Thursday, February 6, 2014

Aloha From Orealla!!

Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am writing you from my living room in Orealla, using my computer, and am online! W00t!

If you're curious at all about what's been happening with me in the last two or three weeks, I can summarize very briefly: I have never been so tired in my life. But in a good way.

See, the congregation here has two elders and no ministerial servants. And one of those elders will be leaving in four days to attend Bible School For Single Brothers (the last one!) in Trinidad. Due to this, the congregation said they've been praying for someone else to get sent here to help out while the brother is away. I must say, realizing I'm here because a congregation was praying for it is one of the most humbling realizations of my life.

Now, because there's so much to cover, I'll split the information up in three segments:

1. My House

The house I'm is amazing. It's built on the same lot as the Kingdom Hall, so I walk out the house's front door and into the Hall's back door. It has solar panels, a generator, and two large water tanks, so electricity and running water are never a concern. It's two story, with a bedroom downstairs along with bathrooms (three of them, which are used for the Kingdom Hall as well) and the shower, along with the laundry spot.

Which is just plastic tubs that you drag into the shower, but nonetheless...

Upstairs are two bedrooms, plus kitchen, living room, and dining room.

It's a heap better than the house me and Micaiah shared for a while. Dusty, rat infested mess.

Speaking of...

I did see Micaiah recently, and his new house is quite nice. He has internet in his house that's fast enough he can watch Netflix. But I'm getting sidetracked.

2. The Congregation

As I said, we have two elders in Orealla - Lennox Johnston, who is a native; and Kojo Burgan, who used to serve at the Guyana branch before they merged with Trinidad. After that, he got assigned here. He's my roommate until he leaves for the School for Brothers.

Left, Lennox Johnston. Right, Kojo Burgan

We also have seven people serving as either Regular or Regular Auxiliary Pioneers.
Left to right: Lennox Johnston, Josh Westfall, Kojo Burgan, Ntombe Zandile (need-greater sister from South Africa), Neeta Peneux, Janet Hendricks, and a pioneer visiting us from Skeldon congregation whose name I have since forgotten.

3. Field Service

Wow, where do I begin? I think the best way to describe the field is with an example of field service from this morning. I placed an Isaiah's Prophecy book. In door to door. On the initial call. And then at the next door, I did it again!

Plus, I already have three Bible studies. One of these began this way: I was doing door to door and a man I met listened to the presentation, and at the end of it said "You know, I have a book from your people, but there's something I was wondering about with it." I say okay, get the book and we'll talk about it.

He comes back with a Live Forever book and opens to a part that talks about 1914. "Now this says something about a generation that's alive during 1914 would see the end. But it's 2014 now, 100 years later! Surely there can't be many of those people still alive, right?"

Yup. So I did the best I could to answer about the revisions and such, but finally arranged to return and explain in more detail.

Also, going on Bible studies here is simply the best. Not only because most people are serious students and really try to learn, but also because of this...

On the bench is Kojo and his young student Robert Hendricks. In the hammock is my feet and my tote bag.

Close-up of Robert, along with me in the hammock with my tote. I've got a thing for totes.

Another recent addition to the preaching work in Orealla... see if you recognize what this is.

Public witnessing hits Orealla! We have no posters for it yet, but we've got enough literature packed in it to grab attention.

Two more awesome recent occurrences are...
1. Our circuit overseer visit. Walter West and his wife Shawn, who are Gilead graduates from Jamaica who are now in the circuit work. One of the best parts of this is that they're staying in me and Kojo's house, so we're getting gobs of time with them.

(fun factoid: Walter and Shawn went to the same Gilead class as Tom and Michelle Sanches)

The other fun development is...
2. Orealla Kingdom Hall dedication is coming up on Saturday! Despite the fact that the Hall was built eight years ago, our dedication will finally be held Saturday, February 8th. So we've got tons of guests coming in over the weekend for the program. In fact, I have to wrap up soon because in a bit the first of the guests will be coming in, and it's dark out so Kojo and I need to go help them unload off the boats.

So, two final things: I couldn't bring my guitar, so I managed to acquire one here. I present to you, Laura.

The other cool thing is that there are only two other guitar players in the village, one of whom is a brother, and is grandfather to many of our publishers. He's been blind for years now, but still plays a mean guitar.

So, whenever I get back to Ohio and I begin blathering about stuff, slap me in the face and say "I can hear your stories later, now show me the video of Brother Rudolph playing guitar!!"

Aaaaaand the boats are in. Catch you later.


  1. WELL THAT WAS COOL. Will be getting your phone out tomorrow, so it should be in the country on the 11th, so you should have it whenever the folks can get over that way. Also change 'about me' to not say "former tales of my time in guyana"

  2. Thanks for the update Josh!! I had been checking back in every so often and was always disappointed. Until this morning that is! Love the stories - and love that you are there. :) Keep up the good work!

  3. Caleigh and I enjoyed reading your update. Looks like you are making some wonderful friends and will be helping a lot of people learn. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures!!

  4. you are having such an adventure. love the house and guitar.i can't stand you.just kidding have fun