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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

February 2, 2009

Trip to Suriname, Day 6

[with comments]     Filed under UCG-Holland

There was a lot to do today before our drive to the airport around 4:00 p.m.

Suriname trip
 Marcos Rosales and I baptize Lloyd Dalfour.
Suriname trip
 The deed is done: Lloyd Dalfour is now the
 fourth member of UCG in Suriname.
Suriname trip
 This is Mr. Heyne’s room in the meeting hall:
 the best place he has ever lived in 78 years.

The first item of business was to baptize Lloyd Dalfour, Claid’s brother. Lloyd and Claid picked Stan Braumuller, Marcos Rosales and me up at 8 a.m., and we drove past the small building where we had met yesterday for services to pick up Mr. Heynes. (Mr. Heynes has a small room in the building where the group meets for services. He told us it is the best accommodation he has ever had in his entire lifetime.) Then we drove about 30 minutes out into the countryside to the same spot where we had baptized Claid and Marcia Dalfour on Friday afternoon. Marcos Rosales and I baptized Lloyd, making him the fourth member of the United Church of God in Suriname. After the baptism Mr. Heynes told us how happy he was since he had been waiting for years for God’s church to get going again in his home country of Suriname. On the drive back to our hotel, I was amazed at how similar the scenery in Suriname is in comparison to the Philippines, where my family and I lived from 1987-1994.

After a quick change of clothes upon our return to our rooms, we had a three hour meeting with Claid, Lloyd and Mr. Heynes. We let them know that we want them to change their service format to match the format for services used by the United Church of God. We also said we would provide them DVDs of sermons recorded in our church in the Netherlands (in Dutch) so they could watch a video sermon on the Sabbath. We let them know that we will help them with the equipment they need to make this possible. Since they are unfamiliar with the UCG service format, we also agreed to provide them with a couple of recordings of an entire UCG service, from the moment the songleader first addresses the congregation until the closing prayer is given. We were happy to tell them that Marcos Rosales will be back to visit in the next months, possibly even for the Passover and first day of Unleavened Bread. We ended our meeting with a heartfelt prayer. After our meeting ended, Lloyd had to leave quickly because he had to work on Sunday.

In the early afternoon Marcia joined us for an hour or so to ask us about her Sabbath outreach program. We told her we were very impressed with it and touched by the children singing, but we would like her to have her outreach program separate from the official church service. Once we were finished, it was about time to drive to the airport. Since the vehicle we were using was not large enough for all of us, Claid and Stan took Marcos and me to the airport. We were checked in a little before 7 p.m. for our 8 p.m. flight to Amsterdam. Flying time was only about 8.5 hours – a little less than flying from Atlanta to Frankfurt. Upon our arrival in Amsterdam on Monday morning we were met at the gate by customs officials and a drug-sniffing dog. Unfortunately Suriname has become a transit country for drug trafficking, so we went through two separate luggage checks before departing the airport. Marcos was met by his wife Luty, and I got on the train for a 3 hour ride back to Bonn, ending our successful trip to Suriname. Stan Braumuller was to return to Florida on Tuesday.

Comment from Scott Ashley:

Thanks for sharing this trip info with us, Paul. It’s encouraging to read of such developments!

Comment from Bill Eddington:

Thanks for a really interesting account of your trip with Marcos. I hope you will be able tp keep us posted on the Suriname brethren and the growth of the Church there.

Comment from Bruce Gore:

Enjoyed reading of your trip to Suriname. Having made trips to Nigeria & the Philippines, it’s always gratifying to see people being called and converted all over the world.

Comment from Vic Kubik:

What a wonderful story, Paul! I was so inspired by not only the spiritual development of the area, but the work of Claid and Marcia Dalfour. I hope that LifeNets can have a part in that. We already have two children’s programs going – one in Malawi for orphans and another orphan program in Ukraine as well as one similar to the Dalfour’s in Vinogradov, Ukraine. I’ll be talking to you more about this.

Comment from Howard Davis:

To see God working the miracle of conversion in these people so far from the centers of the Church, God’s kingdom planted in their hearts and germinating in this lonely part of the world is truly wonderful as Vic said.

Comment from Kathleen Hoffart:

Thank you for taking the time to share details of your trip. It is always inspiring to read of people stepping out on faith and working to attain their vision of a better life for as many people as possible.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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