Wow. I really feel like this is my home now. Don't worry....not a permanent home I will come back to Michigan! It's just I'm really adjusted to life here. Everything feels normal now. Even the driver sitting on the right side feels normal. Sometimes I even forget about bacon and oreos now. Not very often though! I'm not going to lie, life can be harder here than in the states sometimes. But seeing Jehovah's creation and blessing on our ministry is so worth it.
A great example of that was Monday. Keep in mind that La Plaine is exceptionally hotter than most of the island. Right now the temperature is about 85-90º with very intense sun. Also bear in mind that the island is extremely mountainous. Those factors can make service exhausting. On Monday Kaysh was supposed to have several studies and I was supposed to have one. ALL of our studies flopped. We were so discouraged and tired at the end of the day. Fortunately, Jehovah knew just what we needed. On our way back to our house we saw a little girl named Tia. We had talked to her that morning and she wanted to study right then! But she studies with someone else on Wednesdays so we told her to wait for them to study with her. So when we passed her on the road we just struck up a conversation with her. She is 10 years old and came to our memorial without her parents. She told us she wanted a ride to the Thursday night meeting! We met her mother and aunt. Her aunt ended up being someone Kaysh had talked to just a few days before! It was so crazy how it all worked out. And it definitely gave us the boost we needed.
Tuesday we got to go to two other nearby villages. Morne Jean (Mon Jon) and Rivere Cirique (River Sear-ick). We did a little territory and some of the Montgomery's calls. Nanci and I worked together. She placed a tract with a 7 year old girl named Kiala. Just a few minutes later we seen her again. Nanci offered her the "God's Friend" brochure and studied the first lesson with her. Kiala read AMAZINGLY for her age. And she understood every concept. That little girl was so incredibly sincere. In the afternoon I went to my study Crystalyn Jewels. She is such a sweetheart. She's older so I have to read to her. Sometimes that makes it difficult for her to retain the information. But we take it one thought at a time. I told that I wished she could come to the kingdom hall with us. She said she wishes that she could too. Unfortunately she is wheelchair bound. I still hope the truth will touch her heart.
Wednesday we went in service. The day was pretty standard. Mariah had some nice studies I went with her on in the morning. And in the afternoon Kaysh and I did some calls. One of her calls was on our landlords aunt, Mary. She is older and very kind. She was telling us all about traditional dishes. We were able to share some positive thoughts for the future with her because there was a funeral in the village for a man who was only in his forties. He had been very sick for a long time with sickle cell. Kaysh shared a beautiful thought from Isaiah that Mary would also be able to apply to herself since she has arthritis.
Thursday was supposed to be the day we sleep in a little and do our housework, including the wash. Neither of those things panned out. I woke up at 6 am to a very scary sounding announcement. Turns out they were just smoking the area for mosquitos. Fyi there's a mosquito transmitted illness going around called Chikungunya (chicken goon ya). It causes high fever and extremely bad joint pain. The sickness last one to two weeks but the effects can stay in your system for a year. Thankfully I was able to fall asleep again. But the laundry room was locked all day. So none of the wash was done. Meeting was nice though. Tia came and decided to sit next to me. She tried to look up every scripture and when they would ask questions she wanted me to show her the answer. At the end she asked what the thing they wanted us to go to was. I told her it was a convention but didn't have time to fully explain it.
Friday was our town day. We started work at the assembly hall around 8am. Nanci and I picked up the yard and removed dead palm branches. After 3 hours of work we left to do grocery shopping. We got through our shopping rather quickly so we burned time before our bus ride down at the tourist district. It's a market that sells local crafts. The merchants guessed that we were peace core when they discovered that we live on the island. We explained that we are Jehovah's Witnesses. Next thing you know, we placed 4 tracts and were asked to return with magazines! We also got to have some local juice which was amazing, Kaysh and I treated ourselves and brought home coke, cereal and chocolate almond milk!
Saturday I went with Montgomery's and Emily to do some calls and territory in Delices (Dell-ease). We had a nice time. Kaysh and I were planning on going in the afternoon but we were just too exhausted from the heat and there was some sort of obnoxious party going on in the village center. Today was good. Br. Kelvin Woodman gave the special talk and did an excellent job. He and his wife had us over for his hospitality! They made chicken, rice, curry chick peas, coleslaw, and green banana pie. I know that last one sounds odd, but trust me, it taste like a mix between mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. They also gave us homemade local juice. We provided the desserts. We were there until 4:30 then they drove us home. It was very encouraging.
It's amazing how Jehovah continues to bless our efforts. Like I said, there are challenges. And I do miss everyone back home. But I wouldn't trade this experience for the world! It's drawn me closer to Jehovah and the organization. I've learned so much about the world and myself. I've been able to help others get to know our great God. If anyone is thinking about serving where the need is greater, do it. You won't regret it.