Hello all! We are very pleased to have our computer back. Not that we have much time to use it! We have been really crackin' as far as the ministry! And, as usual, Jehovah has been blessing our efforts! Although we were only gone 7 weeks, I am SURE that the territory has become even more productive! It may also have something to do with the brothers and sisters trying to reach more people by doing not at homes, and now phone witnessing!
When we got back, Mark and Beth told us that the lady at the laundromat where we take our clothes had been asking about when we were getting back. So, on Wednesday, Chad went to take the clothes and sure enough she was there! She has been very discouraged lately because her husband, who just got out of rehab a few months ago for the 3rd time, is back doing drugs and drinking. So, she has decided to leave him. It is really bad. We had always tried to share little bits of the truth with her before, Chad had a few studies with her, and we even helped her move right before the husband got out of rehab because she had no one else. So, she feels pretty close to us! It has been a good witness for her parents also, who own the laundromat, that we have been trying to help their daughter. Anyway, she wants to restart her study again. I had to go on a few return visits with a brother who wanted to turn some women over to me, so Chad took another sister this am and restarted the study with her! We are excited about that!
It has been a good week for us both, between studies we have started in the ministry this week, studies that we had before that we have restarted, and a few that have been given to us, I have a prospective 9 bible studies and Chad has 7! Not too shabby for the first week back! But it certainly renews our zeal being back here again!
We went to our first actual meeting with the congregation on Wednesday and you sure can see the growth! There were probably 20 different new ones that have started coming to meetings that I didn't know! It is such a weird feeling, but really shows the growth here! Currently we have 140 publishers, but normally there has been 180-190 at the meetings. And we only have 2 elders right now, Doug and Mark. They have been doing a great job, and it will get even more wild when Mark goes back to New Zealand for a few months, leaving just Doug. But he can handle it!
We have started telephone witnessing here, which has been interesting! Just finding the numbers has been a challenge! Because we have no postal service, and houses normally don't have numbers, it is hard to find which houses are in our territory. Normally, addresses consist of mentioning the nearest corner to them. For example, even though someone lives in the middle of the block, their address would be: Maple Street and Vine Street It isn't very specific, but it has proven to be enough for us to figure out more or less where they live. It has taken months to go through the entire phone book, and I still haven't finished yet! (I think I am in the "r's")! I make the list of the numbers and Beth inputs them into the computer. As of now, I think we have 500 or 600 numbers! Last Thursday was the first official phone witnessing group at 7pm at our house. We had 4 people come, which was really encouraging to see. Chad and I were out running errands and didn't quite get back in time, so we didn't get to try it! Then on Friday, we were leaving the house in the pm to go to the territory and it began to pour! So, we decided to come back to the house and try some numbers! It went really well! I like it! Last night, as you have seen on Beth's blog, we had our next scheduled group...but we had no electricity (I'll explain why later)! But, that didn't stop the brothers and sisters. Holding flashlights in our hands we made calls and had some good conversations! It was really neat to see 2 sisters (one being Beth) that had NEVER done it before, pick up the phone with that wild look of "I think I am going to die of nervousness", and do it! Jehovah blessed their efforts, as each of them made only one call, but that call was a good one and they each have a return call set up for next week! Just some of the many highlights of the week!
Oh yeah, the no electricity...well, it has been incredibly dry here, hardly any rain, which is very unusual. So, evidently, when there starts to be a water shortage, they just start turning off power in various areas for various periods of time. Yesterday, we didn't have power from 7am until 7pm. Tonight, we won't have power from 7pm until 11pm. They also are going to start turning off the water, so we have been collecting water to at least flush the toilets! And when they turn off the power, entire businesses have to close. It is really interesting! Can you imagine them doing that in the US? I can't. But, it is interesting....life is never boring here!
Well, that was enough excited rambling....miss you all!