Small Beginnings

Hello friends! We’ve got a lot to share with you this week. We had a great weekend of activity with preaching and spending time with friends. We’ve also been working on the blog and have some cool stuff to share with you. So let’s get to it. 🙂

Over the weekend we were able to take part in our cart witnessing assignment on Friday and Saturday. Now that we have an organized schedule we are starting to witness consistently using the carts in a more organized way. This will no doubt have a good effect on the territory and those that view the carts. My wife and I are assigned to Monte Gordo and Tavira on Friday and Saturday. On Friday we had an interesting experience happen to us because of the visit of the Pope to Portugal. Since the Pope was in the country border patrol was being enforced from Spain into Portugal. So instead of being able to pass freely through the countries like normal everyone had to show their ID’s. As we came up to the guards in our car they asked for our ID’s. We were three in the car. My wife and I and our service partner. We handed them three passports with all different nationalities, French, American and Spanish. This apparently seemed suspicious to the guard so he told us to pull over to the side to get to the bottom of the matter. This wasn’t good because we were already late meeting our fourth service partner who was waiting for us in Monte Gordo. In addition to that we haven’t had good experiences with the Portuguese police while out in service in the past so we were a bit nervous. So there we were in our car surrounded by four or five menacing looking civil guards. As they asked us what we were doing the first thing that came to mind was to identify ourselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses and explain to them that we were going preaching. As soon as this became clear one of the guards exclaimed “That explains everything!” We were relieved to say the least. He waved us off and said “Good preaching” in Portuguese as we drove away. We were all a little stunned but happy to be on our way. It’s great to be able to benefit from the good reputation that God’s people have with authorities.

After arriving in Monte Gordo we started our shift happy to meet up with the other brother who was waiting for us. Since we were four we rotated with two staying with the cart and two doing street work and calls in the local area on foot. Kanicia and I went to do some calls of a sister who is away in the UK for the moment. It was great for Kanicia because she was able to do a full presentation and leave two magazines with two different shopkeepers. Since we haven’t been preaching in the camps as much lately it as nice for her to be able to have a conversation and a good response as well. We had an enjoyable morning preaching and were happy that we went out. The next day we worked with some different ones in the cart work in Tavira, Portugal. We love preaching in Tavira because there is a lot of foot traffic and the setting for the cart is beautiful. We place the cart at the end of the cobblestone bridge that crosses over into the old section of town. Many tourists and locals take strolls in this area and the cart often catches their eyes. We worked with a Dutch sister who is a great example of faithfulness in our hall. It was nice being out because on the other side of the bridge the Portuguese brothers were preaching with their cart. So regardless of where you were coming from you were going to see a cart one way or another. After an encouraging afternoon we headed home to relax.

On Sunday we had a nice study with Robert from Ghana. I had downloaded the May Broadcast program in Twi in order to show it to him. He works on Sunday nights so he can’t get to the English meetings so we suggested that he try to attend the Spanish meetings on Sunday mornings. The Spanish congregation is located within walking distance for him so it’s quite convenient. During the last study he would read information from the God’s Love book in Twi from the website but this time his friend was over and let him use his tablet which has the JW App on it. So it was easier for him to follow along after downloading the publication. My wife came along with me on the study which was a nice treat. We’re grateful to be able to have a study and we hope that we are able to get more as time goes on.

During the week the congregation had visitors from a few different countries. It seems like this is becoming a weekly thing now. We had a nice family from Belgium who serve in an English congregation there. They preach to an American military base as the bulk of their territory. It was interesting listening to them because they have an American accent when they speak English because of their territory as well as their children. We also had an older Australian couple visiting Spain on vacation. They used to serve in Ecuador and they shared with us some of their experiences. It was interesting hearing their thoughts about Spain and the congregation. We had a good time sharing a meal with them and some others. At first we weren’t going to go but then we thought about it and decided to go. We decided that if we are in a position to go to hospitality then we will say yes from now on.

It seems that our congregation is changing from week to week lately. We are either having ones go or new ones come. Some are leaving temporarily and others more permanently. It makes us sad to see our friends go especially when they arrived around the same time as us. But we know that they will continue to be busy in Jehovah’s service wherever they go. This past week we received a brother and his wife and daughter from the UK who seem to be moving into the hall. They were spying out the land on the Spanish islands but decided that they would return to the mainland and to our congregation. This may have had to do with the territory being a lot of holidaymakers on the islands. Either way we are happy to have them. We know that this trend will continue as time goes on of the congregation continuing to grow. It seems as if Jehovah is building up the congregation and really refining it right before our very eyes. It’s great to see and exciting. We look forward to playing whatever role we may within the congregation as we try to keep serving unitedly with our brothers.

We’ve been working a lot on the blog lately and have started to test out some new ideas. The first ideas is our new Needgreaters Jobs section. The section is kind of in beta for the moment as we add new jobs and see which direction we want to go with it. For now the jobs listed our offered by our partner FlexJobs. FlexJobs is a great service which filters through all of the jobs being offered out there and only shows you real and legitimate offers. Here’s how FlexJobs works according to their site.

“We pound the pavement so you don’t have to. We have a team of excellent, educated, trained researchers who go out and scour the hundreds of online job resources every day (including industry blogs, employer sites, reliable job boards, and more). They are specifically looking for the professional, legitimate jobs that offer some kind of flexibility – telecommuting, part-time or flextime schedules, or freelance contracts. When our researchers find a job listing that appears promising, they research the company for legitimacy. If it passes our critical evaluations, then the researchers find the most direct way for you to apply to that job (ideally on the employer’s site, but not always). The job is then added to our site, along with staff-written job summaries, company descriptions, company headquarters, and other useful information.”

We know that in our efforts to serve here in Spain we’ve gone through many different jobs that seem to be worthwhile but upon further inspection they actually ended up being a waste of time. We didn’t know about FlexJobs three years ago but if we did it could have saved us a lot of time and hassle. Since FlexJobs does the work of verifying the jobs that it offers and presents only the best they do have a small charge for their services. You can use the service for however long you think you will need to look for a job and they have a Satisfaction Guarantee with an easy refund option if you aren’t happy. You can find out about their Pricing by clicking here. We plan to expand the Needgreaters Jobs section with other partners that we are working with as well as other opportunities that we come across from time to time. We’ll see how it develops.

We have long promoted teaching online as one of the most flexible ways to support yourself in your assignment. We have been doing it for several years and have learned a lot during that time. We’re excited to share that we are partnering with a well known player in the online English teaching circle. His name is Jack Askew and he started off teaching English in academies in Spain like myself but he soon moved online and started enjoying the flexibility and convenience that it offered. He now lives in the US with his family. Jack now spends his time helping others learn how to get started teaching online by teaching for themselves. While we typically try to steer people toward working for a teaching company we also recognize the benefits of working for yourself. We wrote an article about it here which talks about the different ways that you can teach English. Some of the benefits of working for yourself include the possibility of earning more as well as complete control of your material and how you teach. You can also choose your students and decide when you want to teach. These are all very big pluses. Jack has a great blog with tons of content about becoming a better teacher and getting started teaching English. He’s also created a free guide that will give you the Top 15 Tools and Resources for Teaching English Online. Just click on the link and download it yourself to see if there’s anything that your missing. As a seasoned teacher I thought that I had everything covered but there were a few things that surprised me in the guide.

Jack also offers a free Video Tutorial on How to Teach Online. After you click on the link you’ll find a lot of good information on how to get started teaching online, how to make the transition to online teaching from offline teaching and how to find students. After going through the content you can get the free video tutorial which has valuable information from someone who has already made the switch to online.

What I’m really excited to share with you is that Jack has allowed us to offer his top product on this site which is his Teach English Online Course. This is a step-by-step video training course for English teachers. It will teach you how to get started from not knowing anything to being able to work as an online English teacher for yourself. I’ve bought this course and have gone through it myself and I can say that the information and content leaves nothing out. As a bonus if you sign up for the Teach English Online Course we’ll throw in a copy of our Online English Teaching Book with lifetime updates for free. Just send us an email and let us know that you picked up the course and we’ll send you the the book to your email address. We’re happy to be working with people like Jack who are raising awareness about the benefits of teaching online since it is a largely ignored subject. To check out the Teach English Online Course click here or on any of the previous links. Feel free to reach out to us or Jack if you have any questions as well.

We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback on our Online English Teaching Book from many of you. It’s great to know that you appreciate the work that we’ve put into it. We’ll probably do another update soon adding several companies that we have come across that we think would be interesting to you. If you want to learn about teaching English online by working for the best companies out there go ahead and pick up our book by clicking here. We’ve also been working on our new store JW Convention Gifts. We’ve partnered with Red Bubble which is why we are featuring products from their collection in the store. We’re working on some new designs as well as adding some other cool stuff. We’re also in the planning stages of putting together a new section on the blog which will feature some of the really original and unique shops out there offering theocratic and service accessories and supplies. We’ve been in talks with a big partner that has finally invited us on board so we’re excited to start sharing some of their offerings soon. It’s kinda of crazy how this blog has evolved from what was just a way for us to keep in contact with our friends and family at the beginning. We have been approached by advertisers who want to promote their products on our site recently. We want to keep the blog authentic while still using it as a creative outlet and also hopefully a means to share our encouraging experiences serving in beautiful Spain. If you are interested in creating your own blog Kanicia wrote a free email course that you can check out by clicking here. It will help you to get started and show you what’s possible to do with a simple little blog. We’ve also revamped our page offering different Online TESOL Certificates. The company that we partner with is one of the places that we got our certificate before we started teaching English. You can find out more by clicking here.

If you are thinking about moving abroad and you missed our Moving Abroad Guide you can check it out by clicking here. It was written based on our experience of moving here to Spain. It can apply to any country because the principles are the same. Also if you haven’t already subscribed to the blog you can do so here.

We normally post every Monday but by subscribing you will get special announcements and other things that we only share with those who are on the email list. We also post regularly on Instagram. Our accounts are jwabroad and kcog09. Feel free to follow us if you like our content.

Well friends, that brings us to the end of this weeks post. We hope that some of the information that we shared with you has been helpful. As always feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page or by leaving a comment below if you have any questions or just want to say hello. We’ll be in the Algarve in Portugal over the weekend for a public talk and to spend time with the friends there. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you. Have a great week and bye for now.

2 Replies to “Small Beginnings”

  1. You really are busy! After reading from your instagram about the Pope visit to Portugal, I heard of a French sister who had planned an holiday there and booked a flight with a stopover in Brussels. She was denied boarding the plane from Brussels to Lisbon because she only had her ID card and no passport. She wasn’t told beforehand passports were required during the Pope’s visit (suspension of the Schengen rights) ! Usually, you only need the ID travelling in Europe. She has lost a week’s holiday and her air ticket payment…

    1. Wow, that’s unfortunate to hear about what happened to the sister. It’s amazing how so many people can be effected by the visit of one person to a country. I guess it’s always good to be safe and carry our passports when flying because we never know what might be happening.

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