Friday, 15 June 2018

Ecuador Branch - Commuter Life...

We know our posts have been few and far in between. We moved to our new assignment back in September 2017 and hit the road running. It's been a struggle to try and find time to write and keep the blog updated with all we are doing. However, here's a summary.

Our life has been full of joy. We love our service at Bethel and in our new congregation.  We've enjoyed meeting so many different ones and slowly Ecuador has been feeling more and more like home.  After 5.5 years of living here, you'd hope so lol. We've gotten to a point where we are seeing more familiar faces everywhere we go and catching up with friends we've met somewhere along the way.  Sometimes we'll see friends visiting the Branch and it's so nice to see those familiar faces and remember all the stories and times we've shared. We've certainly formed connections with many here in Ecuador and this has made it feel more like home.

We recently celebrated 13 years of marriage. Still can't believe how quickly time has gone by. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, time seemed to stand still. The day when I'd have my own phone, my own car seemed to be so far away.  As we've gotten older, Jeremy and I both agree that time feels like it's running over us... hahaha... but we love keeping ourselves busy.

We've seen many fellow needgreaters come and go. It's so good to see their satisfaction. They have achieved long-term goals and we've been privileged to share in some of those memories. Many friends have gotten married or are having little ones of their own. We are happy to become figurative auntie and uncle to so many little ones.

Our new congregation is also full of many young ones too, here is a little more about it...

Valle Alto Congregation:
Our Cong is made up of about 9 elders, 6 MS, 32 pioneers and 100 publishers. Being so close to Bethel, many in our Cong serve as volunteers at Bethel, the Assembly Hall or in the LDC.  This makes for a great atmosphere and attitude towards the full-time service.  Having many young ones in our Cong it's lovely to see so many of them setting themselves fine spiritual goals. Our memorial attendance was about 263. The territory is also diverse, we have some poor areas and some well to do suburbs. It's a pretty safe place where you can preach with your phone and show the householder videos, so we've enjoyed being able to do this.  If you recall we couldn't really do this in our last assignment, too dangerous. Most of our Elders have years of experience and Jeremy has enjoyed being in a large group of Elders once more, learning from all their experience. He says he feels like he's on vacation since he doesn't have two or three parts at every meeting anymore.  In fact, he only has a part every so often. We've felt right at home in our new Congregation and love getting to know everyone.

We've been teaching English online, that has supported us for years now.  Jeremy recently got a good paying job with a Chinese company teaching English with kids and this has made it easier on our budget. The only downfall is that he wakes up at the crack of dawn to teach, however, he's got the rest of the day to handle other necessary things.  I've been able to find a job working as a virtual office manager. I found this job thanks to an English student of mine. So far, it's a 3-month probation but the pay is much better and I find it more enjoyable. I hope it all works out, if not, back to my teaching job... it's not the worst thing in the I'm just thankful we have something that we can do that helps us stay here.

My parents have almost completed one year in their assignment after SKE (School for Kingdom Evangelizers). They're eager to see what they'll do next. My sister Sara has been married for a year now! Yes! A year already!.... They're doing really well in the congregation. My brother Marcos and my sister Debora are both keeping themselves busy in Jehovah's Organization.  I'm so proud of my family and their self-sacrificing spirit to remain in Ecuador despite many of the difficulties they've endured.

My precious OES (Old English sheepdog) is 2 years old now! We've had him almost 2 years! We love him so much and he's been so therapeutic for us. Such a stress relief. It's forced us to get outside and exercise hahaha.

Our Health:
Overall it's good! I'm having to take a little break from Bethel for a while due to unforeseen health issues but Jehovah has not forgotten me and still makes me feel very useful with what I can do.  I've received training to do tours for Bethel and although I miss gardening, I love being able to do this too. Jehovah has been very good to us, especially with everything that has been happening...

Anyways, that's all we'll say for now.  Here are a few photos.

Until next time!

Memorial Campaign 2018

Memorial 2018

Even Bailey has to wear a raincoat

Our current territory

Jeremy doing door to door service