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, April 22, 2013

Always Ready To Make A Defense

"Even when we're not in service, we're still in service" - Danielle

   This evening we had an interesting experience at the bus station while trying to buy tickets. We had just finished up evening witnessing and went to purchase tickets for our upcoming trip to Mexico City and Bethel.  Even though we practiced ahead of time when it came our turn to go to the window, I just goofed, I couldn't figure out the schedule, and wasn't clearly understanding the woman as her speech was garbled by the microphone.
   A kind gentleman who had been watching came over and spoke to us in English and offered to translate for us. "Yes, thank you" I replied and told him we just needed to find out the schedule for departures. After getting this info I proceeded with the purchase but the man and now two other people are around us at the window, awed by the sight of English speakers trying to buy bus tickets began plying us with questions. "Where are you from? Why are you here? Are you on vacation?..." the usual questions we get. Suzanne and Danielle answered as I completed our transaction.
   One of the persons in the group was a young man who appeared to be about 20 or so years old. When he found out we were Witnesses he said that he had spoken to Witnesses some time ago and they left literature with him. He then asked in amazement after finding out we were living in Guasave: "So you moved here just for your ministry?" I must admit it felt really good to answer that question yes!
   So after finishing our purchase, Dani returned to the car to get some literature, I mean we have a captive audience they're waiting for their buses! We approach the first man who helped us and when he saw the brochure he said "Oh, you're Witnesses!". It turns out that he is having a bible study conducted with him and he was on his way back home to Phoenix. We then spoke with the young man after he bought his ticket and he too listened and accepted a Good News brochure. He also asked about meeting locations in Los Mochis, the town where he attends school and we directed him to the website.
   Interesting turn of events for us. We weren't expecting an opportunity to preach to anyone but found ourselves surrounded by a small crowd at one point all curious about us. It was a joy to hear my wife give glory to Jehovah and to identify ourselves as his Witnesses and tell about our work.  I learned two things this evening: 1) I've really gotta work on my Spanish, it's a little rusty. 2) Always be ready because you never know when you will have a chance to give a witness. The folks we talked to today probably didn't wake up thinking "when I go to the bus station I hope there are some Jehovah's Witnesses there to talk to me." But then again if they did we are just happy to have had the chance to encourage them to learn more about Jehovah God.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Know You're A Need-Greater When...

Our family's mid-day routine is that after lunch we clean the kitchen together before enjoying a brief siesta. This afternoon while packing away the leftovers Danielle grabbed a piece of foil off the counter and exclaimed: "this isn't too bad we can reuse this right?" Suzanne and I began ribbing her about how she was really a need-greater now.
So in Danielle's honor our list of top ten ways you know you're a need-greater...

You know you're a need-greater when:

10) You recycle foil/teabags/some other article for reuse. "These still can be used..."

9)   You view any purchase you are considering not in dollars but in months.  "I can buy this or stay in my assignment for one more month."

8)   You carry a little plastic bag in your field service bag "just in case we go to a house with a mango/orange/guava tree"

7)  You manage to travel all over the world while not having a job or any visible source of income.

6)  You buy shoes/clothes based on comfort, not style.   "These will work great in service!"

5)  You consider being without water or electricity for hours "part of the ambiance".

4)  You no longer need an alarm clock as the rooster or tortilla/fruit/vegetable/sound car wakes you out of sleep every morning.

3)  You no longer use a calendar, you tell the day of the week by your bible studies.   "I studied with Alejandro, so it must be Tuesday"

2)  You look forward to your bucket bath at the end of the day.

1)  When you're home visiting family you keep thinking of how much you miss your assignment.  " I can't wait to get back home!"

Just a few of our thoughts. Can you add to the list?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bringing In The Sheep?

   Six months in Mexico has accustomed me to seeing many odd things but never before in my life had I seen something like this. We are used to seeing dogs roam the streets in Guasave, it seems as though there are a million of them around the city. But as we were on our way to conduct a bible study this evening we saw this fellow walking on the sidewalk and chewing up the flowers and grass in someone's yard:

   It was very odd because we were in the middle of a fraccionamiento not in some rural area. It was also odd because of what followed a short time later.
   As we got out of our car to head for the study's house, there were a bunch of kids riding their bikes and playing. As I have mentioned several times on the blog, we are something of a curiosity to many people here. So as we walk by we greet the kids "hola" and one or two say back to us "hello" and "happy to see you". We head for the house and now there is a group of them following us. Unfortunately the study was not home so we continued down the street to do a few not at homes we have on the block. Of course the group of kids continue to follow us.
   "Como se llama?" I ask the one who seems to be the boldest as he is walking very close behind us. "Jonatan" is his reply. "Ah, mi tocayo" I say to him. He asks what we are doing and I explain to him in Spanish that we are looking for English speakers. "Conoce alguien que habla ingles?"  I ask him. "Si" he replies, " un maestro en la proxima cuadra". I ask if he can show me the house and he agrees so off we go, Suzanne, Danielle, the two Jonathans and a now growing crowd of kids on their bikes. All headed for the teachers house who (we hope) speaks English.

some of the kids-Jonatan is second from the left

   When we arrive on the teacher's street we see a minivan headed for us. All the kids begin to shout out that the minivan is the teacher's car and his house is at the end of the block. They flag him down and introduce him to us. He tells us he is headed to another house in the community but we can talk there. So after getting the address we head back to our car, kids in tow and all.
  We get to the house and begin a conversation with *Miguel. He brings out a few chairs and we sit in the front and explain to him what we are doing in Guasave. A nice conversation follows in which he tells us that both he and his wife speak English. He spent his high school years living in the U.S. and is quite fluent in English. He apparently has had contact with Witnesses before as he asked us about the green bible. He also mentioned that some time ago he found a copy of the Daniel book for sale and bought it, and we talked for a bit about Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the image of Daniel chapter two and the lion's den. He has an interest in the bible but said he is very busy but was on vacation from work this week so we were able to find him. We invited him to the special talk on Sunday and he mentioned that he and his wife would like to come so we have arranged to follow up with him on Friday evening. We cut the conversation short as it was getting dark and the mosquitoes were beginning to feast on us.
   As we headed for home I thought to myself the angels are busy! Here we were looking for one person and not finding them we happened to be in the right place at the right time and found someone else with an interest in the truth. As we were walking down the street and the kids kept following us I was thinking why don't they go away?  Was it perhaps angelic direction as were it not for them, maybe we don't find Miguel and have the chance to talk to him. We thought about the oddity as well, finding a sheep on the street as we drove up? A metaphor perhaps? We will just have to wait and see...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Little Miss Sunshine

   I can't stand those people. You know the type. They are ultra-positive about everything. They always see the glass as half-full, always see the good in a situation. You know, those people. They make me sick! Never, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my own daughter, my dearest Danielle would become a Pollyanna. Why do I say that? Let me explain...
   I have to go back to late last summer when we were working in the centro of Guasave. There is a little shopping plaza there and Dani contacted a man who runs a store in the plaza. He expressed some interest and going back to last summer she has been trying to reach him but without success. About a month and a half ago she began asking me to accompany her to make a return visit. I was hesitant to go, I viewed it as a waste of time because we went often and never found him. Danielle however was determined to go. You have to understand; Guasave is not a big city but this return visit  happens to be smack dab in the centro where there is no parking. We would go, drive around for ten minutes trying to find a parking space, find one 7 or 8 blocks away, walk there in 90 degree heat, climb the stairs to the second floor only to find out "no, he is not here right now" Aggghhhh! It would drive me nuts!
   So, early in the Memorial invitation campaign, Dani tells me she is going to ask Br. Montoya to accompany her(much to my joy) to call on *Alan, as I had a bible study scheduled for the same time and would not be able to accompany her. Long story short they find him and not only is she able to have a good conversation with him but she starts a study with his 15 year old daughter while she is there! I can't stand those people!
   Another experience this past Saturday, our family was in a car group with Tonya and Barbara two pioneer needgreaters in the congregation. Suffice it to say that we were all having a not good morning due to some confusion getting the group organized. Well all except one that is. When we finally got to the territory (45 minutes after the meeting for service!) we were a bit deflated and thinking " should we go do calls?" "Maybe we'll find somebody, let's just go " says Pollyanna. And of course she did! She had a great conversation with a man who is a teacher and his daughter. She was able to place magazines with the daughter and show her the website. I can't stand those people! 
   Recently our family was having a conversation about our ministry and Danielle said she has been praying and asking to have the opportunity to talk to more people and for studies. She has been aglow these past few weeks, finding interest and starting studies right and left! She is enjoying her ministry right now and is so positive about it, it is a bit infectious. My daughter, a regular Pollyanna. You know what? I could not be more proud of her!

Little Miss Sunshine