Mike Plugge - Letter - Caribbean - 2006

Dear folk,


Tomorrow, I hope to be able to check my emails before the Sunday am meeting which is usually my only opportunity. I have been a little busier lately with language studies. I am on one hand enjoying the challenge of learning a language and gradually developing a feel for the particular meaning of words. On the other hand, it is still a tussle with what somebody very aptly described as a lustige language. The word “lastig” in Dutch is the word you would use to speak of a little boy in the Sunday morning meeting who won’t sit still and whatever you try it don’t work and you can’t get the little fellow under control. It just kind of slips out of your grasp. I am getting there slowly but it feels like you are trying to get hold of a slippery eel! Press on!


Anyway, we are soon going to have a welcome break. On April 2, we will have the Suriname special meeting. Winston Weeks from Guyana, whom some of you will have met when he was in New Zealand several years ago, will be with us and his companion and the two Guyanese sisters. We met them in Guyana at convention time. Then over the following 6 weeks, we will go to the special meetings in Guyana over two weekends, and then Trinidad over two weekends and then Aruba and Curacao over the following two weekends. They are two Dutch Antilles but in Aruba, we will speak English and Curacao Dutch. Curacao and Trinidad are supposed to be two of the most beautiful places on the earth so it will be interesting to see them. Just one family on Aruba plus a couple of friends and maybe two or three handfuls on Curacao.

It hasn’t worked out to see Edon Warner whom some of you will remember. He was in New Zealand the year I went in the work in 1992 and he came to me and said, “Enjoy it and what you can’t enjoy, endure.” I have never forgotten those words. I think of them in connection with what we read of Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame.” If Jesus had focused on the cross then I don’t think He could have endured the cross but he Hocused on the crown, the joy that was set before Him, and thereby gained the strength to endure the cross. In case some of you are interested, I will send the list of dates and visiting workers of the Caribbean special meetings. Why French Guyana is not included, we don’t know.


The short rainy season has ended and now we are in the short dry season. Rather warm at night but I don’t mind it during the day. We have air-conditioning but it is always a catch 22 because you don’t want to become accustomed to something you won’t always have. When it rains here, it rains and we have to trudge through 3 or 4 inches of water to get to the bus. I wear sandals most days so it is no problem really and you are soon dry again. When you hire a house, those details aren’t always in the fine print!


I had to smile, when my companion was sick. He is now a 100 percent better thanks to the herbs administered by a Chinese doctor who also treats the president of Suriname. But is was so cute getting advice from quite a number around the world including New Zealand about what he should take. Amongst other things, Raspberry cordial and of course, garlic! It was appreciated of course but you can imagine I think the workers privilege of so many fathers and mothers in Israel. He was very, very sick but after two days with the Chinese doctors herbal cures was on the mend. I hope to visit him sometime but it is a little unfortunate that he speaks only Sranan Tongo (the local street lingo) and Chinese, so a third person is required to communicate with him.


I am hoping to see some New Zealand visitors around June, which will be good. That is around the time when the big turtles, around two meters long, lay their eggs on the beaches so I am hoping we will have the opportunity to observe them one night. You go out on the beaches with torches at night and they say it is quite a sight. I find it intriguing sometimes that so much takes place on the land and under the sea that either no man, or very few people ever get to see. Maybe God created them for His own pleasure!

We have a little interest in the missions but it is slow work and with my companion being sick and my Dutch so limited we are just now getting back into the rhythm and then of course we will be heading off for awhile. When we return it will be mid May and then we are booked to go to Holland for preps and the convention for 6 or 7 weeks!

Well, will close here for now. Sorry to hear of the ones who have so quickly and unexpectedly passed on from this earth's scene in New Zealand. These experiences are felt around the globe and we are glad we can look to the One wherever we are who is greater and mightier than ourselves and the experiences we face. Who is on the Throne and still overruling.


Warm greetings,


Your bro,