Ok, well this post is going to be a little mushy gushy so I hope you’re ready. 🙂 We all know that scripture where Jesus says that we would be identified as his true followers by the love that we show. We have been able to see the truth of those words back home in our French congregation but this experience has allowed us to see those see those words in a whole new dimension! We all know that we belong to an international brotherhood and that we have a family worldwide. Let me tell you about a few of the things that have moved our hearts and caused us to love our creator and our brotherhood even more than ever!
As you may know if you have been following this blog our arriving to Spain was quite a trying experience. After finally arriving on Spanish soil in Madrid we were first greeted by Alfredo our then soon to be new friend. (Thank you Yvette!) 🙂 Alfredo didn’t really speak English well and we didn’t really speak Spanish well, but that was no problem because we were still able to show Christian love. Alfredo allowed us to stay in his home and showed us amazing hospitality!!! As the days passed our Spanish got better and we were able to communicate easier (it’s amazing what gestures and facial expressions can convey!) Alfredo introduced us to his wonderful family, including his parents, his sister Susane and their family and friends. We did not know these ones but we quickly came to love them as we learned more about them and how they strive to serve Jehovah here in this part of the world. Why should it be possible for one’s who just meet to feel as if you had known each other for many years and to be at ease? We would like to say that it is because we all strived to show love among ourselves as Jesus commanded. Our time in Madrid was truly a joy including the time we spent at bethel getting to know some of the friends in the couples class as well as other long time faithful servants. Being in a place where Jehovah’s spirit was so evident it was easy to want to display love and fellow feeling to our new friends. Our experience in bethel shows us that the languages that may at times separate us are no match for speaking the pure language of the truth along with genuine love. We were moved and encouraged as we learned about the lives of some of the students in the couples school. How they overcame obstacles and how they persevered in order to serve Jehovah more fully! We saw in action that leading a simple life focused on spiritual things truly is the most rewarding way of life. These individuals and stories we will never forget and we will draw on them for strength in the times ahead.
As we continued our time in Madrid with our amazing hosts and new friends Alfredo and Susane we saw Christian love in display even under difficult circumstances. When we experienced some difficulty in boarding the train to Murcia because of our luggage we saw Alfredo and Susane stand up for us and do their best to make sure that we would be alright. We saw in this an expression of love that is extremely difficult to display if it were not for our love of Jehovah and his people. We were moved and we wish to show this type of love to others whenever we can! As we finally left for Murcia after spending time with Alfredo, Susane their congregation, their families and their friends it was like leaving our own dear friends and families again! How is this possible to feel this way in only a few days? We would like to think that it is because of the ‘love that we have among ourselves’.
As we arrived in Murcia by bus we were deeply touched by the warm loving welcome of the French group at the bus station! We knew that everything was going to be alright even if we are far from friends and family because of the love that we have for one another. As we met our new hosts Angel and Rosa we came to draw close to them and to love them and their dog snoopy! They have their own problems and worries like we all do in this system but they made themselves available to accommodate us until we found a place of our own. They introduced us to their friends and showed us around and helped us in practical areas like setting up bank accounts and cellphone service in Spanish! 🙂 They taught us a lot about the culture and about how things are done here. Even when it took longer than we thought it would to find a place we never felt that we were in the way but we were always made to feel welcome and at home. When they would tell worldly family and neighbors that they have a couple from the United States that they’ve never met staying with them until they find an apartment many could not believe it! How is this possible? Are you sure about this? What if they are dangerous? Well, we know that all this is only possible because of the love that exists within Jehovah’s earthly organization. This post is dedicated to Alfredo, Susane, Angel, Rosa and all the other wonderful brothers and sisters who we’ve meet along the way who have allowed us to experience John 13:35 in a whole new way! We love this organization and we are all truly blessed to be a part of it! Words fail us for expressing all of our feelings and conveying all the acts of hospitality. All we can say is…THANK YOU, we LOVE you all!