ACTS 16:9,10: And during the night a vision appeared to Paul: a certain Mac‧e‧do′ni‧an man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a and help us.” Now as soon as he had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a, drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't Judge A book By It's Cover

"...For not the way man sees [is the way God sees], because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is" - 1 Samuel 16:7
   Yesterday in field service Enrique and I were working in house-to-house, asking for English speakers at each home we called on. As we moved down the block we saw sitting on the ground under a tree a man who looked very unkempt. As Enrique approached  him and asked if he spoke English I remember thinking to myself "why is he talking to this guy?". Of course you know how the story is going to proceed right?
   "Si" the man replied. Enrique looked at me for a split second and we both approached and started talking to him about the message. Enrique spoke basically about the critical times we are in, the need for guidance and how the Bible can help us. The man listened intently. As we were close to him now it was apparent he was indeed having a tough go of it. His hair was long, his clothes tattered and dirty, his face looked tired. But he listened to the kingdom message.
   He told us his name was Joe and that he was homeless. He said he was from a small town near Guasave but was in the city looking for work. He had no place to live but happened to be resting on the street we worked that morning. Interestingly Joe says he remembers his mother used to study when he was a child. He said he remembers going " to the Salon and studying the Atalaya". Enrique described to him the Bible study program and also invited him to our meetings on Sunday. Joe seemed eager to attend a meeting, we hope that he does indeed attend one soon. He thanked us for talking with him and accepted some magazines and went about his way.
   As I thought about our conversation with Joe I was reminded of the verse above when Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel. We at times tend to make judgments about people based on what we see. Jehovah of course sees what we are inside. By his appearance Joe was just some homeless guy on the street. It would have been so easy to ignore him and keep on going. But we would have missed an opportunity to give a witness. Joe listened to what we had to say and expressed an interest in learning more. What will be the end result? For now I don't know. But I did receive a good reminder: don't judge a book by it's cover.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The One That Got Away

   The preaching work is quite often compared to fishing. That's a comparison I can appreciate as many years ago I used to fish for large-mouth bass. One of the most frustrating things a fisherman can have happen is to hook a fish and as you are reeling him in he escapes from the line.  You've done all he work, but get no reward, you feel a bit empty. A recent experience in field service was somewhat like that for me.
   About a month ago Danielle met in house to house a young man who is about her age. She asked me to go back with her on the return visit. We returned, met his family and were able to have a good conversation with him. One of the highlights was sharing with him the Peaceful New World tract. When I asked him what he thought of the picture he was filled with excitement! He mentioned how there were so many people from different races together. He pointed out how beautiful the trees and flowers were. He even noticed how the animals were not eating each other, but how everything was peaceful. When I asked him if he would like to know more about life in the new world he said yes; asking if he could keep the tract. He kept staring at the picture like a child with a new toy!
   In the past few weeks we have called back on him but he has been not at home or busy but we were able to reach him last Thursday evening. He met us outside his house and apologized for not being able to see us at that time. When we asked what would be a good day he kept saying he would be busy for a while but then finally indicated, very apologetically, that we need not return. In talking to us he kept apologizing but he mentioned several times that his family all went to the same church and he could not be different.
   About this time his father drove up and while he greeted us very cordially, I also noticed him giving his son a look that sort of said "you need to come inside". We took advantage of our last minute or two to share a couple of scriptures with him, one of which was Revelation 21:3,4. Again he absolutely was excited hearing about the promises the Bible holds out. He told us he still had the tract and magazines and enjoyed reading them but we would not be able to visit him anymore. We thanked him for listening to us and as we left he asked us if we had a website. We told him about and that he could read the latest magazines online. He apologized (again) and thanked us as we left.
   I felt a bit sad for him as we drove away. When we first met him I thought to myself "this is going to be a Bible Study". Alas it turned out to be the one that got away. While I am sad we are not studying with him somehow I am comforted by what we were able to accomplish. In a few visits he got to know God's name and that there is going to be a peaceful new world, a Paradise. Seeing the joy, the interest on this kid's face I can't help but think that a seed of truth was planted in his heart. He seemed to want to learn more but his circumstances at present do not allow for him to do so.
   Over the past few days I have been thinking about this young man. I prayed for him, that if he is truly sheep-like that Jehovah may give him an opportunity to respond to the message when his circumstances are more favorable. I also couldn't help but think how many more people are out there like that? People who perhaps have heard and enjoy but for varying reasons do not at present respond to the Good News. It serves as a reminder to me why this work is so important, not only here in Guasave but wherever we may be serving at present. There are still many who need to the hear the Good News. May we keep zealously proclaiming it while we have favorable times. We never know if we might by some chance be reeling in the one that got away!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Before Kings and Governors

   An interesting and 100% true experience from service this morning:

   Suzanne and Lizeth are working door to door this morning and approach an auto repair shop. When they asked if anyone there spoke English a man came out from the back to talk with them. " You are looking for people who speak English?" he asked. "Yes", they replied. "Why?" asked the man. They then explained that we were Witnesses and the purpose of our visit. The man expressed that he didn't think his English was good enough but they were patient with him and showed him the section Learn From God's Word in The Watchtower.
   He allowed them to demonstrate a paragraph to him, the topic was about God's name. After reading the scripture, they asked him what God's name was. He replied Lord, but they redirected his attention to the Bible. Suzanne explained that was a title and  that God has a personal name as we all do. She introduced herself and asked him what his name was. " Fidel" he replied. She then asked God's name again and he now understood "Jehovah" was his reply.
    He thanked them for coming by and they asked if they could return later and continue the next segment in the magazine with him. He was agreeable so before leaving Suzanne asked once more "your name is Fidel, right?". "Yes...", he replied "...Castro".
   Who would have thought that Suzanne would have the chance to come to Mexico and preach to Fidel Castro! :-)