Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mamma Mia!

Hey everyone, sorry its been so long. I have been entertaining the very difficult creature that my mother is:) She did however make me aware of the fact that people probably still want to know what is going on. I only have to say that there hasnt been too much going on. I rode into Georgetown with Tom and Abi. It was a very short ride. Although I did have to wake up at 3 in the morning to get her, I think she hates me lol. She was supposed to have to wait for me, but I was the one doing the waiting. I stood outside the secured area for about 45 minutes. For all of you who know me at all, you know I am not very patient. So every white person I saw coming around the corner I thought was her, it wasnt. Finally the right white girl came around! To make a long story short, she is here and I am so happy to see my mom again.

Since then we have done lots of service and that has been about it. See out here we dont have much in the way of entertainment. So she has done a lot of reading. I took her into Skeldon one day to go and shop. It was a lot of fun. She isnt used to being in a market like this. We did lots of shopping and she figured out some of the Guyanese fruits that are delicious. Her first meeting was a true Guyana experience, the power went out about halfway through. In normal Guyanese fashion we continued the meeting as though we started in total darkness. It is very unusual for us Americans to not get all flustered when the power goes out and you cant see or hear what is going on.

Oh here is a good story for the end of this blog, Im sorry its so short there is just nothing all the exciting going on. But anyway... My mom was downstairs with my roomate Dana and they were getting dinner ready. All of a sudden my mom screams and takes off her jacket, hands it to Dana who has no idea what is going on, and procedes to start an examination of herself. At this point she tells Dana that the jacket she handed her had a spider on it only moments ago and she has no idea where it is now. That is when Dana screamed and threw the jacket on the floor:) It was sooooo funny, she doesnt like bugs too much is what I have learned.

Oh and to top it off this morning we had no power. It wasnt a regular blackout, this one was just our house and the front house. A guy driving a truck backed into the power pole, and caused it to spark. Thankfully we have electricity now, we dont like going without power all day. So I will be home in a week and a few days. I will be going into Georgetown on Monday with my mom and Dana:) It will be fun. Ok talk to you all later!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Berbice Special Day Assembly

Hey everyone, sorry its been so long. We are starting to wrap up our trip and getting things all setup for our new roomate! But I will get back to that later. So nothing really happened in between the Memorial and the assembly so I will just hit the fastforward button on my storytelling to this last weekend.

Sunday was our special day in New Amsterdam, we got up early and rode in with Tom and Michelle Sanches. We were some of the first people to arrive and quickly found the ASL section. It was a very large section of the auditorium right in the front on the right hand side. The assembly itself was held at a school in New Amsterdam with people filling every room possible. The attendance for morning session was 972 with 27 deaf in attendance. The afternoon attendance was 1,001 with 28 deaf in attendance. Another great highlight for this assembly was the 5 baptized including our new deaf sister:)

I know many of you havent had your special day yet but I thought I would include one or two points that I really enjoyed from the assembly. Actually I will just put in one from the Bethel Branch overseer, his name is Brother Hinds. He was talking about how prayer and Bible reading are linked. He said when we pray we are talking to Jehovah asking him for his holy spirit, but how do we get a response? He said that our Bible reading is when Jehovah talks to us through his word. Then he asked which is more important? Is it more important for Jehovah to listen to us, or for us to listen to Jehovah? Then he said the more we read the Bible the more we want to pray and continue that relationship with Jehovah. I really enjoyed that point, I havent ever heard it explained that way until now.

Another highlight was my roomate Dana was interviewed! She didnt fall off the stage or anything. She was sitting literally on the edge of the stage, its a tiny stage. So anywho after the assembly we helped with the cleaning. I got stuck with the disgusting job of cleaning the bathrooms...surprisingly it was much worse in the womens restroom than the mens. But I will spare you all the details.

After the cleaning was done we headed over to Ramon and Kali Buddens house for a gathering with a bunch of needgreaters from all over the place. They had lots of chinese food and then we played a game. Have any of you played would you rather? Well they changed it into Bible scenarios and made most everyone play. I went up against Abi. I was Abigail, and she was Rachel. I lost, I had the husband with a drinking problem and therefore nobody wanted to be me:)

After that they interviewed a couple from Skeldon named Ryan and Torrie. They are from Canada and will be going home soon. It is very interesting to learn about the other people down here and what they went through to make it possible to do this. There are some amazing people down here. After that it was time to leave, and we had a new addition to our group. We have our new roomate Amy here with us now. So we are starting to take her around the territory and get her used to the studies so she doesnt feel too lost or overwhelmed while she is here. Also we are getting ready for my moms arrival:) Next Tuesday she will be here and I will be dragging her around the coast as much as possible. Ok until later!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Guyanese Memorial

Hey everyone, this has been such a crazy week! We spent a week before the Memorial visiting all of our studies explaining how important it is to go to the Memorial as well as how important it is to not eat the bread or drink the wine:) There were some funny conversations but we wont go into that right now. So in addition to all that explaining we also arranged with all the families for pickup times and also got a few relatives to join us. We knew it was going to be a night to remember.

So I will start from the bus ordeal. We had arranged for the man to pick us up at 4. He called at 3:45 to say he would pick us up now, after about 5 minutes of Abi trying to explain that no we wanted to be picked up at 4 he finally understood. So he arrived at 4:10 instead, but that is Guyana for you! Fortunately for us all of our studies and their families were ready to go in their appointed spots, I was so proud. The Guyanese are normally late for everything, so we were shocked.

Ok so after being dropped off and getting settled in for the Memorial, that is where the fun began:) All of us have at least 1 study in English, a few are relatives of the deaf we study with. One girl named Radda who is studying with Dana is the sister of Sono, a young boy we have been talking to since I arrived here. Radda has 2 kids, one is 2 years old and the other is 6 months old. To start off with the opening prayer we found out these kids know exactly when prayers happen and they decided to cry during each of them. Yes both of them cried during every prayer. I am deciding if I should talk about things in order or if it should be according to the Bible study itself....I think by the studies themselves is best:)

Ok to continue on Radda there is a lot to tell. Ok so after Dana took one of the kids in the back with her, there was one left. He is a holy terror. He started hitting his mom, at which she started laughing. So he continued for 5 minutes, also throwing things on the ground and screaming when nobody gave it back. So I hid the cloth is was throwing on the floor, so he moved on. After a good while his mom looks back at me, at which point I gave her the look of she needs to control her child. She tried, and failed miserably. What she didnt fail at was making him scream more, he has got that down. To end the whole Radda experience I must end with the best part. So its a sign Memorial and they didnt make the announcement to turn off your cell phones, and we didnt think to tell them to turn phones off. Yea, hers went off. I should thrown in this little tidbit, we were in the front row. Her phone loudly played the birthday song. Not only did it play that, she proceeded to answer it and have a conversation during the talk. Dana tried to get her to stop, it didnt work. However it does make for a good story.

Now lets see...who else? Well we had many that were well behaved, so I will shortly list those. Sono, Pearol, Natalie, Niasia for the most part, and Annette. But lets talk about Niasia. She only did one thing really. She and Natalie decided that right before the prayer for the bread they had to go to the bathroom. I thought seriously about grabbing her and making her sit back down, but figured that would make too much of a scene. Thankfully she came back to her seat in time to pass the bread. Otherwise she was well behaved. about Andrea's cousin Abianna that came. Well she decided that instead of staying in one seat through the whole meeting she would hop around. Once again it was a matter of causing too much distraction if I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her outside. Although I thought seriously about it. Then there was the issue in the bus. She had been acting up all night and I was done dealing with her nicely. I gave her one warning when she was causing trouble with the other girls back there. So when I turned around and noticed she was crawling on the floor trying to go under the seats I decided I had enough. So I told her in a loud voice that she was to sit in her seat like a normal human being or I would get back there and make her do so. I never saw a kid move so fast in my life. The funny part of that was Abi's reaction, she said I sounded really mean and she thought she should straighten up too:) Abianna was good after that.

Oh heres a note on Pearol. She came with her hearing cousin who is now studying with Abi. Before the Memorial started I went over to talk to her about how everything was going to happen. I explained to her that we dont eat the bread or drink the wine. Pearol saw me talking to her and became concerned that I didnt explain it properly. So she told me what to do in these words," eat drink no bad, Jehovah he think bad." We were all so proud that we finally got through to some of them! Especially this one considering recently Dana confused her to the point that she thought she shouldn't be Jehovah's friend anymore. Also now I am pretty sure she thinks getting married is bad, that or she really doesnt want to get married.

So last but certainly not least is Rebecca. She is one of my favorite studies. Her and her son and his girlfriend/wife came. I say girlfriend/wife because it changes everytime I see them, funny enough is the fact that her name changes from Paulette to Esther depending on the day as well:) So before the Memorial it was explained to the whole family that we dont eat the bread and we dont drink the wine. Rebecca was very serious about staying far away from that. So at Memorial brother Ramon Budden was getting to their row and he handed the plate of bread to her son Jacob. He grabbed the plate but Esther and Rebecca refused to touch the plate at all. At which point Abi quickly took it away from Jacob as opposed to them having a discussion about this in the middle of them trying to pass the bread. However the looks on the faces of the brothers that were passing th bread were priceless. After watching the brothers who had passed the bread at the front of the hall pass it among themselves, the girls understood and successfully passed the wine.

So that is all the craziness that happened here, needless to say we were exhausted after that. In fact I still am exhausted from this past week, but it was definelty rewarding to see 104 in attendance and among them were 57 deaf! In our group including ourselves we had 18, 7 of which were deaf. I hope you all were as entertained as I was by the happenings from Memorial. However I was amused after it was over, it felt like I was babysitting. Well that is all for now, I have 17 days until my mom gets here and 35 days until I leave for home. So I will see you guys soon! This is going to be a busy month. We have specail day in Berbice and special talk in New Amsterdam. Amy will be here soon, my mom is coming, and then I am leaving. At least the time will go by really quickly!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Trench Smelled of Coconut

The subject line is cathcy eh? Ok well today was a day full of blog worthy moments, so I thought hey lets tell the people! Today is our Black Bush day, and if you didnt know this already, I love Black Bush. We took off for the polder, which is where the buses pick you up, and waited for the bus. It took about 20 minutes until a bus came around. As we were waiting a young girl came up and started talking to us. I knew that I knew her from somewhere but couldnt quite place her. I found out when she got off at the same stop as us to go to my Bible study Shabahna's house. Yes, it was her sister. I have only seen her about 15 times since my arrival, but why would I know who she is? So we had our study with Shabahna and then her lovely mother gave us custard. If you have never had custard, I am sorry. Its amazing! After that I started taking pictures, I tried to take a picture of Shabahna, but everytime I took a picture her eyes were closed. We tried about 20 different times, with no success. Also they have lots of young animals at their house, kittens and puppies. I really really want to take one home. If I was staying longer I would be the proud owner of a kitten right now. Dont know why but I have had the strangest urge to have something soft and cuddly recently.

So we made our way over to our new return visit, which is a school. Abi met a woman named Kay a few weeks ago who is a teacher there. She is very interested in having a weekly class with us teaching it, talking about the Bible. So today was our first day going over and talking to the kids. As we walked into the school yard all the kids came running up to us, asking our names. They are all so sweet and respectful. Very different from what you see in the schools in the States. So we found the teachers and they got us all set up in the classroom. There were about 35 kids that came, all different ages. So they did their normal introduction of welcome to our school, then all sat quietly and waited for us to talk. We asked them if they knew what God's name is, all of the kids answered by saying Jesus. So Abi had one of them come up and read Psalm 83:18, he read it and then we asked again. They all said that it was Jehovah. After that I had volunteers come up and pick animals from the pictures then I taught them the signs for it. We all had so much fun, they were so excited to learn signs. I really wish I could hear what some of their parents have to say when they go home and they tell their parents that God's name is Jehovah. I am sure there were some interesting responses:)

So we made our way to a woman's house that said she wanted to prepare lunch for us. We arrived in time to see the woman walk outside with a freshly washed cup with water still in it, she took it over to her husband where he was pouring coconut water into the glasses. Uhoh, what are we to do? Dont want to be rude, but dont want to get a parasite and die. So after we took the glasses from her, she walked back inside. So Abi thought ok I will take the glass over to the trench and try to get rid of the water sneakily. Anybody ever see Abi try to do something sneakily? Yea its pretty funny. So I hand her my glass as she walks over to the trench and dumps our water in the trench. The best part was how loud it was. She thought hey I will dump it in water and it will be something they wont notice. It was loud and she realized how loud as she walked back and saw Dana and I laughing. Then Dana got rid of hers by walking over to the flower pot and leaning over it pretending to smell it and dumped the water in the pot. She looked so proud as she walked back. Then the food came, it is something called belangie. It is strained eggplant, it has the consistency of snot, everytime I try to eat it I start gagging. So I forced it down with rice and water. So we finally got the food all down and headed out to more return visits.

We started the long trek to Johanna, we thought we would be walking for a while. Thankfully a man in a truck, that wasnt creepy, stopped and aksed if we wanted a ride. So we hopped in and he took us to our next return visit named Annisa. It is Dana's study so Abi and I sat back and watched the funny movie playing that had a man singing and dancing for his elephant. I want to find it and buy it before I leave. So we ate more there and then left. A few minutes down the road we noticed two young boys throwing rocks from one side of the river over to the other bank. We decided it looked like fun, so we joined them. We had a competition to see who could throw the farthest. They won...not surprising though. We are girls you know.

We finally got around to our last study of the day, we dont know their names. We thought they were deaf, we still dont really know. Last week the woman hid on the opposite side of the fence in the garden. It was one of those moments where I wish I had my camera out and ready. She didnt know her son was going to let us in the gate and didnt quite know how to react when she figured out that we knew she hid from us. So this week we stood in front of the gate and Abi waved her purple water bottle around so they would see her. The funny thing was that as we walked up we heard her talking! Yes she was having a real conversation with someone, who? We dont know, probably dont really want to know. So the woman saw Abi and she walked inside, she repeated this process about 5 times. Finally we understood that she was trying to ignore us and we were done trying.

So we started walking down the road when we saw little goats running over to us. I got to pet a baby goat! Its mother sat there and watched very carefully and when she decided we were done with them she called them back over to her. Funny that the next door neighbor noticed us playing with the goats, so the little girl brought out her own goat for us to play with. They were so cute, I am thinking about bringing a goat home with me. I thought I wanted a monkey, but I think its a monkey that I want now. Well as you know, we got home, otherwise I wouldnt be writing this blog. So I hope you enjoyed it:) Bye

Monday, March 22, 2010

Adios Lethem!

Ok so this is the last of the Lethem instalments, it was a great trip and there was so much to talk about. I left off at the end of our Kumu trip and the truck ride, which means I start at with us moving into the Kingdom Hall. The three of us girls moved into the Kingdom Hall to live with the sisters there for the last few days of our trip. We came early to help out with the cleaning of the Kingdom Hall. It was us and a few of the brothers that are serving as need greaters there. It was a fun night, I was given a motorcycle ride around Lethem, and then we had a movie night. This is after we watched in amusment at the boys trying to hang the speakers from the wall and almost falling off the ladder numerous times. The funny part was the brother up on the ladder telling them that they needed to catch him if he was to fall. Then the boys said that they would probably try to catch the speaker first and if they had time they would catch him then. They are a fun group. So brother and sister Perez came over to the Hall and put a movie on the big screen for us to watch.

The next day we had the day off, so I stayed at Hall with Desiree and the girls went to go and see the deaf girl. When they came back Abi and I took off for the internet cafe so we could let people know that we were alive. We had told everyone we would be coming home Tuesday, it was then Thursday and we had told our families, but there were other people we needed to let know. So we went and enjoyed high speed internet once again, I will never take it for granted again. We got back in just enough time to get ready for meeting. It was exciting because this was the first time that this congregation had interpreting. Yes the deaf woman, named Sharmaine came to meeting. She had come before but there wasnt anyone to do any interpreting for her at that time. So we set up in the back because the front of the Hall was literally the stage and it wouldnt work. It was so nice to see how excited the congregation was about having her there, they are a very supportive congregation. It was a lot of fun let me tell you when the power went out for the majority of the time I was interpreting. They have one floodlight that they can turn on when they have blackouts so the brothers can still continue the meeting. These blackouts happen frequently all over the country, so they have learned how to be prepared. Thankfully, the power came back on shortly before the meeting ended.

After pretty much everyone left us girls sat around outside with the girls who live there named Felecia and Lizzie. We had a nice time talking to them and hearing all of their experiences. Jonathan also stuck around for a while. During this time he decided to show us how he uses gestures to explain things from the Bible. I have it all recorded:) He just loves the camera, and he feels that the camera loves him back. It makes for good conversation. So we all hung aroud the Hall and finally we fell asleep and had to wake up to the reality that we were leaving Lethem:(

We made our way down to the bus station, reluctantly I went. I kept trying to find excuses to stay, however I knew we had left our studies alone for a long time and they needed us to come back. So we waited at the station for a couple of hours. We were supposed to leave at 9:30 in the morning. In Guyanese time it means 11:30, it was nice though because a few people from the congregation stopped by to say their goodbyes. So we grabbed some snacks from the store next door where the woman speaks Portugese, and only had the ability to tell me she likes my eyes in English. We all piled into the bus and we were all prepared for our long trek home. However we werent prepared for what happened.

About 45 minutes out of Lethem our bus broke down. I thought hey this means we are going back to Lethem, so I was getting all excited. After an hour Abi and I decided we couldnt sit on the bus any longer so we got out and walked around. As we headed back into the bus because we saw the mechanic pulling up, I asked the driver if we were heading back to town. He informed me that once you leave Lethem there is no turning around. So we are stuck on a bus that has just broke down and we are going to continue for another 15 hours into the jungle, where its harder to get ahold of someone to come and help fix the bus. Great thought isnt it? After another hour of working on the bus we were up and running again, and our bus driver felt it was important to make sure we arrived at the time that was scheduled. So driving down the torn up jungle road we are speeding along. We made very few stops except when one of the Brazilian men made the announcement he had to go to the bathroom and they needed to stop the bus so he could do so. This happened frequently throughout the whole trip, I think it was more for attention than anything else.

I finally was able to fall asleep, then guess what happens? The bus broke down again! An hour away from Georgetown, why would you want to make it all the way to your destination without any problems? So instead of staying awake I told Abi to wake me up once we reached town. So two hours later we were getting our stuff out of the bus, it is 2:30 in the morning now by the way. So we got a taxi and headed over to DC and Sarah's house. Poor thing, we woke her up so we could get into the house across the way and she had to wake up a few hours later to go to the assembly. So we all crashed in the house and enjoyed the short amount of sleep we got.

The next morning we woke up to no water, that meant no shower:( Oh well, I think its a bigger problem in Georgetown than it is in Brighton. We havent been without water at all. So after hanging out around the house for a while we decided to venture out. We called a taxi and had him take us to the bank and then back to the Oasis:) Oh was it nice to enjoy some more coffee and food. Not to mention the high speed internet as well. We were there for about 4 hours, then went back to the house so we could get our stuff together and head back into Brighton. We got back and had enough time to visit with DC and Sarah for a few minutes, then catch our taxi back to Brighton. We were greeted by tons of mosquitos, its like they knew we were gone. Well that is the end of our trip to Lethem, unfortunately for all of you this means back to the boring old Brighton stories. But who knows maybe something exciting will happen around here. We have memorial and special day in Berbice coming up. Not to mention the arrival of my mom! So I should have more to update you on soon. We are just keeping busy catching up on studies and making sure we get them all invited to Memorial. I look forward to seeing you all soon, its almost a month away until my arrival home.

Kumu Village

The preaching trip to Kumu was absolutely amazing! I should really start from the beginning, the story has really good highlights. So to start with I should explain the pick up arrangments. We were told that we would be heading out at 8:30 in the morning. This worked out perfectly because we were going with a group that included Michelle and Lara, their husbands Tom and Myke were supposed to leave at 6:30 for their interior preaching trip that was a week long. However the brother who's truck they were using was three hours late, or as he said, he will be there short while. So while they were waiting we sat with them, an hour went by and we werent picked up and hadnt heard anything. So finally we were contacted and told the great news, our driver was slobering drunk. So we had to wait another two hours until our new ride came. The boys finally left for their trip, I wish I could post pictures because the way it was setup was hysterical. Tom and Alton, the brother who owns the truck, were up front. Then in the back of the pickup sat Myke and Micaiah, they sat on a make shift bench with all of their bags and literature around them. It was a great picture.

Finally we were picked up by Paul, on the way to the village we made a special stop. We were able to say goodbye to brother and sister Hinds as they were getting ready to get on their plane and head back to Georgetown. After our goodbyes Lara and I piled into his truck with a family from the congregation and headed out to Kumu. Along the way Paul spent a very good amount of time encouraging us with his families story, he also tried to convince us to go back to Lethem. He wasnt aware that before this I had already made up my mind that I would be coming back. Yes for all of you who werent aware of that already, its about time I said it:) So we all discussed our plans, and talked a lot about the area and the needs there. It really did a lot to impress in my head the need there. So after a 45 minute drive he dropped us off and turned around to get the rest of the group. He is a very giving brother, he does so much for the congregation.

So once the whole group was there, we all realized that we wouldnt be able to get any real preaching done. So we all made the decision to go on a little hike down to Kumu falls. It was about an hour hike but we had beautiful scenery along the way. Lethem itself looks like the old western movies, but its surrounded by huge hills covered in jungle. It is beautiful, it again is one of those things were I wish I could post pictures because really descriptions I give dont do it justice. So along the way, the local family decided that it was a good time to tell stories of jaguars and anacondas that have been seen in the area. Doesnt really inspire confidence, so we just kept Jonathan in the front and hoped for the best:) The hike itself was uneventful, one of the little boys brought their monkey with them. His name is Sampson, and he loves me. If I didnt have to quarrantine him I would have tried to bring him home with me. We reached our destination after crossing two different streams and logs, it was a fun hike. Lots of laughing and hoping that nobody fell in.

At the falls itself, its not very deep. You can touch the ground most of the time. We played in the falls and found a spot behind the falls that you can sit on the rocks and look down the river. Its a great place to take pictures, it is very beautiful. We all played in the water and watched the boys try to swim upstream, they are like little fish. We all sat around and talked for a while. Then we made the decision to not walk home in the dark so we all took off, reluctantly of course. As we made our way back we ran into a small group of kids playing with bows and arrows, it didnt look very safe to me. They were having fun though and who are we to take away their fun? We all made it home safely, took lots of pictures along the way and looked forward to eating something.

Once we got back to the camp we all got out of our wet clothes and pulled out our non perishable food. It was mostly tuna and crackers:) After that we all sat around the campfire, then we got the great idea in our heads to make Jonathan pull out his guitar and play something for us. Michelle pulled out her songbook and we spent an hour picking songs and singing along as he played. Then we realized how gorgeous the stars looked. It was a big change for us, because on the coast there are so many people that leave their lights on all the time. So we are never able to see the stars very well, unless we have a black out. Then you can really see them, but nobody is too happy with a blackout. So we took advantage of the oppurtunity and laid on our backs and looked at the stars while we listened to the guitar in the background. It was a very peaceful night. The highlight of it was definetly the sleeping in hammocks. There were 8 hammocks hung outside of our friend Elizabeth's mothers house. People always say how uncomfortable it is to sleep in a hammock, I disagree. It was the best sleep I had in months.

We all woke up at about 6:30 and got some breakfast, then all the girls piled into the tent that Michelle decided to sleep in and we read the text and some of the yearbook. We called it our clubhouse, and only girls were allowed in. Jonathan took offense to this, as we all knew he would. He sat outside pouting until we invited him, at which point he claimed he didnt want anything to do with our club and he was going to form his own. After our version of morning worship was over we got ready and sat down for our service meeting. After assigning everyone into groups we headed out. The arrangments were myself, Lara, and a young sister named Veronica. She is 9 and wants to be a single pioneer when she grows up. She has two older brothers named Junior and Jesse. Both of them want to be ciruit overseers. Jesse wants to be a single co, and Junior has decided that he would like someone to take care of him when he is doing co work. That is how it was explained to me, I thought it was very funny. Very important for you to know that this family came into the truth in the last 5 years. The mother was baptized 3 years ago and is well on her way to becoming a regular pioneer, and is really encouraging her children to do the same. They have a lot of wonderful examples in the congregation to help them.

So how we did the assigning of houses was we followed the one road through and one group would stop at a hut, yes they have huts:) and the rest would continue until everyone had reached a hut. This would continue until we had all passed each other and were back at the original house. My groups first stop was an unusual one for me, we went to a school. We talked to the teacher and explained what we were doing. She is a Bible study herself so was very excited to let us in and talk to the kids. The classroom was divided into two sections. One side had the kids that were 5 to 7 years old and the other side had the kids that were 8-12. Lara took the side with the older kids and I took the side with the younger ones. This is an experience I will never forget.

Normally when you go in service you go to a persons house and talk to them there. I have never preached in a school and was therefore very nervous about it. I know it doesnt seem intimidating to preach to a bunch of 5-7 year olds, but when you dont know what to do with them its a little awkward. So after a brief introduction, I asked them if they knew what God's name was. One little boy raised his hand and said," miss Faith, God's name is Jehovah." These little kids knew who Jehovah was! I am sure the look on my face was funny, but thankfully Lara had the same look on her face as me when the older kids answered correctly too. So I decided that it would be fun to teach them a little sign language. So I took the God's Friend brochure around to every kid and had them pick their favorite thing about the picture on the front cover. Almost every kid said that the fox was their favorite, so once I knew what their favorite thing was I would teach the class how to sign that word. Eventually we finished with every kid and I quizzed them. They got every sign right, then it started raining outside. So we learned rain, then I asked who made the rain? Once again they said Jehovah. So I taught them how to sign Jehovah made rain. They figured out that they could use that for all the things they learned. After that we learned about Jesus being Jehovah's son, they knew this before I could tell them:) It was time to start wrapping that up, so I gave all the kids their own brochure. They were so excited to have something of their own with picutres in it. They were even more excited to show the older kids that they can sign a bunch of the pictures. I have a great picture of them all holding up their brochures in front of the chalkboard before shcool closed. I will never forget that experience.

As we continued walking I was able to get to know the young kids I talked about a little better. They told me some of their problems in school, and what they were doing to reach their goals. A lot of the kids in the Lethem congregation are doing really well and have great spiritual goals. We switched up the groups a little and I set off with Michells, Dana, and Jesse. As we approached the next house, we decided it was Michelles's turn and we did our normal clapping outside the gate to call into the hosue. A young woman came out and told us to come in. So we sat down on her bench and Michelle had a nice discussion with her about Jesus being the Son of God, not God himself. The woman listened attentively and accepted Michelle's offer to have someone bring her a Bible for her own use. It was nice to watch someone with so much experience in the ministry as Michelle has. She and her husband Tom are Gilead graduates, the 104th class. She used pictures to explain the idea, she is learning a little bit of sign to help out Niasia.

That was the last house in the territory so we all headed back from a long productive day in service to go and breakdown our camp. We all were sad to have to leave that place, we knew the end of our trip was getting closer and closer everyday, and we were all dreading it. So our ride came and we found out we were all sitting in the back of the truck surrounded by our bags on the ride home. It was a great way to end the trip. I wont talk about what happened the rest of that day, it is the next entry. It will talk about that day until the end of our trip. Until then love you all!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Preaching Trip to Nappi

Once again everyone, sorry that I am so slow at posting about our trip to Lethem, we have been trying to get all caught up here. We are starting to wind down our trip so we are working really hard to get things in order for the sister that is coming down next month. That way she wont have a bunch of extra work to do after arriving here. Ok so something that I have always wanted to do was village preaching. On this trip I was able to accomplish that goal twice! This is a description of our first trip out to a little village named Nappi.

So we headed to the Kingdom Hall Monday morning to go and get on a bus to head out for our first village preaching trip. Once we arrived we were greeted by the branch overseer Brother Hinds, and his wife. Also there were a few locals and then some people who had come from Georgetown for the assembly. Then our leader was brother Paul Donlan, I talked about his family a little in the previous blog entry. Also in attendance was Micaiah, I have talked about him before too. He is young brother from Hopetown who goes on the preaching trips with Tom. After a nice meeting for service Paul tells us that he is taking brother and sister Hinds with him to another village and he is putting us on the bus under the care of Micaiah. Good for all of you to understand that Hopetown isnt near Lethem, but we trusted that Micaiah would take care of us.

So we all piled into the bus and took off on our first adventure. It was about an hour ride in and very bumpy. I would compare it to driving a four-wheeler up a steep hill with way too much weight on the back.... I enjoyed it, the other sisters didnt have the same experience. I think it must be the way I was raised:) So once we reached the village our first order of business was to find the Too Shou or the village council. It is protocol to ask permission to preach in little villages such as that, it is to show respect for them as well as protection for you. If you enter the village without permission and have something stolen from you, the village council wont do anything to help you. But if you have asked permission and made yourself known, then they will do what they can to help you. Many of you may be asking what a Too Shou is, well it is like a chief. They are leaders of the villages. It is really interesting to learn that there are some places that are still run that way.

After a long search, we finally were able to meet a member of the council and we were given permission to go and work the territory. Micaiah split us all into groups of twos and were given assignments and directions to meet back at the center of the village once we were done. So they dropped off myself and Dana at the beginning of the village and we were off on our own. Maybe not the best idea in the world, lol.

I wont go into the long details of everything that happened but I think its important for everyone to know that literally every person that we spoke to listened and had us in for at least 30 minutes. Some were much longer than that. We went to 6 houses and we were in the territory for 5 hours altogether. The people there are so humble and wanting to learn. They love to have you read to them from the Bible, many have quite a bit of knowledge of the Bible but dont know what to do with it. One experience that really impressed me was a woman who has two young daughters. The second she saw us coming she set up her bench and asked us to sit so she could talk with us. We had a long discussion with her, and it ended with her asking us to bring her a Bible. So after explaining to her that we were just visiting the area we told her that there will be a brother coming every week into that village and we would make a note for him to bring her a Bible and come and talk to her if that is what she wanted. She immeadiately accepted and was so grateful that someone would be coming back to see her.

That was my favorite experience on that day. So after a long day of service we all met back at the center of town which is where the school is located. We arrived there just as school was letting out, so a bunch of kids came running over to us to see what we were doing. So we gave them all tracts and took a picture of them all holding them up. It was quite the experience for us. Once all the kids left the last of our group showed up and we piled back into the bus for yet another crazy ride.

When we arrived back at the hotel we all changed and went for a BBQ at the Takatu River. We caught a taxi with Desiree down to the river because it is a long walk and it is really hot in Lethem. We had a fire down by the river and ate good food. It was nice being with new people and being able to hear their stories of how they learned the truth. Its always very encouraging, and sometimes you learn things you didnt know about people you thought you knew very well. When we all were getting ready to go back to our hotel a brother offered for us to get into his car to go home. It was going to be 9 people in this car. Three would have to go and sit in the very back of the car. Guess which three were volunteered to do so? If you guessed the three sign sisters, you guessed right. We have a picture because it was too funny. Abi was sitting with her feet over the roll bar hanging out by Michelles head. I will post it as soon as I can, we arent able to get pictures up because our internet is so slow. So in the next entry I will talk about our second preaching trip to Kumu.