Thursday, 6 November 2014

Road Trip... Public Witnessing... Circuit Assembly...

Wow... how much has happened since our last blog.... A lot!

I've been struggling to find the time to write and now that I've sat down I'm not too sure where to start.... but here's a little update...

We were so happy to see all the beautiful photos of friends who attended the Melbourne International Convention in Australia, we heard many great experiences from it,  it was so nice to get a glimpse with all the photos everyone posted... It got me thinking about all the time that has passed.  Many young ones we left behind are married, happily serving Jehovah, some even had the privilege of translating simultaneously in Spanish... So proud of our young friends giving their best for Jehovah.

In the last few months we've been busy renovating the gardens of our Kingdom Hall, slowly it's getting there, once it's finished I'll post some before and after pics...  We also helped look after a pioneer school, that was pretty special. Got little previews of what to expect when we go through ours again in a few years.. Both my sisters Sara and Debora were invited to attend and my dad had the privilege of being one of the conductors, so it was very special... There were 44 students in the class, total years in the truth 579, total years of full time service 295, the youngest pioneer was 15, the oldest pioneer was 70.

Our Cong made the cutest jw.org cupcakes...


Lunch Crew from our Cong
 
Stats from the pioneer school.


Our studies, husband and wife, enrolled in the ministry school and so we've been busy helping our studies prepare their first talks... As you've seen in the photos we've posted on IG, they've did an awesome job.
 

We also had our Circuit Assembly, all about keeping the peace... So timely in this divisive world we live in...  Over a thousand in attendance, was only a part of a circuit that met together as the assembly hall is not big enough for the entire circuit.. Each circuit has part a, b and c, we are part b. There were 12 baptized, two from our Cong.


Sabrina - another bible student progressing well


 



We had a road trip to a place called Tenguel, located south of Ecuador, close to the coast, not far from Peru actually.

This little place has a long history, most of the land there used to be owned by the King of Spain and used to produce Cacao for his chocolate. I'm not too sure how he lost all this land or if it was sold but eventually the land stopped producing Ecuadorian Cacao, not sure why, but many think it has to do with global warming.  So it all got taken down and replaced with banana plantations. After many many years a few are going back to growing Cacao, though no longer the original Ecuadorian Cacao it's now more like a hybrid to allow it to grow fruits again in greater quantity.  The Cacao produced is still really good and of very high quality.

The nicest building in the area... our Kingdom Hall...

Cocoa Plantation, this was once covered with Banana Palm trees...

Cocoa Pods
Inside the pods, was this gorgeous white sweet fruit...

I kept wondering why Ecuador doesn't produce its own chocolate, believe it or not most of the cacao is exported to Europe, most to Switzerland. These countries make some of the best chocolate in the world from Ecuadorian Cacao. Many of the locals kept saying only in Ecaudor would we sell our cacao to Europe and then buy it back for twice as much as chocolate.... Why don't we make more chocolate? - the answer I was given was... Well they don't like change, they are happy doing what they've always done. Most of the chocolate that does get made here, are from foreigners with money that have come to Ecuador and realized there's a massive market here. Pakari is about the only well known brand of chocolate that actually gets made in Ecuador. It's really good chocolate. Anyways enough about chocolate, sorry I was just astounded to find all this out. Hahaha.... It was a beautiful place...

At a Food Festival, Pacari was show casing its organic chocolate...  they were happy to pose for a photo

We were surprised at how many Witnesses lived here, for a little town they had their own Kingdom Hall with a Congregation of 170 publishers - soon to be divided, with a sign language group attached to it. It'll be nice to serve in the coast one day and get to experience that type of growth too..


Our Cong has also started Public Witnessing, it took us a while to try and get permits but we found a way around it, a return visit owns a shop in front of a big University in our Area and she kindly allowed us to place our stand in front of her shop.  No permits required as its not on the walk way and it's part of her shop...yeah!!!... so that's been going well.   A man walked passed and took interest in our stand, Jeremy offered him a bible study and he happily accepted.  They've been studying the bible together at the airport where he works...

New Public Witnessing Stand...
Lots more to say but that's all we'll share for now.. We have been up and down with our health, overall good, just your common cold's and flu's... but seems normal here...

Lots of love,
JnK