Saturday, November 28, 2009
Meet the Criollo Family.....
Some of you may remember a few months ago I mentioned that I had started studying with a young girl who lives way up in the mountains. Her name is Jessica. Well, she and her family have been progressing wonderfully! I had mentioned that her mom had started to sit in on the study also, and continues to do so. They ALL attend all of the meetings, even the mom and never miss! They ALL comment at the meetings. The 3 that were in enrolled in the TMS are now all unbaptized publishers and are doing really well. The older sister is conducting her own bible study right now and is very excited about that! When I first started studying with them they were quiet and shy, but you should see them now...big smiles, laughter and are soooo affectionate! The mom comes up to me every meeting and gives me a big hug, and then she just stands their with her arm around me and won't let me go! They have become very special to us.
The two daughters had to quit school and go to work, because the family is very poor. They work long hours making clothes in a small factory. But they are always on time for the meetings and prepared. The mom sells vegetables at the market, so she gets up early and works hard. One of the days she works is Sundays, but that is the day we have our study, so, whether she has sold everything or not, she makes sure that she is back home in time for her bible study! She told me last week that she cannot expect Jehovah's blessing if she doesn't make sacrifices. This week she had tears in her eyes as she told me that her family (her brothers and sisters that all live near her) haven't really been talking to them since they all started studying the Bible, but she realizes that she has to continue studying because that is more important, and Jehovah is giving her a new family at the Kingdom Hall. They are such good examples for us!
Last night, they left the KH and waited for the bus to come to go home, but it never came. So, guess what they did? They WALKED all the way home from the KH! IN THE RAIN! I felt soooo bad when they told me today! But, although they said they were soaked and tired by the time they arrived home, they had smiles on their faces and weren't complaining! It took them 1 1/2 hours to walk up the mountain, and in the dark! I asked them why they didn't call us and we could have found them a ride and they just smiled and said they didn't want to be a burden....such humility...but I INSISTED that the next time that happens they need to call us and we will call them a taxi. I felt so bad thinking about how they didn't even have the money to hail a taxi...they just walked and walked...they sure make us feel like LOSERS! hahahaha
Although poor, they always show hospitality, whether it is a piece of bread, a potato, or a few crackers, they always give me food after the study. They truly are adorable, we love them to bits and I wanted to share their experience with you all. I hope to keep you updated as they progress!
I had a really good day today as far as bible studies go...I just walked from bible study to bible study from 8am to 3pm! I only had 3 actual studies, but I studied with 11 people! It is such an exciting feeling to get to a house for a bible study, and have each member of the family, one by one, come in and sit down with their books! They really are starving for the truth here!
My one study that I had today, is relatively new. I have had about 4 studies with the family. Today, a niece was visiting them and she LOVED the study! She was reading paragraphs, commenting and was so excited! I had JUST brought the mom her own bible today, and she was sooo excited, but the niece also wanted a Bible to take back with her today to continue to study. Anyway, even though the mom didn't want to part with her new bible, I convinced her that if she gave her Bible to the niece today, I would stop TOMORROW with another Bible for her. She smiled and reluctantly said, "OK, if you promise to stop tomorrow." I had to laugh!
I just cannot explain to you the joy that you derive from the ministry here. I have had soooo many more good experiences, but I think I have talked enough for one day!
We are plugging along without Mark and Beth...it seems that the brothers and sisters are trying to fill the void here, as there have been people here every night since they left (and even in the afternoon)! They keep asking..."How are you doing?" They are so sweet! To all of Beth's blogging fans...she sent us an email last night to let us know they have safely arrived in NZ. I am sure they are "knackered" as they would say or exhausted. But we miss them terribly!
Well, I hope things are going well for you all....we miss you and think of you often!