THE HASTENING IS HAPPENING
December 2012 MONTHLY MISSION UPDATE from Elder and Sister Beecher
We were checking out some schools and universities when Brother Chowdhury, Dean, of GreenHeart Medical University came up to us and introduced himself. He lives in Maryland, grew up in Germany, was a missionary under Jon Huntsman, Sr. and is a medical doctor. He was born in India. He invited us to a dinner to be held the next evening at the Coastal Inn for their Christmas Party. It was a fancy event with a group of doctors and instructors at the University of Guyana, GreenHeart Medical University, Rajiv Gandhi University of Science and Technology, and maybe American University of Peace Studies. We were seated next to the son of the Ambassador from India and his wife Neha (which means love) and on the other side an anesthesiologist, who teaches part-time at GreenHeart. I was asked to say the blessing on the food. Brother Chowdhury is most anxious to help with the missionary effort in Guyana and he has many ideas and connections. He left the next morning at 4:00 a.m. after the dinner to travel to India where he is hoping to raise a million plus dollars to build on to the medical school and purchase a C-scan machine and MRI equipment. He comes back to Guyana often and wants to further the Work, especially amongst those who are educated, want to be educated, and are leaders/future leaders.
We left the dinner promising the MathTeacher (I think at the University of Guyana and Greenheart Medical University) a Book of Mormon, who asked to read it. I thought I had one in the car, but had left them at home. The Personal Assistant to Brother Chowdhury told me at least 3 times that he wants to talk (I am pretty sure it is regarding religion). He was willing to open the computer lab so that the Elders could skype on Christmas Day/Christmas Eve Day or both. The ambassador’s son and wife asked for our telephone numbers and put them in their phones. She called us as soon as we got home and wanted to make sure that we had her telephone number. All in all, there were several impressive people in attendance who are already highly educated, skilled, and leaders. I was so impressed with how gracious and how they knew how to get things done. I feel that this is a group of people who can really make a difference and are accustomed to doing so.
It is now a week later and today Elder Beutler and I dropped a Book of Mormon off to the Greenheart Medical School for the math teacher and while we were there we met another member of the Church that we did not know worked at Greenheart Medical University. Her boss, Mrs. Abdool, agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She is a lovely gracious lady whose husband is in charge of security for the President of Guyana. She has been involved in charity/service work for many years. She was the hostess at the big dinner. Elder Beutler challenged her to baptism. She is certainly a capable, lovely lady. After that Elder Beutler and I went to the other Greenheart campus and met with Doctor Tom Yesudas. He is the Personal Assistant to Brother Chowdhury. He is most eager to read the Book of Mormon. He admires a member of the Church, Brother Barrows, whose place Tom took at Greenheart Medical. He is coming on Monday for dinner and wants to discuss the Church and the Book of Mormon. He is inviting us to India. He will write the letters necessary to get us visas so that we can preach. I asked him, “Where would we preach?” He replied that we would preach in his home, in his father’s home, and some other place. He is serious about this. He said that he is going back home for three or four months and he has a ticket in June, but he could change it to leave in July if that was better. He said that August was a good time to visit India. Sister Beecher describes him as “radiating” and he does have a grin from ear to ear. He knew that the Church was restricted from door-to-door preaching in India. He is almost insistent that we go to India. We told him that maybe we could arrange for someone to preach in India. He has connections with the Ambassador to Guyana from India. When we told him that we were committed to stay in Guyana he wanted the dates of when we would be available. He said that he would arrange to go back to India when we were available. We asked if he were wealthy or came from a wealthy family. He said that he was rich in God’s blessings and that he was neither rich nor poor in monetary means. He was willing to come late to our meeting on Sunday after his three hour block of meetings that start at 7:30 a.m.
And then there is sweet Chaplain Khublall, who has a congregation of 80 to 120 in attendance to his three-hour block of meetings on Sundays. The Cooks, the Humanitarian Missionaries who now live in Suriname, have worked with him on a project that he is working on to remodel a building to be used as a school for nursing. Humanitarian missionaries are not allowed to preach the gospel, but they certainly planted a fruitful seed. He called and asked if he could go with us to a friend to take her a Book of Mormon. So before 9:00 Elder Beutler and I were on our way to pick him up. He got in the car and started quoting Book of Mormon scriptures to us. He really enjoys Alma , chapter 5. When we got to the place where the lady works, we found that she is the Secretary for the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph. She was giving orders right and left. She is used to making decisions. She had spent Christmas day discussing the Bible with her sister. Mr. Khublall presented the Book of Mormon to her stating that the Book of Mormon is an inspired book. She was too busy to talk. People were coming in and out of her office and she was needing to take phone calls. She acted excited to read the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets. Back in the car I asked Mr. Khublall what his motive was to give a Book of Mormon to his friend. I asked was she a member of his congregation. “She is a friend that enjoys the scriptures and I have my personal reasons for wanting to share the Book of Mormon.” Mr. Khublall invited us to come in when we got to his property. He built a small house on the back of his property and a large room with a large covered area on the side for his church. Inside he built benches facing a blackboard where the words to a Christmas hymn were written. He also has a library which includes several bibles, religious books, and tubs filled with crayons. They have activities for the young children. The property was mostly cemented in, but had grow boxes along the sides for his garden. It was very tidy. His wife, daughter, and several young children listened from the second story balcony of their home to our discussion and prayer. The young children are his parishioners’ children that they care for while their mother is working. Khublall’s live in a dangerous area known for murders, knifings, prostitution and mostly for drugs and related crimes such as robbery. It is exciting to share the Gospel and we are looking forward to more interaction with these wonderful people.