Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just Fun Stuff

I like to keep this blog light. And encouraging. And stuff. While still talking about the exciting/difficult/unusual things that go on. Of course, much of this has a spiritual perspective, seeing as the reason I come to Guyana is to preach and help the congregation. Every now and then though, you'll have a stretch of time where there's not a whole lot of stuff that's necessarily exciting or encouraging. Not that this is a bad thing, because that could mean I've been doing nothing but having fun.

And that's precisely what the last week has been for me.

For example, on Monday I went out to the coast in order to have access to really good internet and to do some light shopping for things. This also allowed me to do things which I get to do very very rarely in Orealla, such as watch YouTube, listen to internet radio, and basically use internet that is fast and doesn't cost me money based off how much I use. I spent the day at the home of a brother named Satish, who has many times opened up his family's home to need-greaters. Even now there's two sisters staying with his family, one from Trinidad and one from Oregon USA. Turns out I didn't see a whole lot of them since they were busy helping a missionary couple move. But still got to spend a small amount of time with them, and also do some useful things with my time. Like download the December JW Broadcast (which I haven't watched yet since I promised a brother I wouldn't see it until he was able to watch it with me. Stay tuned for that!) and also grab our magazine shipment for December.

Yeah, we don't get our magazines until halfway through the month we use them. Alas. You learn to adapt.

After I got back, there was another interesting development. I walked next door to a shop to get stuff for dinner that day when I noticed this thing in a nearby building which is still under construction...

Man, people will NOT stand still when you take photos...


 I naturally raced back home immediately to alert Kojo and Charlie about its existence. At which point we hogged the table all day, and into the night as well.....

SOME of us seemed to enjoy it a little too much...

There was also a small audience watching in hysterics. We were that bad...

Of course, THEY wouldn't sit still for the camera either!!

Seeing as you can only have two people playing at a time (since they only had two paddles) sometimes we had to find other ways to amuse ourselves while awaiting our next turn. Here was one of my preferred options.
This is five-year old Robert Hendricks (who studies with Kojo) teaching me a card game called "Tinks". He's got a career as a hustler should he so decide. Lulled me in with a seemingly simple game, then proceeded to absolutely crush me for five rounds.

So that's been what's happening lately. It's very nice knowing we have an easy distraction waiting whenever we so decide.

And since so many people have been asking lately, here's a picture of a monkey!!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy Interrogations with.... Charlie Brohard

Today we'll be beginning a new series on this blog that we're calling “Happy Interrogations”, where we'll be conducting an interview with a need-greater that is nearby so I don't have to walk very far to get to them.

Our first vict... uh, interviewee will be one Charles Brohard who originates from Jackson, Ohio, USA. He currently serves as a regular pioneer and minsterial servant, and for the last several weeks has been serving as a need-greater in the Orealla congregation in Guyana.

Charlie Brohard, mocking the way I sit.

So please buckle in and enjoy as we begin our interrogation.

How old are you now?

How old were you when you got baptized?
13. That feels so long ago now. But it was a MASSIVE protection for me during my teen years, as most of my friends in the congregation that I grew up with either dissociated themselves from the truth or were disfellowshipped. But I had already set my vow and refused to be caught up in it and made new friends within God's organization instead.

How long have you been pioneering?
3 ½ years. During my first year or so of pioneering, the only other pioneers in my home congregation were 2 sisters who also were grandmothers (obviously a bit older than me). Due to my schedule not always fitting up with these other ones, I would spend at least one long day in service each week without any support, besides Jehovah and holy spirit. It really helped me put my trust in him. I think the youngest person I've ever had the privilege of being a fellow pioneer in the same congregation was in her mid 30s. However, it's put me in in contact and built up friendships with ones I probably would have never even approached before. I learned so much from these dear ones: not just in the ministry, but in life and in my service to Jehovah in general. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything else in the world.

How do you support your pioneering?
I work as a physical therapist assistant at multiple nursing homes covering for when other people call off, and for holidays. I wind up driving all over the state of Ohio. Even though it's not a set schedule, it always averages out to part time, so I can go a solid week of work and then three weeks with no work. Before doing this work, I worked as a Biology, Calculus and Chemistry tutor during the evenings.

How did you become interested in serving as a need-greater?
I've always been interested in expanding my ministry in some aspect. However, due to some health difficulties, I was extremely concerned with how I could serve. This seemed to be an avenue that I could pace entirely on my own accord, as compared to say, Bethel service. This desire, combined with yearbook and Watchtower experiences of other need-greaters, put a burning desire in my heart to do more and take the plunge.

Biggest challenge so far?
It's the aforementioned health difficulties. I have exercise induced asthma, which makes breathing very difficult on various occasions. I also have several severe food allergies. Even back home in the United States where I felt comfortable with the food, it's been an extreme challenge to find food that won't kill me. Taking that issue to another country where I'm NOT comfortable with the food already has been even scarier. At times I've felt as if my inhaler, Epipens and Jehovah have been my only companions that have stuck with me. I also have a heart valve that doesn't work but stays open at all times, raising my blood pressure, heart rate, etc. The medicine I have to take for this also makes me run to the restroom often and makes me much more tired than I used to be. I become fatigued easier. All three issues together made me uncomfortable with the very idea of even leaving my home congregation, but I've been very blessed so far in doing so.

Wow. So has been reaching out in this way been worth it?
Absolutely, in every regard! I had read and heard about that amount of interested ones in these other territories. I felt as if it may have been played up a little bit even. But coming here has totally opened my eyes. I can start a conversation and place literature with literally EVERY person in this territory. It's difficult to describe the enjoyment from that. Not only that, but I feel like I'm doing so much more for God's organization here. No matter where you go, Jehovah's organization needs brothers to reach out and be used. But, to come to a small congregation where there isn't the help, where there aren't enough brothers to take the lead, and then actually put forth the effort in such a place is an amazing experience. I enjoyed the privilege of giving public talks before I came down, but it feels amazing when you're giving public talks almost every Sunday. You can see in the audience the appreciation for this spiritual food, and you can just feel that you are being used by Jehovah to encourage and build others up – even more so than back home. I highly recommend to the young brothers who wish to be used even more in the congregation about traveling to somewhere else that needs brothers more than where you already are. It may be close by or far away from home, but the feeling of taking on this larger role is indescribable. You may worry about being stretched too thin, but rely on Jehovah and you will be used in a wonderful way.

What advice would you give to wannabe need-greaters?
Read up-building experiences from the yearbooks, make it a matter of prayer and set a plan in action to reach your goal. You'll never reach the goal if you don't first count the costs, but also know that Jehovah will provide. Be reasonable about it. Even if it seems like a far ways off before you could leave, build up your spirituality now and your effectiveness in your ministry so that you'll be fully equipped for every good work when you do leave.

Any bizarre, random, or meaningless words you'd like to conclude with?
SHNARKBUZZLES!!! It's a word I made up writing bad poetry for the sole intent of it being bad. What, you have to find a way to amuse yourself in your downtime and engage in some form of recreation. Don't look at me like that.

So we hope that you have enjoyed this introductory segment. We plan on returning to it soon. In the meantime, any other questions you think we should ask? Feel free to post suggestions in the comments below.