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The new video on the jw.org site, you can see it here , has seemed to put the need greater community abuzz :). It’s really an awesome video! Often we meet people in the territory who are puzzled as to why someone, and in our territory someone of color, from the US would come here to Spain, with one of the worst economies in Europe. This video is an awesome response to such a question. I plan to share it with some visits that have asked this question.
It led me to think, as maybe others have, about our short experience so far. Antoine and I have spent time overseas before for three months or less in the past as single people. I think those experiences, short as they were, really moved us to do more like learning a new language, moving to a foreign language congregation and pioneering. Those experiences also engendered the desire to move abroad for a longer term. Now that we have done so, it’s nice to reflect on the blessings we have received from living this type of life.
As the video showed, there are definitely many sacrifices involved in leaving family, friends, and familiar surroundings. However, there are many blessings. For us, we don’t have studies lining up at our door but we do have a satisfying ministry. Sometimes the need can be manifested in other ways and we have learned to look for ways to give of ourselves. This has helped us grow spiritually in ways that may have taken us years to do back home, but we have been ‘forced’ to grow in these ways in just a few months. Forced sounds negative…it’s not… but having to change your perspective on things…people, life, and yourself, can be painful at times but always has benefits. For me personally, many challenges that would have caused major stress are no longer even a concern. It’s really amazing to see how a person can grow and stretch, when Jehovah is doing the training!
If your circumstances allow you to expand your ministry by moving to an area where there is a greater need…do it! You won’t regret it! Even if only for a few months (in the video, it seems that the sister’s experience was not a permanent move) the personal growth, expanding your friendships, and strengthening your relationship with Jehovah will be well worth it!