This was it—the final stretch of the continent. We would end our time in the Guianas—a group of barely-known countries on the northern coast of South America. Though considered one entity, the Guianas are actually comprised of three countries: Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Technically considered part of the Caribbean, the Guianas exude an Afro-Caribe vibe as well as cultural flavors from the countries that colonized them—England (Guyana), Holland (Suriname), and France (French Guiana).
|Iris Latin America team boys; Breck Boyd, Taylor McClendon, Taylor Lindsey, |
Brent Lough, Kurt Weller, Ben Cuyler, and Stephen Reams
|Camping our at a Church in Fortaleza Brazil|
|the amazing women of our south america team|
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to fly home from French Guiana, which meant backtracking through Suriname and Guyana and flying from Georgetown. We stayed in Suriname for two nights en route and noticed a homeless man begging for change the first. Breck stopped to talk with him for a few minutes, and a couple people offered him coins and food. We walked back to our hostel, thinking very little of this encounter. The following night, we passed by the same man and decided to talk to him. His name was Theo. He remembered Breck from the night before and thanked him for speaking to him instead of passing him by like everyone else. Theo explained that people normally ignored him or treated him like an animal, having no value for him because he lived on the streets. We spent time praying for Theo and simply chatting about his life and family. We quickly discerned that Theo was a far cry from the stereotypical addict on the streets begging for change to pay for drugs. His heart was genuine and pure, and the only thing he craved was love. I’ll never forget his words. “You stopped for me. You talked to me. You treated me like a person. I feel better inside now.” What had originally meant very little to us had meant the world to Theo. An encounter with love, no matter how big or small, changes people.
Friends, this will probably be my last blog until January or February. When the team begins working in the Caribbean, I will resume writing. Thanks for reading, praying, and celebrating what God is doing. Love you all.