Friday, June 12, 2009

More Joy From the Ministry.....

Beth and I had a really good experience yesterday morning (which most of you already know since she is a SUPER blogger and stole my thunder!!hahahaha) But, I am going to relate the experience anyway...We had a study to go on at 10:30am so we asked for some territory for an hour beforehand. The brother sent everyone else to another territory, but he gave us a different one in the other direction towards our study. Anyway, we were going to work the territory block by block as usual, but we saw just 2 houses on the other side of the street and thought, "Well, we minuswell work them while we are here". A young girl called out from the 3rd floor apartment window, and Beth started her presentation. The girl looked hesitant, so Beth asked if she could leave a tract in the door for her to read later and the girl said that she was coming down. While we were waiting, a woman came out the bottom door, she was on her way out. I thought she must have belonged to another apartment, so I started my presentation with her. She was NOT very friendly and immediately told me that she didn't believe in God. That is SOOOO rare here in this territory, so of course, I thought, "there must be more to this". I asked her if she has always felt that way, and she begins to relate this huge, sad story about how her husband has been in the USA for 4 years, and she has been raising 5 children by herself. Recently, her husband has been out of work, so she has no money coming in, and she is trying to pay off debts by herself but she only earns $200/month cleaning and she begins to cry...Then she also relates how she has been a regular Evangelical church attender, and there was an older man who is very high up in the church who was helping them out financially and spending time with the family, he is even the God-father of her 5 year old boy. He was basically part of the family. Well, come to find out last week, that the reason he was helping them is that he wanted to marry the older daughter (who is 18)! So, the woman became very angry and said that she would not "sell" her daughter for any amount of money! He became enraged, told them they were a wicked family, God could not possibly love them and that the shouldn't bother to come back to church! Can you imagine? So, of course, she feels she never wants to set foot in that church again. And, as a result, has lost some faith in God. She sees the hypocrisy, the suffering, the wickedness in this world, and it made her start to think that if there were a God, he would do something about it. Anyway, we spent some time assuring her that God loves us all, and would never approve of someone acting that way. We shared her the scriptures about the future, and what he is doing to help us right now. She just listened, and I still wasn't sure what she was thinking. So, I mentioned to her that the one way we can find some inner peace and comfort in this horrible world, is to study the Bible and build a relationship with God. Still thinking that she wasn't interested, I asked her if I could stop back another day to show her how to study her Bible. To our surprise, she asks," How about right now?" Sure! So she takes us up to her apartment, calls out the 2 older daughters, and there we all sat...the mother-n-law, the woman, her 2 daughters and Beth and I and we had our first study!!! It was such a wonderful feeling to help her to see how God DOES care for them, and will help them. By the end of the study, she said that she did feel better, so we set up the next study for Sunday morning. When it was time to leave, she left with us to walk to the bus stop, since she was also on her way out. We all got on the same bus, but her stop came before ours. When she walked past us she handed me a piece of paper that had her phone number on it and said, "See you on Sunday! Thank you so much!" WOW!!! It just seemed to us, that the angels had maneuvered things that we would knock on that very door since this poor woman has been "skinned and thrown about"! It gives me goose bumps to think about it!

The new bible study that we got from a sister in the cong. (you know, the one where all 5 of us were standing in front of the door) has been an AWESOME study! They have studied every week and are really enjoying it! Last week they were supposed to be starting a new business in the mall, so they asked us to come a 7:30am before they had to leave for work. We went, but it turns out that the grand opening was pushed back a week, so they didn't have to get up so early and were still in bed when we got there! But, they didn't mind, they got up, changed, got their books and with sleepy eyes, but smiling faces, they sat down in the living room for the study! They are SOOO nice and LOVE the study! They really pay close attention and have sooo many questions about what they are learning! I hope to have more good news about them in the future!

Maria and Maria had their study again yesterday! Although their kids are little tornadoes, they pay close attention at the study. We studied the paragraph yesterday about how well-intentioned people might try and tell them to quit studying, so I asked them if they have experienced that. OF COURSE! they said. But Maria #1 proceeds to tell me that she just tells them, "You know what, Jehovah's Witnesses are the only ones who come and knock on our doors without shame. Even though most of us slam the door in their face, they continue on with smiles on their faces looking for people who want to learn. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't know anything about the Bible, not even how to use it, and I have been Catholic all my life!" She is so cute with her righteous indignation. A few times, I have had to mention to her that we should never judge others, or criticize them for their religion, even when we think they are wrong. We have to defend ourselves "with a mild temper and deep respect". But her heart is in the right place!

So, that is just a few of our good experiences we have been having! We are anxiously preparing for the BIG remodel of our KH that will officially start tomorrow! So, we hope to have pictures and stories for you all!

Oh, and Hello to Iritza Perez from NH, thanks for your comment! As a matter of fact, we haven't seen Aron and Adriana here in Ecuador, but they were in our Spanish cong. in PA when we were in Hazleton! Please tell them hello when you talk to them, and can you get us their phone number eventually? Thanks again for the comment! What a small world!

We miss you all very much! Keep out of trouble!


Marcos y Elizabet said...

I may have stolen your thunder with the blogging first Michele but you did tell the experience better.
To Michele's family and friends:
I was very privileged to watch Michele in action with this lady - she did an awesome job because the woman really was quite fierce to start off with. Michele has a great way about her that shows she really is interested in these folks.And her laugh - now how can anyone resist that!

Sara aka Jasmine said...

So since beth stole your thunder ill comment on yours first haha. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful experience i hope it continues to go good for you there. That experience gave me the goosebumps too! Keep up the wonderful work you are doing for jehovah. Please keep us updated on the work going on in the kingdom hall im sad we cant be there to help. Miss you all!!

Deb n Doug said...

What wonderful experiences you're having! Jehovah is really blessing your hard work. ( and obviously you're working really hard to be willing to get up early enough to be at a study at 7:30a.m.!!) And what nice comments from Beth! She really seems like a sweetie. I hope some day to be able to meet her & Mark in person. We're glad you've found such friends that can be such an encouragement. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to hearing how your remodel goes.

Mom Judy said...

How encouraging! To have someone you wake up still easger to study. Yesterday I had a woman tell me she couldn't study because she was in the middle of cleaning. Hearing of your succes helps me from getting to discouraged. Keep them coming

The Woods said...

Your experience really did give me goosebumps, too! what a feeling to have the angels direct you, it makes our work even more exciting! We're sooo happy that you're going to be able to return to Ecuador after your stay with us. We can't wait to have you here for a while! How long will you be home? Things here are moving right along. Francis will be a householder with me for the first time next week. She's pretty close to being an unbaptized publisher. She already told me she wants to start preaching. Thank you again for the blog. It really is like reading the yearbook :)

kambelina said...

What wonderful experiences, they certainly help me to keep focused on getting back down there.