The walls are continuing to go up at a steady pace. The team has been working very hard to meet the goals we have set for each day. In addition to that, we have had a steady group of SBs everyday to help us get some extra work done. Saturday we focused on evangelism. We went into Paramaribo for the morning to do street presentations and one-on-one EV. We were allowed to use the city center town square, a very busy place full of stores and a steady stream of people walking right past as they go from store to store. We set up for puppets first in hopes of getting some people to stop and watch. Just as we were about to start the store across the street cranked up their music so loud we couldn’t even hear each other without shouting. But they were very nice when we asked them to help us out and turn the music down just for our presentation. After two puppet songs, introductions and singing two action songs nobody even stopped to watch. But there were a few people sitting in the distance in the shade around the fountain. So afterwards we spent about an hour talking to anyone and everyone who stopped for even a minute to rest in the shade. Most people were very willing to spend a few minutes talking with us. We met many Christians who stopped going to church because they didn’t like how the Christians were acting. We set up for another presentation, asked them to turn down the music again and did another presentation facing in a different direction, but only one family paused nearby to watch the end of the presentation and clapped for us. That was encouraging. But even more encouraging was talking with a Muslim man afterwards. He sat around talking with many of our kids throughout our time there, seemed pretty interested in what we had to share, but was very hesitant because he was living with his parents who were devote Muslims. After much consideration, he accepted Christ, and even agreed to meet us for church on Sunday. I don’t know if we will ever see him again, he didn’t meet us at church, but the whole team was encouraged from being able to spend the morning sharing the love of Christ with those we met. We have been praying for those we shared with and hoping that we were able to plant some seeds. Sunday we went to Over the Bridge Baptist Church. It’s a small congregation of about 20 that meets under a tin roof at the end of the pastor’s driveway. The pastor himself came out to Camp Zion to take us to church. We were about 20 minutes late, but they were waiting to start the service until we arrived. There were no musicians, or hymnals, but we sang to music played on a computer as the words were projected on the screen up front. The team shared two songs and Joe gave the message. The people of the church were very welcoming of us and had prepared a feast. I had heard that this church prides themselves on filling you up, but was not prepared for the amount they gave us. We were served so much chicken, rice and beans and they kept coming around filling up the plates until most the food was gone. They seemed disappointed if we turned down the food so we kept accepting. We were so full. Then they sent home all the leftovers with us. They also said they are going to bring us supper on Tuesday night so we are looking forward to that.
Now a testimony from Lila: My favorite things in Suriname are the dogs and the birds. They are so cool. There are no little dogs and the birds are all really cool. I also really like the Dutch language. It seems like it would be really easy to learn. The soft drinks are really good. The fruits really good too and there’s monkeys in the backyard.
A testimony from Erin: The best part of Suriname would be how many people are so friendly and there rarely is any crime here. There are so many different kinds of lizzards. And the children here are so sweet. I think it is really cool how everyone just has to walk outside and they find food like bananas, coconuts, papayas and chestnuts. The Burger King is so big and it’s a lot cleaner too, but very expensive!
A testimony from Holden: Since being in Suriname I have enjoyed seeing a large variety of lizzards, eating sugarcane and chugging back on a nice cold Fernandes (soft drink). The food our cook had made is also very delicious.(I really like that last part! :)-Christine)