Last week we were able to spend some time preaching in Durango a town about 30 minutes from Bilbao. Durango is a beautiful historic town surrounded closely by mountains. It has many buildings from as far back as the 15th century and you can feel the history as you walk through the plaza and in and out of the cobbled streets. The pace of life is slower than in Bilbao and you can’t help but feel relaxed when spending time here. You see the traditional lifestyle as old couples slowly walk hand in hand with a loaf of bread. Or a group of men lively chat about something at a table in an outdoor cafe.
Kanicia has a study in Durango and it was rescheduled to earlier in the week. I decided to accompany Kanicia before work and go preaching in Durango. We walked to the bus station and waited for a little while until we caught the bus that we wanted. The ride takes about 30 minutes but you don’t really notice it because the scenery is nice and the bus is comfortable. We were really hoping that the study was going to be there because we were not able to reconfirm the day of like normal. Despite this we decided to go anyways. After arriving in Durango we walked through the town center to reach the home of the study in about 10 minutes. Impressively Kanicia was able to find the house with no problem. This could easily be a challenge because there are so many small streets which all look alike and street signs are not commonly posted. Once we arrived at the home of the study we rang the door twice but we were met with silence. We wondered to ourselves where she might be and we decided to call her. After a few minutes of talking with the study we learned that something had come up last minute and she had to attend to it. She was not able to contact us because she didn’t have any minutes on her phone. This is something that we experienced in Murcia as well. We told her that we would reschedule as she kept apologizing to us.
We decided to make the most of the remaining time by engaging in street witnessing. Kanicia says that every time she’s in Durango she always finds at least one person to talk to whether French or English. Since Durango is further from the main city it is more affordable and because of that there are more immigrants including English speakers. We decided to stop into the tourist office to ask a few questions. We learned a lot about the history of the town and activities that are offered there. It’s funny that its usually while in service that you discover fun stuff to do and see. Time was getting ahead of us so we started to head back to the train station. At the station we saw a man waiting by himself. I approached him and started a conversation. He was nice and I told him the purpose of our work and left him a tract and meeting invitation. Nearby there was a man on a bench by himself who looked like he spoke English or French. We decided to sit down next to him and we started a conversation. He was also friendly and had actually just come from Senegal. He has been living in Spain for over 10 years and is of the Muslim faith. We talked with him for about 10 minutes about the condition of the world and where things are heading.
Once we got onto the bus to head back to Bilbao we decided to make use of our time by doing some Bible reading together. We offered a small prayer and began to read together in the Bible. Apparently our actions were being observed because a man in the row next to us decided to get our attention. “Do you have any extra Bibles?” he said. A little surprised we replied, “Ummm…. in what language?” He said that he wanted some in English. After asking a few more questions we learned that the man has visited our Kingdom Hall before in Bilbao and he actually used to study. Kanicia and I talked to the man for practically the whole ride home and no doubt this served as a witness to all around us as they were listening to us. Typically the Spanish are very curious and like to know what other people are doing, in this case this served to our advantage. We exchanged numbers with the man and asked where he lives and when we could come by to bring him a Bible. After making the arrangements he thanked us and we felt that our trip to Durango was not in vain. As we have seen time and again if we put forth the effort to do something for Jehovah he will provide a blessing we will be happy that we acted despite potential challenges.