Colombia #11 "Thank you Jehovah."


Howdy

Hope everyone is doing good. Tamara and I are in our fourth month here in the Colombia Bethel. We are comfortable with the schedule now but looking forward to heading to Peru in the middle of May and visit our Missionary friends in their assignment.

Our work is going well. Tamara has had the privilege to work in a number of different departments from Housekeeping, Shipping to Printery. Her Spanish is so good that after only four months here, she has even been asked work as a Translator for Bethel Office a few times. My Spanish is horrible. I only understand 1 in 5 words at meetings…which is really not enough to understand much of anything. Yet, it is part of our assignment so I keep trying to learn and get better at it every day.

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I am still working outside doing Plastering. We have almost finished a huge extension for the Printery and an office building. In a few weeks they will be ready for work on the new residence building. It is 5 stories high and quite large. They say it might take a year to finish it. The need for rooms here is very large, as an example there are 50 Brothers living in one large converted storage building. It is nice but very crowded with only three large rooms filled with bunk-beds. I have asked them about it and all have said that they are happy where they are assigned yet excited to see the rapid progress on the residence building…which will be their new home!


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Tamara’s Sock-Monkey sickness is in full swing. She had a class the other day and over 20 people showed up to make monkeys. The weird part is there were three guys in the class! They spent all night making monkeys and by the end of the class most were infected with the Sock-Monkey sickness. Tamara is really making many many great friends here. I am always amazed at how well she can fit in and make friends in random environments and situations.

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We had some exciting events recently. Tamara’s parents signed up for two weeks to work as International Volunteers and were accepted and asked to come to Colombia! It is really great to be able to work with family at a Bethel. Vicky was assigned to the Carpentry shop and Frank was working with me in Plastering. The two weeks really have gone by quick and in just a few days they head home to share their excitement and zeal with those in their home Congregation.

The security here in Colombia seems to be increasing. There are more soldiers on the streets, more checkpoints and random security checks. On the way to Sunday meeting our bus got pulled over and all the guys had to get off the bus. They searched us for weapons but only found Bibles. It was not scary but it was really weird to be in such a controlled environment. Tamara was able to get a quick snap of me being searched.

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After meeting Tamara’s parents, Tamara and I went in service around the small town. Frank placed some magazines and I was able to talk (Spanglish) with a man for 10 minutes and get another return visit. Even though the field here is worked every single week, there always seems to be a few that develop interest in learning what the Bible says.

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The Colombians are so hospitable, not only as a culture but as individuals. The other night a family that live 30 minutes away invited us to come to their home for dinner. It was a safe area so with another local friend we took the local bus out to their home. It was small, clean and filled with the smell of Empanadas. Empanadas are the local favorite food, they are meat, potatoes wrapped in a crescent shell of dough made of corn. I love them and ate at least 10! We had such a great time visiting with them and sharing our experiences in Colombia. They were able to borrow a DVD player and we showed them our ten minute video that we made from our last volunteer assignment in Zambia. They warmly expressed how very special it was for them to be able to see their Brothers and Sisters from Africa.

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Well, I really need to get ready for meeting. You get so little personal time at a Bethel that if anything comes up…you usually have to make up the time with sleep or meeting preparation.Yet I want to share one more thing with you, if you have the time.

I have always wondered where I got the desire to travel and see different parts of the world. Probably a large part came from my Grandparents. Every since I knew them, they would randomly pack up a motor-home filled with Country Western 8-Track tapes, carob candies, and a irritated poodle that always seemed to have a skin condition… then they would drive somewhere. Often they would visit National Parks or explore different areas of the North West and South Western United States. When they returned they would have pictures of a weird looking tree or of friends at the Kingdom Hall they attended while there. I have always wanted emulate their adventurous spirit. Even after Grandpa had a number of strokes, they always find a way to stay active in Kingdom proclaiming. Once a week they have large groups of Witnesses over to their home to do telephone witnessing. Sometime they would have groups that numbered over 20. Unfortunately, my Grandpa lost his battle with being old last week. Most all of our family was their to support them as Harvey’s health started to fail. Tamara and I wished so much that would could have been there.

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My Grandpa Harvey, as all of Jehovah’s Witnesses, believed in the New World that Jesus and the Bible speaks of. His faith was evident in this life and even in the final seconds of his life. As he slipped away in death, his final words were “Thank You Jehovah.”

I personally will miss him and look forward to seeing him in the promised New World.

(Psalm 37:29) The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.

Have a great day and make your God proud.

Colombia Adventure part 12

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