Wow. Quite a weekend for us. Here's what happened....
Of course the Memorial this year fell on Friday, April 3rd. The unusual thing is that our Circuit Assembly this year was scheduled for Sunday, April 5th, which meant the Pioneer Meeting was April 4th. This presented a difficulty for us since boats only go to and from Orealla two days a week.... Thursday and Monday. So it seemed as though we only had two options.
1) Leave Thursday to attend the Memorial in a different congregation on Friday, which meant we wouldn't be having the Memorial in Orealla at all. Obviously this is not a good option.
2) Have the Memorial in Orealla on Friday, and then simply miss the Assembly and Pioneer meeting. Obviously this was also not a good option.
Happily, an option 3 was presented to us. There's a man named Clement who owns a large boat that's used for shipping lumber from Orealla up to the coast in Skeldon, and we were able to arrange a deal wherein we hired his entire boat to take us all Friday night after the Memorial was finished. The timing would be really, really tight, but it would work.
So with those arrangements out of the way, we were free to focus on the others things we needed to get ready for the Memorial (Kingdom Hall cleaning, etc) for the week. We also got an elder from Georgetown and his family to come in to deliver our Memorial talk. They arrived Thursday afternoon and had some time to settle in and even help with some final Hall cleaning.
All this of course led us to Friday. On the upside, we had a great turnout of 90. On the downside, the boat plans didn't go quite as they were supposed to....
|The only picture I had time to get...|
Unfortunately (see how that weasels in, like, every time?) the guy got hired to do something else earlier that day. He thought he would be able to make it back in time to get us. Turns out he was running pretty late, so he didn't get to us until about 9.
So fast forward to Saturday morning. We arrive at the coast at 5 in the morning. I was able to run to a brother's house, have breakfast, and get dressed for the Pioneer meeting. I rushed out, and was able to make it in time, so very happy about that.
I must say, this circuit is doing an incredible job of promoting pioneering. Well over 1 in 10 of the publishers are regular pioneering. The attendance at the pioneer meeting was 135, which I believe is the best we've ever had.
(wow, shoulda done some fact checking before writing this. Sorry!)
One thing we quite appreciated though: in the closing prayer, the circuit overseer specifically thanked Jehovah for the "pioneers from Orealla and Lethem congregations being able to make it in time" to attend.
Brief digress: two excellent experiences I heard at the pioneer meeting!
One comes from a sister talking about the "Who Are Doing Jehovah's Will Today?" brochure. Admittedly, I've never yet used it, so I was glad to hear her experiences. She talked about what approach she uses for it (briefly covering a point from it at the end of each study) and how she focuses on showing the worldwide unity of Jehovah's Witnesses. When asked how many students she's used this brochure with, she said "Eight." When asked how many studies she has attending meetings, she said "Eight." Man, I've gotta get my act in gear.
The second comes from a brother to whom I was talking to about living in an Amerindian village. He told me they actually have an Indian village in their territory, but they can't get to it because it's up a river. I asked how they're able to work it, and he says "We always set up a public witnessing cart in the marketplaces around, and we began noticing the Amerindians will come out of their village to shop in the market on occasion. However, since the cart has been there so long, they know to look for it, and they've actually begun coming to the cart first, and then doing their shopping. In fact, just this morning I was working with the cart before coming here. I was beginning to pack it all up, had the case over it and everything, when a group of Indians rushed up. They asked if they could still get some books, and said they'd rowed out from their village that morning just to come for the cart!"
We now return you to our regularly scheduled program...
So after that lovely bit of relaxation and catching up with friends, I left and spent the night with Micaiah and Jessica, again. Which I cannot overstate how great that was. After having been constantly rushing from 4 PM on Friday until 7 PM on Saturday, I finally got a shower, a bed, and sleep. I was even awake at 6:30 the next morning! Unheard of!
Which led to the actual Assembly. Which was awesome. It was the same program I had heard in October in Ohio, so I always enjoy hearing how different brothers are able to develop and deliver the same material.
|Orealla congregation arrives!|
|Stairs to the upper seating area.|
|View of the parking lot from the aforementioned above seating area.|
It's happened again. I've gotten to the end of my story but lack a powerful conclusion. Ah well, an occasional shaggy dog story never hurt anyone.