We have frozen this blog as a historical, yet informational view at what life is like in the West Indies Mission for all those called to serve. This blog was designed for the families and friends of those missionaries serving in the West Indies Mission from July 2006 to July 2009. Every six weeks, photos taken at zone conference as well as a new slide show including every person baptized were posted on the blog. All of the slide shows are also available on our You Tube channel. The current West Indies Mission blog can be found here. Posts on our missionary experience can be found here and earlier. And finally, if you are a returned missionary who served in the West Indies, there is a current blog for you. Click here or visit westindiesrm@blogspot.com

Monday, June 29, 2009


Almost every West Indies missionary falls in love with Guyana.


Unspoiled beauty, adventure, rapid Church growth, sweet loving people - what more could a young (or senior) missionary want?

  • Known as the "land of many waters'
  • The only English speaking nation in South America
  • Bordered to the east by Suriname, to the south and southwest by Brazil, to the west by Venezuela, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The only state of the Commonwealth of Nations on mainland South America
  • Guyana has a population of about 86,000 where 90% of the population live on the narrow coastal strip.
  • The population comprises groups of persons with nationality backgrounds from India, Pakistan, Africa, China, Europe, along with several Aboriginal groups as the indigenous population.
  • Guyana is a major breeding area for sea turtles (mainly Leatherbacks).
  • It has one of the largest unspoiled rainforests in South America, some parts of which are almost inaccessible by humans. More than 80% of Guyana is covered by forests.
  • Agriculture is its main economic staple
  • English is the official language but Guyanese Creole is widely spoken
  • One quirk of Guyanese English, particularly in the lower classes, is the fact that English pronouns are almost completely interchangeable. E.g. "he" "I" "we" "she" "them" may well be used just about in any combination in a sentence. An example, “I said to the police, why are you bothering me?” would be said, "Me says to dah pleece, why them bodder with we?"
  • Guyana's culture is very similar to that of the English-speaking Caribbean islands, to the extent that Guyana is included and accepted as a Caribbean nation.

As of June 2009, there were two districts, fourteen branches and two groups. The Georgetown District is working on qualifying to become the second Stake in the West Indies Mission. It is very close.

Georgetown District branches (with date created):
  • Demerara (4Oct2004)
  • Diamond (16Dec2007)
  • Garden Park (28Nov1994)
  • Georgetown 1st (17Mar1989)
  • Georgetown 2nd (20Jul2003)
  • Parika (26Oct2008)
  • Patentia (11Jul1996)
  • Vreed en Hoop (12Nov2006)
  • plus the Lindon Group (Spring 2009)

Canje District branches (with date created):
  • Bushlot (28Sep2008)
  • Crabwood Creek (23Mar2008)
  • East Canje (19Mar2006)
  • New Amsterdam (13Feb2000)
  • Rose Hall (19Mar2006)
  • Rosignol (16Mar2004)
  • plus the Skeldon Group (Spring 2009)

Missionary Work:

As of June 2009, there were fifty elders serving in Guyana, organized into five zones: Georgetown, LaGrange, Canje, Berbice, and the newly created Lindon zone.

There were also nine senior missionary couples: a couple each for CES, humanitarian, and family history plus six proselyting couples.

The missionaries meet in two separate zone conferences - one in Georgetown and one in Canje.

Missionary work is very successful in Guyana. Many people are willing to listen to the missionaries' message and a good number of them keep commitments and progress to baptism. One of the great challenges in Guyana is accommodating rapid church growth. The senior couples do an amazing work in this area, through friendshipping, training and shadow leadership.


Missionaries held the first sacrament meeting in Guyana in September 1988. Among those who attended were members of the Majid Abdulla family, who had been baptized previously in Canada.

The Church gained recognition in February 1989, and a small branch in Georgetown was organized in March with about 23 in attendance.

In March of 1991, additional missionaries were sent to Guyana and the branch membership soon numbered more than 100 members. Later that year, Guyana became part of the newly created Trinidad & Tobago Mission, but shortly thereafter the name of the mission was changed to the West Indies Mission. By the end of 1993, there were about 270 members. By 1996, membership grew to about 500, and another branch was organized.


Amazing sights

Kaieteur Falls - one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world

Black water rivers

Brown water rivers

Incredible sunsets

Colorful fruits and vegetables

Growing Church

Georgetown Chapel

Newest Church building - LaGrange Chapel

Beautiful people

"Mighty Chief" of an Amerindian tribe, baptized in 2008

Sweet school children always in uniform

Occasional challenges

Trenches everywhere - be careful!

Oops, Sister Bullock fell in!

Plenty, plenty rain

Lots of creatures

(don't worry moms - these caymans were NOT alive)

Curried Anaconda anyone?

Interesting living conditions

Missionary life

Guyanese life

The most rewarding work in the world


The SWEETEST part of the "work"

Filling the font - they are three traditional church fonts, many of these outdoor fonts, and in some areas no fonts where baptisms must take place in the sea or river

Two elders (on their mission only 5 months), one weekend, three families

That's why we love Guyana!

1 comment:

Josh said...

Thanks for the pictures and info. I sure do miss Guyana. It is amazing to see how much the church has grown since I was there 10 years ago!