In November 2015 we visited Asia for the first time. We went to attend the Special Convention in Thailand. As part of the trip we spent a few days in China. Quite an experience for us it was. While China is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history, we were a bit put off by the limits we experienced there. Having limits on our access to Internet (China hates Google. And Instagram. And YouTube too) for example was just different than we were used to. But experiencing it with our brothers and sisters on the trip was the best!
We got to do a lot of sightseeing, climbed the Great Wall, had some delicious meals and Suzanne shopped till she dropped; or until her Visa card maxed out :-)
|Tienanmen Square in Beijing, showing support for my NY Mets, LGM!|
|The Great Wall|
|We enjoyed a lunch of Peking Duck...|
|...and then shopped for pearls|
We totally enjoyed our time in Thailand at the convention. Quite an experience being there with all of our brothers. At the convention it was mentioned several times how great the need was for ones to help with the preaching work. It seems as though much focus is being put on the work there as the NWT in Thai was released for the first time ever. In addition, Br. Lett from the GB in his closing prayer, asked that if any of the delegates attending were able to come and help with the work that they may be moved to do so.
Well, his prayer was heard as our family decided to move to Thailand to serve there. We are excited at the prospect of course, but nervous about learning the Thai language :-) Thailand has a desperate need as there are only approximately 4,000 publishers to a population of about 65,000,000; most of whom have never had an opportunity to hear The Good News.
Funny how things work out. A few years ago, just before we found out that Suzanne's Dad would need our help, Asia was on the radar for our family. We had begun to scope out different countries in the region and investigate what it would take to go there. We did not get to go to Asia in 2013, like Paul we were "blocked" from going to the district of Asia :-) Yet a few years later, we are set to go; enriched by our experiences serving in Jamaica. While in Jamaica, the responsibility of caring for an aging parent had it's challenges, but we were privileged to grow spiritually and expand our ministry. We hope to take with us the things we have learned and use them as we venture into a new territory.
Of course leaving Jamaica means leaving some friends and loved ones behind. Do you remember Mitsy, Suzanne's study we mentioned in our last post? Well I am happy to report that she is now our sister, having symbolized her dedication at this summer's Regional Convention. As happy as we are for her and her family, we are sad as well because we won't get to see her spiritual progress up close. But, hey, I guess that why we have Whats app, right?
There are many others we will miss as well. Of course the dear brothers and sisters we served with and have come to know. Our studies and return visits. The young ones who would stop by the witnessing carts on their way home from school while we were in Metro, the brothers we worked with in Metro, Dani's little kids she studied with up in the hills and the others. It was a nice run in Jamaica, but our goal has always been to try to serve where we can be most useful. For us right now we feel that we are being directed towards Thailand, so there we shall go.
So maybe you're wondering what's up with the title of this post? Ok so "walls"- the Great Wall of China, "words"- the fact that we will now need to learn Thai- 44 consonants and 28 vowels- yeah that's what I said too!
"Goodbyes"- well I guess that this will be my last post for this blog so in a way it is goodbye.
When we first considered serving as needgreaters back in 2010, we desperately looked in WT Lib for any info we could find, asked the few friends we knew who had served in the past about their experiences, basically seeking any source of info we could.
One day I decided to Google "serving where the need is greater"- such a Witness term wouldn't you agree- and up came pages of blogs written by our brothers who were already doing what I wanted to do! Over the next few months I scoured them looking for all the info I could; things not addressed in WT Libs. Things like how much does it cost to live in..., how do you get a visa, what is a typical day like, what kind of housing is there, do you have cable? and many, many other questions.
I was able to email some friends who had written some of the blogs and greatly appreciated their advice and encouragement. When we decided to pursue this course I said that I wanted to document my experience, how I went from working full time, to simplifying our life, to moving to a foreign land to preach the good news. I had always hoped to keep the friends and family at home up to date with us, but also thought there would be another "me" out there- someone who had an idea they might want to try this but not really know how to go about it. I still hope that by leaving my blog up some others may benefit in this way.
So a for a few reasons I have decided to stop posting on the blog:
1) tv.jw.org - I mean, did the GB knock it out of the park with this one or what? We regularly receive experiences and encouragement to expand our ministry. Besides, how could I compete with Cameron?
2) Time: just being honest here. Thailand is kicking me in the teeth, especially the language. Trying to learn the difference between dor-dek, tor-tao, and sor-sala is driving me nuts!!! Oh, and did I mention the five tones?
3) Probably the biggest one here in all honesty: Instagram. I have to admit it took me a while to get on the bandwagon, thought it was just for the tweens. But, once I realized Instagram was not the name of some new microwavable wheat cereal you eat for breakfast, I warmed up to it. I mean you point, you shoot and you post- it just makes blogging so passe.
So for everyone who has read my nonsensical ramblings for the past few years I would like to say: thank you. It means a great deal to me that you would take time out of your schedule to read the thoughts that I have written down. I hope that you were informed, encouraged, and at times entertained.
To those of you who left comments and shared info with us, thank you as well. I feel as though I have gotten to know you-well online anyway :-)
To those who encouraged us when we were down, picked us up when we fell, and helped us in our low moments to not go home but to stick it out, we say a sincere- thank you.
We pray that each of you may find joy wherever you are serving, and may you continue running the race with endurance.