Thursday, September 22, 2011
We approach a nigerian man waiting at the bus stop, and start a friendly conversation with him. He immediately states that he has such deep respect for the Bible that he is a pastor of the local church and that there is no need for him to be ministered to, since we should really find those who are the lost sheep, unlike him! We tactfully then explained that we talk to people of all backgrounds and etc and he immediately states the problem he has with Jehovah's witnesses is that we dont expand our ministry, and that is one thing we should focus on. We then started to explain that we came all the way from US to speak to people like him as well as others about the good news regarding God's Kingdom....as we continued on to explain that we have not been paid to do this service, etc his face literally turned red. He immediately changed his demeanor, and his eyes opened brightly and stated "Oh really?! That is something very encouraging to see, I did not know Jehovah's Witnesses did this kind of work" and of course as we went on he was actually accepting and listening attentively to what we were saying, and in the end actually took the magazine! Its interesting to see how different a person's reaction can be once their perception has been changed. So who knows how Jehovah will make that seed grow!
Another: In the center of the city there is this big water fountain that surprisingly is fresh mountain water that we all regularly fill our bottles of water from throughout the day when we are out in the ministry. As we were filling our bottles, a young nigerian man immediately can tell that we are witnesses and starts a friendly conversation with us. Turns out that I had spoken to him about 2 days prior as he also remembered I gave him the truth tract! Anywho, he starts commending us on our work, and how much he loves the bible etc etc but he is seeking to know the truth about God. As he was explaining himself, you can see how truly sincere he was searching for the truth. The brother I'm with starts the chapter in the Bible Teach book of the last days, which was relating to what came up on conversation at the beginning of the conversation. We considered the first two paragraphs, and he listened and answered the questions correctly. BUT he then starts to asks us if we believe about Jesus presence and if we know that he still hasnt shown his presence..and he starts quoting about 6 different scriptures (Nigerians know their Bible very well! ) as you can imagine, the conversation was quite lengthy, but the good thing about it was that he was listening.
Once we showed him different scriptures regarding it, he began to understand, and then stated: "I know you Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth, but so do pentecostals, so I do not know at this moment who exactly to believe in." At this point, we were already talking for about 1 hr and a half, so what the brother did was exchanged phone numbers with him, and invited him to the Kingdom Hall, which the nigerian man stated he did want to go this friday. He thanked us many times for explaining this to him, and for wanting to help him, despite his color!....Sidenote: Here it is very common for nigerians or foreigners to be discriminated on, even by government. They will first give the italian a job rather than the foreigner, whether the foreigner has legal documents to work or not. I will explain this in the next blog....hahha
Last one for tonight: We accompanied a brother from the congregation on one of his studies (he has 8) We get to the house and we studied for 2 hrs, because the study wanted to keep learning more and was "excited about the things he was learning" It was so beautiful to see how much he appreciated the Bible and learning about why its so important to use Jehovah's name and how caring Jesus and Jehovah are by giving us hope by means of the Kingdom. I was touched by it so much that I was almost moved to tears! Sometimes in the truth we tend to forget about the small truths that we learned about so long ago, and take it for granted. Seeing how in others' their eyes light up is truly encouraging and wonderful. Jehovah is still drawing his sheep to him! This study had a list of questions, and anything new that he learned in the study he wrote down on this sheet. He studies twice a week!
To say the least, the ministry here is truly refreshing and amazing. There is much work to be done all over the world! Any rate, I have posted a few pictures from yesterdays adventures, which we met up with some bros in the region of Umbria, and he took us to Spello, Assisi (which was my favorite!) and perugia. Enjoy the pictures! I'm off now to go over a couple from my hall's house that invited us for dinner and games. I will write again soon and will fill you in on more studies!!
P.S. I love how in service, capuccino and pastries or gelato breaks are always welcomed....view picture above as an example! hahha
The first few pictures are pictures from yesterday morning's train ride from rimini to Foligno, it went along the coast. It was absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy!!!! Talk to you all soon!! Come again!