Monday, 12 October 2015

Witnessing unassigned territory - Zamora Chinchipe

It's been seven months now....... I know, I count the months... Why? Because to us every month that goes by feels like a really big achievement. In what sense? Because we used to feel we could never do this, that we wouldn't cope and to some extent that we wouldn't enjoy it... But wow has that been the opposite, especially the last part! 

This last couple of months brought a wedding, a trip to Puerto Lopes for some RnR, the Circuit Overseers visit, a trip to unassigned territory, a day at Bethel with the congregation and a quick visit to Cuenca for little Abigail's and her sister Ines' baptism. Yes, busy schedule as usual... But we've enjoyed every minute of it!

Let me start with the wedding, the most adorable couple in our Cong tied the knot, they will surely make an incredible team in Jahs service... We helped out with taking their photos... With no previous wedding photography experience we took ideas from Pinterest and were really happy with the outcome, we hope they are too...

Puerto Lopes is a beautiful little beach town about 3 hours from where we live heading north up the coast. We took a tour to see the whales and a small island called Isla de Plata... It was a much needed week of rest and was an opportunity to show our current house mates a little bit of Ecuador. Yes, current house mates... you read it correctly.... we had friends from Texas USA come to serve here in Duran about 3 months ago and since they're here for 6 months to try it out, we thought it may be easier for them to rent a room from us instead of having to look for their own place.  Furnished apartments here in Duran don't exist so they would've had to buy everything from scratch.... It's worked out perfectly for us since they will be looking after our place while we're away and it means the Congregation won't been left with just one elder... so it's worked out great!.... I wonder if this is what living in a missionary home is like....?  Many have asked if Randal is Jeremy's brother, cousin, or some type of family member... no not blood related... but we are spiritually related... one big family! 

Randal n Lynsey

feeding turtles


Next our new Circuit Overseer and his wife visited us, Esteban and Carla.  They're a young newly wed couple with many years of full time service... They met at the International Peru Convention of 2009, she was a Bethelite from Bolivia and he had been serving as a Circuit Overseer while he was still single....  they married about a year ago and went straight through the Circuit Overseers Training School and then on to the circuit work... It was such an awesome visit and we all benefited greatly from that week of full spiritual activity. Our witnessing groups reached almost 70 daily and our Sunday meeting reached 270! He commended our Cong for our zeal in the ministry, and mentioned our Cong averaged 16 hours per publisher not including the regular pioneers obviously! Their attitude and the love they showed us all really reflected a comment they made... what makes a good CO couple? To look back at all the memorable CO's you've previously had and figure out what made them so memorable, what did they do that's worthy of imitating as present examples of faith....  After the visit it also brought a blessing to the Congregation with the appointment of a new MS.  It was a fantastic week and can't wait for their next visit in February/March next year!...

Next, our Congregation enjoyed two different types of unassigned territory. There's a group that goes out every Saturday to a vast town about an hour from home (I know it doesn't sound that far away but it's actually quite rural) They have been enjoying fine return visits and many bible studies have been started. This assignment is for 3 months.... 

Another smaller group was assigned to Zamora Chinchipe about 6-7 hours by car from home.  Obviously this was bordering the jungle and with not many places to stay we ended up lodging in a small city called Loja and made a two hour trip (only 30kms though) everyday to reach the beginning of our territory! They were massive days of witnessing and very extreme 4 wheel driving experiences... Our Instagram shows small videos of what it was like.... But it was so worth the drive. We reached many people and so many young ones that had never heard of the Witnesses before, they were so eager to learn more... Since we don't know when they will be visited again, we had to show those that showed interest how to study the publications on their own.  Most towns had one point of access to the Internet so we emphasized the need to visit jw.org and with one young girl in particular an online study was started.... So much literature was placed, with schools, individuals even people of authority.... we all had great experiences and many stories to share... really this post could go for hours...hahaha...



Diego n Lesly.. are siblings.. from the first day they saw us they asked if they could accompany us around their town of about 1000 residents and show us around, of course we said yes and took every opportunity to teach them, in the hope that maybe they could continue teaching the children after we were gone... they walked with us for hours and showed us the best way to get to houses... they knew everyone!..... By the second day Diego had seen most of the Caleb and Sofia videos and was helping other kids answer questions of God's name, who was Jesus, and what is God's purpose for the earth.. We hope that with Jehovah's help all the seeds that were left behind will eventually grow..... what an overwhelming experience to enjoy...






Loja Congregation






Last Friday there was a public holiday in Guayaquil and we thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to arrange a tour of Bethel, although it's so close many have never been, why? Well most tend to work Monday to Friday and it's very hard to take a day off from work.... We had over 90 people come, two buses were privately arranged and many bible studies came along... On public holidays Bethel here expects anywhere from 800-1000 visitors just in one day! A special tour is arranged and because it's not a big bethel family, mostly everyone participates in looking after the friends.  Everyone had a great time and got home safe and sound! 



We then took a quick visit to Cuenca where Abigail, a 10 yr old little girl I previously studied with made her dedication public to Jehovah through water baptism. It was such a special occasion as her older sister also got baptized. It was so nice to catch up with our old Congregation, still as beautiful as when we left it! 


Well that's about it... On Tuesday we leave to Sydney for six weeks to sell all our stuff in storage as its most likely we won't be returning to live in Sydney any time soon, so might as well get rid of it all... It'll be good to catch up with old friends and sad to say goodbye this time for a more extended period. We are really looking forward to seeing our families and spending time with them all.