What a lovely memorial! We are sure that you enjoyed the evening as much as we did here in Spain. Attending a memorial in another country helps you to see that despite cultural differences Jehovah’s people are the same when it comes to true worship.
We had our memorial at a hotel in the center of the city which had a very nice meeting hall. When you have your memorial in a hotel or public venue it helps you to appreciate in a way how privileged you are to be attending this special occasion. As I was traveling to the hotel from the metro I could observe people going along with their daily affairs, eating and drinking and being preoccupied with life. Many of these ones had no idea that this night is the most important night of the year and what it symbolized. Yet here we are meeting right in there midst along with our brothers all over the earth in kingdom halls, assembly halls, private homes, rented facilities, prisons and fields. Yes, we are truly blessed to know the truth and to be a part of Jehovah’s earthly organization in these chaotic last days! As for the hotel there were plenty of seats to accommodate all of the visitors.
It was nice to meet many of the bible students and different interested ones that came including many with their children in tow. Our speaker was from the couples’ school and did an excellent job trying to reach the heart of his listeners. As is typical with memorial the friends were all very nicely dressed in order to bring dignity to the occasion. We all enjoyed taking pictures with different ones in order to remember the event. This was our first memorial in Spain and we enjoyed it very much. As the Kingdom Ministry alluded to recently, it is possible that this could be our last memorial. Time will only tell. In the meantime we are spurred on for further activity in increasing our service to our wonderful God Jehovah as we begin preparations for the convention season right around the corner in Madrid.
After the memorial Kanicia and I walked home because we live only about 10 minutes away from the hotel. It was nice to disappear into the night leaving the memorial celebration and walk along the river observing Bilbao in all its beauty. The weather was pleasant and we were feeling really appreciative of the evening until…wait a second. Is that what I think it is?!? What is that noise it sounds like drumming? Who are those people in white hoods? It looks like there are 100’s of them? Are they coming this way? I know we are not in the deep south in the states, something is wrong here. Oh that’s right, in Spain this is Semana Santa (Holy Week). This Catholic celebration marks the beginning of Easter and is usually accompanied by processions in the street reenacting the passion of the Christ. This celebration is very popular in Andalusia and Seville. Well, after leaving our peaceful memorial among Jehovah’s people and finding ourselves smack dab in the middle of this celebration because it was taking place on our street proved to be quite a contrast. There were people in the streets observing the procession of chanting by hooded figures and rhythmic drumming. The celebration has a very demonic tone to it as it is steeped in pagan tradition and the anonymous masked figures seem quite frightening and almost like they are in a trance. I think if someone was dressed like that and offered me a Bible study, the last thing that I would do would be to accept it! They couldn’t help but remind us of the Klu Klux Klan. On top of that they have different color hoods including black, purple, red and white.
All of this reminded us that Satan and his false religious organizations have nothing to offer compared to the truth and that we have something very special. It’s been nice seeing pics of the memorial from all of you from around the world! There is nothing like our organization!