Monday, July 23, 2012

Not a typical Monday 'off'

So if anyone has served in the Dominican Republic, you know that Mondays are the unofficial day off. 
We never have service arrangements and we usually take advantage of a 'free' day to do something fun or clean the house or just hang out with friends. So today started with the usual Monday laziness. I couldn't shake off an intense feeling of tiredness and so today started off even lazier than normal! In fact, we only left the house to satisfy a desire for Rice Krispy treats. After making and devouring them, we fell into a sugar coma and took a nap on my front porch, right on the concrete floor! By the nighttime we decided to venture out to grab dinner. I decided to take a couple of my friends to try a local Dominican dish, called Yaroa, which I describe as the Dominican version of American junk food. YUM! Anyhow, we were sitting there eating and noticed a table over there was an American man sitting by himself. After a while, he comes over to us and says, "I noticed you were speaking English" and asked us what we were doing in the country. We started explaining and he asked if he could pull up a chair. Next thing you know we had talked for at least an hour with this guy, having an absolutely awesome conversation. We covered everything from the education Jehovah's Organization provides, how our meetings work, what happened in the garden of Eden, the future hope of the end of all suffering, and even the second death was mentioned! This guy, Aaron, was traveling around third world countries and has been in Jarabacoa for about a week. He mentioned that he had traveled before, after finishing school, as part of a post-grad program to assist in local charities. At the end of the conversation, he thanked us and told us that he really appreciated how we had talked, not like other Christians who had the more 'fire and brimstone' approach. At one point Issac, a brother serving in the ASL group, told him how his family learned the truth and the guy really liked hearing that. We also discussed why we felt the need to come to a third world country and about giving our God our best, the joys of our international brotherhood and the satisfaction of being able to share the Bible message with others and see how it benefited their lives. I think all of us enjoyed hearing each other share their feelings about that! After he left, we all sat around the table with the biggest smiles and talked about the fact that we clearly saw Jehovah's direction that led us to our conversation with Aaron. There were so many variables in our day that led to us being at that restaurant at that time, far too many to be coincidental and for that we thanked Jehovah to allow us to have such a wonderful experience. For example, yesterday we had discussed the possibility of going to the beach, but instead we ended up lazily at the house. When we finally made it out of the house, we walked to the Yaroa place but than decided we wanted to do something else first. There was even a get together that had been planned for tonight weeks in advance that was canceled at the last minute. All of these things led us to be in the right place at the right time with a tremendous witness as a result. If nothing happens with Aaron, I know we were all extremely grateful to share our faith and have such an incredible discussion. Amber leaves on Wednesday and after being here three weeks said that one call made her trip. All I can say is that Jehovah knows what we need exactly when we need it. What a wonderful way to start the week!

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