Thursday, December 27, 2012

Welcome to our house! Come on in......!

Hey guys!!! I just had a great idea to get me back on track with blogging! I often think about it, but can't really think of what to talk about. I know, it's hard to believe that I have a shortage of conversational topics. :-)

So, I decided to post some pictures of our house! We have been here for almost a year now I think! I know you are thinking that this is a huge place for just the two of us.. and you are absolutely right.  But, remember that when we moved in here, our family was much bigger! In fact, the first month or two there were 6 of us! The whole James family, and us.  And it was a perfect size! haha  But, as you know, very slowly they have all gone there various ways.  Mark and Beth returned to NZ to help take care of some family issues. BUT!!! a little birdie told me that there are some plans in the works for a future triumphant return!! YAY!! Here's hoping!!  Aaron and Amanda decided that it was time for poor Amanda to move closer to her congregation and the Chinese group.  So, they found a cute apartment much closer and have been enjoying the congregation over there.  

So, here we are, all alone in this big house!! I am not bragging, but maybe trying to convince some of you who are pondering the idea of visiting, or even moving here...our small, humble abode consists of 4 bedrooms, 2 offices/very small bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths.... I took some pictures for you guys...Hopefully it gives you an idea.

On a congregational note, things are going really well.  We have about 120 pubs and 13 pioneers right now.  Quite a few bible students are attending the meetings.  I think we have a few going over questions for baptism on our Special Assembly Day in January.  It seems like every other day Chad is heading out to go over baptism questions with someone! lol  Chad currently has 12? bible studies and I have 8.  But, the number keeps growing!!

They did a very interesting thing here in Cuenca in June.  The branch redivided all of the territories of the congregations.  They made some territories bigger and dissolved some congregations.  Then, they took all of the publisher record cards and just automatically sent you to the congregation that you belonged to!!! It was awesome.  It took some getting used to for many brothers and sisters and, of course, we were sad to see some go.  But we had a HUGE problem with this here in Cuenca.  They growth has been so fast that the congregations divide almost every 2-3 years.  Anyway, what happens is that you then have about 5 congregations meeting in the same KH and so some brothers were just picking the congregation that had a better schedule of meetings according to their jobs.  I think Chad said that we lost about 30 brothers and sisters that did not live in our territory, and we gained about 60!!

The branch sent out a very kind and encouraging letter to all of the congregations prior to the change, with a detailed list of why this adjustment is beneficial, and why it is in our best interests to be obedient.  One of the reasons was to cut back on costs and expenses.  We had 5 congregations meeting in our KH, which, as you can imagine, meant a meeting in the hall everyday of the week.  But they merged us into 3 congregations, which is less use of the hall and also means a larger and stronger elder body in each congregation.  The branch also personally chose the coordinator, the secretary, the service overseer and the WT study conductor!!!  It has been nice to see the brothers be submissive and to see the blessings that have come from the new arrangement.

You never do know.. maybe this is arrangement is coming to a city near you!!! hahaha

Well, that is about what I have for today! Oh, and we did indeed find jobs now.  We are teaching English online for a company called OpenEnglish.  I work 15 hours a week and chad works about 20.  It is a nice job, the students are nice, the management is nice and there are a ton of witnesses who are working there! Mostly need-greaters trying to support themselves also.  But, they don't care where we live, they are very flexible with the schedule and we can work from home!!! So, as always, Jehovah has arranged everything for us and better than we could have imagined!! 

Welcome!! Come on in.....
 As you can see... we unfortunately do not have very much furniture!! lol 
but it makes it a lot easier to set up for the big congregation dance parties!!! 


 So as you come up the stairs we have this open area with 2 bedrooms on the right, 2 bedrooms on the left and the bathroom is straight ahead.
 Master bedroom

 Official guest bedroom

 Not-so-official guest bedroom ;-)

 The 4th bedroom, which is my office!
The commute to work is such a headache!
 The back patio of the house (the kitchen is on the left and an outside room with full bathroom is on the right) 
The outside room is Chad's office/ man cave!
 Chad's man cave!!

Ok, NOW I am done I promise!! haha We send big hugs!!!  


Tyler Wenzel said...

Hey guys I lost your email address, I wanted to get ahold of you and see if you knew someone. There was a Finnish couple with the last name Rapo serving in BaƱos, Ecuador which I believe is not far from you. They moved here to Costa Rica after six years in Ecuador. Did you by chance know them?

Chad and Michele said...

Hey Tyler! Thanks for thinking of us! No, sorry, I don't think we met them. Banos is actually about 8 hours away from us in bus. Our email is :-)Hope things are going well for you in Costa Rica!!

Deb n Doug said...

Wow, what a nice surprise to see ya back on the blog. You've been missed! We're so happy that things are working out for you guys regarding work and the making of money thing. Jehovah always gives us what we need! The house looks lovely, wish we could fill one of those quests rooms but ya know we have to make this little trip to the DR for a wedding but maybe another time! Love you guys and miss you.

Judy A said...

Glad to have you back.

Matt & Jen said...

Hey, miss you guys! Thanks for the blog post....Matt, Jen & Lilah

Sally said...

Wow, you can imagine how surprised I was when I checked your post and found something. lol. I love your place. It's just waiting for people to fill it. Great idea to show the pictures. You've certainly been blessed.

Trisha Gregory said...

Hey guys, we miss you! I just happened to check your blog today on the random chance you posted something, and yay! there you were. The house looks lovely! So glad things are working out and that you are doing well. Love you, Trish

Jamner said...

I was going through my "glacially updated" blogs bookmarks and was very glad to see the update. I know your busy and figuring out what to write can be difficult but photos do take the place of a lot of words. Glad your doing well and the house looks very nice. We were relived when you found a more steady source of income and we pray for your continued ability to stay and succeed. Take care, James, Nicole, Caleb, Laura Tanner

Gwen McLamb said...

Hi there! I actually stumbled upon your blog while researching moving to Ecuador to serve where the needs is great. I am loving reading your blog. My husband and I are really excited about the possibility of moving there. We are doing tons of research and reading and are hoping to attend the English convention in August for our first visit to the area. I was wondering if you would mind if we emailed you for info or as a contact if we have any questions, etc. Also it looks like you guys are from PA also??? We are in Harrisburg, PA. I swear you husband, Chad, looks really familiar...My parents are the Schlegels from Halifax, PA. So if that rings any bells with you guys we might know ya! :) :) Anyways, thanks for sharing all your wonderful experiences. Gwen & Nathan McLamb. Email:

Sary Blanchette said...

Are you guys close to santa isabel, Cuenca ?