July 15, 2016, 12:00 AM

Your Labor Was Not in Vain

In 1994 and 1995, Jeffrey and Deborah Smith spent six months in Suriname as the first United Pentecostal Church International missionaries to reside in the country. During their time here, Brother Smith baptized several people, including a man named Sitaram.

It was in 2008 that Kent and Joan Rhoads visited Suriname for the purpose of ministering at a tent crusade in Nieuw Nickerie. The large tent was set up on the cricket field, and in three services nine people received the gift of the Holy Ghost. One of those was a man named Sitaram.

Let's go back to the 1990s and meet Clarence and Sunita Edwards. Brother Edwards was a licensed minister of the United Pentecostal Church of Guyana, and had served as a pastor and a district official. When the Edwardses moved to neighboring Suriname in 1996, they found no existing United Pentecostal Church. Their solution to that problem was to start one. They founded All Nations Tabernacle UPC, where they continue to serve until today. And guess who their assistant pastor is? Yep, it's a man named Sitaram.

So here is a special message to Brother and Sister Smith, Brother and Sister Edwards, Brother and Sister Rhoads, and to those unsung heroes who prayed and gave unselfishly so others could go—your labor was not in vain.