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So as you now know, we are in Bilbao. It was a sudden change and left us with many questions; the big one being: Why Bilbao??
We knew nothing of this city or region, all we knew is that it was in the north of Spain. We left everything in Jehovah’s hands and the job we found ended up here. We saw there was a French group and also an English congregation. Did one of these need help? Yes, both actually!
The English congregation is pretty well established with about 40 publishers, three elders, one servant and nine pioneers. However the brothers tell us they need help in the congregation and that they have a large territory. In fact a couple that just graduated from couples school will be moving in next week to help.
The French group has been around for some time but only 17 publishers, two elders, one servant and one pioneer. They also have a large territory. Which to choose??
Well after talking to brothers in both halls we decided to visit and check it out. We arrived in Bilbao Wednesday night and visited the French on Thursday. What a surprise to walk in the back school and feel transported to Africa! There are many young ones and it was a pleasure to hear their comments. The friends in the group were very warm and welcomed us with open arms. When Antoine explained to the brothers what we had just went through, they became emotional. Why? They told us they had been praying for help, had been asking the branch for help and thought their prayers were unanswered! Wow! We felt very humbled to think that we could even be used in a small way to answer their prayers; we didn’t even know there was a French group until Antoine was offered this job!
We also spent Saturday with group, going in the ministry and to the meeting. Can you believe our speaker on Saturday was from France?! Yes it’s only a two hour drive, pretty cool! Also another nice thing about this group is that almost everyone in the group are native speakers. Which for me, means there is no language barrier that makes it harder to make friends!
Sunday we visited the English. It’s a large hall in comparison but very warm as well. It’s a mixed hall of native African speakers and Spanish who have learned English. There are also a lot of kids. The brothers really appealed to us to come to English as they need brothers. They even talked to us separately about how we would be of help there. To be honest I felt like I was cheating on the French lol. I haven’t even been to an English meeting in so long; it was so easy! The most difficult part is understanding all the accents, some comments sounded like another language!
So what is our decision? Well our heart is with the French but in between going to the meeting we learned that Antoine’s job will conflict with the midweek meeting. Since he is replacing a teacher that left mid-semester he can’t change the schedule. So we will be attending the English congregation but… supporting the French on the weekends for the meetings and service.
We definitely feel like there is a great need here in both fields! It’s a great privledge to have a small part in helping out however we can!