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Thank you for your faithful prayers. This week we had two deaths in the church family. The first one was really outside our direct church members. The brother of one of our pastor’s wives committed suicide by drinking gramoxone - a very toxic plant poison. The fellow was a Hindustani, but was saved and attending another church. This was his second attempt with the same substance, which is common among the Hindustani people. I have seen a number die from it during my time at the hospital. It is a very painful way to commit suicide.
The second was a young woman from the Winti Wai church with two children. She had not been feeling well for a few weeks, and apparently had a premonition that she would die, though apparently doctors had not seen a cause for serious alarm. She awoke early in the morning, prayed with her mother and brother, and then stopped and died. We were all shocked. She will be buried tomorrow. We pray that some of her unsaved relatives and friends might come to know the Lord.
Last Saturday, the four senior pastors met and made several decisions about important work on the physical plants of the churches to be done over the next months as funds allow. First, we are going to correct a bad problem of flooding at the main church. When we first built the church, it was in a swamp, and we put about 250 trucks of fill dirt in the property, raising it about three feet. The water which ran into the swamp now reversed directions, and ran down the street. Gradually the neighbors raised their properties. We put in more sand to keep the ground dry. Finally the gutter in front of the church was higher than the baptistry, and muddy water started coming in, so we raised the level of the baptistry about 18 inches. Now water is dumping into our children’s area, flooding the cabinets and wooden benches. So we will raise the entire floor of the back section about 10 inches and reinforce the side wall to prevent water from seeping in from the swamp on that side of the church. We will raise the steps for two doors going into the area to block water from flooding in from the other side of the church.
A second project is painting the Sunny Point church. We plan to do this one section at a time as funds allow. We will begin with the main auditorium. As that is completed, we will then start tackling the outside, and then the various rooms on the inside, probably 1-2 rooms at a time.
A third project occurred in Efraimzegen church because of problems with woodboring insects. They were treated a few years ago, but were supposed to be sprayed twice - once to kill the adults, and then a second time after eggs had hatched. The man doing the work left for Brazil, and the man who promised to complete the job never came. Eventually we checked and found that two beams had been pretty well destroyed, but fortunately the rest of the structure was intact. However, those beams need to be replaced as well as a substantial portion of the ceiling.
We very much enjoyed a brief visit yesterday with Ethan and Kim Champlin and our newest granddaughter, Joanna. They had a very busy day, so our time to visit was limited. However, we hope to be able to go to Moengo for two days at the end of next week - Thanksgiving and the following day, which is a national holiday.
This week we were supposed to have a meeting concerning independence of the churches, but we did not have a quorum, and so the meeting is rescheduled for next Tuesday. We continue to pray for that work to be completed.
Health and strength for the work
Our own spiritual growth
Independence of the churches (the papers are still with the government)
Success in repairing churches and the necessary funds
Continued growth spiritually and numerically in the churches
In Him and Content: Bob & Liz Patton Missionaries to Suriname since 1986