Monday, 14 January 2013

Special Assembly Day News...

A quick update of our SAD in Cuenca.

The theme "Safeguard your Conscience" (1 Tim 1:19) was a fantastic program to continue the DC "Safeguard your Heart".  For those who haven't had their SAD yet, you're in for a treat.  Without telling you too much, the program explains what the conscience is, how to train it, the difference between principles and laws and how to be guided by bible principles (reminded me of our recent pioneer school, where we considered a whole chapter about principles....oh... fond memories...).

We're happy to report that our Circuit section C had an attendance of 916 (very good for a Saturday since many work) and 8 were baptized, 4 of these were from our Cong.  We found it interesting that the cost to hold the SAD at our assembly hall was about $1300, all costs covered of course by voluntary donations. Not sure how it compares to back home.

Jeremy also had his first SAD talk "Young ones who bear up under grievous things".  He did really well, probably one of the best talks he has done in Spanish so far.  He only received the outline two weeks before our SAD but he practiced lots and got it done.  Not easy since he also had to find two young ones to interview.

The young ones interviewed had really nice experiences, a young sister from our congregation (the only one baptized in her family) had to confront pressure from her High School when she was about to graduate.  The custom here is at the graduation all the students sing the national anthem and salute the flag in a very specific manner.  They even hold rehearsals for many weeks to make sure everyone is saluting and bowing to the flag correctly. Its a very serious matter as not complying, means you don't graduate.  Because of the young sisters bible trained conscience she did not want to participate in this part of her graduation and she carefully explained her bible beliefs to one of her teachers. It was not easy for her and she became a target of ridicule, however she did not back down from doing what was right and eventually was allowed to graduate without participating in the patriotic part of the event.

The other young one interviewed was only 12 years old, he attends meetings along with his mum and sister, his experience was very recent during the time of December when all the Christmas celebrations are at its peak. This young boy also stood up for his bible based beliefs and refused to participate in class events that revolved around Christmas celebrations.  He was able to give a good witness to his teacher with whom he left the Watchtower December article  "Something better than Christmas" and was able to witness to his class mates.  Not all received the information kindly, however one of his friends showed an interest and he was able to share bible scriptures and further information with him.  For bearing up with the teasing, bullying and ridicule at such a young age, he mentioned his blessings has been a friendship with Jehovah God, he also has the privilege of looking after an afternoon group which he takes out after school, and is currently studying with someone who is about to go through the questions to become an unbaptized publisher.

Both young ones made it a point that their well trained conscience helped them to make the right decisions and by following bible principles they were able to keep a clean conscience with Jehovah.

Oh yes,... Jeremy also had a reenactment to do with a sister from our Cong, he was playing the role of a taxi driver who the sister witnessed to and had very good results. The point being, use every opportunity to witness to people. They were asked to do this reenactment in two SAD's

Our recent CO Visit set up the Service Committee in our Cong,  Jeremy is the Secretary and Maintenance Committee Overseer, he is pretty busy learning how to do it all but with Jehovah's help we're sure he'll get the hang of it in no time.

The spirit of the congregation is becoming more lively, as the brothers and sisters have got to know one another it's no longer so quiet, everyone is staying longer after the meeting to chat, they've started to do more things socially and we too are getting to know the personalities of our brothers and sisters.  This Sunday the Cong has arranged their first outing together.  A sister in the Cong owns a house with lots of land, about an hour from here and she has allowed the Cong to use it. We're planning lunch, games, and of course dancing.  Everyone is really excited and many have been busy putting little numbers together for the day.  We'll post some photos and tell you all about it next week.

Though we've been very busy, we are making sure we get enough rest.  We've started to adopt the awesome habit of siesta after lunch, since nothing is open and everyone is pretty much sleeping, we've started to do the same.  As the saying goes "While in Rome, do as the Romans do", well we have and its been great!

Being Monday here my family comes over to visit for the day.  Recently we've noticed that the chicken from the grocery stores smell like chlorine when we cook it.... No Good! So mum found out, that there's a sister who breeds her own chickens and sells them.  They're raised in her country home, allowed to live a good life running around the field and fed well, so we've decided to buy her chickens.  One whole decent size chicken is about $10.00 not cheap here, I can see why chicken was only a special event meal once upon a time. Though we'll only be able to afford two chickens per month, I hope to cut it up and use it in different meals through out the week. Should be enough, I just won't serve it to guests...hahaha...(Can't wait to cook it, I've heard home grown chickens are delicious! Beat that Michael and Julie, this is gourmet...hahaha)

Ok, so enjoy the photos of our assembly hall...

Love to you all