Hello! How are you all doing? We are doing well. As I said in the last blog, we are leaving tomorrow for a quick trip to Banos de Ambato. It should be fun! I had a few minutes this morning and thought that I would keep you up to date on a few of our bible studies.
Chad continues to have the study with Rodulfo, the man who had the stroke. It is amazing how fast he picks up the information. For example...2 weeks ago they got to the appendix on the cross. So, at the end of the study (before they studied it), Chad asked Rodulfo if he thought we should use the cross in our worship (it is such a huge thing here). Anyway, Rodulfo just made some comment about the cross being the burdens that we have to bear each day...So, Chad gave him homework to read the appendix and let Chad know what he thought the next study. So, the next study came around, and Chad says, "Well, what is new with you?" And immediately Rodulfo said, "Well, I learned that we can't use the cross if we are going to have God's approval!" Just like that! He read the information and readily agreed! He is such a pleasure for Chad to study with.
I have been studying with 2 young girls. I originally started the study with the older one, Isabel, who is about 14, but about a few weeks into it, one day, the younger one (9 years old), Tatiana, came running out to the gate with her and said, "Can I have one of those books? I want to study, too!" And she actually seems more enthusiastic than the older one! Sometimes I have to tell her to let her older sister comment, too! They have a very sad home life. Another one of those situations where the older kids take care of the younger ones, so they are always cleaning or doing laundry or cooking... Anyway, one day, the younger one, says to me, "Can I ask you a question?" So, I said "sure". She says, "Why don't you believe in the virgin Mary?" So, I asked her, "Who told you that we don't believe in Mary?" She thinks for minute and says, "The catholics!" It was so funny! She is so honest. See, her parents have been sending them to catechism, and she is so open and enthusiastic, I am sure that she has told everyone that she has bible classes (as she calls them) with us on Saturdays. So they have started to tell her things like that to dissuade her. Anyway, I read the account in Luke with her and then afterward I asked her,"So, what do you think? Do we believe in Mary?" She immediately said, "Yes!" So, I asked her, "So the next time that the "catholics" tell you we don't believe in her, what are you going to say?" She says, "I'm going to tell them that is a lie, and that you showed me in your Bible that you do believe in her!" She is such a fiesty little thing, and I thoroughly enjoy studying with her. Every week she comes running out to the gate with her books in hand and a big smile on her face!
Wilmer (the young guy that recently got married) continues to have his study regularly. He is such a joy to have around because he really, truly wants to make progress. He has been searching desperately for other work, because his current job (working 13 hours a day, 7 days a week) doesn't really allow him to attend the meetings. And the sad thing is that he works all that time, and receives $200 a month. Barely enough for he and his family to survive. But, he is really enjoying the "Keep Yourself in God's Love" book and continues to make little changes. We continue to pray that Jehovah help him find another job.
Leonardo, the hardware store guy, also continues to regularly have his study. He also continues to witness to others. One day we were there having the study and a younger guy was working there with him. So, Leonardo had him come and sit in on the study with us. He was giving comments and everything! So, at the end of the study, Chad asked him if he would also like to study and he readily said, "yes!" So, Chad made arrangements to go to his house on Sundays to continue the study. Leonardo is doing all the work, and we are reaping the benefits! haha
Berta, the lady that attended quite a few meetings and the Memorial, has been having some personal problems, and so hasn't been to a meeting in the last few weeks (Satan has been busy!) But, she continues to have her study and LOVES it! She has been preaching to her children about what she has been learning (although I get the feeling they aren't really interested) But it is the thought that counts! This last week I spent a few minutes trying to encourage her to get back to the meetings, and she said that she definitely wants to. So, we will see what happens with her! But, her appreciation for the bible study and for the magazines is so encouraging to us!
Last week, Beth and I were preaching up in some muddy, mountainous territory and we found a lady who called down to us from her window to tell us she was busy. But, she said, "Can you leave your magazines in my door? I love to read them!" So, I said that I would, and asked her if there was a better time that I could stop back, since she obviously had interest in the Bible. She thought for a minute and then she said, "I'll be right down!" So she came down and ushered us into the house. She set up chairs for us and said, "Sit down, Sit down!" She noticed that the one magazine that I was offering was about students and young people and so she said to me, "Do you conduct bible studies with young people?" I said yes. So, she runs up stairs and brings down 2 of her kids (ages 10 and 16) or something like that, and has them sit down to study with us! So, we had a little discussion about the bible with them (and her) and I showed them all the Bible teach book. They decided that they would like to study. She kept saying," Yes, they really need to study the bible, it is very important that they make time". So, I smiled really big and I said to her," And what about you? Do you think maybe you could make time to study?" She started laughing..and agreed that she should study, too. She gave me her phone number and wanted me to call her Thurs night to make arrangements. But, for whatever reason her line was out of service (that happens quite a lot here) so I didn't get in touch with them this week. But, I hope to find them this week and continue the study! It was quite the experience!
There are quite a few others, but I only had time for a few this morning! We hope you are all doing well!