Saturday, December 5, 2009

International Convention- the tears have begun

There is so much to write about and the time truly escapes me. This experience has been the absolute best one of my life. When I have more time after the convention ends tomorrow, I'll be able to add a bigger post. There are 32 lands with delegates represented. There are 1200 from the US. Kenya has 30,000 publishers. The first day of the convention- Thursday- was cold and raining. Well, of course, it's an open air center. It was freezing to the point that people were wearing hats, gloves, and coats- IN AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing for Ryan and I since we brought clothes for 80 degree weather! Oh well- nothing dampened the joy of that occasion. The opening prayer was a tear-jerker. They mentioned the brothers in Eritrea (sp?) that are in prisons and we prayed that at least that day they had something to eat. This entire convention has told us about what freedoms we have, but one point that was truly encouraging was the fact that a brother mentioned today. He said, "Freedom is of limited value unless it's used wisely," and he was speaking to those Witnesses in the audience who live in lands with relative freedom. That was a point that hit pretty hard.
The brothers and sisters in the area are really in a shocking state- they are the happiest, most humble persons. They are spiritually rich, despite being extremely poor. I haven't eaten our complete lunch any of the past three days because I am giving it away to whoever needs it. They always say "no" first (so very humble) and then I usually say, "Let's share" or "I'm done and don't want to throw it away" or something like that. We have more in one day to eat than they have in a week and that's the least we can do. Most of the friends are the same- giving away lunch. These friends love Jehovah so much that they have spent everything they have to get to the convention and some don't have places to stay so they are staying overnight at the assembly hall. WOW- how wonderful we have it at home!!!!
I'll attach more pictures to show some of the wonderful friends and experiences that we are having. We have made several "sets" of friends- there are several couples that we have become close to and eat with (Allison and Mike from South Carolina), (Jessica and Glenn from Colorado) and (Chewy and Lavonnia from Maryland), and then there are groups of friends that we have made (Mike from Michigan and Stan from Manhattan), (Mike from Walkill and Laura, Cathy, Kenya, Richie from Florida, and Chewy from Brooklyn), (the Bucks and Precious- that's an inside joke), (Chanelle from New Orlens and Steve from New Hampshire). It's funny feel so close in so short a period of time. We've made some lifelong friends. :) I'll write more later when there is more time. We have to get up early tomorrow for the last day of the convention.
**Thanks so much to everyone for the comments. It's been so nice and HILARIOUS to read what you've written and it makes us feel real good to know that we have a few friends that care about us! Thanks for your loyalty!**


Anonymous said...

Maybe I should have joined your tour group...

Mellie K.

shaymus77 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shaymus77 said...

sound like your convention is like mine - a reminder to never complain about anything. such a reminder to pray for our "daily" bread. i told you that this experience would be life changing. i am so happy to see that you are already soaking it in and realizing the viewpoint of life that this experience will give you. you truly will come home with a better understanding of the bigger universal picture. for me, i realized its bigger than me, its bigger than camden, its bigger than USA, etc. it really brings into prospective how you view everyday matters that cause so much stress to the average person, but in the bigger universal picture, are so trivial. i'm so glad you got this experience. Soak it up sister!

Kim said...

My eyes are burning!!! There are so many things we take for granted in life! I was talking with a friend this evening about how spoiled we've become here when there are less fortunate brothers out there who complain about abolutely nothing. We complain that the chairs are too hard or it's too cold or hot in our Hall, or if our hotel's ice machine is across the hall from our room. It really makes us take a step back and figure out whats REALLY important in our life, and ultimately WHO is more important. Thank you for your blog. While I can't be there, your blog is such a source of encouragement! My "stress" just faded away! Hug someone for me!!!
Kim A.