Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Encouraging Experiences from the Week...

Hello! How are you all doing? Things are going well here. The weather is continuing to cooperate and we haven't had hardly any rain for the last 2 months, but that should soon come to an end. I think that January starts the rainy season. We're keeping busy in the ministry and continuing to find interest. Of course, we deal with the worldwide problem of having difficulty finding them again. But, all we can do is try!
We are continuing to study with Carina and her kids and they are really enjoying it. She started working at the Dental Clinic again, so I thought, "well, this is it". But, I was wrong. One day I was passing by their house on the street and the boy saw me and came running down the street after me! He kept telling me to come back to the house because they had to talk to me. I thought, "Great, this is it..", but they actually wanted to tell me that since she started working again, they couldn't have the study on Tues, but could we switch it to Sunday? So, this past Sunday we went at 4:30 and she was waiting for us. Miguel (the son) wasn't there, he was playing with some neighbor kids, but she said that he gave her strict instructions to call him when we got there, and sure enough, he came running right away and got his books!
She had a few questions this week about 144,000 and Hellfire. We just showed her a few scriptures about each subject and she completely understood. It is amazing how it can be so clear to some people, and then others you have to reason and reason and reason and they still never get it. I guess it shows she has the right heart condition. She has a Catholic background, but sees too much hypocrisy in the catholic church so she doesn't go. For instance, there is a HUGE catholic church across the street from her and they usually have the doors open so the whole street can hear the sermon on Sundays. She said that the priest was asking for extra donations so that he could go to another country for some mission work. She was so mad! She said, "He eats 3 full meals a day and lacks nothing. How dare he expect these poor people, who don't always have food to eat, to give even more money so that he can travel!" Boy, was I glad that we had already explained to her we were here with our own savings, our church doesn't give us any money!

Chad has been having some really good calls also. One of the sisters in the hall asked Chad to start studying with a young man in his late 20's. (The above photo is a picture of him studying this afternoon. I had to be really "sneaky" to take the picture, so as you can see by Chad's big yawn, he didn't know I was taking the picture either!) We are sitting on the only chairs they have (3 rubbermaid chairs.) He brings them outside for us because he, his wife and his little girl all live in one room. That is all that they rent, they share the bathroom with others. He apologized today for their "pobreza", for the poor conditions that they live in. It almost broke my heart.
The sister who has been studying with him is a wonderful sister, with good intentions, but as Chad says, "All of her cylinders just aren't firing", if you know what I mean. But she does the best she can for her abilities. She had been studying with this man for quite a few months, taking a different person with her each time. The interesting thing is that if you go with her on the study, you WILL conduct, because she doesn't read well. So, she counts the study, but never conducts it. So, I guess that a few of the pioneers had been trying to persuade here to hand the study over to a brother, but she refused to do it. When Chad realized what was happening, he decided that although he couldn't count it, he would try to go with her each week just so that someone "a little more capable" could consistently keep track of this man's progress.

So, things have been going well, the man actually attends the Sunday meeting with another cong., because he works evenings and our meeting is on Saturday evening. So, given that he has been studying with this sister and having pretty much no consistent guidance he is doing really well! About 2 weeks ago the sister told Chad (with a very sad expression on her face) that he could have the study. So, Chad has been going weekly. Then last week the sister told him that she had changed her mind, because this was the only study that she has, and so she would continue to count it. Either way, Chad continues to go and conduct, both for the sake of the student, but also for her sake. This past week, they were about to start Chapter 12, the section on practices that Jehovah hates. So, before they started Chad asked him if he thought he had anything that he needed to work on. So, the man thought for a moment and said," Yes, actually. A few weeks ago I drank a little too much with some visiting family members. And also, I have given blood in the past." This surprised Chad because they hadn't studied the section yet, so he asked the man, how he knows that Jehovah doesn't like these things. Evidently, he read about the drinking in one of the magazines that he had read. And someone in the past had given him a yearbook. So, he is reading it. He said that there was an experience in the yearbook about a brother that had refused blood and he learned from that experience that servants of Jehovah shouldn't accept blood. (Doesn't that make you feel bad if you haven't read the yearbook yet?) haha Anyway, he is making good progress and is a real source of encouragement for Chad (although he can't actually say that it is his study!) Never a dull moment here in Ecuador!
Well, I believe I've rambled on enough for one day. We have to head back out in service!
We think of you all often and miss you terribly! Keep up the good work up North!


Gringitos said...

he he - someone has been learning my "Sneaky Pete" tricks. Cool!!

Dustin said...

Looking good Gringo's!!!!!!!!!!!!!