Monday, March 23, 2009

Well Today is the Day - off we go back to Ecuador after having a very busy but enjoyable 6 weeks here in NZ. I am feeling a little apprehensive - especially about going back to spanish - I am worried I will have forgotten everything I have learned last year! Mark is his usual calm self so no doubt he will keep me positive. I have copied and pasted an experience from Michele and Chad - it reminded me why we are going back - you will be able to understand a little too after you have read it:

The first month that we had the special day of offering bible studies with the direct approach, our friend Beth, who is serving here from New Zealand, started a study with a lady. She had her study every week for about 3 weeks and then Beth and Mark went home to NZ to visit for 6 weeks, so she asked me to study with Luz while she was gone. We have been having the study pretty regularly for the past 5 weeks. She has 3 boys, ages 11, 9 and 6. It really is a sad story. Luz is very poor and is a single mom. The oldest boy, Patricio, has always attended school and is very smart. The sad thing is that the 9 year old, Jonathan, has never attended school because she doesn't have the money to send him. So, although he is sweet as sugar, and super friendly, he can't read.
Jonathan has touched my heart since the moment I met him. The first time that I went there, I studied with his mom, while he cleaned the whole kitchen and looked after his 6 year old brother, who we think has autism. He was so interested in the fact that we were studying the bible that I told him the next week I could bring my husband and he could study with him. His eyes lit up and he excitedly said he would love to study!
So, Chad came the following week and studied with the 2 younger boys (well, he studied with Jonathan, and tries to keep the 6 year old, Pedro, from interrupting his mom's study). Chad also fell in love with little Jonathan. So, the next week, Chad bought notebooks and pencils for all the boys and gave them to them. His goal though, is to help to teach Jonathan how to read and write. When he told Jonathan that he would like to help him, Jonathan had such a HUGE smile on his face and excitedly began to practice tracing the letters that Chad wrote on the first page.
Anyway, we have been studying with them while Beth is gone. I study with her in the living room, and Chad studies with the 3 boys in their bedroom, and then afterwards he gives Jonathan a little lesson in reading and writing. They are PRECIOUS little boys. Patricio, the 11 year old told us that he has vacation from school this coming week, so Chad tried to set up an extra study with him during his time off. I almost cried when he told us that he can't study because he has to work...Work? He is 11! He told us that all week, he will be working from 8 am to 9 at night selling CD's. My heart just bleeds for these kids....they just don't have a childhood. Such a sad life....

Anyway, today we went for the study, and the older boy answers the door and says, ¨come in , come in...¨ so we did. When we walk in we see Luz´mom and dad in the living room, then another really young couple comes down the stairs. I thought, oh boy, they probably can't study today since they have visitors. But, much to my surprise, they all start grabbing kitchen chairs and pulling them into the living room in a circle around me! YIKES! So, the boys drag Chad into the bedroom for their study and I have 5 people sitting there looking at me! Evidently, Luz told them that we were coming and that they all should sit in on the study to learn something about the Bible. Luz and I had already studied the chapter on Suffering that she had started with Beth, and so we had just started in the beginning in Chap. 1, but we had studied about 1/2 way through. But today she told me that she wanted to start from the beginning with the whole family...so that is what we did! We studied for an hour as a group. The mom and dad can't read very well, so they mainly just listened, but the younger couple was very attentive and answered the questions. They were excited to learn how to find scriptures in the Bible. It turns out that it is Luz' nephew and his girlfriend who live on the coast, but they came to live with Luz for the next 3 months. I guess he implied that he has some drug problems and drinking problems, but that he would like help to quit these things. So, I mentioned that studying the Bible regularly can give us the strength and desire to stop doing these things. I asked them if they would like to continue their study and they readily said yes. So, next week we have plans to go an hour early and study with the couple first, and then study with Luz....how exciting! Particularly the girlfriend showed a lot of interest. She is sooo sweet, and they both said that they had never spoken to Jehovah's Witnesses before. I gave them all an invitation to the Memorial and the young couple right away said that they would like to come, so we will see what happens.....Beth is going to have her work cut out for her when she gets back!!! (Get ready Beth!)

How cool is that eh? Of course I have told Michele that these folks will be way beyond me now but I am happy to have shared a little in it.

We would like to say a big thank you to our family and friends who have made our trip home great especially Maureen and Lloyd who had to put up with us coming and going from their house for the last 6 weeks. Maureen has not been well either so she will be looking forward to some peace and quiet.

Hasta luego mis amigos - see you on the other side of the world!

3 comments:

Lisa said...

Hey Marc Y BEEETH. WE are anxious for you to get back. We have good news!! We just received the letter from the branch about our KH remodel. We will have 4 to 6 weeks of play time!! It is supposed to start the first of June. The brothers are already trying to figure out which department Marc will be in charge of.... Bring your work boots!! See y'all Wednedsay!!

catherine said...

With an experience like that how could we not let you go back. Hope you had an uneventful trip and that you are not to exhausted. Love you and miss you. x x x

Marisa said...

It was awesome seeing you guys! Hope you have a great year. See you when you get back. xxx