe we will be able to get some pictures uploaded as well.
Chris and Crystal Eno along with their two children, Corey and Cara are volunteer missionaries in Guyana, South America.
Chris is an pilot/mechanic and Crystal is a Physical Therapist working in the Interior of Guyana to bring the knowledge and love of Christ to the people there.
To read our story, click here.
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