Newsletters from Greg and Wendy Mann
2020 May 4th Update
The Bible tells us that, “...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10) I write this letter with my heart filled with joy over the power of the gospel reaching one soul at a time. Yesterday Wendy and I started our day just after 7 am connecting with Pastor Norbert in his home. I shared a short message and prayed over his family. From there we repeated this several times over the next several hours. Norbert would reach a home, call meover WhatsApp, and I would give a message to the people and pray over them. We wrapped up our day just before 1 pm, but not before we got a report of a young lady giving her life to Christ. As Norbert was moving about, he came across a young lady who said, “I have never had someone ask me to give my life to Jesus, but I want to do that today!” Right there, in a remote location, beyond the reach of the internet, Norbert had the great joy and privilege to led her to Christ. What a wonderful reminder of the power of the gospel, reaching areas that have yet to be touched by modern technology and the internet. You can be sure that heaven was rejoicing over this precious soul turning to God.
2020 2nd Quarter Update
Greetings from a far off country
Proverbs 25:25 says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” This morning (just minutes ago), using WhatsApp on my phone, I was able to preach to people in Blackwater. Now, if you don’t know where Blackwater is, don’t bother looking on a map, it isn’t there! Blackwater, according to my calculations, is about 2,031 miles from where I am in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Pastor Norbert gathered a group of people together, held up his phone, and gave me the privilege of delivering the word of God to a “far country.” After preaching I gave an invitation for people to trust Christ. Two young men raised their hands to indicate that they were interested. Still using the phone and WhatsApp I led these young men to Christ! Following the invitation Norbert carried the phone around and which allowed me to pray over those who had special needs and requests. It was such a joy to pray with people and see the smiles on their faces and their hands wiping away tears of gratitude. I didn’t want to get off the phone – the people smiled and waved. Norbert said, “They don’t want you to go.” My heart is just so full right now – I don’t know a better way to share how I feel. If God wills, I am content spending the rest of my life being a “water boy for Jesus,” bringing the cold and refreshing waters of the gospel to thirsty souls in a far country.
To the left (I know the image is not so clear) you can see a “screen shot” of me preaching this morning to the people in Blackwater. The young man in the white shirt standing is one of the young men who gave their heart to Jesus!
On several occasions over the past few weeks I have been able to go on “virtual visitation.” Norbert carries his phone with him as he visits homes in the villages. He will call me and allow me to give a word of encouragement to the people and pray God’s blessings over their home and family. As an example, yesterday I prayed with Kenneth as he struggles with two teenage sons who have turned their back on God. I prayed with Salomi, as she is recently widowed. She is young, on her own, struggling to raise three sons on her own. Not long ago I prayed with Ohmo as he is returning to the Lord after some years wandering from God. These virtual visits have been deeply impactful. I can hear it in their voices and see it in their faces. I cannot tell you of a people I love any more in all the world than the Amerindian people God has given us in Guyana.
2020 1st Quarter Update
We have learned over the years in Guyana to be thankful for movement in the right direction, even if it takes time. Patience is a great virtue for our part of the world. We have been reporting on the progress on our ministry property for more than a year now. I am happy to say that we now have the property officially in our name – the only thing remaining is for me to come and put our official corporate seal on the paperwork! The land had been vacant for more than a decade, but once we showed interest several “owners” showed up to claim their piece. The rightful owner and I had copies of the original surveyors map dating back from the 1950’s, and other paperwork to back up our claim. However, we had to let things play out. We paid the extra to have the land resurveyed and, in the end, we have about 7.2 acres, which is more than we originally had anticipated. We praise God for this victory and thank our ministry partners for praying!
Pastor Paul and his wife Gladys are with the Warau (War-oh) people to share Christ. The village has built this shelter so they can have church. I have an open invite to this village, you may recall, from last summer when God healed a little girl. Now the village is open and ready for the gospel!
THE BIG MOVE:
Obviously we are all dealing with uncertainty. With that in mind, we can only set a target date for our move to Guyana, which we expect to be around the 27th of May. We know we will go with a skeleton budget and in need of a stronger support base, but the immediate future does not look to be a profitable time to develop those partnerships. We have a full summer schedule of ministry activities, including our annual youth camp. We can only hope that the fall may open up a few opportunities to strengthen our support base.
PRAISES, PRAYERS, AND CHALLENGES....
Several new ministry partners came on board this quarter.
Good meetings for potential partnerships in Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, and all over Florida.
Ministry in Guyana poised to grow with open doors in 3 new villages.
Forced cancellation of building teams coming creating some uncertainties and large additional expenses to get our building projects underway.
Unrest in Guyana due to a contested Presidential election that was held on March 2nd.
Uncertainty about a path forward to raise additional project funding and monthly support – need God’s wisdom and blessing on how to proceed.
Josh and Josiah making positive steps forward in their personal/spiritual journey. John is deployed in a “challenging” location. We see God working in all three of our young men!
2019 Year in Review
2019 Special August Update
ANSWER TO PRAYER!
If I have learned anything in nearly 30 years of pulpit ministry, it is that without prayer you can accomplish nothing of value. I certainly don’t take for granted the importance of putting the right partnerships together for our ministry – partnerships that go well beyond a financial commitment – but partnerships that support us with prayer. One month ago I asked for prayer regarding our evangelistic crusades and our annual youth camp. God answered in a big way! In all services combined, we saw 44 people give their life to Christ and 11 of those were baptized on our last Sunday of evangelistic focus!
With the influx of Venezuelan refugees still flowing into Guyana, we are seeing many Warau Indians coming across the border as well. In Guyana the Warau people speak English, and most do not speak their native language. However, those coming from Venezuela are Warau speakers, which creates a challenge to our ministry to effectively engage them. One of the Warau families came to me in early July with a very sick little girl to ask for prayer. As is so common these dear people come with no money for medicine or modern health care, but they do come with a faith that prayer can change things. In this case I prayed over the little girl burning hot with fever and obvious infection. We then carried her to a nearby clinic – with very limited care available. In less than 24 hours the fever was gone and the little girl was on her feet! Her father reached Pastor Paul and told him that he was going to move his family near to our church to where he could learn more about God. Paul showed him the TTI training we have available and he is excited about becoming a disciple of Jesus – a God who hears and answers prayer! As a Warau speaker he could be the key to opening the door to the entire Warau people in Northwestern Guyana. Near the Venezuelan border later in the month a Warau family came to me – not able to speak a word of English – asking me to pray over their very sick child. Pastor Norbert and I prayed and God moved in a big way. The following day the boy was up, with a smile on his face, coming to see us to say thank you. After that the entire family came to every service – still not able to understand English – but happy to worship a God who hears and answers prayer! Please, take some time today, and pray for the gospel doors to open for the Warau people.
YOUTH CAMP TAKEAWAY
I could easily write an entire letter just to tell you about the amazing things God did through our Linked Youth Camp. He supplied the resources, put together the team, and pulled together the many logistical challenges necessary to make things happen. So many beautiful stories of life change. One boy who had just recently threatened his family with a chainsaw (yes, a chainsaw), was convinced to come to camp at the very last minute. He gave his heart to Jesus on the 2nd day, and then had the courage to stand in front of a crowd of his local villagers, to share how Christ had saved him and changed him! The takeaway from camp is this – we have a huge open door to reach youth. I am more inspired and energized than before about what God can do through the youth in Guyana! If we change the youth with the power of the gospel, we change the trajectory of the future of the nation.
1. Our home and rental home in Jacksonville have not yet sold.
2. Two former students are praying about a possible future in serving in Guyana on our team.
3. We need churches to come on board to support us in Guyana.
4. We need funding for our ministry campus in Guyana (work has begun). Great things in store!
5. Two sons in the Army and our oldest who lives and works in South Carolina.
2019 3rd Quarter Update
2019 2nd Quarter Update
2019 1st Quarter Updates
2018 Year in Review
2018 3rd Quarter Update
YOUTH CAMP SUCCESS! This summer we hosted our first every region-wide youth camp in White Water Village under the ministry leadership of Pastor Norbert. The logistics of transporting, housing, and feeding, young people from 6 villages was a daunting task several months in the works. In addition to these details there was the task of “recruiting” the right team to serve as counselors, workers, and leaders in the camp. In the end we had a team of 12 come from Trinity Baptist College/Church to serve dozens of youth from around the North West region in Guyana. More than 26 people gave their heart to Christ with 9 following the Lord in believer’s baptism throughout the week. The impact is still being felt in the lives of the youth who participated this summer and there is a real eagerness to come together again in the summer of 2020 for our next youth camp.
MINISTRY LAND DONATED There are so many pieces coming together confirming the wisdom and timing of our return to Guyana. One major confirmation came in the form of a donation of 5-7 acres of land – not just any land, but a property that God first put on my heart more than 12 years ago! With this land we will be strategically located in the heart of our existing church plants and in close proximity to a number of key areas targeted for future church plants. In order to secure the land as ours we must immediately “work the land” to show that we intend to use it. We have a crew that has done some work already in brushing the property, but we must also dig drainage ditches, a pond, a culvert, a bridge, and some other work to prepare the land for our use. As our monthly support begins to come in we will hire the work and get us closer to getting re-established in Guyana!
TIMOTHY INITIATIVE PARTNERSHIP I am grateful for the influence TTI has had in my life. I knew our efforts in Guyana were making progress, but I felt as if something was missing. God led me to study church planting movements, and it was during that time that I made my first visit to TTI ministries in India. What I saw in India, and later in a subsequent trip to Nepal and Sri Lanka, convinced me that we must become much more intentional with our disciple-making and church planting. With TTI there is no need to reinvent the wheel. We are happy to integrate the material, teaching model, and philosophy of TTI into our ministry in Guyana. Our first ministry building will be a TTI training center that will be a place to make disciples who make disciples. Multiplying biblical disciples will be the core of our church planting strategy.
RAISING PARTNERS/SUPPORT This Fall has been a whirlwind of activity as I focus on responsibilities in my home church, international travel, and a full schedule of travel to present the ministry. During this past quarter I have spoken in Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina. In the midst of this I have made two very successful trips to Guyana.
PRAYER REQUESTS (1) The health, spiritual well-being, and faithfulness of our pastors and church leaders serving the existing churches in Guyana. (2) Spiritual wisdom in making the seamless transition with our leaders to the TTI model. (3) Developing healthy church and individual partnerships for the ministry. (4) Material support – monthly and for land/building projects.
Yours in Christ,
Greg and Wendy Mann