Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 10, 2013

The Land of Many Waters

Georgetown, Guyana

Guyana is a beautiful paradise — a feast for nature lovers and a bucket list destination for adventure seekers. The Amerindians were the first inhabitants of this land that is a blend of the Caribbean and South America. The name Guyana is an Amerindian word that means “Land of Many Waters.” This morning, I was awakened in the land of many waters by one of the most intense rainstorms I have seen in years. It rained hard for at least two hours and when it finally stopped, the already saturated ground was covered in inches of standing water.


I awoke to the sound of a heavy rainstorm this morning.

Earlier today, I had a conversation with our hosts, Drs. Peter and Michelle Shiwnandan. I asked them what they remember about Jonestown and the mass suicide orchestrated in 1978 by Jim Jones, founder of The Peoples Temple. They told me about seeing a steady stream of US helicopters flying overhead when the remains of the dead were being transported back to the United States. “For years,” said Dr. Peter, “Guyana was known by many all over the world only because of Jonestown.” That terrible incident obscured and replaced, for a time, the reputation of Guyana as the Land of Many Waters.

Dr. Peter and his wife Michelle, also a physician, are committed to starting life-giving ministries in Guyana. They would like to see their country become the Land of Living Water, the kind of thirst-quenching water that only comes from Jesus. To that end they hosted this week’s conference to help educate church leaders on the sanctity of human life. The rains did not keep people from attending. Every person who registered was in their seat ready to engage in the learning experience. Our teaching was made easier because everyone here speaks English.


Kurt Dillinger, President of Life International, shared his journey as a life-giver.

Kurt Dillinger kicked off this morning’s session by talking about the journey of a life-giver and how God called him to engage in the global mission field created by abortion. I shared a session on the sanctity of human life and a session on developing a biblical worldview. Life International staff member Matthew Zoller concluded by talking about how to become a life-giver. The most encouraging thing about today was how those in attendance actively engaged with the issues under consideration. These church leaders are determined to become champions of life in the land of many waters.

Omar Teaching

I taught on the sanctity of human life this morning.

Please continue to pray for our team as we teach over the coming days. We still have lots of ground to cover, some of it pretty tough stuff like abortion procedures, sexually transmitted infections, post-abortion issues, and more. But all of this is a part of equipping church leaders for front line engagement in life-giving ministries. We trust that one day Guyana will no longer be remembered as the place where more than 900 people committed suicide in a jungle encampment, but as a place that values and protects life in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world, the Land of Many Waters.


Our praise and worship time this morning.

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