A Small World and an International Brotherhood
Trip Start Sep 26, 2009
70Trip End Ongoing
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On the way home from a friend's apartment we took a cab back home. The cab driver spoke some English, so we got into a conversation. He asked us what we thought about President Obama. Well we, of course, told him about our neutral stand in politics. I had some tracks in my purse and so gave him the one entitled: What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe? as he also reads English. He readily took it and even thanked us.
At the meeting on Sunday we met a couple visiting from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Actually, many of you from Montrose, Denver, and Colorado Springs know him and his wife, Paul and Mary Dicken. They would like to return in a few months and build a house here in Cuenca. He is a contractor in the Springs, so plans to be the contractor on his own house here.
It is fun hearing all these different accents at our meeting during the study of the Watchtower as many have come from all different parts of the world to live in Cuenca. I love the Australian accent. Sunday we had 48 at the meeting; a pretty good group!
We also had a treat at our meeting. A Brother from the English congregation in Bern, Switzerland gave our public talk. (For all of you out there reading this blog, Jehovah's Witnesses call each other brother and sister, because we are an international brotherhood and we try to imitate the first-century christian congregation who called each member brother or sister as well). It's been a dream of his to tour Ecuador and has been touring the country for about three weeks. After the Watchtower study, he also gave a short talk on the work being done in the English Congregations in Switzerland.
Took some notes, here they are: There are 8 English Congregations and one Group in Switzerland. But the English Congregations there also have to take care of all the other language groups spoken except for the French, Italian, Swiss/German, and some Italian/funny other group mix (to quote him). Many there are African refugees. They literally come only with just the cloths on their backs and their bible. They do not leave their bibles behind. When approached by the Witnesses, the first thing they ask is 'where is your church'? When they come to the Kingdom Hall, they then realize who the Witnesses are, as they are very familiar with Jehovah's Witnesses in their homeland and quickly request a bible study. So there are many, many languages in Switzerland that are handled by the English Congregations.
He said there are many Hindus becoming Jehovah's Witnesses too. As Hindus, their whole life revolves around their devotion to their god, so when they become a baptized Witness that same devotion is carried over. They serve Jehovah whole-souled.
The Swiss and Austrian Branches have merged with the German Branch. An elderly brother who has served in the Branch Office in Thun, Switzerland for 70 years has moved to the German Branch Office at the age of 100.
After the meeting, a group of us walked up the street to Pecantes del Leo, a seafood restaurant. A couple from Michigan, joined us. Their son and his Ecuadorian wife live on the coast here and have a restaurant/beer brewery. This couple may open up a branch of that micro-brewery here in Cuenca. Fred is all excited about that! Their son has come up with quite the brews, one being a passion fruit and hibiscus beer that is the color red. Was told it is awesome.
We were at the restaurant a long time as they were very busy due to it being Father's Day. It was sunny when we got there so decided to sit outside under two big bamboo umbrellas as we took up two tables. After our meals finally arrived and we were almost done eating, a downpour of rain came. Actually, that is an understatement. It was a monsoon! I literally can't ever remember seeing rain like that ever--I kid you not. We were told the rainy season is over? As someone in our group said: Welcome to Ecuador! Food was real good, by the way, the service, not so much.
I so wish I had my camera or even my iPhone with me, but now a little paranoid after talking to the friends who were pick-pocketed a number of times.
Oh, we were informed, and perhaps it is true, to not take any leaflets or pieces of paper from anyone passing them out on the streets. Apparently, they dust the papers with a drug; a drug that then enables them to rob you. Sometimes they will even put the drug on the taxi cab handles. Scary! But this is more of a problem in Guayaquil, maybe Quito. Remember, if I hear it, I write it, because if it is true, it just might save you from a bad experience. Update July 2012: I've heard this from about 4 different Ecuadorians now. It is actually a powder derived from a plant and when put up to your face, you pass out. Years ago this happened to a friend's father on his way to his bank to deposit money. $500 was gone when he woke up and so were his shoes.
Anyway, we had an encouraging day. It is now 6:30 and it is dark -- that, by the way, never changes.