Monday, August 31, 2009

Every Cent the Delegates Saved, and Every Sacrifice They Made Was So Appreciated.

Hi hi everyone!

Yesterday ended our International District Convention here in Korea. As mentioned in the headline here, it was so much appreciated that the delegates came. There are about 40 of us here in Korea that appreciated them even more than anyone else. That is how many true foreigners there are in the English congregations here for the whole country, brothers and sisters that don’t speak Korean. All of us would tell you that even though we are very happy with our decision to come here and support the foreign needs congregation, it has not been easy – in fact to put it in perspective, it is pretty much the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest with a 300lb man hanging off our ankles. The Korean brothers just aren't accustomed yet to having foreigners in the English congregations. We know that Jehovah will help them make adjustments to welcome foreigners into the English congregations but the changes are slow and sometimes it is almost overwhelming, so when all the native speakers showed up from Canada, the U.S., and Australia, we really felt that Jehovah had heard our prayers and sent in the reinforcements. After the sessions, us foreigners commented to each other that we didn’t realize how it was going to affect us until we stood shoulder to shoulder singing with our brothers and sisters that totally accepted us. Every hug that we received, every smile, every conversation we had, just meant the world to each one of us, and we really wish we could personally thank those delegate brothers and sisters for coming. Many of the delegates said they thought their visit to Korea wasn’t much, but they never considered how much Jehovah was using them to encourage the small group of foreigners serving in the country. Words cannot express how much it meant to us. :-) I personally felt like I was given an unexpected treat everyday. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Rex Shin stood before me. Wow, I couldn’t hug him any faster. He was so encouraging. And being a Korean that lived here before, and now in Canada, he was able to offer some encouraging words about being part of the congregation here, and also just having him say that he understood how hard it must be for us due to culture and the role that plays in the congregation, really meant a lot. Then I had a really special treat – I met Hans and Minerva Pintar, my CO and his wife from when I was a teenager. It was choking for me to see him because when I was sixteen he took me aside at my Kingdom Hall and said, “you know I see big potential in you for serving Jehovah. I can see you doing big things for him.” Those kind words stuck in my mind over the years, and I thought about them often. It really is so important what we say to the young ones in the congregation. :-) Then finally I saw a dear old friend that I never thought would go abroad for a convention, or for any reason, so I was so happy to see that person at the convention – very encouraging....and surprising.

I was also impressed by seeing ones like Wes Pisoni that after all this time are still abroad working and helping out, and loving it, even though they are far away from their original friends and family. Really good examples.

Here are some pics I hope you will enjoy:

1. This is Estelle’s mom. Her and her husband left New York to pioneer in the Dominican Republic. She gave us a lot to think about, as it is so cheap to live there and the service work is wonderful.

2. This is my favourite pic of the entire convention. Matt looked so wonderful in this hanbok. And for the first time he dumped us. He was so excited that other foreigners could understand him. Actually, Matt is our best student in the Kingdom Hall. He takes every opportunity to try and speak English. Brenda and I are pretty much corrupting him though. At some point he will hear a talk about how bad sarcasm is, and the brother will give an example, and Matt will say, “that is bad sarcasm??? I heard sister Darci say it at least 100 times! Bad…baddddd…baddddd.” ;-) other words if you see me on the other side of A that will be a testimony to you as to the depth of Jehovah's mercy. :-)))

3. This brother was ultra funny and cool. He is originally from Canada, and his wife and him now are living in China, so one day he dressed as a cowboy – hat and all to represent Canada, and the next he dressed as a Chinese peasant farmer. His suitcase must have been huge even for the hats he was wea

4. I also like this video of everyone singing at the end. These were the Canadians waving goodbye. The group with the coolest objects though were the Philippine brothers and sisters who had long skinny snake balloons to twirl in the air.
5. Langley-ites reunited on the otherside of the world.
Lots of love to everyone,d :-)ps., Harvey and Pearl are doing good. They gave me the big sad eye thing each morning as I left for the assembly, but were the absolute best welcome party givers when I arrived home late each night. :-)

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