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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

You Know You're a Needgreater When...Part 2

You know you're a needgreater when:

* Your most permanent address is your email address

* You know your passport number by heart

*When going through border control the officer has a hard time finding a place to stamp your passport

* The balance in you frequent flier account is higher than the balance in your bank account ( hat tip to Cat Chai)

* Your "best friends" are Germ-X, Purell, and Yakult

* Your favorite app is Skype or FaceTime

* You can fit all your belongings in 2 suitcases weighing no more than 23 kg each

* You frequently state: " I just found this great new way to use ramen! "

*When you hear a thump on the roof in the middle of the night you can instantly tell whether it was an avocado or a mango by the sound it made

* When you look forward to your trip home not only because you want to see family but also because you look forward to limitless hot showers and a really good burger!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

"Sow your seed in the morning and do not let your hand rest until the evening; for you do not know which will have success, whether this one or that one, or whether they will both do well."-Eccl. 11:6 

   Yes, we are still here, alive, well and thanks to Jehovah adjusting nicely to our new home. Much has happened over the past several months, some good, some not so good. The good? Well, we were able to navigate the tangled web of bureaucracy and get legal status here for myself and Danielle (Yeah!).  The not so good? Sadly we had to put Suzanne's dad in a home a few months back.

   That decision was one of the most difficult things we have ever had to do. Your conscience kills you, I mean this is your parent! But when all was said and done we realized that Dad needed more care than we could give and the nursing homes are staffed and equipped to handle cases like his. After visiting a number of homes, leaving some of the more deplorable ones swearing we could never do it, shedding many tears and praying for guidance; we found a suitable place not far from the house.
   He is well cared for by the staff; the nurses there truly put their hearts into their jobs. Since he no longer recognizes where he is, it was not so difficult to leave him in the home. We worried what would happen when we dropped him off, if there would be a big scene or not. But he went in, sat down on the couch and after a while the nurses encouraged us to leave. We said: "bye Dad, we'll see you later" and he simply said: "when will you be back?" "Tomorrow" we answered. "Okay, I'll see you then." And that was that.

   Ironically him being in a home has lessened the load on the family. We are still nearby, able to care for whatever he may need. Suzanne visits nearly every day. Since the home is in our territory many of the brothers and sisters visit him often, and to be honest he seems content, almost happy dare I say.  Most of all knowing he is being well cared for has freed us to keep busy in our most important work: the ministry.

   During the past few months we have picked up several Bible Studies and some nice RVs as well. Between the three of us we are conducting now twelve studies.  At our recent circuit assembly three of them attended with us and they have been regular at Sunday and mid-week meetings as well! We have high hopes for them and pray that Jehovah continues to draw them to his organization.

Dani making good use of our theocratic tools
   Dani has a study with a young girl up in the hills incidentally named Danielle as well. She goes there on Saturday mornings and oddly enough we only see kids at the house. Danielle and about 5 or six of her assorted siblings and cousins ranging from about 4 to 13 years old. As Dani studies each of them wants her to read to them as well so we spend much time there in the mornings. One of the young boys in particular would always come sit next to me and look on in my book. Suzanne encouraged me to study with him but I hesitated figuring "he was just a kid." Well for some reason one morning when he came over I pulled out a Listen to god brochure and asked if I could read to him. He was really into it! It warms my heart to hear him talking to the others about the Paradise and how God has a name-Jehovah. He also knows that if we want to live in the Paradise we need to listen to God by reading the Bible. Studying with the young ones is a highlight of the week for me. I especially enjoy seeing the excitement in their eyes watching the Caleb videos. They all gather around and watch on our phones. What a blessing these have been as they are able to teach valuable lesson to them.

"the kid whisperer"
   We met *Denise when we were making a rv at a house two doors down from where she lives. She saw us working and called us over. She told us she used to study and attend meetings. She is a young woman of about 19 or so. When we asked her if she would like to study again, the biggest smile came across her face as she said yes. She told us she has had to move many times in the past year but she kept herself spiritually fed by using the website. She said she would go on it every Sunday at 3p.m. since that was the time of the meeting she used to attend. She would study the WT article but said she only would last for an hour as "she did not have a public talk". Using she has been able to keep up her spiritual feeding. The week after we started studying with her was our assembly. When we asked if she wanted to go that big smile appeared again as she said: "Yes, definitely!" She is a regular meeting attender and hopes to take some big steps soon.

   To me Denise's experience is very encouraging. As a young person there are many things she could do to occupy her time, but her relationship with Jehovah is very important to her. She used the available technology to keep herself alive spiritually and her love for Jehovah and his ways are evident. Although she was isolated, she didn't get lost and she demonstrates that she values worshipping with the brothers by being at all the meetings.

   Sometimes we don't realize right away how things will develop. Back in June I wrote about my excitement over finding a woman from Cuba in the ministry. Her English was limited so Dani and I have been calling on her using whatever Spanish literature we could round up. Over the passing of time though we found her home less and less but her mother-in-law, also a Spanish speaker, seemed to enjoy reading the magazines. So whenever we went back to visit home, we would load up on all the magazines, Teach books etc, that we could fit in our suitcases and leave them with her. On a recent visit to the home we were told that she went back to Cuba. Oh, well so much for my Spanish practice errr, I mean, return visit :-) Or so I thought.

   Last week while out in service, I got a call from Tricia a missionary in our congregation. She told me she had passed by the house and saw a man cleaning outside the home. Thinking he was a Jamaican man she pulled over and began witnessing to him. But he was an Afro-Cuban and again spoke limited English. He accepted some magazines from her and she referred us to call on him. So…up the hill Dani and I go to call on him. *Luis told us he lived in Cuba but would be visiting his family here for three months. He also said that he was studying back in Cuba, and he had his Bible and Examining the Scriptures with him. A big surprise to us was that the mother-in-law from the home who we used to place magazines with was his mother! He says she would send them back to him in Cuba and tell him to read them. Apparently it worked because he is now studying. So we offered to continue studying with him while he was here in Jamaica and will begin doing so this coming week. The only issue is he wants to study in English to improve his English and we want to keep our Spanish sharp. Spanglish it is!

   It is experiences like that though that continue to excite us about the ministry. When we meet people who are hungering for the truth, showing a determination to feed spiritually, even when isolated from the congregation, it reminds us that this is no ordinary work. For me it is almost as if the angels were hovering over that house, telling us not to pass by and leave it as there are sheep there. Don't worry, I'm okay, not seeing or hearing things, I said "as if" :-)

   I also greatly appreciate the hard work that the GB has put into designing and broadcasting and the jw library app and the language app and the Caleb videos and whew! I'm tired just mentioning them. Surely as never before there is an abundant supply of rich spiritual food available! We have enjoyed putting them to good use personally but also in the ministry.

   Besides the preaching work we have also been busy in the congregation and with some renovation work at the Kingdom Hall. An office for the LDC team for Jamaica and Grand Cayman is being built and we were privileged to have a small share in the work. As many may know I possess ten thumbs so construction is not my thing. But it's for Jehovah so I am willing to give it a try. Below are some photos from the work site; we are indeed busy, busy, busy…

Tricia (right) keeping an eye on Dani

"measure twice cut once. or is it the other way around?"

concrete bucket brigade