Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ecuador English Circuit Assembly Cuenca 2014...

I know, I know, we've been a little slow with our blogs. The last few months have been filled with a little bit of everything so finding the time to keep up has been a challenge...

Here's a quick summary, with details to follow:
  • A few in our Cong threw us an anniversary party in February, it was awesome!
  • We had our Special Day Assembly in which 3 from our Cong were baptized.

Photo from Istagram - Jeremy was interviewed for the Baptism Talk.... Debora was also interview... So Proud!

  • Metropolitan Witnessing has been a blast, we've had many awesome experiences. I posted a photo and an experience on Instagram... here it is again for those who don't have Instagram:

Jeremy was chatting to a police man who's mother is a witness in Spain. He showed great interest in the truth but would be moving countries the week after and didn't really know where he would end up in Chile so Jeremy showed him the website so he could access the truth no matter where he was. An email address was also taken down so that Jeremy could keep in touch with him and hopefully get the Witnesses to call on him once he was settled. So true the comment made in a KM a while back Jehovah is "scanning the hearts of those walking past" our stands. What a privilege we have of participating in this work and seeing this take place.

  • We just went through Carnival, our second since we've been here.  Thought we'd get out of the city with last minute plans to spend the weekend at BaƱos de Ambato. Though we had a great time it wasn't the best idea to head there, being public holidays, it was so packed with people all playing carnival with flour, egg, food coloring, and of course water bombs. We had to stay outside the city to get away and pay a little more than usual. We also went horse riding, we paid $24 for the both of us for a two hour ride to the bottom of the volcano.
Steel Bridge in Rio Verde/Negro something like that

  • We've been to a wedding, our first in Ecuador, it was nice to see what weddings here are like.
  • We attended the English circuit assembly, the last Assembly of two days and the only one in Ecuador, it was awesome just what we needed (more about that later).
In the meanwhile the elders have been busy securing a hall for the memorial. We won't be able to use our hall cause the other Cong that meets there will be having two sessions, last year there were so many in attendance people were standing outside beside the windows in order to hear and see. So we've been searching for another place, everyone was a little worried about it since we couldn't find anything, but Jehovah has made a pretty nice community hall available for free! I haven't seen it but I've heard it's really cute with theater seating and a good sound system.  We're all really happy about it.

Last but not least we are seeing a massive buzz in the Cong from all the studies that are attending, our attendance last weekend was over 150!! We have had a few new unbaptized publishers announced one of them 10 yr old Paul who gave his first bible reading last Wednesday. Overall two massive months.

Paul giving his first bible reading..So cute!

I don't know why but we have been cooking and baking more lately, maybe it's comfort food. Jeremy has also been building me a little makeup table for our bedroom, it's looking beautiful, can't wait till he's finished with it.

Jeremy's awesome bread

My almost perfect Apple Pie...

The table Jeremy is building for me... it's looking really good.

Preparations for the international assembly in Quito are well underway.  I'm sad to say we are not invited to it however the good news is that the branch is making arrangements to hold 19 Conventions simultaneously!, which means we will be hooked in to all the GB talks and some other talks too!! Yeah!! Similar to the last annual meeting.  It'll be the first Convention we will attend in Ecuador that the attendance will be in the thousands. Ours is tentatively going to be held in a stadium in Azogues, we're so excited! Reading the program on the website it looks like it's going to be an amazing event. Can't wait!

English Circuit Assembly - there were over 450 in attendance, one baptized. Hearing the program in English was a blessing, everyone I spoke to made a comment on the same thing. Most have already heard it in Spanish but hearing it in English and the fact that it's tailored to need greaters makes a massive difference. Many traveled long distances to get here for it, it reminded me a lot of the English convention in Guayaquil. We met many new families who have moved to serve here in Ecuador, many have young children. It was very encouraging for Jeremy and I to see these families make this move, we asked a few how their kids were coping and all mentioned the same thing, they're loving it! Though they do miss home at times, they're so happy.  How nice to hear.

There were also many young couples, the majority facing the same issues we have been through or are going through since arriving here.  They all said the same thing about tummy issues, it takes a while for it to settle but eventually you learn to live with it or deal with it, that's what serving in a foreign land is about, that's one of the biggest challenges - health issues.... but all though having to face these sort of challenges would not change their experience for the world.  It was nice to catch up and exchange stories of what has helped. For the first time, talking to all these young couples we realized we are getting older, we had our own stories to tell and experiences of our own. It was nice to know that what we've been through could help others.  It's not an easy form of service and there are times we've all asked ourselves what are we doing here but no matter how hard things can get at times, there's no denying Jehovah is looking after us and helps us to continue in our service of choice. The blessings and experiences we are living through are far more than the low points we have faced at times, mainly because of our own insecurities and inexperience, but Jehovah is teaching us and we are loving the lessons.

There was a fantastic interview, for me it was the highlight of the CA. A brother who before coming into the truth had been through Uni and became a Science Teacher, his goals in life were to continue higher education, get a PhD, and reform Science education in American Schools something that would also make him wealthy in the process.  However when he found the truth it all changed, he wanted to put spiritual goals first and become a pioneer but he couldn't do that while he was a teacher so what did he do? Quit his job which he loved and learned how to clean windows.  He knew Jehovah would eventually fulfill his desire in his own time, obviously he said this would never make him rich materially but it did make him spiritually rich and soon enough he reached another goal of serving as a need greater in Ecuador.  How wonderful is that!

The public speaker than made a comment "happiness comes from loyally serving Jehovah, the wife of Lot could not stand to leave her things behind, the Rich man of Jesus parable may have been successful and rich in the eyes of men but we want to be rich towards God.  Let's look forward to the time when we can enjoy many good things but that time is in the future".

There was another experience of a brother who left his job with a pharmaceutical company so he could pioneer by selling food at the side of the streets, his title (Dr, PhD) meant nothing to him.

Wow! - those sort of experiences really helped me see what putting spiritual goals first means.

Needs of the Circuit talk - Putting forth an effort to learn SOME Spanish, he quoted a letter that was address to publishers about learning another language, it was suggested to make a habit to read out loud 10 minutes a day and learn the language 30 mins a day. Why? Because while living here we want to use every opportunity to witness to people, most he said only know how to ask for English speaking people in Spanish, but you may need to ask different ways before they give you an answer and then they might give you massive amounts of directions to reach them and you may have no idea what they are saying... so a little Spanish is good to communicate and find those you're searching for.

Like I said a fantastic CA.... Loved it!

Our witnessing skills are becoming better, with all the studies Jeremy and I are conducting we are becoming more efficient at using the bible.  We are also seeing some of our studies come to the meetings, we hope they continue to progress. All the pioneers in the Cong are doing an excellent job, there are so many studies at the meeting lately, like I said there is a real buzz. The Congregation is going through a growth spurt and everyone is loving the energy at the meetings. Jehovah's blessing can truly be seen..... wow, there's nothing better than seeing that.

Marcelo and his family on their first meeting. - Jeremy studies with him
The wedding - It was so nice, very simple but so nice...  The bride is from Finland, she came to serve here a while back and met an Ecuadorian brother, she eventually had to return home but continued a long distant courtship, she came back 3 months ago where they got engaged and are now married.  The talk was in Finnish and translated into Spanish.  Marriages here by law need to be done first at a Marriage Registry Office (remember we had to go to Quito last year for it) and then the wedding talk is given a few days later at a Kingdom Hall where the vowels and wedding ring are exchanged by that time though, your legally married. Its so nice to see the couples wait till their talk at the Kingdom Hall before they consider themselves married. The reception was at a nice reception hall, where most of the night was filled with dancing.  The bride and groom danced a waltz and then a paso doble, the dance with all the bridal party had been rehearsed for 3 months!, they did so well.  Sara, Marcos and Deb were all in the bridal party, Debora was the maid of honor so she was in charge of planning the kitchen tea (here they call it a singles party, both the groom and bride are invited, there's food and again lots of dancing).

There's a lot more to say but that will be all for now.

We have been really well, only mild colds at the moment. Trying to better our health we have been juicing almost everyday since we got back from Oz. It has helped heaps!.. Getting ready for the memorial campaign and a few exciting projects we have in mind.... stay tuned!

Love to you all...

JnK Davies - hehehe, there's another couple serving in Loja with similar names, a few have gotten our blogs confused... we are the Davies, from Australia...hehehe, just in case!