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Hello friends, it’s amazing that we are already in February! How time flies you would no doubt agree. As our month begins here in southern Spain we look forward to being busy and sharing new experiences. Last month we enjoyed auxiliary pioneering which was a good warm up for the rest of the year. We were able to get a good feel for expanding our ministry as well as support the different service locations such as Huelva, Portugal and Lepe. We weren’t sure that we going to be able to be successful but thanks to Jehovah’s help we were able to have a satisfying ministry while meeting our goal. This month we hope for more of the same. One great thing is that the weather has already started to improve even though it’s not always consistent. Today we enjoyed high 17 degrees and we could see people wearing shorts and t-shirts (even though they were tourists). We hope that this mild weather will only improve as we plan to be take advantage of it to be out in the ministry as well as enjoy the surroundings. With that being said let us share some experiences with you from the past week or so that we hope you will enjoy. If this is your first time here feel free to check out our About Us page to learn our story.
Over the weekend we were able to spend some time preaching in Huelva which is the capital of this province by the same name. There is a Huelva service group that meet in Huelva on the weekends at the Kingdom hall located there. This is the smallest of the three service group due to the fact that not as many of the brothers and sisters live in that area. Even though they are the smallest they have one of the most productive territories which include the majority of the migrant worker camps as well as Huelva city which has many English speaking people that are receptive to our message. So, needless to say, it is really appreciated when others come to support the group especially on a regular basis. This has been an ongoing goal for us for some time now and some weeks we do better than others. Since we live in La Redondela it takes us about 30 minutes to get to the hall in Huelva. This probably doesn’t sound like a lot to those of you reading this from the states but in Spain time 30 minutes traveling might as well be two hours. 🙂 We have to admit that after having lived here for a few years we’ve adopted the Spanish view of time and travel. Since everything in Spain is usually so close when you have to travel outside of your immediate town or village for anything it’s considered kind of a big deal. That being said, we really enjoy spending time with the Huelva group and visiting the territory there. Another nice thing about the Kingdom hall in Huelva is that the French group meets there for service on the weekends. We have been meaning to visit the French group for awhile now either in the ministry or at their meetings. We met some of the brothers and sisters that support the group and they tell us that there is a lot of work to do. We know from our own experience that many of the Africans that we encounter in the territory speak French.
Over weekend I had the opportunity to visit a camp that I had never been to before. This one was located just across the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Huelva city. My service partner had met a man there the week before who was interested in discussing Bible subjects. As we entered the camp I couldn’t help but realize how abandoned and forgotten it was even though it was just a rocks throw from business and the city center. Even though we have seen many camps here in Spain this one was probably one of the worst as far as the living conditions go. It’s ironic since it’s closer to the city in contrast with the other camps that are located in the country. Walking through these camps you can’t help but appreciate the fact that Jehovah doesn’t discriminate by social standing or class and that he wants those who will be receptive to be reached. We found the man that we were looking for and my service partner shared the video about the Bible being the word of God with him. He then asked him a few questions as we stood there in an environment that no person should have to call home. The man appreciated our visit and thanked us as we left.
As the day progressed and we preached in the city center and other areas around Huelva I started to be reminded of the ministry in Bilbao. When we were there it was possible to speak to as many people as you wanted even though not all of them were receptive. Despite this fact there were many honest hearted ones who listened and we both had studies as a result. As we preached longer in Huelva I could see that there really are many there that can be reached with the good news if we are willing to put in the work. We look forward to working more in this territory and cultivating studies of our own soon. It’s amazing how when you put forth effort to try to expand your ministry even if it’s only by auxiliary pioneering Jehovah blesses your efforts with nice experiences and results. Earlier in the week we had a great day preaching with a couple visiting from Holland. They graduated from SKE and are in the Dutch field in their home country. We enjoyed hearing about how the preaching work is getting on in Holland and the success that they are having in different fields such as foreign language. While preaching together we focused on street work since there are a few areas where there is a high concentration of English speakers. We met a man who listened to us and allowed us to show him the ‘Why study the Bible video’. As we were showing him the video a man in the distance stood there watching us. The courageous Dutch brother invited him over to watch the video with us. That experience taught me that the videos are really powerful tools! We were able to get contact information and we hope to follow up this week. Later in the morning we were preaching in an area in Cartaya where there are English speakers. As we walked around the main square a man approached me and smiled. I didn’t recognize him but he recognized me. It turns out that he was one of the men that attended the meeting with us last year and rode in my car! I had lost track of one of the men that I studied with because he moved and I didn’t have the contact information for the other men. I was able to reconnect with this man who I ran into in Cartaya and get his phone number. He wants me to call him and we will set up a time to continue studying and to bring him to the meetings. So we will keep you posted on how that develops. When things like that happen we can’t help but appreciate the angelic support that we receive in the ministry. We are so grateful that we’ve been able to have such nice experiences lately. We know that many more are ahead! That’s not to say that it hasn’t been easy. Since we are trying to simplify and do more for Jehovah Satan has been busy trying to distract or discourage us but we are pushing on confident in Jehovah’s support.
We look forward to the rest of this month as we have some trips planned which we look forward to sharing with you as the time approaches. We’ve also been really pleased with the reaction to the Moving Abroad Guide. Here is some feedback that we received recently: “This has been extremely helpful! My husband and I are planning to go serve in a foreign land at the end of the year. Thinking about a Central American country, Spain or Italy. We live in California and also speak Spanish. Just bought Rosetta Stone in Italian to be prepared. However still praying for direction. Your articles gave us a lot to think about. Thanks so much.” If you haven’t gotten your free Moving Abroad Guide you can do it by going here or by entering your information below. It was written by both of us and it’s based on our experience moving here to Spain to serve where the need is great. You will receive a short email each day for seven days so that you can digest the guide in bite sized portions. After you finish the guide please email us your thoughts! We really love reading your comments. Well everyone, that’s all for now. We hope you have a great week and stay busy!
Antoine & Kanicia